• Guilty pleasure music

    Feb 14 2013, 22:46

    The assumption that any of the things that I like—music, for instance—are “guilty pleasures” operates on the premises that, 1) there is an objective basis of determining whether or not a particular piece of music has value, which transcends the subjective human equipment that we have to experience it, 2) this objective basis is something that both you and I, only equipped with our human perceptions, are somehow aware of, 3) you are someone who follows this objective basis and rightly looks down on the music in question, and I am knowingly at fault in defying it and as such harbor guilt, 4) a song can provide a valuable experience to me in that I take pleasure in hearing it, and at the same time be completely lacking in value.

    OR: If you assume instead that music has only subjective value and meaning to us individually, and that I ought to feel guilty about finding value and meaning in the music that I do, and that guilt is something felt when we've done something wrong: you are implying that I've done something wrong by obeying the previously agreed upon idea that enjoyment of music comes from a subjective process.

    In other words, I don't have guilty pleasure music because I can't think of a reason that I should feel guilty about finding pleasure in any of the music that I like. If you find any of it questionable in the context of the rest of my interests (this is usually what people mean when they say “guilty pleasure music”: music that steps outside the boundaries of what that person is known to listen to), you can always make the effort to arrive at an answer for this questionable thing by asking me why I like it. And then I'll tell you.

    I like Lady Gaga.

    Why do you like Lady Gaga, Bethany?

    I like Lady Gaga because, the way that I interpret her music when I listen to it, it's satirical of the aspects of Western culture (especially prevalent in pop music) embodying misogynistic standards of beauty, anti-intellectualism, mindless consumerism, fame worship taken to its logical religious conclusion, and the responsible Schadenfreude kernel of ugliness at the center of human consciousness that takes pleasure in building others up to Godlike status for the purpose of knocking them down. More than that, by embodying the persona that she's criticizing (e.g., Just Dance), her music instigates a situation where people are still forced to be critical of mainstream culture and pop music ESPECIALLY in the case that they take the music at face value and dislike it. She also calls to attention important issues of body-image, sexuality, and mental health that are largely ignored, mistreated, or glossed over in pop culture, and furthermore encourages positive ideas about them. I think she does all this with grace, tact, and an unrivaled conciseness/simplicity. Other pluses: She has a good voice. She's a good pianist. She writes good songs. She's proven herself to be as nice of a person as she is talented.

    Of course, you are still free to sneer, laugh, and look down on me for my supposed lack of a proper filter to enable me to discern shit from Shinola like yourself, since I see things that you don't like in a different light than you, respective of my personal stock of experiences, values, perspectives, and interests.
  • Milestones

    Mag 13 2012, 0:36

    Last.FM Milestones200th track: (17 Aug 2005)
    Marilyn Manson - I Dont Like the Drugs
    500th track: (25 Aug 2005)
    David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust

    1111st track: (10 Sep 2005)
    Nine Inch Nails - Piggy

    7000th track: (02 Dec 2005)
    Dr. Hook - I Got Stoned And I Missed It

    11111st track: (29 Jan 2006)
    Patti Smith - Gloria

    17000th track: (01 May 2006)
    Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage

    24000th track: (06 Sep 2006)
    Oingo Boingo - Little Girls

    25000th track: (25 Sep 2006)
    Scissor Sisters - Skins

    28000th track: (15 Nov 2006)
    Love And Rockets - No Big Deal (12" Mix)

    32000th track: (14 Jan 2007)
    Christian Death - Spiritual Cramp
    33000th track: (30 Jan 2007)
    Joy Division - Autosuggestion

    35000th track: (27 Feb 2007)
    Mogwai - Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

    36000th track: (14 Mar 2007)
    The Flirts - Helpless (You Took My Love)
    37000th track: (31 Mar 2007)
    Dead Can Dance - Song of the Stars

    41000th track: (01 Jun 2007)
    Chris Vrenna - Late to the Jabberwocky

    43000th track: (18 Jul 2007)
    David Bowie - Suffragette City

    45000th track: (19 Aug 2007)
    New York Dolls - Bad Girl

    47000th track: (15 Sep 2007)
    Akira Yamaoka - Room of Angel

    52000th track: (23 Dec 2007)
    Killing Joke - Eighties

    54000th track: (31 Jan 2008)
    Autolux - Turnstile Blues

    56000th track: (19 Feb 2008)
    The Velvet Underground - European Son

    60000th track: (12 Apr 2008)
    The Killers - All the Pretty Faces
    61000th track: (05 May 2008)
    Tears for Fears - Mad World

    63000th track: (12 Jun 2008)
    The Pogues - Boys From The County Hell
    64000th track: (29 Jun 2008)
    Flesh For Lulu - Vaguely Human
    65000th track: (12 Jul 2008)
    The The - Perfect
    66000th track: (27 Jul 2008)
    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Long Time Man
    66666th track: (08 Aug 2008)
    Johnny Thunders - (She's So) Untouchable
    67000th track: (11 Aug 2008)
    The Hellacopters - Midnight Angels
    68000th track: (30 Aug 2008)
    Einstürzende Neubauten - Dead Friends (Around the Corner)
    69000th track: (14 Sep 2008)
    Greenskeepers - Drug
    70000th track: (09 Oct 2008)
    Monte Cazazza - Six Eyes From Hell
    71000th track: (02 Nov 2008)
    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Brother, My Cup Is Empty
    72727th track: (02 Dec 2008)
    Tom Waits - Get Behind the Mule

    73000th track: (09 Dec 2008)
    Björk - All Is Full of Love
    74000th track: (03 Jan 2009)
    Sonic Youth - Hey Joni
    75000th track: (24 Jan 2009)
    The Dresden Dolls - Good Day
    76000th track: (07 Feb 2009)
    Billy Bragg - The Milkman Of Human Kindness
    77000th track: (20 Feb 2009)
    Johnny Cash - It Aint Me Babe
    78000th track: (04 Mar 2009)
    Louis Armstrong - When It's Sleepy Time Down South
    79000th track: (20 Mar 2009)
    Alexander von Borsig - Hiroshima

    80000th track: (07 Apr 2009)
    Rowland S. Howard - Breakdown (And Then...)

    81000th track: (22 Apr 2009)
    Leonard Cohen - Avalanche

    84000th track: (08 Jun 2009)
    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - I Let Love In
    85000th track: (02 Jul 2009)
    Nina Simone - Love Me or Leave Me
    86000th track: (02 Aug 2009)
    Scissor Sisters - Ooh
    87000th track: (22 Sep 2009)
    PJ Harvey - Down by the Water
    88000th track: (08 Nov 2009)
    Rowland S. Howard - Pop Crimes
    88888th track: (19 Dec 2009)
    Lou Reed - Ocean

    89000th track: (20 Dec 2009)
    The Rolling Stones - Miss You
    90000th track: (11 Feb 2010)
    Mick Harvey - Jazz In The Ravine
    91000th track: (15 Apr 2010)
    Lou Reed - The Kids
    92000th track: (10 Aug 2010)
    Einstürzende Neubauten - Prolog
    93000th track: (14 Sep 2010)
    Sinéad O'Connor - Dream a Little Dream (live)
    94000th track: (23 Nov 2010)
    Grinderman - What I Know
    96000th track: (12 Feb 2011)
    George Carlin - How's Your Dog?
    97000th track: (02 Apr 2011)
    The Shirelles - Mama Said

    99000th track: (18 May 2011)
    Lady Gaga - Americano

    101000th track: (02 Aug 2011)
    The Mighty Boosh - Lollistick
    102000th track: (11 Oct 2011)
    Nick Harper - Aeroplane
    103000th track: (02 Dec 2011)
    Mika - One Foot Boy
    104000th track: (05 Jan 2012)
    Suzanne Vega - Fat Man And Dancing Girl
    105000th track: (26 Jan 2012)
    Soft Cell - Tainted Love

    106000th track: (16 Feb 2012)
    The Devil Makes Three - Dynamite
    107000th track: (07 Mar 2012)
    Danny Elfman - Love Suite
    108000th track: (30 Mar 2012)
    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - People Ain't No Good
    109000th track: (20 Apr 2012)
    Monty Python - Theme Song 'Liberty Bell' (Part 2) (Live)
    110000th track: (12 May 2012)
    Benoît Pioulard - Sunol - (version One)
    111111st track: (02 Jun 2012)
    The Gun Club - Jack on Fire
    115000th track: (21 Aug 2012)
    TV on the Radio - No Future Shock
    120000th track: (15 Feb 2013)
    Tom Waits - What Keeps Mankind Alive
    Get yours here
  • Eclecticism

    Set 12 2011, 17:35

    What doesn’t make sense to me is claiming to love specific styles of music when the attraction is such that it inhibits your ability to listen to various musicians from various countries, cultures, and backgrounds, producing music to tell their stories in their own styles. That is the antonym of attraction. That's surrounding yourself with a repelling force and keeping everything else outside of your scope of interests far away.

    I like what’s at the core of music; not the surface sound. I like hearing the different ways that people express that. I enjoy feeling like there’s a huge world out there full of far more than just what I’m accustomed to, that I will always have something to learn, that there are always experiences I’ve yet to have — and I especially love becoming aware of that by seeing how it’s the focal point of someone else’s life in some way that they are driven to write, dance, scream, rap, play, or sing about it. It's a way of putting forth universal experiences, unique experiences that are not quite universal or not a granted without having lived a bit, and sometimes very alien experiences and insights into the lives of others with different backgrounds and different cultures, or even living in different time periods. Whether it’s Rihanna and Nicki Minaj singing Raining Men, giving a soundtrack to aspects of life that small or silly, Clann An Drumma playing solemn hymns for the grief and senselessness of military casualties, Tom Waits telling the story of the drunk, deadbeat outcast in poverty, intoxication, and desperation, or Tupac giving voice to the experiences of growing up as a "young black male", being promised hurdles and difficulties from birth. I love history and I love storytelling and I love biographies. I love to imagine and learn what other people’s experiences are like. I’ve never been comfortable settling with what’s familiar to me—I have a longing, passionate curiosity about people, and that informs the music I listen to, the books I read, the films I watch, and so on. I sometimes find it very hard to relate to those who don’t share this curiosity.
  • "She's Not There"

    Lug 16 2011, 5:17

    Nick Cave & Neko Case's She's not there: The divisive line in a fanbase is once again between those who either think everything X does is heaven-sent, or that it can never be good as songs X wrote when they were teenaged, and it's once again unsettling to encounter so many unintelligent people with such an intelligent common interest. Sincerely, I'd rather be surrounded by people who are over-the-top fanatical about Beyonce than a random sampling of the Bad Seeds fanbase, because, statistically, I believe I'd end up with far fewer people at risk of asphyxiation from all the verbal excrement leaving their mouths. I don't have the time in my day to be calling ambulances and performing resuscitative techniques every ten minutes.

    • No one cares what you think about any music. At all. Ever. Period. This is true for the same reason that opinion columns are given to writers who've established names for themselves rather than to Jane or Joe the Journalist. Unless your audience is your friends or family, or your words produce some kind of intoxicating, euphoric high, no one cares.

    • Saying that everything new an artist who has been around for a while comes up with is 'shit' is only a resourceful statement of interest if the person hearing or reading it happens to be doing a study on the flippancy of informal fallacy and blind beliefs on music in conversation in the general population.

    • Art is subjective. It's an abstract idea, not a concrete thing, and there will never be any truth in any assertions you make about it, because it is a thing that exists in the form of collective recognition and minds, and a thing that is also separate and its own entity from its creation in that collective, and also a thing that ceases to exist once the collective that recognizes it ceases to exist. Your opinion on any piece of art or anything called art or not art is only that. An opinion. Nothing you can do will change that.

    • Musicians are not godly entities like the deities of ancient mythology or polytheistic religions. They are people who were born, who will die, who have bowel movements and scabs and lungs and unwanted hair and funny-bones. They are individual, living human persons--just like your friends, coworkers, peers, family--whose activities just so happen to reach the public sphere. They do not owe you any kind of perfection or bias toward your whims in their decisions and actions. I repeat: They are people.

    • You are the person on Louis CK's airplane. You're on a plane, partaking in the miracle of human flight. You've also just been informed that the new invention of wireless Internet in the sky will be available on the plane. You're enjoying the wi-fi access, but then there's a problem and the wi-fi stops working. You get irritated. You feel an injustice is being done to you and that you are owed something that is the fruition of another person's hard work, which you didn't even know existed up until a moment ago. Contrary to popular opinion: you do not deserve any kind of perfection, or anything at all for that matter, simply because you take in oxygen and emit carbon dioxide.
      The world owes you absolutely nothing. The people thinking up, writing down, playing, practicing, and recording the new music that you're excited to hear do not, in fact, owe you complete submissive consideration of your interests.

    • This is degrading to both of us.
  • The justification and enriching of our very existence through the majesty of song

    Apr 6 2010, 16:03

    I feel that I must take it upon myself to act as an interpreter, so that all might come to understand and gain from, both intellectually and spiritually, the complexly composed brilliance of this gem. Ke$ha has broken all molds manufactured by our oppressive, mundane society and wiped the slate clean once again for pop music. So much larger than this, she has unveiled the current state of social affairs within our culture for all the public to see, with such a renewing light of self-reflection, that to label it a wake-up call for our species would be disastrously under-representing the power of its contents.

    For the good of my country and the sake of enriching its collective mind, in this journal I will dissect and put into context the theme and tone of Ke$ha's revolutionary piece, “TiK ToK”.

    Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy [1]
    Put my glasses on, I’m out the door - I’m gonna hit this city
    Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack
    Cause when I leave for the night, I ain’t coming back

    Ke$ha's first verse ushers in the song using not the common trochaic pentameter, but trochaic hexameter. The hexameter, in company of iambic metrical feet, is typical of the Iliad: the Greek epic poem format credited to Homer. However, the trochee is a metrical foot characterized by its simplicity, and is not uncommon to children's nursery rhymes. The meeting of trochee and hexameter creates an intriguing contradiction. Not so notably, the poet strays from this form in her second verse, where she uses trochaic octameter. However, upon closer inspection, the attributes of the words' organization tells us something.

    Firstly, we are presented with a contrast. Ke$ha combines the tools of Homer with that of Mother Goose. She meets wisdom with childlike simplicity. Next, there is an anomaly. The second line's meter breaks the rest of the verse's form. Here, the composition and the content of the writing explain one another. It is revealed that our narrator is that of the classic first person unreliable narrator, but with a twist. This character is a conduit, through which Ke$ha is able to express her true tone. We must look both to the words as well as their arrangement in order to grasp Ke$ha's intent.

    Our narrator has started us off at a new morning--a beginning, if not an awakening. Feeling “like P Diddy”, it is shown off the bat the extremity of megalomania from which the narrator suffers. The second line is where something important happens, and where the interruption of pentameter tells us to pay close attention. Here, the narrative merges, with that of Ke$ha's disillusionment and her intents to take on this persona (put my glasses on) and reveal its ugliness by masquerading behind it (I'm gonna hit this city), as well as her character's misguided feelings of invincibility.

    After the interruption, Ke$ha moves seamlessly back into pentameter and persona. In the third and fourth lines, she continues to build her character, stacking on qualities of the hedonist with wordplay reminiscent of Charles Bukowski. Dental care, a ritual of self-betterment and hygiene upkeep, is warped here to show the use of alcohol for the addictive personality. The narrator is reliant upon her alcohol abuse and brand names, in order to give herself substance and meaning in her waking life. In the last line of the verse, she pronounces she won't be coming back. There is a definite ironic tone to this, for a personality whose lifestyle is embedded in ritual. Her narcissism gives her the self-delusion of pursuing change, when in reality, if there's anything she won't be coming back from, it is her lifestyle.

    I’m talking - pedicure on our toes, toes [5]
    Trying on all our clothes, clothes
    Boys blowing up our phones, phones
    Drop-topping, playing our favorite cds
    Pulling up to the parties
    Trying to get a little bit tipsy [10]

    In this second verse, Ke$ha links an ignorant, selfish and materially concerned lifestyle with this destructive personality. The real villain is unveiled. These things that plague the minds of young people into dead-end, masochistic lifestyles, are the same things which society and mainstream media glorify the consumption of and then subsequently vilify the consequences of. (pedicure on our toes, toes / Trying on all our clothes, clothes / Boys blowing up our phones, phones) All commercialized, corporate media promotes a material-consumed mind, where your worth is dependent on your status, and your status dependent upon what you consume.

    Don’t stop, make it pop
    DJ, blow my speakers up
    Tonight, I’mma fight
    ‘Til we see the sunlight
    Tick tock, on the clock [15]
    But the party don’t stop no
    Woah-oh oh oh
    Woah-oh oh oh

    The chorus provides a hopeful tone that balances out the rest of the song's cynicism. Lines 11 and 12 suggest the delusional perception of Ke$ha's unreliable narrator. These aspects of her lifestyle which harm her, she asks to be continued. Almost aimlessly, she wants the destruction of self. And so, our narrator becomes a symbol for all young people involved in this lifestyle today. However, lines 13 through 16 seem to express that something inside her is fighting against this harm she causes herself. (Tick tock, on the clock, but the party don't stop, no) Even as her time spent in this risky way shortens her life, she still continues to engage in her hedonist behaviors. As she continues to indulge in these things, the very core of her being still survives underneath, not broken, but, as Tom Waits would put it, “walking with a limp”.

    Ain’t got a care in world, but got plenty of beer
    Ain’t got no money in my pocket, but I’m already here [20]
    Now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
    But we kick ‘em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger

    Our narrator is so affected by her consumer, hedonist behavior, that it has virtually taken her over and stolen all parts of her personality. She no longer has any desires or goals for herself. The only thing she desires is to further her current indulgences. (Ain’t got no money in my pocket, but I’m already here.) More depressing, her ability to appreciate other human beings has been reduced to objectification. She no longer possesses enough mind of her own to appreciate another person of the opposite gender for reasons other than those that compliment consumption and hedonism. And so is our society--no longer a place of white picket fences and individuals pursuing love and happiness, but a large mall of coveting, swindling, celebritizing, and objectifying.

    And so, Ke$ha's genius hit ironically observes, with biting wit, the disease which plagues our society, and affects not the body, but the soul. It is not the artists, but our consumerist media, and its glorification of consumption and mindless indulgence, that is to blame for the ails of young people. Complete brilliance! Hunter S. Thompson and Bill Hicks pass the torch along to Ke$ha!
  • A new word

    Mag 18 2007, 2:23

    There should be a word for the feeling you get when you put on a song from an album that you've listened to as a whole numerous times and when it ends you expect to hear the song that comes after it start, in fact hear it partly in your head, but a different song comes on instead because you aren't listening to the whole album. There isn't one.
  • Shhh :(

    Ott 26 2006, 4:41