Posts tagged music

newsweek:

How a culturally conservative effort in the 1940s backfired to create the greatest engine of pop music in the world. 

Swedish Pop Mafia - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

A great example of how politics and culture interact, as well as the impacts of subtle differences in social policy.

newsweek:

How a culturally conservative effort in the 1940s backfired to create the greatest engine of pop music in the world.

Swedish Pop Mafia - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

A great example of how politics and culture interact, as well as the impacts of subtle differences in social policy.

npr:

The Mix: Songs inspired by the Civil Rights Movement
NPR’s Michele Norris gathered 100 songs for a special NPR Music Radio channel to commemorate 50 years since 1963—a pivotal moment in the struggle for equality. Listen to the mix here.
(Photo: Joe Alper)

npr:

The Mix: Songs inspired by the Civil Rights Movement

NPR’s Michele Norris gathered 100 songs for a special NPR Music Radio channel to commemorate 50 years since 1963—a pivotal moment in the struggle for equality. Listen to the mix here.

(Photo: Joe Alper)

From thepoliticalnotebook:

Heavy metal bands in Botswana….

“People think that we are rough, evil creatures, but [metal] teaches us to be free with expression, to do things on our own.”

- Vulture, vocalist for the band Overthrust

Check out The Guardian’s article on Batswana heavy metal bands searching for artistic freedom and Frank Marshall’s amazing portraits of them.

This is all kinds of awesome. 

Via thepoliticalnotebook:

kawrage:

Bakht Arif - Zombie (Cover)

Urdu cover of The Cranberries, with a great video!

Music, the universal language.

Talking about Polish politics. Thought I’d toss out some Polish hip hop. This is “O Tym Co Dookola” by RPK DDK, featuring Hipotonia.

Remember when hip hop was political, and could change the world? It still has that power.

Via politicalprof:

Worth saying.

ht: EE

The mixture of scholarly thought and hip-hop styles may sound like more of a collision than a blend, but the links between the two are very real. Hip-hop and academia are both deeply concerned with the generational battle, with the back-and-forth between the old guard and the avant-garde. Academia speaks to a community using its own specific vocabulary and voice, developing its own jargon, as does hip-hop, and both love the reflexivity of discussing their own discussions. Both cultures piece together their own original efforts with visible and audible inspiration from their predecessors and contemporaries. Academics quote. Rappers sample. Both collaborate.
Check out my piece in the LA Review of Books this morning talking about Arab diaspora rappers like Omar Offendum and The Narcicyst and the academic elements of the work they do. (via thepoliticalnotebook)
If you’re not yet familiar with K-Pop, let this be your introduction.
From theatlantic:

Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea’s Music Video Sensation

The American rapper T-Pain was retweeted 2,400 times when he wrote ”Words cannot even describe how amazing this video is.” Pop stars expressed admiration. Billboard is extolling his commercial viability; Justin Bieber’s manager is allegedly interested. The Wall Street Journal posted ”5 Must-See” response videos. On Monday, a worker at L.A.’s Dodger stadium noticed Park in the stands and played “Gangnam Style” over the stadium P.A. system as excited baseball fans spontaneously reproduced Park’s distinct dance in the video. “I have to admit I’ve watched it about 15 times,” said a CNN anchor. “Of course, no one here in the U.S. has any idea what Psy is rapping about.”

Read more.[Image: Reddit]

What Psy is rapping about, is a satire against the new culture of conspicuous consumption in South Korea. Which seems to turn the conventions of mainstream American hip hop (which today seems to be mostly about how awesome it is to be rich) upside down.

Psy hits all the symbols of Gangnam opulence, but each turns out to be something much more modest, as if suggesting that Gangnam-style wealth is not as fabulous as it might seem. We think he’s at a beach in the opening shot, but it turns out to be a sandy playground. He visits a sauna not with big-shot businessmen but with mobsters, Kim points out, and dances not in a nightclub but on a bus of middle-aged tourists. He meets his love interest in the subway. Kim thinks that Psy’s strut though a parking garage, two models at his side as trash and snow fly at them, is meant as a nod to the common rap-video trope of the star walking down a red carpet covered in confetti. “I think he’s pointing out the ridiculousness of the materialism,” Hong said.

If you’re not yet familiar with K-Pop, let this be your introduction.

From theatlantic:

Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea’s Music Video Sensation

The American rapper T-Pain was retweeted 2,400 times when he wrote ”Words cannot even describe how amazing this video is.” Pop stars expressed admiration. Billboard is extolling his commercial viability; Justin Bieber’s manager is allegedly interested. The Wall Street Journal posted ”5 Must-See” response videos. On Monday, a worker at L.A.’s Dodger stadium noticed Park in the stands and played “Gangnam Style” over the stadium P.A. system as excited baseball fans spontaneously reproduced Park’s distinct dance in the video. “I have to admit I’ve watched it about 15 times,” said a CNN anchor. “Of course, no one here in the U.S. has any idea what Psy is rapping about.”

Read more.[Image: Reddit]

What Psy is rapping about, is a satire against the new culture of conspicuous consumption in South Korea. Which seems to turn the conventions of mainstream American hip hop (which today seems to be mostly about how awesome it is to be rich) upside down.

Psy hits all the symbols of Gangnam opulence, but each turns out to be something much more modest, as if suggesting that Gangnam-style wealth is not as fabulous as it might seem. We think he’s at a beach in the opening shot, but it turns out to be a sandy playground. He visits a sauna not with big-shot businessmen but with mobsters, Kim points out, and dances not in a nightclub but on a bus of middle-aged tourists. He meets his love interest in the subway. Kim thinks that Psy’s strut though a parking garage, two models at his side as trash and snow fly at them, is meant as a nod to the common rap-video trope of the star walking down a red carpet covered in confetti. “I think he’s pointing out the ridiculousness of the materialism,” Hong said.

You Say You Want a Revolution | Foreign Policy

Awesome look at the political impact of “rock & roll” (for lack of a better word) and popular music, in comparative perspective. I’ve used examples like this before in classes, particularly Brazilian bosa nova and Bob Marley. But you can also look at contemporary artists, like the Arab Spring hip hop movement (especially in Tunisia), Chile’s Ana Tijoux, and even American acts like NWA and Public Enemy (remember when hip hop was actually about something?)

(h/t the good folks at Soomo for emailing me this)

Trying out the new Spotify “Play” button. I’m hoping to more frequently introduce pop culture elements into my comparative politics teaching with this handy feature. So I thought I’d start with this: “In Italia” by Italian hip hop artist Fabri Fibra. Btw, I first heard this song as background liner to an NPR Planet Money podcast about Italy’s economy.

If you understand Italian, you’ll appreciate the overt political & social message. Even if you don’t, you’ll get the gist. That’s the power of music—and particularly hip hop.