Mips: frivolous notes of the Skyylark


I'm Chucky. Wanna Play?

Wow, check out this ad I found. Child pageants have always made me a little uneasy, but now I'm terrified. I feel like the "new and improved" image on the right should have a miniature knife in her little hand.


...how can I keep from singing?

I'm actually surprised that I haven't thought of doing this list before. Much like a fisherman must construct his top 5 lures, or a frat boy list his top 5 beers of choice, I'm not sure why it never occurred to me to post a "Top 5 Favorite Voices" list. While my voice resembles that of Shirley Jones', I usually lean toward voices that are nothing like mine: raspy, damaged, and having NO business singing in a Rogers and Hammerstein musical. I have no technical format for choosing this top 5, other than the fact that if ever you hear anyone cover these singers' songs, it never sounds right because it was performed right the first time and should never be replicated or attempted again.

So, yo-ho-ho, and-a-here-we-go:

Mips' Top 5 Favorite Voice of All Time

1. Van Morrison
This man's voice chops through my soul like a rusty hatchet. That sounds bad, but it's very very good. His phrasing is so natural and wild, yet attacks each phrase with so much intent. You can't understand a word he's singing, but you know exactly what he is singing about.
Recommended Track: Linden Arden Stole the Highlights

2. Stevie Wonder
Most listeners don't realize how great Stevie's voice is because the first thing you notice is his astounding song-writing. I didn't truly appreciate his voice until I tried singing along with him. Once I realized that my rendition sounded nothing like his, I then asked myself, "How does he do that?" His vocal gymnastics are impressive, but never showy. His upper-range is amazing, he can belt high notes better than most women. His sound is all his, and is constantly copied in music today.
Recommended Track: Ebony Eyes

3. Jolie Holland
I've heard so many other describe her voice has "ugly" or "over-done", but I think it's raw and beautiful. Her scoopy phrasing compliments her thick southern accent, and her tone is vulnerable and honest. She means every word she sings, and in result, isn't afraid to sound 'ugly' at times.
Recommended Track: Stubborn Beast

4. Edith Piaf
She's got one of those voices that screams, "I'm gonna sing this, and everyone, EVERYONE is going to stop what they're doing and listen". Boy, can she belt! It's the only nasal voice I've ever grown to love, and I just adore that rapid vibrato that sounds like she's sitting on top of an old washer.
Recommended Track: Hymne a L'amour

5. Otis Redding
His voice is the epitome of disappointed love, and not being able to sleep because if it. His tone is smoky, worn, and suggests a history; it's like sitting in a tattered, antique chair. He doesn't sing; he growls, howls, yelps and cries. When he performs, it's not a song, it's an event.
Recommended Track: I've Been Loving You Too Long



Zoom zoom zoom

I feel like I'm coasting down a woodsy back-road at nightfall. I'm relatively content, the sky is coated with large, rippling clouds that crack open just a bit to let in the remaining ribbons of light. Plus, there's a good song on the car radio. The heater is working well, I even have to take off my mittens. I slowly spin past the occasional car or house, even made a few quick stops, but nothing worth sticking around. The road rolls on and on with a calming, hypnotic hum.

As I'm being swallowed down this curvy, rumbling road where the black trees lean into me like an unfriendly archway, a few questions occur to me. First of all, where am I going, and when am I going to get there? And when I get there, will I be bored or unhappy and want to get back on the road? And most importantly, is there a "THERE" at all? In the meantime, I simply continue to drive, contemplating my next stop....

I guess I'm not sure where I'm going with this, I don't expect answers. and I'm sure everyone feels this way in one way or another; climbing a staircase with no plateau. That's life, I guess.