It's Thursday, my body and mind is still rebelling against daylight savings time. While other AP.net staffers are posting awesome videos, drinking a lot down at SXSW, and writing album reviews - I'm preparing my Thursday Discussion, and stealing glances at the March Madness games up in the upper right-hand corner of my screen. This week I decided to step away from the pastfewweeks of "unappreciated" talk - and move on to a topic I've always loved discussing: vocals.
My love for a band usually comes from the sum of its parts. The lyrics, the vocals, the instrumentals, the production -- all of these things play a role when I listen to a band and lead to the enjoyment that comes out of it. While some listeners are more drawn to the music instrumentation side of a song - I've always found myself leaning toward the vocal and lyrics portion. So, for today's discussion, I've put together a list of my top 10 favorite vocalists in our scene. Since we're a music community that focuses mostly on the alternative side of things - I purposefully left out most of the mainstream artists, or the classic voices. So, no Adele on this list. I also tried to put some kind of time constraint on it, so I'm not tossing in stuff like Frank Sinatra or Bobby Darrin. There's a big pool of artists I could have picked from that aren't on this list, but - hey - the idea of only picking 10 is what makes it difficult (sorry Cee-Lo).
This is also all about my favorite vocals - not necessarily the technical best. The ability to stir an emotion in me is far more valuable on my list than the ability to go on a long vibrato filled fun (no chance J.C.). And, as we've seen throughout the years - sometimes the ability to emote can easily outweigh the best technical ability (Bob Dylan and Geoff Rickly come to mind). I included links to Rdio and Spotify so you can check out the artists. Highly recommend that when you're making your own lists - you do the same. I mean, vocals sort of need to be heard.
1) Jason Gleason (Further Seems Forever / Old Wives)
2) Jason Vena (Acceptance)
3) Nate Ruess (Fun)
4) Will Pugh (Cartel)
5) Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy)
6) Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie)
7) Cary Brothers
8) Hayley Williams (Paramore)
9) Dustin Kensrue (Thrice)
10) Matt Berninger (The National)
Ok, so, who's on your list? And why? If you went with one of those classic "punk" voices - why'd you pick that over a silky smooth one, for example. Also, feel free to include some videos of your favorite performances.
Side-Bar: Runner ups? Jim Adkins, Mark Rose, Brian Fallon, and Frank Turner.