The Funniest Singing Voice

The Funniest Singing Voice

I love music. People call “bullshit” when I tell them that I can find something I like about all musical styles and genres, then they hear what I listen to and immediately believe me, and subsequently wish they hadn’t heard many of the songs. Due to this transparent musical filter I tend to be really into music many people find not only annoying, but downright painful to listen to.

One of these styles that never fails to turn away most friends is the “high pitched whiney voiced singer”. I love it, can’t get enough. It’s that long drawn out ability to keep the singer’s voice at a high pitch and form sounds, yet the sounds never quite metastasize into words. At least not when I sing along. Why try to figure out the lyrics in these songs, when its just as fun to whine along.

Here’s a perfect example from the Fine Young Cannibals that I heard this weekend at a JCPenny. Andy Brown, you gotta hear this:

The genre became really popular in the 1970’s due in large part to international superstar family band The Bee Gee’s: This stylistic heyday was later immortalized by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake on SNL:

I think it’s hilarious. Not the skit, though it’s really funny, but the style of singer. How has this become an acceptable and lucrative form of serenade? Or is the better question, why isn’t more music like this? I can’t stop laughing when I hear it, I know its rediculous, but I also can’t stop listening either.

Here are my top five “high pitched whiney voiced singers” that I love:

#5. James Blunt – This guy is text book “whiney”. I thought I was the only person who made loud ridiculous noises as I sang along to this song. But I was in a liquor store in Orlando, Florida a couple years ago when from a few aisles away I heard someone else singing the exact same way. It was eerie and awesome all at the same time, that guy knew what was up:

#4. Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons) – His voice tends a little deeper, but we all know what school it came out of. He’s not fooling anyone. Actually I think he is fooling everyone, what is he? This guys has the weirdest and most awesome voice of the pack. Check it out:

#3. Van Morrison – I think this debunks what I said earlier about The BeeGees pioneering the “whiney” sound. I think Van has to be included as one of the godfathers. Jackie Wilson Says is a great example, but if you have heard any Van Morrison song you know that he utilizes whiney goodness throughout his body of work:

Van Morrison – Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heavn When You Smile) (mp3)

#2. The Bee Gee’s – You have to give it to the originators. The Bee Gee’s perfected it, and are still the benchmark. Spicks and Specks is a good one because its not one of the standards, and you get a great sense of how you could literally be making up sounds and it would sound like you were singing along:

Bee Gees – Spicks and Specks (mp3)

#1. Aaron Neville – Thank you David for this clutch, and clearly winning, addition to the list. Aaron’s often unexplainable vocal bravado is unmistakable, and no one even comes close to matching it. Why try? It’s laughable throughout, until you realize how beautiful it can be. I say it can be, because I once heard him sing the national anthem live at a TN Titans game. There are just some songs that don’t need the Aaron Neville touch, and The Star Spangled Banner is definitely one of them. This one, however, is just fine:

Can you think of some more? I know they’re out there.

OK, one more:

more movies at

Fun work

Martin Luther King Tribute

I wanted to attempt this style  in February, and being Black History Month I chose the Rev. as my muse.

His face is made up of the words of his epic Lincoln Memorial “I have a dream…” speech.

Take a look. I am having it framed as I type.

Smoking Goat Branding

I like beer.

Beer high in flavor, alcohol and price. I brew at home, but wouldn’t consider myself very good at this point. I’m working on it.

We have friends in Louisiana who I would consider really good. I designed some branding for their forthcoming brewery down there.

The Smoking Goat will hopefully be amazing, especially if I get some good beer out of the deal.

Have a look. Then drink a beer and have a look again. Continue this process until the logo looks awesome.

New Poster

This is a poster I made for my buddy Dustin.

A classic quote from him as we drove by Effingham, IL’s infamous and huge cross.

I thought it would look good in his new apartment.

Sheltered Perceptions

I recently got the chance to work on a project for the Humane Society. Given the fact that every time I walk into an animal shelter I have to be talked down from taking home every animal in the place, I was happy to help in anyway I could.

With the majority of pet buying in the United States coming from breeders, mall pet shops and unfortunately mills, animal shelters (specifically the Humane Society) are left overflowing with pets that need loving homes. They are running into a perception problem however, and many misconceptions about shelter pets are accepted as fact, and often repeated as such.

To get past this, we decided to take the problem head on, and address the most common misconceptions individually.

Here is where we landed:

Humane Society - Misconceptions"Mutt"

Humane Society - Misconceptions - "Bark"

Lauren and Dan sit’n in a tree…

My good friend Lauren is getting married in July, and though I am extremely jealous of her fiance Dan (don’t tell my wife), I made their save the date cards.

I use VistaPrint to print these types of things. Though the quality suffers, and the rumor is that they are destroying local community printers nationwide, for the price they can’t be beat. Check them out next time you want to customize your own holiday card or invitation.

Here’s how Lauren’s STDs turned out: