Tuesday, 27 August 2013

#30daychallenge day 16: my views on mainstream music

I have a general view on music: I say, music is good.

Music makes you happy, music makes you dance, music speaks to you on some level you hadn't quite articulated yet. Music gets you out of bed in the morning, music grants you joyous collective experience in the form of concerts, fangirling, social occasions where sing-alongs are appropriate.

Music is key.

I've talked a bit about music already, and last month I did a music challenge, where I only listened to female artists. But I probably haven't talked very much about mainstream music (and for all intents and purposes here, I'm interpreting 'mainstream' as 'popular', as in, top 40 artists). These few are not by any means representative of the scope of things, they're just on my radar currently, and that's that.

Taylor Swift:
Let's start here because she's kind of a big deal. Having recently been validated in my secret enjoyment of TaySwift by Tavi Gevinson, I have now gone public with my like of her. Well, by public I mean, I listen to her in my car while I drive to work some mornings. It helps to get me into the mindset of things! and stuff!, both of which are significant to my day. She's very poppy, but still harks to her country roots by mainly singing about relationships, which is how she speaks to a generation of girls and women for whom such things figure high-up on the priorities list. My current favourite song is '22', and I just think she deserves a bit of respect for her achievements at such an early age. Plus she's a bit of a dork, really:

(I also love Zac Ephron, but that's another story)

The only thing I really find to hold against her is her general snottiness about Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's joke at her expense at the Golden Globes this year, because it is important to be able to laugh at yourself, and I mean, everyone knows just how awesome these 2 are, go with it TaySwift! I suspect that sort of down-to-earthiness might develop with time, she is only 23 after all.

Miley Cyrus:
Bah, I don't have much to say personally but she is currently inviting a lot of criticism for her behaviour at the MTV VMA Awards last night; read this article here for a bit of a breakdown of her implicit racsim which I do agree is just not cool. Besides that, I'm not sure she's going off the rails like everyone seems to think, I suspect she's just a tiny bit of a douchebag at this stage in life, and I hope that maybe some of this criticism hits home in some way or how.

I choose not to touch how sexualised her performance is, because I think it's a hyper representation of the fact that sex sells, which we all know is the state of things currently. May it not always be the case that women have to simulate sex on stage for millions of fans to be provocative and popular (although, apparently she's pushed the limits too far; not sure where the line is, but it appears to be pretty blurry, which brings me to my next act...)

Robin Thicke:
I get into trouble here, because I found this single incredibly catchy when I first heard it. Like, put-it-on-a-birthday-mix-cd-for-my-dad catchy. Then, I saw the film clip, which made me think about the lyrics. Then I was put off. But it was still catchy. Which is why I heartily endorse this cover/parody:

A few things I might observe within hearing distance of Robin Thicke, or T.I., or Pharrell Williams (passive-aggressive styles): you're not subverting anything (Thicke holds it's a subversive track, pfft), you're silly, and I make hashtags look way better than you kids ever could.

Lady Gaga:
Nope, just kidding - don't want to touch this one. She sounds pretty cool when Caitlin Moran writes about her, but this burkha crap lately is just nonsense, and embarrassing, and no thank you.

I made an 8tracks playlist which you can check out here of some of my favourite "mainstream" hits that have immediately come to mind... (what is "mainstream", anyway?) - there are some remixes that I like. When the mood is right. You know the one.

Music does connect us... and sometimes it's pop music that means the most to someone- that doesn't make it any less meaningful.

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