Emerging Self-deluded Artform

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Form vs. Style 3: CanCon

You may not have known, but there are strict rules for any AM and FM radio station in Canada to play Canadian music. 35% of music broadcast 6am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, must be Canadian. What is Canadian music? I fulfils 2 of 4 criteria: composed by a Canadian, performed principally by a Canadian, produced or performed in Canada, and lyrics written entirely by a Canadian.

Principally, this promotes Canadian musicians who would not normally get a chance to break into music rotations filled with top 40 hits. Luckily for us, the CanCon program leads to some excellent, largely independant music that we would never otherwise hear. The Tragically Hip, Rush, Nickelback (puke!), Sum 41 and others have all benefitted from this program, bringing them international success. Others like Hot Hot Heat, The Marble Index, The Dears, Billy Talent, k-os (and the whole entirety of Canadian hip-hop) are just now coming into their own. It's a little shocking that government regulations could work out so well.

So, if you're looking for a great, new band, do one of two things: 1) check out BvO's entertainment index (which needs to be updated, by the way) 2) keep an ear on your radio for new Canadian artists, or check The Edge's top 30 for the newest rock bands to make it big.


Form vs. Style 2: Style 1 - Form 0

What exactly do I mean by style, and why is it so bad? Well, "style" in this context is pretty much exactly what it sounds like... the way a group or individual artist dresses, acts, dances and in all other ways portrays themself to the public. This is not inherently a bad thing, of course. However, when popular, public music is concerned, STYLE becomes the product of public relations companies, tight clothes and flashy videos, and also the defining factor for success. No Strings Attached, given to the world by N'Sync, sold more albums than any other before it, not because they were talented, or because the songs that had been written for them were inspiring, but because millions of young girls had fallen in love with Justin Timberlake.

Let's consider The Black Eyed Peas. Anyone who's seen their videos or interviews know that they have style... hot style. More power to them. When they first came onto the music scene in 1998, they tried to show people that not all West Coast hip-hoppers were obsessed with bitches and gettin' paid. They quickly gained street cred, and moderate success, but after two albums, they hadn't made it big time. Enter the eye candy. Read on...

Fergie = $ Posted by Hello

Stacy Ann Ferguson, now know as "Fergie", joined BEP for their 2003 release Elephunk. I defy you to find one video or picture were her surgically enhanced attributes are not prominently featured. But, wouldn't you know it, BEP suddenly became the hottest band of the year! All the girls wanna be like her, and all the boys wanna be with her. It's no secret that hot women sell records. The tragedy is that these guys were, an in some ways still are, a real and talented band, but they sell their records because of slick clothes, even slicker marketing and a hot chick in tiiiiiiight clothes. Style 1 - Form 0.


How old are your books?

Probably not as old as mine... Courtesy of my parents and brother Derek, I am now the proud owner of "Laurel Leaves," a book of American and British poetry published in 1888 and the full compilation of John Keats' poems, published 1908. This in addition to a group of lectures on Shakespearean tragedies, published 1948, and The Rolling Stone Album Guide, which reviews and rates more than 10,000 albums. All told, I got nearly a meter's worth of books, measured by total width. I guess it'll be a busy week. That said, my new album guide has inspired me to continue with the "Form vs. Style" series I had intended to post. More on that later, I suppose.


Blast from the past

I was planning on posting something worthwhile, but I can't find what I had written down. Until then, here's a little something from those dark days when they let BvO and I muddle around with the Crown.

Posted by Hello


"Shut up! You don't know her like I do!"

So, how cool is my brother Derek? Pretty cool. He gave me the 1st season of Buffy on dvd for my birthday. Laugh all you want... I refer you to the title.

Happy Birthday to me... Posted by Hello


Form vs. Style

My Big Brother Mark and his girlfriend came to town this weekend, visitting in anticipation of my upcoming birthday. Good times all around, especially the tasty, tasty dinner. Of special note was the double cd they gave me; Exit and Joyful Rebellion by k-os. Now, I won't even pretend that I'm deep into the hip hop scene, but I've been a fan of k-os for several years now, and am gaining respect for more and more of the true artists of hip hop (more on that later). He has some fantastic views on art and music. Read on...

Posted by Hello

"Considering the importance and emphasis on style in hip hop as of late, it would do us well to question and investigate the relationship between STYLE and FORM. In music we could classify FORM as tone... where for example, the sound of the drums from a song like... let's say The Bridge is Over by KRS-1, just the tone and sounds of those drums communicate a certain beauty. Even the voice and the overall syncopated sentences have a specific tone or FORM... and that's without intellectualizing the lyrics. Added to that is the delivery of verse that could be considered the style. However, even if one disregards that emcee STYLE and its very specific "charm" the peice can be taken in for the sheer beauty of it's FORM, that is... how it sounds from the periphery.

There has been a certain unforeseen circumstance developing ever since STYLE began to define hip hop, and then started casting its shadow on substance or FORM. When a listener comes in contact with hip hop as it is today, the stylish videos and perpetrated lifestyles, they fail to consider that this current trend is a gross evolution of the original artform. To compete, the more introspective emcees, ones with more substance and FORM, feel like they have to incorporate the styles of current trend to survive. When they do, their message becomes diluted. They are accused of hypocrisy and noted as contradictory. It's a sticky situation, because the audience has already been over stimulated by STYLE and when a "more pure form" of hip hop is presented to them it can seem bland, boring, preachy and basically less fun..."



From henceforth I shall try to keep offensive pictures to a minumum. Perhaps this is a chance for my own perseonal growth. What I find amusing may not be for others. My humblest apologies.


Fun with Palindromes!

Ned, go gag Ogden.

Red rum, sir, is murder.

Don't nod.

Too hot to hoot.

Was it a rat I saw?

I saw desserts; I'd no lemons, alas no melon. Distressed was I.

See, words can be fun too! Or at least moderately entertaining for a little while. Anyway, I just think palindromes are neat. Oh, and our basketball team is now 4-0 after pulling out a close win against Tyndale on Thursday night. I finished the game with an impressive 0 points... but's it's all about the team, right? It was a crazy, exciting game. Now we have an extended break in order to write exams and go home for Christmas and such.

Speaking of Christmas, I'm impatiently waiting for the first real snowfall. It really isn't the same when everything is brown and ugly. All I want for Christmas is to be able to jump off my roof into a snowbank.


The hunt

This one's for Dan. Posted by Hello