"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

musical zeitgeist

i don't know whether to be sad or slightly amused by some of the recent trends in music i've observed. for example, i admit that i used to possess an unaware appreciation for "emo" music, until i found it had diverged into what my brother and i jokingly refer to as "screamo," a la Fall Out Boy and similarly poseur-esque boy bands.

i used to like Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, until i got fed up with all his whining, and found his music didn't really take me anywhere. i never base an aversion for a singer/songwriter/performer based on genre alone, which is why i feel ok admitting that yes, i listen to Nelly Furtado, and i totally respect Kelly Clarkson for challenging the "popular" music industry and doing her own writing (even though, in general, i strongly despise the girl pop genre).

sometimes i wonder if all culture (and especially pop culture) isn't just a recycling of previous formulas. i get bored to death of hearing the same tunes playing incessantly over the radio. and i swear, even the best indie music is reusing some of its best licks (do i listen to too much music, or does it sometimes sound like musicians are blatantly rewriting their previous hits, or worse, the hits of other artists?)

but lately, i've found a ton of terrific new music from abroad, mostly Sweden (um, just to mention a few: Jens Lekman, The Knife, Peter Bjorn and John, El Perro del Mar. and the Field's "From Here We Go Sublime" is practically the soundtrack to my late summer nights). and i've been listening to some non-music, mostly new podcasts such as On the Media and Democracy Now! and comedy albums from funny men Patton Oswalt, David Cross (love!), Paul F. Tompkins, and Scharpling and Wurster. and, i just discovered a fantastic album by a collective of experimental instrumental artists, who've set the words of William S. Burroughs to funked up jazz/techno. thumbs, right?!

anyway, this whole thing was really just some pointless rambling to set up this brilliant clip from MadTV. i love this clip for so many reasons, first because i absolutely HATE the Calling and the song they are parodying. second, because it's absolutely true, music today sounds more and more like itself and the people who came before it, who did it much better. and finally, because i absolutely LOVE this caricature of Scott Stapp:
this is Scott Stapp.

this is an artist's rendering of Scott Stapp.

so, enjoy!



remaerdyad, the podcaster said...

Singers posing as writers is one of the most infuriating things in my life right now. I am so totally focused on working my voice over the past couple years.

I can't get into npr, steph jing (if calling you that is correct). But I am always up for trying a new podcast... I think I am devoting like over eights hours of earspace to podcasts atm.

postscript this was a topic in my podcast a couple days ago

my word verification captcha: wagowa

stephan!e lee said...

bah, freelance podcasting is probably more fun anyway. i've been dying to try it out myself, and i think i will, maybe this weekend.

i'd love to have a weekly podcast where i play my favorite music of the week. would that be interesting to anybody??


remaerdyaD said...

Am going thru the (neccessary) trial of continuing on with my work, so my podcasts are really long and stuff... usually I end up reducing topics to like instrumental improvisational jazz and comedy, but I am not 'there' yet with it. Guess you could say that I dont really care whether my audience likes it for a while then I smack them upside the head with something that entertains or is original in some wacky extreme (which I will be posting tonite or tomorrow).

Know we conversed about your difficile regarding hosting for your podcast from the couch once... why dont you check out radio4all.net? I dont think that I mentioned it becos I was going through some issues with the site. If you read up on them, you will find that they were the first of their kind on the web back in 1996 providing space for web and low power radio programming, and me and a couple friends at least who went so far as to provide music. It is grassroots itunes and needs support. I would not mind knowing, actually, if it predates archive.org...

"To our knowledge, the A-Infos Radio Project was the first grassroots media project of it's kind on the internet."

Anyways, two wee features are truly awesome. First of all, like with me ATM, I can track downloads. This is absolutely fantastic because it affirms how many somebodies are (possibly) downloading your stuff. The other cool thing? You can delete your work. This feature I think goes way over the head of many on the web. This is true individual control over your work - being able to DEL it, honestly, awe inspiring. Thus, I can now say, "okay, hey, nobody is DL'ing, bork it," or, "hey, folks is DL'ing, I will keep it up." The reason why this is so kewl is because it is a form of solidarity: hard drive space on servers is one of the biggest hurdles facing grassroots servers on the web.

Hurry up! I am waiting to hear ya, steph the podcaster! ;-)

- PS you can link to programs using the "podcast" image on radio4all articles, just put it into yer podcast downloader software (or whatever you call it)

- PPS swear easily some of the best stuff I have ever heard in my life came from radio4all. Particularly audio collages and the reworking of presidential speechs come to mind.

remaerdyad said...

i.e. MUST HEAR lawyers challenging the right for corporations to call themselves "persons" and take over rural communities to dump toxic waste


stephan!e lee said...

i actually plan to use something like yousendit, so i can just provide a link and ppl can download to whatever media device they typically use.

it probly wouldn't be a long show, definitely under half an hour. i was thinking of sharing maybe 5 or so songs and maybe some banter.

i'll see if i have time...

remaerdyaD the podcaster said...

I am LIKE, TOTALLY sold on On The Media NPR podcast. Thanx!

Und bien sur, being that sharing is criminalized...

Couple faves:
~ authority on the big change coming to publishing industry

And if you havent heard of GNC, I really recommend it, updated every few days. I don't like it much, mind you, but it is highly authoritative:

~ originator on podcasting - I came across this site years ago once and avoid it completely until recently when I took a shine to that podcasting thang

my captcha: olvndbhi

stephan!e lee said...

i know! isn't On The Media great?? i listen to it every weekend.

i'll try to check out your rec's.

look for a possible podcast post next week.


Rae Jin Devine said...

I've always loved your radio show (when I had time to catch it anyway...).

Oh, and I realize they won't have the same nostalgia factor, but if you're looking to really branch out, OCReMiX might work for you.


It's all free.

It's video game music, remixed and remastered. Each submission goes through a rigorous judging before posting to the website, so there is something valuable in each.

For some solid starters, look up the following:
"Triforce Majeure" by Disco Dan

"Pachelbel's Ganon" by djpretzel

"Waltz of Pain" by Blak Omen & Dhsu

"TheDarkReachesofSMW" by aneurysm

There are so many other great ones but those are all pretty solid/varied.

Anyway, hope you find what you're looking for.

stephan!e lee said...

cool, thanks Rae!

i think i got some videogame music from someone before... probly you! and i liked it. i recall it was more relaxing than i expected.

oh, and you'd probably really like The Field. he takes oldies and sets them to awesome beats, plays a lot with the nostalgia factor. if i really do get around to doing a podcast trial, i will play him on the show for you to hear.


patrick said...

that movie is funny, very insightful... got me on a mad-tv youtube marathon for about seven hours, thanks a lot