Sunday, June 17, 2012

Brief Thoughts on Grating Voices





 Thoughout the years, I've heard many people (mostly guys, but not just) mention how unbearably grating they find womens singing voices when it comes to bands like Bikini Kill, or even stuff like the Go Gos or Cyndi Lauper. To me, these people own the girliness in their voice, while still maintaining a fierce, sharp, loud sound. For riot grrrl types, many female rappers, etc., they are often aware that they are not making the most gentle, ladylike sounds while still sounding very much a lady.





After hearing many hours of the Beastie Boys recently, I realized how horribly grating I find that music. (No respect, of course, to the band, who seem like genuinally nice guys, but you know, haters gonna hate.) It was like nails on a chalkboard to me, with the endless screeching, shouting and posturing.

Anyway, my point is, that we rarely hear this same scorn for male artists. I'm sure people hate Jello Biafra's voice (FYI a friend confirmed that he's a total dick in real life, what a surprise) but I doubt they say, "I just can't stand to hear men's voices like that. He sounds like such a harpy shrew!" 



 To me the bottom line isn't simply that men are allowed to be abrasive and screech and women aren't, but that when women use these things that make them "feminine' (high voices, certain inflections, etc.) to be loud and aggressive, we view it as obnoxious in a way that we would never find men.

Anyway, I also tense up when I hear the Police, and not just because all their songs are about stalking thirteen year olds, but because I hate Sting's faux rasta/ Phil Collins voice. I also hate  Phil Collins, what a tool.


7 comments:

Arabella said...

Poly Styrene - take that! moaners.

Simone said...

AGREED.

It's the same with shit like "OH MY GOD MARISSA PATERNOSTER IS SO TINY HOW CAN SHE MAKE SUCH A BIG SOUND LITTLE GIRL IS SO LITTLE!"

Does prince get talked about like that? Is ozzy osbourne a really big guy? I'm sure other rock dudes are actually really small too.

Anything to put women down, man! They are intimidated so they have to try to knock you down a peg.

jesse.anne.o said...

On the contrary, my aversion is to sweet melodic female vocals. My boyfriend insists it's because I hate women but my mind goes to YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG when it hear them. Bjork makes me want to stab my eardrums out. There are some minor exceptions like the Shangri Las, Patsy Cline and a few others.

OMG I f'n love Marissa Paternoster.

John Ebejer said...

One girl band you have to check out is Deadstar. I think they are Australian and they sound like Veruca Salt. There big hit was called Deeper Water. Che Che Check it out. Supperjesus are also good their big was called Going Down I think. Also Aussies.

John Ebejer said...

Wait I rhink their hit was Down Again not Going Down. Must be the Aerosmith in me.

Mary said...

Thanks, I'll check out Deadstar and Deeper Water...I haven;t listed to a lot of alterna-90's lady bands, really.

I'm not a fan of pretty, melodic voices either. The couple years old trend of whispery, twee lady vocalists drive me nuts!

Yeah Poly Styrene always a good example! Talk about girly aggression!

Jinnifer richard said...

very nice and thanks for sharing this.