To Ben’s incredulous scorn, Anticant sometimes listens to a pop music station calling itself Mellow Magic, which has the silly slogan “more music, less talk” – an obvious lie each time they say it! Far from being mellow, much of their output is raucous and tuneless. I suppose I hang on hoping that the next track will be an old familiar friend, or at least hummable to – but what is mostly on offer is:
[a] men who ‘sing’ as if they have clothes pegs clipped to their noses;
[b] a growing tribe of women with the nasty habit of making rasping ‘hawking’ noises from the backs of their throats as if they are about to be sick [and so far as I’m concerned, the sooner the better];
[c] persons of both sexes who HOWL like dogs baying at the moon, and seem to have no idea of voice production - though I suppose that old-fashioned notion went out with the advent of portable microphones;
[d] thunderously loud thumping backups which often drown out the puny voices, reminding me of those heavy forge hammers in the steelworks I used to visit of old;
[e] last but not least, the over-rated ‘superstars’ – the utterly talentless Madonna, Elton John giving his famous imitation of Donald Duck in a tizzy, George Michael sounding like a mouse with tonsillitis, and Will Young, who gets ever more epicene.
Whatever happened to the easy listening music of my youth and young adulthood, performed by artists who knew how to enthral and delight an audience – Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett [happily still with us], and this side of the pond, David Whitfield, Matt Monro and their ilk?
And still more, what has become of the charming genre of musical comedy and light operetta: Noel Coward, Ivor Novello, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hammerstein…..?
What beats me is who pays these people to perform, and even more who wants to listen to them?
Now there’s a nice Christmas rant for you! Obviously, Anticant is getting old. And, sometimes, nostalgically grumpy.