Songs in the (Off) Key of Life
October 24, 2007 5:04 PM   Subscribe

She thinks it started here, but actually it goes way back. There are some undoubted classics, and of course this posse is famous. Usually it's unintentional (previously), but a person could make it their personal signature, which could get old. Not to mention dangerous (previously but thankfully not since).
posted by cogneuro (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Kelefa Sanneh is very much a "he".
posted by with hidden noise at 5:31 PM on October 24, 2007

I was always bugged by a very off-key "aaaallllll" in U2's All Because of You. That said, I think all of the videos linked here are perfectly fine, musically speaking. Edie Brickell and Biz Markie actually sound great to me, despite their informal vocal style. Maybe I'm missing something?

Also, I would say that punk music has been doing the intentional off-key thing for longer than anyone.
posted by knave at 5:35 PM on October 24, 2007

Edie Brickell isn't singing out of tune. But she is totally cute, and that song free-associatingly reminded me of having epic rubber band wars with my brother when we were kids. So thanks for the memories!
posted by JohnFredra at 5:49 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

There's a big difference between singing off key and singing mostly monotone (i.e. talk-singing).

(Edie Brickell is doing neither.)
posted by Reggie Digest at 6:10 PM on October 24, 2007

Nobody beats the Biz, and nothing beats Bennie and the Jets.
posted by googly at 6:49 PM on October 24, 2007

The glory of bad singing started with her. And ends with her. Nuff said. Peace out.

(Yeah, so my 'break' is momentarily broken. But how could I not link to Flo & Wing? I'm weak.)
posted by miss lynnster at 7:42 PM on October 24, 2007

I bet to differ, I think it started here.
posted by klarck at 7:43 PM on October 24, 2007

Is today Liz Phair day?

This post needs more Beat Happening. (and random Canadian dancing)
posted by shoepal at 7:47 PM on October 24, 2007

edie brickell's singing is brilliant in that - and it's not "out of tune" it's microtonality - and she's in total control of what she's doing - when she goes flat and sharp it's because she MEANS to

i hear liz phair's singing's gotten a lot better since autotune came out - (do not want)
posted by pyramid termite at 9:06 PM on October 24, 2007

Since Florence Foster Jenkins had her first recital in 1912, her contributions to the world's library of unlistenable music predated Our Gang. Plus, she was UNDENIABLY less talented than Alfalfa. And less cute. So I stand by my earlier comment.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:27 PM on October 24, 2007

Nothing, but nothing will ever beat Margarita Pracatan
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:43 AM on October 25, 2007

I've always liked Bob Dylan's voice. Same for (gasp) Randy Newman. Their voices fit the often bitter, ironic, grizzled tone of the songs they were singing. When I hear "Knocking on Heaven's Door" someone with a gorgeous tone and perfect pitch just can't capture the same painful, whiskey-drinking, remember-bleeding-and-crawling-through-the-mud mood Dylan can.
posted by Anonymous at 8:21 AM on October 25, 2007

Obnoxious formal choices for the FPP there.

And you could go back at least as far as the Black Monks.
posted by klangklangston at 8:24 AM on October 25, 2007

Let us not forget The Shaggs.
posted by kitty teeth at 8:32 PM on October 25, 2007

Oh, and of course no out-of-tune festival is complete without Ian Curtis.
posted by Reggie Digest at 5:37 PM on October 26, 2007

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