I’ll drink to them

the starting point for this mix was my discovery of joanna newsom last year, whose music i really love. not only is her music great, but her voice is definitely one of a kind, and is most often compared to bjork in its distinctiveness. recently i’ve also been getting more into kate bush, who also has a love-it-or-hate-it, acquired-taste voice. i used those three as the “anchors” to the mix, and as i dug around for other people who would fit, i found a lot of great people from classic musical theater (far fewer today, however, as broadway has become increasingly bland and homogenized), but very few solo artists from pop/rock music and even fewer from bands. i tried to steer away from people w/ less distinctive, but more idiosyncratic vocal styles (like, say, thom yorke, although i’m sure people will argue w/ me that people like stephin merritt fall more into the latter category) and i also favored stranger voices rather than just distinctive ones (e.g. i passed over barry white and celine dion). lastly, in order to make the mix a bit more cohesive and less grating i often chose songs that -didn’t- accentuate the uniqueness of the voice so much but worked w/in the mix, b/c i figured in most cases the voice is unique no matter what the song (and plus i’m trying to be more spontaneous about song selection and ordering).

i’ll drink to them (voices mix)

1 kate bush . the kick inside . wuthering heights
2 stephen sondheim, angela lansbury . sweeney todd (OBC) . the worst pies in london
3 the magnetic fields . i . i don’t really love you anymore
4 joni mitchell . dog eat dog . fiction
5 sondheim, elaine stritch . company (OBC) . the ladies who lunch
6 dickie lashbrook . songs of seduction . blackbirds and thrushes
7 bob dylan . the freewheelin’ bob dylan . honey, just allow me one more chance
8 the breeders . last splash . divine hammer
9 archers of loaf . white trash heroes . perfect time
10 joanna newsom . the milk-eyed mender . peach, plum, pear
11 marianne faithfull (w/ PJ harvey) . before the poison . my friends have
12 jonathan larson, daphne rubin-vega . rent (OBC) . out tonight
13 sondheim, glynis johns . a little night music (OBC) . the glamorous life
14 billie holiday . kissing jessica stein (soundtrack) . what a little moonlight can do
15 bee gees . saturday night fever (soundtrack) . more than a woman
16 bernadette peters . sondheim, etc. . making love alone
17 pet shop boys . nightlife . you only tell me you love me when you’re drunk
18 fantasia barrino . free yourself . title
19 bjork . medulla . who is it?
20 smashing pumpkins . melon collie and the infinite sadness . thirty-three


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