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Posts Tagged ‘music

“True care, truth brings”*…

Blink-182 at the Whiskey in Los Angeles in 1996. (Photo: Daniel D’Auria/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 2.0)

Two decades have passed since pop-punk exploded in the American music scene, yet the quintessentially suburban, teen-centric music still seems to bounce around our collective skulls. Of all the elements of the Clinton-era mutation of punk music that embraced skate and surf culture, mild angst, goofiness, and incredibly hooky, catchy music, it’s the vocals that we remember. The very specific accent used in the mega-hits of the genre seems to still have a hold over anyone who was a teenager between 1993 and 2003: On Twitter you’ll see jokes made about the “pop punk voice” used by bands like the Offspring, New Found Glory, Avril Lavigne, and, especially, Blink-182. Their accents are a relic as strong as the Valley Girl voice.

There’s a whole Tumblr called Tom DeLonge Lyrics, dedicated to transliterating the spectacularly strange and exaggerated accent used by DeLonge, one of the singers of pop-punk band Blink-182… DeLonge is an extreme example but far from the only singer in the genre to adopt a very particular accent, usually described as sneering, whining, bratty, or snotty. By the early-2000s, with pop-punk nearing the apex of its popularity, singers from all over California had influenced singers from as far afield as Minnesota, Ontario, Maryland, and South Florida, all of whom sung pretty much just like DeLonge, who grew up just outside San Diego.

What’s going on here? How did that linguistic pattern take hold? From its start, punk has played with accents, with Americans sounding like Brits and vice versa, but this voice is different.

I called up a few linguists and music historians to try to get at the heart of the pop-punk voice. But it turns out that when you make a linguist listen to a Blink-182 song, you get more than you expected. Pop-punk vocals are on the forefront of shifting regional dialects and, especially, a major vocal change happening in California in the past few decades. The three-minute pop-punk song, one of the dumbest forms of music ever conceived (in a good way, I’d say), maybe isn’t so dumb, after all…

Knowledge is where you find it: “I Made a Linguistics Professor Listen to a Blink-182 Song and Analyze the Accent.”

* Blink-182, “All The Small Things,” Enema of the State

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As we listen carefully, we might recall that it was on this date in 1978 that 20-year-old Nancy Spungen bled to death on the bathroom floor of a room in the Chelsea Hotel in New York that she shared with her boyfriend Sid Vicious, the bassist of the (recently-disbanded) Sex Pistols; she had suffered a stab wound to her abdomen. Vicious (whose legal name was John Simon Ritchie) reported that he had found her after awakening from a drugged stupor.

Vicious was charged with her murder, but died of a drug overdose while awaiting trial…. thus marking for many observers the end of the Punk period… and creating the space for the emergence of pop-punk (and other post-punk sub-genre).

Nancy and Sid

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Written by LW

October 12, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Wherever you are right now, you’re just taking a break”*…

BTS

All seven members of boy band BTS have become multimillionaires after their label, Big Hit Entertainment, pulled off South Korea’s biggest stock market listing in three years. The K-pop label is issuing its shares at 135,000 won ($115) each, Big Hit said in a filing on Monday, raising 962.55 million won ($822 million) and valuing the company at 4.8 trillion won ($4.1 billion). That makes the deal South Korea’s largest stock offering since July 2017, according to data compiled by Dealogic…

CNN

K-Pop is huge, generating huge sales and cultural impact around the world. But what, readers of a certain age might ask, is K-Pop? And why are the groups so large? Our friends at The Pudding ride to the rescue:

Try typing “Why are K-pop groups…” into Google search and autocomplete offers several suggestions: “…so large,” “…so big” and “…so popular.” The rapid global growth of Korean music over the past decade has puzzled non-fans (and even experts), and it seems that the size of K-pop groups might be a mystery, too.

Traditionally, rock bands have as many members as there are instruments: a lead singer, two guitarists, and a drummer. Popular Western boy groups—like The Jackson Five, New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, The Jonas Brothers, One Direction—and girl groups—like The Supremes, Destiny’s Child, TLC, The Spice Girls, and Little Mix—have ranged in size from 3-5 members. Compared to those numbers, K-pop groups with 7 or 9, or even 23 members (yes, a group that big exists) might seem alien, or downright excessive. And yet the average size of the top 10 selling K-pop groups of the last decade (like girl group TWICE, pictured above) is 9 members.

So, how did groups get that large? What about large groups is so appealing? And, what do the sizes of K-pop groups tell us about why K-pop is so popular?

To answer those questions, we tracked trends in group sizes and member roles over modern K-pop’s 30-year history, breaking the numbers down across the industry’s three generations of artists…

Elegant infographics explain: “Why are K-pop groups so big?

* BTS

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As we ponder popularity, we might recall that it was on this date in 1976, during Saturday Night Live‘s second season, that musical guest Joe Cocker performed his hit version of Traffic‘s “Feelin’ Alright.” In the event, the audience got not one Cocker, but two, as an identically-dressed John Belushi (already noted for his Cocker impression) came out with Joe for the full live performance. The two traded lines and successfully mirrored each other –a testament to both Cocker’s trademark stage presence and Belushi’s remarkable impersonation abilities. New York’s own jazz-funk heroes Stuff (hence the shirts in the video) backed them up.

Written by LW

October 2, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Be still / Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity”*…

Nodding your head to a beat, or swaying along with the music, can feel as though it is happening automatically when a song comes flowing from loudspeakers. But have you tried to resist? Researchers have discovered that it is virtually impossible to stand completely still when hearing music.

Nobody has managed it so far,” says Alexander Refsum Jensenius a Professor of Music Technology [at the University of Oslo]. He is conducting research on human micro-movements along with Victor Evaristo Gonzalez Sanchez, postdoctoral fellow in biomechanics, and Agata Zelechowska, doctoral research fellow in music psychology.

How we move to music when dancing has been of interest to researchers for some time. The tiny, involuntary movements our bodies make to music when we are really standing still, however, has never been systematically explored. Until now…

The researchers have studied this by conducting various experiments. They have even organized a series of Norwegian Championships of Standstill, where the winners were the ones who moved the least. After holding four such championships the results were clear: People generally move a bit more when they hear music.”

It turns out that people stand still in very similar ways. On average you sway your head 7 millimeters per second when you’re trying to stand still. There are also very few variations, with the standard deviation being just a few millimeters,” says Jensenius.

The Norwegian record belongs to the participant who only swayed 3.9 millimeters per second..

More at “Not moving to dance music is nearly impossible, according to new research

* Laotzu

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As we stifle the sway, we might send rhythmic birthday greetings to Charles Hardin Holley; he was born on this date in 1936. Better known by his stage name, Buddy Holly, he was a pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. During his short career, Holly wrote and recorded several songs– perhaps best known among them “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be The Day.” He is regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums.

Holly died at the height of his fame, on a tour with his band, the Crickets– which included future country music star Waylon Jennings (bass), famed session musician Tommy Allsup (guitar), and Carl Bunch (drums)– Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, in a plane crash– memorialized by Don McLean as “The Day the Music Died” in his song “American Pie“.

Holly was a major influence on later popular music artists, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Hollies (who named themselves in his honor), Elvis Costello, Marshall Crenshaw (who later played Holly), and Elton John. He was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986; and Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 13 in its list of “100 Greatest Artists”.

source

Written by LW

September 7, 2020 at 1:01 am

“Here we are now, entertain us / I feel stupid and contagious”*…

 

Teen Spirit

 

Bardcore: “Smells Like Teen Spirit Cover In Classical Latin (75 BC to 3rd Century AD)

 

[TotH to Jonah Goldberg]

* Kurt Cobain/Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

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As we scale the top of the pops, we might that it was on this date in 1969 that photographer Iain MacMillan shot the cover for what would be The Beatles’ last studio album, Abbey Road, just outside the studio of the same name, where the band recorded many of its classic songs.  Macmillan, who worked quickly while a policeman held up traffic, used a Hasselblad camera with a 50mm wide-angle lens, aperture f22, at 1/500 of a second; he produced six shots, from which Paul picked the cover.

The photo, which simply shows the band crossing the street while walking away from the studio, has become iconic in its own right and provides “Paul Is Dead” enthusiasts with several erroneous “clues” to his “death,” including the fact that Paul is barefoot (supposedly representing a corpse, though McCartney has averred that it was simply a hot day).

220px-Beatles_-_Abbey_Road source

 

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