Despite my admitted predilection for females wielding guitars, a recent substitute has been found in guys with higher voices than my own. Currently in the mix is Death Cab For Cutie, Built to Spill, Elliott Smith, Ben Folds Five, and Weezer (from more obscure to less obscure). I have more musically in common with my girls with guitars than with any of those gentlemen (except perhaps Elliott Smith), but their music is definitely my kinda stuff … and a huge challenge to sing along to.
For years, and even still, my taste in music was known as “chicks only.” A quick examination of my pre-2000 album collection would prove that stereotype mostly correct, as the only two men to make any sort of significant showing in my collection are David Bowie and Peter Mulvey. The real truth is that i like the female voice as much as the male voice, but since females leading their own bands are fewer and farther between there is in no way a glut of them on the current market so i can easily have multiple favourites. Of the five acts i named about i can hardly name a female equivalent for any of them, except for perhaps someone in the category of Chantel Kreviazuk for Ben Folds (and even that’s a stretch). This year was definitely a good one for new female addictions, introducing my to Juliana Hatfield and Aimee Mann as well as solidifying my love of the Pretenders and PJ Harvery, but in those inbetween moments i turned to the high-pitched men of music and they have yet to fail me.
To escape the glut of middle-of-the-road male bands in the top20 racks, i had to diversify a bit. Weezer hasn’t been on the radio for years, though they have a (very good) new album due in the winter. Ben Folds Five is past tense now but in their heyday never made an impact on airplay with anything other than “Brick” despite crafting some of the best Beatles and Elton John amalgamated pop ever to be heard. Elliott Smith has been an indy acoustic introvert darling for years, so i’m surprised i managed to ignore him for as long as i did. Built to Spill is yet another import from Anastasia’s record collection, and it’s an excellent introduction to that slightly out of tune realm of indy pop where there isn’t a rhythm guitar anywhere in sight. Finally, Death Cab for Cutie is a new recommendation from multiple acquaintances, and so far they come off as an acoustic-er Built to Spill, or perhaps a Built-to-Spill-esque Elliott Smith.
And that’s probably as much as you want to know about what i’m listening to right now, or any other time.