The developers’ favorite role models, the laissez faire free-for-alls — Las Vegas, the Phoenix metro area, South Florida, this valley — are the most troubled, the suburban slums.
Come see: this is what happens when money and market, alone, guide the way we live.” —Timothy Egan at the NYT (via maura)
I think she’s popular because her lyrics reflect what sheltered 13-year-old girls think wild 21-year-old girls do. The situations depicted in her songs are either logistically implausible (grown-ups seldom hook up in backs of car-car-cars, because they tend to have home-home-homes) or deeply unpleasant (anyone who has experienced toothpaste and whiskey within 30 minutes of each other knows that one will brush one’s teeth with a bottle of Jack an absolute worst-case maximum of once).
Additionally, this goes a long way toward explaining why Ke$ha’s persona consistently reads less “super fun sexytime party girl” and more “homeless teen, possibly a hooker” to me.
Surely the “brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack” line isn’t about using Jack instead of water, but using it instead of toothpaste.
Otherwise no argument, with the proviso that, well, pretty much everything on pop radio caters to a teenager’s fantasy of adulthood, even (especially!) the Serious Ballads. Isn’t that the point of pop radio?
My only response is that I appear to follow all the wrong tumblrs.
“Witty, positive commentary” = never saying anything of substance. Which is fine! Just not how a bunch of us are wired to communicate.
It’s a sign of how audiofile-oriented I am that I spend an hour trying to conjure a workaround to buy an mp3 from iTunes UK before I think to check Youtube. And of course it’s there.
Goddamn kids and their moving pictures.
Marc Hogan’s article about contemporary tape culture is very interesting, but also — at least for me — kinda agitating, as so much of it is a mixture of Luddite bullshit, icky nostalgia, and blantant contrarianism. It’s definitely a thing going on, but it feels a bit over-sold in terms of actual relevance. Anyway, two huge questions I have, maybe Marc can answer them directly: 1) Where are people buying the non-underground cassettes? (ie, Jagged Edge, the top-selling cassette of 2009.) 2) Where are people getting tape decks these days, or is it all mainly used/old equipment?
REPORTAGE FROM THE MEAN STREETS OF PHOENIX DEPT.:
Any music store south of a certain block (locally, I’d say Thomas, maybe McDowell) does a lot of cassette sales, and not only the ones that cater to the Hispanophone demographic. To put it bluntly, poor people buy cassettes, and poor neighborhoods have stores that sell them. Seen a store with RECORDS or DISCOS on it and bars over the windows? They sell cassettes. Tape decks too, probably, at least cheap ones.
The same is true for rural populations. Maybe the big box stores near you or me don’t sell cassettes, but if they’re the only music retailer around for a thousand miles they do.
““My father never associated a song with a particular performer, and that was typical for the ‘teens and ’20s. A new hit might be introduced by a star like Sophie Tucker, but it was sung and played by everybody. In the days when printed music was the lifeblood of the music business, this was vitally important, because if a song became so closely associated with a single performer that nobody else wanted to sing it, that would hurt the sheet music sales. In most cases, rather than getting a single big boost from a major star or a Broadway show, a song would be circulated by people hired by the publisher as song pluggers, and the idea was to get it sung and played by as many different artists and in as many different venues as possible.””
— Elijah Wald, How The Beatles Destroyed Rock And Roll
I’m not just posting this quote about viral marketing in the 1910s for “nothing new under the sun” reasons, though it does remind me a bit of the ‘Big Seed’ principle of virality: Duncan Watt’s idea that basically the most successful way of spreading a meme is to get it to as many unconnected people as possible as quickly as possible.
But of course a Broadway show is a good way of doing that - as indeed is broadcast media. So what’s interesting in the 1910s model is the idea Wald introduces of resistance to a single source: “if a song became so closely associated with a single performer that nobody else wanted to sing it”
Did this actually happen? Enough to make a difference? It’s an interesting idea but it may just be Wald’s conjecture. If true, are there similar mechanisms at work in the spread of memes?
I’d say the “nobody” in Wald’s formulation refers more to other performers than to the general public. As an example, the song I picked as the greatest of the first two decades of the twentieth century, Bert Williams’ “Nobody,” was only ever recorded by one person, its originator, until well after his death*. Nevertheless its sheet music was very popular, because he was.
Also, I’d suggest Wald is distorting his father’s actual experience for the sake of his argument. Wald père didn’t associate “Swanee” with Al Jolson? Nonsense. And “Swanee” was a big hit in sheet music — it established George Gershwin as a reliable hitmaker.
When you want to use the past as a stick with which to beat the present (or the further past to beat the recent past), it’s always easier to use a simplified caricature of the past. Their reality was as messy and various as ours. While I’d say Wald is right in the broad outlines of his argument, there are always more exceptions than rhetoric allows for.
*Looking it up, I see that Arthur Collins also recorded it in 1905. But then he recorded everything, and the lack of other contemporary recordings suggests that it wasn’t a hit.
Regarding your services, you know what gets my goat?
No, aside from the Buzz kerfuffle.
No, apart from the cataloguing of people’s kinda personal stuff.
No, other than the way an account with you sprawls so.
No, no, not how…
Okay, look. Today’s complaint, indeed something that comes up every single day, is to do with languages. I really don’t appreciate you filtering search results to match the language of whichever localisation of your search engine I am using.
If I’m submitting a distinctly Italian search string, the most relevant results are probably going to be pages written in Italian. In some less distinguishable cases, I might have to pop in more details to clarify, but I shouldn’t have to swap to google.it to have you suggest Italian pages in the first place. I shouldn’t have to store cookies on every machine I use (and note down settings in order to later return them to the owner’s preferences), to fiddle around with preferred languages, to specify separately what is, the majority of the time, intrinsic to each individual search.
Why can’t I just flit from this to that? Why must your default (.com) setting be to downgrade non-English results, when English so floods the web as it is that absence of such a “feature” doesn’t really inconvenience English monoglots in the slightest? Why, when I’m on google.se, looking up lastbilar, do you plaster up a message saying “Tip: Search for English results only.” (just because I happen to be using an English-language browser at that moment?), as if you’re actually being helpful? You’re not, okay.
I can’t tell you how much of my time has been utterly wasted in counteracting your “convenient” result-skewing measures. You’re a total nuisance. Grr.
Cosigned. Goddamn monoglots making it harder for the rest of us.
The Vatican’s newspaper, L’ Osservatore Romano released this list of what they consider the best rock albums of all time….
Wow. Is it weird that I’m a little upset that the Catholic church approves of some of my all-time favorites? I wonder if I still get to go to hell now …