Sunday, July 20, 2008
LIVE or Lip-Sync?
Surfing the internet on a Sunday night after a long day... Quite a contrast from my teenage years in Moscow back in the 90's, that's for sure :-)
Just came across George Michael's live rendition of "Praying for Time" on American Idol, which fortunately was captured on tape. Aside from the obvious relevance of the lyric, probably even more so now than when it was initially written, the truthfulness of this far-from-polished performance made me appreciate real, honesty artistry. Clearly affected by a cold, he delivered such a genuine rendition of an earlier, near-to-perfection record and even managed to compromise the lack of spotless purity in the voice with something so much more admirable and effective than a merely "auto tuned" perfection.
And that really reminds me of what artistry used to be and what it's become in our day and age.
As a teenager, I used to look forward to live albums of the artists I loved, knowing that the acoustic renditions of my favorite songs would not only provide a brand new glimpse into the essence of a song I had already fallen in love with, but also allow the listener to witness the very transformation of the artist's work into something familiar yet fresh and unpredictable (a new arrangement, an unexpected riff, a slight detonation here and there - so real and so credible!)
Nowadays, we basically have to keep our fingers crossed for most (not all!) singers not to miss the lip-sync spot, or at best - maintain a more or less bearable pitch throughout the song... Again, not always the case - thank goodness for that! - but more often than not, that's what the commercial market has to offer.
All very nice that we have the luxury of discovering fresh talent - real talent - online and at various clubs around the city... Great news, I agree, BUT let's face it, who wouldn't want to see that caliber of talent (and even more than that, for I genuinely think the average level of artistic metier and musical integrity is beginning to deteriorate throughout the industry and beyond) on our television screens, radio stations, big concert venues, etc. like back in the day of the Golden Era of Pop/Rock... You name it!
We can all argue about how wonderful myspace is as opposed to what the limited radio Top 40 used to offer to us back in the 90's and the 80's, but hey... Let's face it... This ain't all that wonderful either. We're just left with our own means for finding good music - and REALLY looking for it...
Wouldn't you want to witness a new breakthrough career of a real mega talent?
No denying - something's gotta give BIG TIME in the music business, the internet can't solve this whole mystery by itself - there's got to be another "complementary" route - and the industry's still looking for it. Let's just hope they don't end up wasting too much time and eventually STILL come back to the original form - the traditional way of how it used to be done.
There's only one way to do it, really, although the formats and catalysts are evolving by the day and that only makes it more exciting! :-)