you've got quality

So tonight are the Grammys. (Or is it Grammies?) And as I'm listening to my 400 songs on my computer, I'm wondering about musical taste and where it lives. Specifically, vocal quality. Vocal quality is very important to me. At least as much as melody and lyrics. Vocal quality explains my liking some music I theoretically shouldn't, like Crash Test Dummies. (I have a very low voice, and for some reason the lead singer's voice sits right in a range that's pleasing for me.) It resonates in my body, like a tuning fork. Chali 2na, the rapper from Jurassic Five, does the same thing to me. Same with Chuck D. Thom Yorke. Jim Morrison. Betty Carter. Cat Stevens. Maynard James Keenen. Snoop Dogg. Sade. Elvis Costello.

Then there are people I like despite, or more likely because of their distinctly weird and/or weak vocal quality. Like Liz Phair. Or J. Masaics. Or Billy Corgan. Or Perry Farrell. Tom Petty. Kurt Cobain.

The other side of this, obviously, is people whose vocal quality make me want to claw my ears off. Like the Indigo Girls. Lenny Kravitz. Jay Z. Even Chris Cornell (in his upper register.)

The effect of certain vocalists can change for me. Like Fred Durst. I used to really respond to his voice. Now it makes me want to kick someone. Also Macy Gray. Complete reversal, that one.

Anyway, with the normal trepidation, I plan to watch the Grammys tonight. Who will win? Who will lose? Who gives a shit. We just want to laugh at Elton John singing Stan, anyway.

And speaking of Stan, I received this email yesterday from lovely reader Luna. Cracked my shit up big time:

Dear Stee, I wrote you but you still ain't updatin'.
I read your journal and your recaps, why you playa-hatin'?.
You did two entries back in January, lately you've been fadin'.
There prob'ly is a problem if you've sold your soul to Satan.
Sometimes you post entries too short when i've been waitin'.
Anyways, fuck it, what's been up, man? How's Downey Junior?.
I had a friend smoke some crack when Anne Heche just wouldn't do her.
I know you prob'ly hear this every day, but I'm your biggest fan.
I even read the crossover entries that you did with Pam.
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures, man.
I like the shit you did with Three-Way-Action too, that shit was phat.
Anyways, I hope you get this, man, hit me back,
Just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan.
This is Stan....

Stee's gone cold, I'm wondering why.
I pulled up his site at all.
The browser freezes on this window,
And i can't see at all.
Even if i could, it'd all be old.
Got the archive from last fall.
It reminds me that it's not so bad.
It's not so bad.


...Any one of two pieces may be posted at Hissyfit and MTBV any minute now. (They are a piece on the Barbra Streisand Valentine's Day TV concert, and my interview with Msaada from Road Rules, respectively.)

The Robert Downey Jr. Happy Song Corner


When I look into your eyes I can see a love restrained. But darling when I hold you don't you know I feel the same. 'Cause nothing lasts forever and we both know hearts can change. And it's hard to hold a candle in the cold November rain. We've been through this such a long long time just trying to kill the pain. But lovers always come and lovers always go and no one's really sure who's letting go today. Walking away. If we could take the time to lay it on the line I could rest my head just knowing that you were mine. All mine. So if you want to love me then darling don't refrain. Or I'll just end up walking in the cold November rain. Do you need some time...on your own? Do you need some time...all alone? Everybody needs some time... on their own? Don't you know you need some time...all alone. I know it's hard to keep an open heart when even friends seem out to harm you. But if you could heal a broken heart. Wouldn't time be out to charm you? Sometimes I need some time...on my Own. Sometimes I need some time...all alone. Everybody needs some time…on their own. Don't you know you need some time...all alone. And when your fears subside and shadows still remain. I know that you can love me when there's no one left to blame. So never mind the darkness we still can find a way. 'Cause nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain. Don't ya think that you need somebody. Don't ya think that you need someone. Everybody needs somebody. You're not the only one. You're not the only one...speaking of which. Sometimes I need some time on my own. Sometimes, though, I need to socialize, you know. I mean, you don't understand what happens to you down there. Like, it's not even your fault you get sent in there for a few days; you're just defending yourself against the bullying, you know. And at first it's fine. You have your anger to keep you company, and your sense of injustice. Well, and your barking, moaning craving, which screams louder in there. And then you get bored. And then you get lonely. And then you seriously consider chewing your own toes off just to have something to do. Little tip: resist that urge. I'm serious.
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