music

Latest Articles

TV
69
Arts
48
Arts
73
Film
85
Arts
41
Film
38
Hamlet Shakespeare
Arts
27
Film
24
Literature
29
Arts
30

Latest Topics

7

Are radio edits a necessary evil or detrimental to artistic integrity?

Occasionally, a music artist will release a song that is deemed unsuitable for radio play in its current form. It might contain profanity or profane subject material, have undesired instrumentation, or simply be too long for the radio to play. A new version of the song will be created as a "radio edit" that alters the original to meet governmental standards. These changes can range from inconsequential, like replacing one profane word with a sound effect, to substantial, such as replacement lyrics that completely change the original meaning of the song. Famous radio edits include Cee Lo Green’s "Forget You," d-12’s "Purple Hills," and Everlast’s "What’s It Like."

Usually these edits are not made by the artists themselves but by their record labels, broadcasters at the corporate level, or even individual radio stations. Whether minor or major, these changes produce a product that is not what the artist envisioned without the artists’ input. Without these changes, these songs would not play on the radio or in spaces that must abide by government guidelines relating to content standards. Is the radio edit process a necessary evil to becoming a successful artist? Or is the act of altering art in order to conform to public sensibilities harmful to the role of art in our contemporary culture that constantly encourages us to "express yourself?" Especially in the era of the internet and the seemingly endless ways to create and distribute art outside traditional distribution institutions, should corporations compromising an artist’s intended vision to please the masses be considered a malicious act? Or should this new-found freedom provided by the internet encourage society to support art as the artist creates it, even if it offends?

  • This is a fascinating point in the process of musical production that not many people consider. Much like the Hayes code of early Hollywood, such censorship can seem extreme and archaic in a modern society that no longer requires major industries to support success. The examples you give are telling ones since it's easy to classify which genres are more censored compared to others, which could be an interesting aspect to explore. This practice of radio edits may be a hangover of a previous era since tiktok seems to be the predominant platform dominating the music market today. Exploring the alternatives (youtube, tiktok, instagram etc.), which genres or artists are targeted, and the origins for WHY such edits were made, could be a good division of the topic. – LadyAcademia 8 months ago
    1
  • This is such an interesting thought! As a lifelong hater of radio edits, I’ve never thought of it this way - I would look into which artists get censored the most and their similarities (if any). – kelleykilgore 8 months ago
    0
  • It's also interesting to think of what music never lent itself to radio edits to begin with, and what music was particularly pushed into it. The metro area I'm from has a radio station which used to have a motto "All the best hits, without the rap." For the most part it was true, the station played pop music by all sorts of artists. But when Macklemore's Thrift Shop became big, the station played it, despite the song featuring rap... Race and politics clearly play a role in determining what music is deemed "appropriate", a role that for the most part likely goes unseen and unacknowledged, just as many people observe never thinking of the impact of radio edits. On a somewhat different note, I only recently discovered the song "I Dig Rock and Roll" by Peter, Paul, and Mary. For those unfamiliar with it, it seems to celebrate Rock and Roll while actually mocking it. It has a lyric incredibly relevant to this topic - "I think I could say something if you know what I mean/But if I really say it, the radio won't play it/Unless I lay it between the lines!" Very interesting lyric, it's stuck with me! – ronannar 5 months ago
    1
  • I agree that this topic is fascinating. I have never really thought about it, but just reading through the idea and the comments has me thinking of different ways things are edited and how heavily (and how times we might not know it because at some point we'd only ever heard it on the radio). Could be arguments that it's helped in cases, as well? Something like Let's Get It Started? How would that have been played in so many places without an edit? (And I suppose, is that right or wrong?) – rieder21 3 months ago
    1
4
Locked

"I Don't Like ****, I Don't Go Outside" An Exploration of Depression

"I Don’t Like ****, I Don’t Go Outside" is the sophomore album by Odd Future Alum, Earl Sweatshirt. Despite maintain a level of darkness in his tone and instrumentation, Earl is distinctly alien from his former self. Gone are the edgy shock-lyrics of cannibalism and murder, replaced instead by a vulnerable young man drowning in depression reliant on drugs and alcohol to keep himself going.

What is it to be a celebrity? A chosen one at that, to be the idol of millions of people you’ve never met while isolated from your friends and family. The album speaks to the thin veneer of happiness success can really be.

Earl was often a center piece of the fandom from the "FREE EARL" days and yet it doesn’t seem as though the freedom was very liberatory. The lack of hope and overwhelming sense of abject bleakness from Earl speaks to the hollow nature of what was gained by his fame and his regrets seem innumerable as each song on the album falls further in further into an inky blackness of despair.

That then begs the question, what does this album serve? Is it just a self-exploration or can there be some universal message garnered from the album? What can be said of Earl and his developments as an artist? What of the raised awareness about depression and how it can shape and distort a person’s view not just of themself but of the world around them.

  • Agree with first person. You do a good job summarizing what the album is about, but what specific question are you trying to ask? – Montayj79 4 months ago
    1
Taken by Isobel Archer (PM) 1 month ago.
7

Has Pop Music Simplified Over Time?

In numerous studies, people are finding that pop music is homogenizing, both harmonically, stylistically, and even in vocal variety (i.e. very similar sounding artists being appreciated). Some claim that pop music is being "dumbed down" by becoming harmonically and melodically simplified. While pop music nowadays may be more harmonically and melodically simple, are there other factors that make it more complex/varied? Should we judge music based on these factors, or should we appreciate other aspects of the genre? What are those factors that we should appreciate?

  • A big factor is how formulaic a lot of the music is. Everyone wants to climb to the top via popularity and they do so by following the mainstream and taking the place of those who came before them by doing the same act. Many musicians don't even write their own songs, they just perform what their companies give them. It's a struggle between capitalism and the rise of the artist. – LaRose 7 years ago
    2
  • I'm not sure this topic fits into any of the current categories. According to the guidelines, music is not currently a category, but might be in the near future. Once this comes to pass, I would give this topic a second look. – BoomBap 7 years ago
    1
  • This topic is difficult because there is so many factors that can play a role. While I'm of the opinion that music (and all mainstream art including visual media, animation, film, literature, and theater) is being dumbed down. The reason people are noticing how similar music is becoming is also due to them being more familiar and experienced with it. While many artist are often criticized for "copying" other artist work. The reality is many artist are "inspired" by other artist. You can see this with bands like Wolfmother, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Cage the Elephant who were inspired by late 60's rock bands and tried to imitate them. You can honestly pick any era for music (or games, movies, and theater) and start noticing how redundant trends pop up due to the success of others. If you go back to the early 2000's there was a point where every artist was using auto tune and even further back you had the gangster rap era where everyone was trying to prove how "tough" they where. Also more recently Invincible has become incredibly popular due to its Amazon series and many people have praised it for its subversion of mainstream comic-books, but to me that is not the case. As, many of the more "shocking" elements have been done before by other comic-book series, such as the supposed paragon of good actually being corrupt. And is simply using his positive image to take over the world. Graphic violence has always been apart of comics and super hero's having sexual relations and having it be portrayed in full detail in the pages has also occurred. But the general press is talking up these elements, which to me shows how unfamiliar they are with the subject matter. "Btw I do think Invincible both the comic and Amazon series are worth looking at but not for the reason's I listed above." While I'm sure some musicians are simply following trends, I don't think all of them are. You also have to take in account how producers can act as gate keepers to the success and how popular some artist become, as they may choose to publish one artist over another due to them being similar to another successful arts. – Blackcat130 2 years ago
    0
  • I agree with some of the points previously mentioned. A particular aspect of music that can be argued is the notion of why exactly is pop music in its current state? Popular music in a sense can be argued is rap music due to the popularity of the genre. Moreover, pop music is an amalgamation of various genres blended together and can be seen in the ways in which EDM influences the beats of songs or how low-fi beats borrowed from ambient R&B. – jgabriel97 2 years ago
    0
  • To an extent, I do agree. I think, however, it's about encouraging people to have variety in their listening repertoire. It's ok to listen to something with simple harmonies and melodies, just like it's ok to eat fast food once in a while. I think people should be encouraged to keep an open mind and have a lush pallet of genres in their playlist and also appreciate how many genres, whether classical, jazz, pop, rock, drill or whatever it may be overlap and have more in common than we often give credit for. – JRAsquith 1 year ago
    0
3

Battle of the Fictional Bands: The Best Bands in Film We Wish Were Real

There are musical films like "Walk the Line" that tell the story of legendary real-life musicians, and then there are those like "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story," that, while perhaps equally legendary, bring to life new, fictionalized musical talents. In the case of one of the more well-known fictional bands of all-time, Spinal Tap from "This Is Spinal Tap," the band ended up becoming something of a reality. After making their film debut, Spinal Tap actually went on to record a few albums and even embarked on concert tours. Is the experience of Spinal Tap something of an anomaly? Has Hollywood missed out on opportunities to capitalize on a potentially successful musical acts from film that could have been something more than just fictional? If so, what bands/artists from film might have made it in the musical industry?

  • This is an exciting and intriguing topic. My favorite is "Stillwater" from Almost Famous, which is almost the prototypical 70s rock n rock band. – Sean Gadus 3 years ago
    3
  • I sort of love this topic! I'll admit, I'm a big sucker for transmedial narratology and anything that blurs lines between fiction and reality, so this just pushes all the right buttons. Two more "anomal-ish" examples that come to mind are The Monkees and Hannah Montana, although they operated as almost an inverse of Spinal Tap, being conceived from the outset as both TV characters AND actual pseudonymous touring musicians, as opposed to Spinal Tap having (as you mentioned) only beginning to tour in response to the success of the film. Honestly, I think leaning into the anomalies might make for a more fruitful and thought-provoking discussion than what might otherwise read a bit like a Buzzfeed-esque list of micro fan-fictions about "what if Dewey Cox/Conrad Birdie/Llewyn Davis/Stacee Jax/School of Rock/Hedwig and the Angry Inch/Stillwater/Chum Bukkit/Mouse Rat/etc were real." Anyway, just some food for thought. Looking forward to reading the finished article! – ProtoCanon 3 years ago
    2
  • I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I’ve ever genuinely thought about this topic. But I would have loved to see school of rock tear it up as a kid, Jack Black is something else. – ShaniaRachelle 3 years ago
    1
4

Is Rock and Roll Dead?

Analyze how changes in technology (rhythm machines, streaming services) and people’s changing taste in music have led to the loss of influence rock music (Punk, New Wave, Heavy Metal, Grunge, etc.) had on mainstream pop culture. Also compare the number of new bands signed to major record labels to the number of acts of other genres (Hip-hop, country, folk, etc.) from the early 2000s to the present.

    3

    Punk Rock and Literature

    I am very interested in writing about how punk rock and literature intersect. I feel like both are mediums where its artists continually question the answer. I think about literary characters that are punk rock. For me the brooding indignation of Byron’s manfred is very punk rock because he tries to forge his own path despite the offered help of others. Expatriates like Hemingway’s Fredric Henry don’t just blindly follow orders or fight for the sake of fighting, but question why there is fighting to begin with.

    • Don't forget to either consider this through the lens of an applied reading, ie. applying the emerged concepts of 'punk rock' to previous literature; or perhaps more interestingly look at where 'punk rock' has drawn its themes and characteristics from previous authors/artists that challenged social norms. But yes I agree this could be a lot of fun. – SaraiMW 4 years ago
      1
    • You definitely need a definition of "punk rock" here to frame your discussion: are you discussing music? Punk style? Punk ideology (how would you delineate this?)? Maybe bleed into cyberpunk? Either way, fun stuff! – Heather Lambert 4 years ago
      1
    3

    The Need for Music in Films

    Analyse how music has helped paved the way for the success of films. Without music, a lot of films would be missing emotions from the audience, and characters as well.

    • Love this topic. Music is so important to so many films, music has become a crucial element to so many movies. This topic could explore why and how this happens... – Sean Gadus 4 years ago
      0
    • Like this topic, would love to see what examples you would use for it! – CatBeeny 4 years ago
      0
    • I also approve of this topic. Perhaps you could focus on one or two major composers or specific films to illustrate your point, such as the music of John Williams or Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings." Another possibility is to explore specific scenes from important films, such as the powerful bar singing scene from Casablanca. – drmatteri 4 years ago
      1
    • Good topic, I think one good addition would be to consider periods of silence in film. The proper use of music and silence in conjunction with each other can help make a good soundtrack even better (i.e. cowboy bebop, samurai jack) – Alacrian786 4 years ago
      1
    2

    The Significance of The “This is” Movement in Rap

    It started in America with Childish Gambino’s “This is America” hit. It was a controversial music video saturated with modern issues for black Americans.

    However now there are two other “This is” videos coming from Nigeria and Iraq. Let’s explore the significance of these three videos. The major theme that can be gathered from Gambino’s video is the way media attention diverts is from the truth. How does this theme carry over into these other videos?

      2

      Why mumble rap is a thing today?

      Thinking about how mumble rap has become today’s pick of development. How exactly mumble rap is effecting society with meaningless lyrics and demobilizing people’s thoughts.

      • This is a very interesting topic as it something very current. If you can define what exactly what Mumble rap and how artists use it then it can be something very engaging to read. Also try yo figure out its origins and how it became the thing it is today – cbo1094 4 years ago
        3
      • You could bring sound poetry into this! It's kind of mumble rap for spoken word poetry. – DanielleBrylDam 4 years ago
        1
      2

      John Lennon: Singular Talent Or Group Dynamic

      Was John Lennon a multi-talented individual or did his success arise from a mixture of personal and professional acquaintances, geographical destinations, life experiences, or generational appetite? Examine the events leading to his early struggles as a fledgling art student, to the final years of masterful composing in order to isolate and understand the potent recipe for musical ascendancy.

      • Interesting idea. I lean toward Lennon being a singular talent. He obviously benefited from his band mates in the '60s, but his solo material subsequently is quite wonderful. I think you could make a compelling argument for either side of this issue. – John Wilson 5 years ago
        1
      • Maybe worth considering: It seems like he had most of his eccentricities and strange musical proclivities ironed out by the Lennon-McCarntey song writing machine and producer GeorgeMartin. – DeanJr 5 years ago
        0