December 6th, 2010

so what is indie rock?

      So what is indie rock? Through research for my final paper I have found myself muttering this question to myself day in and day out. Every time I think I have the answer, I read something else that makes me question my previous thought. First we have to distinguish are we talking about “indie rock” as a genre, or “indie/independent rock” as the financial status of the artists?
      If we are talking about indie rock as a genre, we must realize that in the music industry genres tend to overlap. Indie rock may also be referred to as, alternative, lo-fi, college rock, garage rock, riot grrrl, as well as, post-hardcore, to name a few. Artists categorized in the indie rock genre may be found signed to independent record labels as well as, some that have been signed to major record labels. The typical instruments used by artists in these genres are guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocals, however they are not limited to these and some artist may incorporate other instruments. In our readings for this week, Hibbett roughly traces the origin of indie rock to the underground music scene. He explains that these artists create, “songs too unconventional to receive playtime on anything but low-powered college radio stations and too challenging or subversive for an older less educated audience.” Which is why most indie artists are still only found in the underground scene. Yet, Hibbett and Bourdieu point out that some artists such as R.E.M. (signed to a major record label at the time) will reinvent themselves by “incorporating something from the restricted field.”
      On the other hand, if we are talking strictly about indie (or independent) rock as the financial status of an artists, we are talking about only those artists not signed by major record labels. Hibbett states, “The very name “indie” denotes a more concerted effort to separate the “good” from the “popular” – to be not just an “alternative to,” but “independent of.” These artists practice the DIY (Do-it-yourself) ethic, recording their own music, distributing their albums themselves, playing for people in local bars and clubs. The DIY ethic creates this feeling of a more raw, direct look into an artist’s mind along with their talent. Fans find this to feel more real or true to the artist because they are not being altered by any commercial or mainstream input. This is who the artist is and this is how they think and perform. Many indie artist believe that mainstream messes with an artist’s creativity, making them fold and be molded into what the commercial mainstream believes the public wants to see instead of letting the public decide for themselves.
       Which brings me to my next issue, if an indie band makes it from the underground scene to the mainstream, are they truly considered sell outs? This is definitely debatable, I believe that this is left for the bands to decide. Will they fold and allow the mainstream to mold them into their own little puppets or will they stay true to their indie reputation and music by demanding what they want? I believe that power is knowledge, and when indie artist are well known and sought out by major record labels they have more power to demand what they want and believe. Although they may make the jump to a major label they can still be true to their music, they just have to be smart and know what they want.

November 29th, 2010

influence of the music video

For as long as I have known, artists and musicians promote themselves and their music in many outlets. They turn to music videos to promote sales of a particular single. Concert tours are put together and tickets are sold, so the artist can perform the new album they just released. Also at concerts, merchandise such as tee-shirts and hats are sold with the artists name or album cover printed on the front. Artist sell themselves to the fans, they sell not just their music but an image. The way they dress, talk, carry themselves, are all being delivered to their fans. Fans that idolize and copy these artists. This is what is really being sold; it is the idea of “being” this artist or relating to them. Andrew Goodwin discusses the idea that, success in the pop industry relies on the packaging of the artists.

The creation and success of the music video in the 80s lead to the formation of television programs designated solely to broadcast music videos. Goodwin states, “… it is clear that music television very precisely addressed two trends in the 1980s: the aging of the rock audience and the growth (at least in the United States) of a youth culture that was not centered on music.”

The introduction of the music video reiterates the notion that artists now focus on selling their image and not just their music. They have come to realize the important business opportunities of selling their image. Once they gain a fan base through their music and image, these artists are then asked to be the “face” for the new running shoe Nike is coming out with, or they can even create their own brand.

As we can see, an artist’s image can always be taken to a new level. To think, the creation of music videos influenced this business of creating and maintaining someone’s image and using it to sell music as well as products.

November 9th, 2010

“Imagine” edited

        After the Beatles broke up in 1970, each member released their own solo album. John Lennon, released his second solo album titled “Imagine” in 1971. This is a time when performers began to include their personal political views in their music. Lennon proves through this song that the world would be a much better place if everyone would put aside any petty issues and move on.

        “Imagine” appeared on John Lennon’s second solo album “Imagine”, released in September of 1971 on Capitol Label. As well as, EMI Music Distribution. The song is three minutes and five seconds long. (Ruhlmann) Although this song is not that long, Lennon truly has a way with how he delivers his message.

 

        The song “Imagine” was written by John Lennon and many believe that it was inspired by his wife Yoko Ono’s poetry. (Ruhlmann) The song itself is very simple, it has a soft melody and the lyrics seem as though they are being spoken as opposed to being sung. “Imagine” was composed on the piano and is not very complicated. I believe that Lennon chose to keep the melody simple to reiterate the message he was trying to send.

        His idea for an ideal world would be one without separation. No cultural borders, no religions, no language barriers, no racial discrimination, instead everyone would live together united and peaceful.

“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace”

        Lennon presents this song with a feeling of optimism, that one day we could live this way. The fact that this song is performed so simply and soft spoken truly gives me the impression that his intention was not to make a hit song but to inform the world of his visions of how we would be better off if we all could live as one.

“You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”

        Lennon’s songs became an anthem for anti-war movements, with hopes that if he could make people listen they too would follow his peaceful ways. He points out that people may not think this idea of world peace could be possible, referring to himself as a “dreamer”. Yet he’s not the “only one”, and if people could look past what they have always known and view the world with no boundaries, we could be one.

“Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people,
Sharing all the world”

        Lennon challenges us to imagine life without possessions, hinting that we allow them to control our lives. These “possessions” appear to be all we care about, causing us to become greedy and inconsiderate of others around us. To this day we still find ourselves worrying about superficial things instead of other people. If we could all look past these barriers and live as one, “sharing all the world”, the world would truly be a better place.

 

 

        Throughout this song, Lennon tends to keep his voice very mellow. I believe he delivers the song this way to reiterate his peaceful message. However, there are a few points in his song in which his voice elevates above the overall tone of the single. I believe he raises his voice at these certain points to emphasize the meaning of his message. When Lennon sings, “Imagine all the people, living life in peace” along with, “And the world will live as one”, he raises his voice higher than the rest of the song. These are two different points in his song, and I believe Lennon felt that these two versus where the most powerful statements of them all. Which is why I feel he would want to sing them louder than the rest of his song.

        Overall, I believe Lennon hoped everyone would learn to look past our differences and join together as one united human race. Unfortunately, people are over powered by their own greed and desire to be better than the next person, that they look past Lennon’s simple yet powerful message. If we could get everyone to take a step back and understand the power of John Lennon’s lyrics, I believe the world could be one without war and hate. Yet we are still faced with the trouble of trying to make everyone stop and listen. It is much easier said than done.

 

Works Cited
Ruhlmann, William. “Imagine.” Allmusic. Rovi Corporation, n.d. Web. 2 Oct 2010. .
              <http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:3if      yxcwkldhe>.

November 8th, 2010

Glam Rock and Punk

     The shifts in the music industry are related to various economic and social changes through the years. The punk music era has been related to the underprivileged, lower class. Yet I don’t believe that these are the only people who listened to the punk movement. Music has a way of relating to individuals and as an individual you are not introduced to just one genre of music. Personally, I listen to all forms of music, from rap to rock and sometimes, and I mean sometimes even a little country (mainly because of my mother’s love for it). Basically where I’m headed with this is that the type of music you listened to used to define the type of person you were in society. Now, the times have changed. We are no longer defined by the type of music we listen to.
     Musicians have began to incorporate different music genres into their work, creating a new wave of music on a single album. Musicians are constantly reinventing themselves and changing their image as the years progress.
     David Bowie as an example, was an artist’s whom didn’t even consider himself as much of a rock artist. Yet more as an actor, he has without a doubt had a outlasting effect on adolescents. He has created a new wave of style and attitude without really trying. He has a way of carrying himself with such confidence that others strive to be like him. From the way he dresses to his attitude on life, David Bowie has proven to be a force of individuality. He never tried to be anyone he wasn’t, he was true to himself and with that he started an entire movement.
     Although, people relate the punk era to destruction and rebellion as they did with the sex pistols. I feel as though you can relate that to just about any form of music. They all have their classic artists whom play it safe, yet every genre has a rebellious few who like to push the envelope and see how far they can go before truly offending people.
     These usually end up being some of the most memorable artists. Where’s the fun in always playing it safe anyway?

November 8th, 2010

shift from public to private listening

     The invention of the cassette player and the walkman has undoubtedly changed the way people listen to and enjoy recorded sounds. The walkman has created a way for individuals to enjoy music. They no longer have to play music on the family record player, instead they can enjoy the music of their choice on their own with the use of head phones.
     The invention of the walkman shifted the music industry from public listening to a more private experience. This invention has had a major impact on the way we listen to music to this day. We constantly see people walking around with headphones plugged into their ears, what they are listening to is unknown to everyone around them. This has allowed people to experience artists works at all times. Although we no longer see people walking around with walkmans because they have become outdated as every technology is sooner or later. Instead we see people with their mp3 players and ipods attached to them at all times, like an extension of their bodies.
     This availability has allowed for a stronger connection between artists and fans, as well as a tool for the creative minds. Being able to access music on your own desired time and schedule, allows individuals to select their personal playlists. They can listen to a track as many times as they want, giving them the ability to notice the different instruments and recording techniques used.
     Overall, the shift from public to private listening has positively impacted the music industry. It gives people the individual experience allowing them to discover what type of music they enjoy. It has also influenced the creation and invention of various styles of recorded sounds.

October 23rd, 2010

Rock n’ Roll

Independent record labels were not afraid to record and produce new waves of music. The artist they recorded broke away from the norm combining sounds and rhythm from multiple genres of music. With this they invented a new wave of music called Rock n’ Roll. Rock n’ Roll was and still proves to be one of the most popular and influential fusion of music genres.

While the major record companies failed to notice the new forms of music being created post war, the independent companies were recording all types of music that did not fit the mainstream.

I get the impression that recording with an independent label was of better interest for an artist. They didn’t have to sell nearly as many records to turn a profit, as they would have with major labels. Similar to today, Millard explains that the independent labels take the risk of recording new music and than the major companies swoop in later to cash in on the new wave.

Why do people strive so hard to sign with a major label when they are just going to try and change their image and music? Major labels make artist change their lyrics, claiming that they will be more acceptable to the public. Yet isn’t it their originality in style and lyrics making them popular to begin with? Why is it always the focus of the major labels to mold the artist into what they think the public wants?

I think that the major labels need to stop producing these pre-molded acts and allow the artists to be true to themselves and their music.

October 18th, 2010

Final paper proposal/outline

Indie vs. Mainstream Music; How the Internet has been a major influence to the success of the Independent Music Industry.

I. Introduction
a. Definition of Indie
b. Definition of Mainstream

II. Indie vs. Major Labels
a. Contracts
i. How money is divided
ii. Process of being represented
b. Creative differences
i. Creating music from your heat
ii. Performing pre-molded music
c. Production differences
i. Studio production
ii. Do-it-yourself production
d. Promotion/performance differences
i. Major label promotions – tours
ii. Shows, word of mouth, distribution of merchandise

e. When indie artists move to mainstream

i. Risks

III. The use of the internet in the music industry
a. For a while mainly used to download mainstream music
i. Itunes, napster, limewire
b. Has become one of the most used outlets for Indie musicians to share their music
i. Facebook, myspace
ii. Allows for musicians to get their music out to the public without the need of a manager, or label.
iii. Creates a fan base, allows fans to follow bands, find shows, listen to music, possibly buy merchandise,
iv.

IV. Conclusion
a. Sum up major differences between Indie and Mainstream
b. Sum up advantages of the Indie scene and the internet

October 6th, 2010

Get your Amplifier Kits!!!

Do you have $50 – $100 dollars?
How about a Soldering iron and a screwdriver?

You do?! Well you are in LUCK… That is all you need to build your own amplifier!

That is what I would picture an old advertisement in the late 1800s to sound like for the new amplifier kits produced by Heath Company. Millard states that after buying this kit, enthusiast would follow directions and the circuit diagram that was provided and hope for the best.

I had to laugh at that, hope for the best.. how do you sell something like that?

Then again I would probably be someone who bought it, instead of buying one that cost $800-$1,000, I could buy two or three of the kits incase I messed up. I also love the idea of building things on my own, or taking things apart and putting them back together.

Hence, my DVD player and my lap top. Unfortunately, my lap top I should have saved for a professional because I definitely made it worse. My DVD player on the other hand I was able to take apart and put back together, retrieving the DVD stuck inside and managing to get it working again. Even though I’m not exactly sure how I did it, I still made it happen.

I guess that’s all part of the fun, you don’t know if it will work but each time you get a little closer to figuring out at least what didn’t work.

October 3rd, 2010

“Imagine”

        After the Beatles broke up in 1970, each member released their own solo album. John Lennon, released his second solo album titled “Imagine” in 1971. This is a time when performers began to include their personal political views in their music. Lennon proves through this song that the world would be a much better place if everyone would put aside any petty issues and move on.

 

 

       “Imagine” appeared on John Lennon’s second solo album “Imagine”, released in September of 1971 on Capitol Label. As well as, EMI Music Distribution. The song is three minutes and five seconds long. (Ruhlmann) Although this song is not that long, Lennon truly has a way with how he delivers his message.

 

       The song “Imagine” was written by John Lennon and many believe that it was inspired by his wife Yoko Ono’s poetry. (Ruhlmann) The song itself is very simple, it has a soft melody and the lyrics seem as though they are being spoken as opposed to being sung. “Imagine” was composed on the piano and is not very complicated. I believe that Lennon chose to keep the melody simple to reiterate the message he was trying to send.

       His idea for an ideal world would be one without separation. No cultural boarders, no religions, no language barriers, no racial discrimination, instead everyone would live together united and peaceful.

“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace”

     Lennon presents this song with a feeling of optimism, that one day we could live this way. The fact that this song is preformed so simply and soft spoken truly gives me the impression that his intention was not to make a hit song but to inform the world of his visions of how we would be better off if we all could live as one.

“You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”

     Lennon’s songs became an anthem for anti-war movements, with hopes that if he could make people listen they too would follow his peaceful ways. He points out that people may not think this idea of world peace could be possible, referring to himself as a “dreamer”. Yet he’s not the “only one”, and if people could look past what they have always known and view the world with no boundaries, we could be one.

” Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people,
Sharing all the world”

     Lennon challenges us to imagine life without possessions, hinting that we allow them to control our lives. That these “possessions” are all we care about and they cause us to become greedy and inconsiderate of others around us. To this day we still find ourselves worrying about superficial things instead of other people. If we could all look past these barriers and live as one, “sharing all the world”, the world would truly be a better place.

 

Works Cited
Ruhlmann, William. “Imagine.” Allmusic. Rovi Corporation, n.d. Web. 2 Oct 2010. .
              <http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:3if      yxcwkldhe>.

September 24th, 2010

Recorded sound

The invention of the radio and the “talking pictures” have obviously proved themselves to be two of the best creations for the entertainment industry. Although like most inventions, they didn’t happen overnight. They took years of trial and error to perfect the new devices. All of the time and effort these inventors put into making the devices to record sound have seriously paved the way for the explosive market it has become today.
I really like how Millard described the recording process as a scientific procedure, identifying that the job of the recorder took a lot of experience and familiarity with the different materials that were used. I believe that this proves to be true in most professions, the more time you spend working with various machines and material the more accustom you become to the results they produce.
During the Great Depression the radio and recorded music found in the Jukebox, demonstrate how successful this invention was. Like today, it seems that people like to go out and have a good time and usually this involves listening to music and dancing. The Jukebox was considered a cheap form of entertainment during the Great Depression and I believe this is still true today. My father owns a sports bar and some nights we have live entertainment, and on the nights we don’t the Jukebox gets a ton of attention from our customers. We have upgraded with the times, from having a Jukebox with a limited number of records to now having a computerized one, where you can download any songs that are not already on it.
It amazes me to read about how much time and effort go into creating a record and even though we have improved our technology over the years and have come up with better solutions for improving the sound quality of records, it still takes experience and familiarity to produce a great record. It is not just throwing sounds and beats together it takes time and good sense of what instruments actually complement each other, similar to a scientific procedure.

Next Page »

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar