in your dreams

November 14, 2012 3:36 AM

I'd like to _____ as well as ______ .

We've all got our voices. Whether we're talking actual singing voices, or our voices expressed through our instruments, be those guitars or keyboards or horns or drums or slide whistles. But, just to step outside ourselves for a bit, and do a little fantasizing, let's think about who we'd like to sing or play as well as. Or in the style of. Whether it's someone who plays your instrument (i.e. "I'd like to play your acoustic guitar as well as Doc Watson.") or someone who plays something you wish you could play ("I'm total shit at piano but I wish I could play like Glenn Gould."), tell us who that'd be.
posted by flapjax at midnite (12 comments total)

Me, I'd like to be able to sing like Ray Charles.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:37 AM on November 14, 2012

Oh god, I'd love to be able to sing like Freddie Mercury. Or Roy Orbison. Or the bastard love child of Freddie Mercury and Roy Orbison.
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:28 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd like to be able to sing like

-- Aimee Mann
-- Sam Cooke or Al Green (seems greedy to expect both)
-- Scott Walker
posted by unSane at 6:30 PM on November 14, 2012

I'd like to be able to play the guitar like

-- Robert Quine
-- Tom Verlaine
-- Speedy West
posted by unSane at 6:31 PM on November 14, 2012

I'd like to be able to play keys like...

-- Thelonius Monk
-- Booker T
-- er, that's it, really. Most of the rest of it I can fake.
posted by unSane at 6:33 PM on November 14, 2012

I'd love to be able to have that awesome, pre-shittyAutotune, pitch-perfect rich tone and phrasing of Ella Fitzgerald.
Or the raunchy rock-screaming, just-breaking but still on-pitch high notes of Lennon.
Or Nick Drake, singing or playing. I'd just like to have a quiet beer with him, frankly.
Chet Atkins on the Gretsch, for sure.
Stevie Wonder on a Clavinet.
Drums like Mick Avory from the Kinks. Holy shit.
Those little farty trumpet bursts like Herb Alpert.
Billy Preston, how he can just naturally exude fun and funk.
More pitch-perfect Bluegrass singing like Allison Krauss.
Reggie Watts, in any way, because he's a fucking genius.
Billy Bragg, in the confidence to just go out there and tell it with a guitar. (And the songs, of course.)

I could go on and on.
posted by chococat at 6:49 PM on November 14, 2012

Ha, Reggie Watts, let's get real. No-one could possibly do anything like Reggie Watts.
posted by unSane at 7:16 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Are we talking like, soul-stealing style power absorption or just, artists we idolize? Maybe they're one in the same. Still:

- To play fiddle like Mark O'Connor
- Sam Cooke's singing and phrasing
- Keith Jarrett's improvisational skills
- Jeff Lynne's production sensibilities
- Ron Sexsmith's unashamed earnestness and goodness
- To simply hear things things the way Arvo Pärt does
- Tan Dun's perspective
- Leonard Cohen's lyrics
- Jimmy Smith's ability to turn an organ into the coolest instrument in the building
- Steve Wonder Everything

I too wish I could sit down and have a contemplative drink with Mr. Drake. It would be hard to fight the urge to hug him and never let go...but maybe that's just me.
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:05 PM on November 15, 2012

Oh yeah, Jimmy Smith, add him to the list. When I told my mum, yeah, we're having organ music at the wedding, I don't think that's what she anticipated...
posted by unSane at 5:18 PM on November 15, 2012

(but she didn't complain)
posted by unSane at 5:19 PM on November 15, 2012

- If I could pick one instrument to be perfect at suddenly, it would without-a-doubt be the pedal steel/lap steel guitar and/or acoustic slide guitar

- I would also like: to pick like Nick Drake, strum like Jeff Mangum, be as catchy and fun as the Magnetic Fields, sing like Tiny Vipers or the range of Sigur Ros or maybe Karl Blau, harmonize like Panda Bear/Fleet Foxes, lyrics like Sam Beam in his gothic southern lo-fi prime, loop like Grouper, tour like the Music Tapes, the production of the Microphones, the delusions of grandeur of Daniel Johnston (minus the inherent mental illness), the prolificness of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (and co.), have the supportive community of Elephant 6 in the mid 90's etc. etc.

I ain't pleased with my voice, not even half-way, but actually imagining myself suddenly singing with a different voice is frightening and not enjoyable. I guess it's a bigger part of me than I realized, warts and all. No trouble enjoying my imaginary self playing pedal steel perfectly, though.
posted by Corduroy at 6:06 AM on November 18, 2012

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