i’ve always been that kid to sing the harmonies to songs. i don’t know why, but the melody never interested me as much. Obviously that’s not totally true, since you need a melody to build the tune. And i definitely love a good melody- but there was always something much more needed (and all of those things were in my head).
i’ve also never been much of a good singer, even though i absolutely love to sing. Like with playing other instruments i haven’t (yet) reached the heights of some of my favorite vocalists- Ella Fitzgerald (my favorite of all time), Sarah Vaughan, Donny Hathaway, Rachelle Ferrell… Being a punk kid, i wanted to, at the very least, be able to growl too, like barney Greenway or max Cavalera. i always wanted to have the simultaneous roughness, power and melody of Patti LaBelle, of Betty Davis, of Joyce Kennedy, of Phil Lynott. i wanted my voice to travel far like R.J. Dio, like Rob Halford, like Bruce Dickenson… i wanted to have that guttural YEAH like James Hetfield…
But i am just me. i don’t even have the warmth of a Tracy Chapman or Joan Armatrading, or a Joni Mitchell.
i don’t even sing like a Greg Graffin. i’m not saying this is a good or bad thing. It just is.
One of the songs where the harmony stayed in my head (shout out to the Buzzcocks) was ‘Struck A Nerve’ by one of my favorite ever punk bands, Bad Religion (of which Graffin is in). This song has one of my favorite intros of all time, and the song itself has some of my favorite chord structures. And the ‘stream of consciousness/self-reflective’ lyrics are always there.
The version i drummed to was from the live album Tested. Sadly, i missed them when they recently came to town. i found out about it a day later. i hope i get to see them at some point.
After drumming, i felt inspired to sing it a capella. i’m not the greatest singer, but as i said, i love it! No one else is gonna hear all the sounds going on in my head…
i was a kid who played with trucks as much as i played with dolls (i withdrew from all those gendered expectations early on without even knowing what that was). i loved playing with barbie dolls, but i never wanted to BE Barbie! i mean, her feet must hurt standing on her toes all day…
Being the burgeoning punk kid i was though, i was MASSIVELY into the Barbie vs. Jem battle. i knew of the Misfits before i got into The Misfits (if you know, you know). Jem and the Holograms went a little bit harder in the rock section than Barbie & the Rockers (but NOBODY went as hard as the Misfits- i mean- they had motorcycles shaped like guitars!). Jem & the Holograms were more like Cheap Trick, and Barbie & the Rockers were more like the E Street Band.
i used to wear out the Barbie & the Rockers tape though! One of the songs on it was ‘Born With A Mic’. It’s so bad, but good at the same time. i already know i am a basic drummer, but i don’t know how Marky Ramone does constant fast eighth notes for an hour. My arms were getting tired the few times playing through this song.
i need more practice!
i like both corn and chickens- though i only eat one of them. Brushy One String made a great song to groove to, discussing both of them. i did a little search of drum covers of ‘Chicken In The Corn’, and i actually found more than i expected to. So i figured, how can i groove to this in my own basic way?
Well… here it is.