Sail Music Video’s suck

One song that I like that has a horrible music video is the song Sail, by Awolnation. Their song is great and it was a huge hit when it came out. I loved the melody and even though the lyrics get a bit repetitive, the song I think still holds up. The first time I heard the song was for a sports highlight video and I was really hooked. The video had everything synced up with the music. Each time a football player would make a huge tackle, it would be right when the song would say “Sail.” Everything was so in tune and perfect in the video, when I saw the actual music video, it was a really big let down. There are technically two music videos I have seen that have claimed to be “official” so I watched both.

The first video was about a man who was at first was running away from something, but you don’t actually know at first. Then as the video progresses, you find out that he is an Illuminati conspirer who apparently found out who they were, but is now going to pay with his life. There is a light that is trying to catch him, so he tries to drown himself before he gets caught. But the light catches him and he doesn’t get away. At the end of the video, you see him being lifted into what seemed to be an alien spacecraft. I personally think that this video is the worst music video of all time. First off, it has no correlation with the music itself. Even though with the few lyrics it is hard to correlate things to, you could at least do things in sync like the sports highlights did. With each big play or big event, the scene the change and the song would be going along with it.

The second video was about a girl just singing the song with “rain” falling. Then you find out that the “rain” that she was singing in was just the water from a hose that another girl was holding. Then they just get into a fight where the girl singing kills the girl who is holding the hose and then the video ends with the girl still singing and the girl holding the hose but she is dead. Nothing progresses. I feel very against this video because nothing is done in the video. No actual work is put into this video. Maybe some editing, and that’s it, you sync up the lyrics and there is the final product. That is why I hate this music video so much.

Overall, I love the song Sail by Awolnation whilst watching sports videos, but I absolutely hate the “official” music videos I see out today.

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Dead Week? What kind of music would you like with that?

As Georgia Tech’s semester closes, a student always thinks about finals and the hours upon hours of studying that comes with it. And thus comes the phrase “Dead Week”; the week before the Finals where no assignments are assigned. Thus, when many people study, music seems to be a tool in which people use to help them study. I would personally like to share some of the songs on my “Dead Week” playlist. Compared to others, it seems that the types of songs I choose are a bit strange.

My first song is “Time”, by Hans Zimmer. This one of the many famous Inception songs. The reason why I like this song so much is because it has enough music to keep me focused, but not loud enough to make me distracted. This is the main reason why many of the songs I choose are in this playlist. In fact, this playlist is titled, “Focus” in my Spotify. I often get distracted when there are songs with lyrics or high, upbeat melodies. That’s why many people find it strange when they look at my playlist. Most other people have at least songs with lyrics that helps them study for finals. Though I make a few exceptions. One song that has lyrics which I don’t really count as singing, but it is words. It’s the song “Now We are Free” by Lisa Gerrard, which is the famous song in the movie Gladiator. It has some Latin singing chorus that doesn’t seem to bother my mind when I’m focusing and trying to either do homework or study for a test. All of the songs I have on the list are only on the playlist if they are tested and shown that they don’t distract me. My third song is “Chronos” by Mark Petrie. I chose this song because my whole playlist isn’t just these low dragging, sort of depressing songs that I listen to when I study. This song is one of the many songs in this playlist that are considered “epic.” Now when epic and orchestral music are said in the same sentence, most people are going to think of Two Steps from Hell’s famous song “Invincible.” This is also one of the many epic songs that help me focus when studying for big subjects like chemistry or biology. Now to get the full spectrum, I have a few “happier” songs that I like to listen to when I study. One such song is the song “Up is Down” by Hans Zimmer. This is a song from the movie Pirates of the Carribean. I like this song to add some variety in this playlist so I am not listening to the same things over and over again. I think I can count this song as in a “Happy” song where it is more on the upbeat side but not enough to distract me from my work.

Overall, my playlist for “Dead Week” consists of primarily orchestral songs performed in movies like Inception, Pirates of the Carribean, or Gladiator. I find all of these songs very nice to study with and it helps me stay on task. “Dead Week” can truly be a hard week of studying and preparing for finals, but with music to help you focus, time can fly by while you study.

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Freedom Writing

Throughout the year, I feel that my writing has improved in a way that high school hasn’t prepared me at all. High school teaches you to have these organized, 5 paragraph essays with a whole skeleton structure and all of it goes straight to the teacher. Thus, as time goes on, you start to write like you are writing to the teacher. It becomes a mask of who you really are and your personality in your writing. In a way high school writing constricts your writing. Though it does give you the basics since you still need the organization skills to make a coherent piece of writing. At the start of the semester, we started with a blog about how gender roles influenced the music we hear and listen to today. I made a blog about it and wrote some things I believed in. Though even though it was my first attempt at trying to not write like a highschooler to a teacher, it was still very evident in my writings. As I look further on, I see that my writings have gradually become more “free” if you could call it that way. It was more informal but in a good way. It wasn’t a strict rubric essay where I was looking at a checklist to make sure I had the things I needed in my essay. Though I needed to talk about a certain topic, I wasn’t constrained by much. This is the way writing is most fun I believe. Free writings is the best because it lets the imagination do the writing instead of the brain after a long day of school or a night of no sleep. I have seen when I read back into my blogs, it is easier for me to read them and be more captivated because it doesn’t have the formalities of high school. Overall, blog writing I think has helped me do this and become a more “free” writer.

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Gender Role and Sexuality…with Miley Cyrus

University of Maryland’s newspaper post, The Diamondback brought up the ever so popular topic, Gender Roles and Sexuality. Miley Cyrus is one the best examples in this case. She has easily become one of the most talked about people in the world ever since her music videos of twerking. Especially with her music video of her song, “Wrecking Ball,” where she is literally naked and clinging onto a wrecking ball. These series of events really has shown what the music industry has become and is turning into within the last decade. Famous music artists use to be all men. Now, with people like Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, and Selena Gomez, we are beginning to see a more female dominated music world. And with that, the topic of gender roles and sexuality come into light.

First, the huge issue is gender role. It came up with feminists was Miley’s performances around the world. With her scandalous clothing (if that) and her twerking, she has outraged even women who aren’t identified as feminists. Many women believe that Miley Cyrus is materializing herself and other women; as a thing with the sole purpose of sex. Similarly, most, if not all of Taylor Swift’s songs are about how a guy broke up with her. Many women are distraught because Taylor Swift is defining many women in relationships as being depend on men. Rihanna on the other hand is praised for being able to take charge of her sexuality and even though her songs are controversial on its sexual nature. Now, even some women like Janelle Monáe are standing up for women and challenging the patriarchy in the musical industry with her song, “QUEEN.”

The issue of gender role doesn’t just restraint to women, but also to men. Artists like Rick Ross are under very heavy scrutiny because of many of the songs he wrote. One of Rick Ross’ songs, “U.O.E.N.O” talks about how he raped a girl. Now it may not specifically be referring to Rick Ross himself, it is just the fact that he said it. The idea of rape is that a man is completely dominant of a woman, it is never the idea that a woman rapes a man. This is sort of how many men want the music industry. They want the music industry to be completely dominated by men, not by women. And even though women aren’t dominant in the music industry, the changes are happening. Women are becoming more popular and both sides are fighting for dominance over the music industry.

Source: “Pop Music in 2013 Sparked Debates over Gender Roles and Sexuality.” The Diamondback.

http://www.diamondbackonline.com/diversions/article_ba553662-6391-11e3-a627-001a4bcf6878.html

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Men Background Dancers

The Washington Post covered a very interesting topic of gender and music with the music artist, Ingrid Michaelson. Ingrid Michaelson was known as a soft-spoken, indie songwriter. She had posted a multitude of music videos showing very surprising roles of genders. She made what people called, “gender bending” music videos. In her song, “Girls Chase Boys”, she has men wearing women’s makeup mouthing the words and being her dancers in the background. The music video was supposed to contrast a late 80s music video, “Simply Irresistable,” by Robert Palmer, just that instead of women dancing, Ingrid Michaelson used men. At first, I didn’t recognize the men when the camera shot was so close. The makeup almost completely masks the fact that they are men. The fact that they had chiseled chins, and muscles was the only discerning factor in the video for me.

Throughout the music video, the men are dancing like women, and from time to time, you can even see a women thrown into the mix wearing the same outfit and dancing like the men. You can even see a comparison in one of the scenes, where a man and a woman are lying next to each other. On one side, the woman is gesticulating seductively, while on the other side, the man is trying his best to copy the women, but without avail. Throughout the video, you can definitely tell, Ingrid Michaelson really wanted to put a point out there that people have a strange pungency to men wearing low cut shirts and dancing sexually while on the other hand, women doing it is fine.

For the actual song itself, Ingrid Michaelson herself said that in the beginning, when she was writing the song, it was supposed to be a breakup song. But then, it starts to become something more than that. It turns into a song about girl and guy relationships in general. Stereotypically, when you are talking about wanted a full on relationship, not just the sex, it is usually the girl who wants that; it is usually the girl who chases the guy. But in Ingrid Michaelson’s song, she talks about how both genders actually chase each other in the end. She believes that the “game” of love is not one sided, where actually, both men chase women as much as men chase women.

Overall, Ingrid Michaelson’s music video exposes a very intriguing point when it comes to gender. It seems that she wanted to show that when it comes to relationships, both men and women are the same and that they strive for the same goal: Love. That is why she dressed all those men up to look like girls.

Source: “Ingrid Michaelson Continues Tradition of Gender-bending Music Videos.”Washington Post. The Washington Post,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/02/08/ingrid-michaelson-continues-tradition-of-gender-bending-music-videos/

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Metal? Ohhh, you mean screamo.

Whether it was Heavy Metal or Light Metal, I just characterized the whole genre of metal as a genre with loud music, chaotic guitar solos, and lots of screaming. From my perspective, when people like music, they either like the actual instrumentals or they like the lyrics (ie: Rap). Thus, I personally didn’t know why people like listening to that kind of music. First, you couldn’t really hear much of the instruments because of all the screaming or growling and second, because the screaming and growling was incomprehensible.

Another stereotype that I gave Metal was that the people who listened to it were really weird and crazy. They put on really scary make-up and had really long hair for men. Often times when I think of metal, I think of the band “Kiss.” Kiss was infamous for their painted white and black faces and their spikey clothing. They also had really long puffy hair and they would head bang a lot. Other than Kiss, most metal bands wear either the same make – up or change it up with color or shape. I sometimes saw some metal bands wearing masks instead of make – up. Something that scared me even more is where metal bands would have these devilish costumes where blood would stream out of some fake body part.

Another very strong stereotype in metal is the exorbitant amount of screaming or growling. In my perspective, you can’t understand what they are screaming so there isn’t really point in even screaming. The screaming was actually the main point in which I didn’t like metal as a genre. It distracted me from the only thing I might be able to appreciate which was the instrumentals. It was also very loud. Now it isn’t the kind of loud that you can just turn your volume down though. It’s loud because in order to hear the instrumentals, you have to turn it up. I suppose I just don’t like the balance between screaming and instruments. Though I do respect that screaming is very hard to do correctly. Also, I realize that the guitar solos are one of the many trademarks of metal, and it is absolutely amazing with what metal guitarists can do. Though overall, I had a very bad impression on metal because of all the screaming and growling.

As far as gender goes, it thought only old, hairy, fat guys listened to it. I couldn’t even imagine what a women would look like if she was a metal fan. When I thought of the people who listened to metal, I thought of the people who rode Harley Davidsons with spikes on their cuffs and were not to be messed with. I could imagine metal concerts would be something a biker gang could go hang out at. I also thought that in concerts there would be like huge fights and mosh pits and that it would be totally chaotic. A place I wouldn’t really want to go to because I might get trampled.

Overall, my perception of metal wasn’t a very good one and I was very closed to the thought of there even being a meaning to all the screaming and growling. I didn’t really see anyone else listening to it, so I didn’t see a reason into investigating into what this genre was really about.

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Viking Metal? Do you mean swords?

Celtic Metal is often associated with Pagan metal, Pirate metal, and Viking Metal. There are a variety of metal bands that I personally don’t like listening to, but after listening to these, I could see myself listening to them even though I am not a big metal fan. Before looking into these genres I had many bad stereotypes about Celtic Metal or Metal in general. But most of them were proven wrong when I actually took the time to see what the genre was really all about and listened to it.

One of the largest stereotypes in my mind about Celtic/Pagan Metal was that they would sing/growl about evil beings and like it would be bloody explosions everywhere. In music videos I envisioned that there would be sacrifices and stuff about the disgusting rituals in pagan religion. The first thing that I would think when I thought about pagan would be those ancient Viking traditions I learned in high school. That meant burning people alive and doing some really weird things which I thought was what the Celtic bands would sing about. Thus, Viking Metal didn’t really appeal to me. I was proven wrong however because in music videos, much of it is centered on nature or a pirate ship. There is nothing about bloody sacrifices that I found in the videos that I watched.

Another stereotype was that it was filled with screaming and that there wasn’t much melody to listen to. Screaming and growling is one of metal’s main characteristics, so I was expecting it to be filled with it. I also thought since it was more a Viking and Celtic metal, the screaming would be more like battle cries or something a Viking would do. Even though screaming/growling is one of the main characteristics of metal, the songs that I listened to actually didn’t contain that much screaming/growling. As I looked at other songs most of the songs actually start with a melody of either piano or bagpipes.

Also, I thought that Vikings metal and Celtic metal was man by manly men. Whenever I think of Vikings or Celtics, I think of the movie Braveheart. Even though those two don’t actually relate, because one group is from Scandinavia / Gaul, the just long beards and hair is what triggers the connection. Though something to note, not all Vikings came from Scandinavia, so that is why I thought of that. The point is, I didn’t imagine that one of the first bands that popped up on YouTube was a band with a lead women singer. This surprised me first because she was a woman instead of a man and second because she wasn’t even trying to look like one. Now this might be because of marketing, but still, it is surprising there is a women as a lead singer. As time progresses, metal has progressed into having a lot more women in metal bands.

Overall, the many stereotypes I had were all disproved and I was stand to correct myself. I actually believe that I could listen to it because it sounds very familiar to songs I have heard before. If you take out all the lyrics, it sounds like music from video games like Halo or Skyrim which all have very big fan bases. Thus, I feel that you should never set your mind into the stereotypes people set because many of the times, they aren’t very true.

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