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Fall 2011

NO MUSIC no

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If music is the food of love, p l a y on. -William Shakespeare

e f ALLOWED i L = c i s

No one can keep me from my MUSIC

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MusiCulture

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The bowl that serenades your pet

Available at your local pet store! 1

MusiCulture

Fall 2011


elcome to the MusiCulture magazine! MusiCulture is a magazine about a wide variety of music as well as the impact music has on the listeners. Inside you will find stories that show the relationship between music and the listeners. In our magazine, we believe that each equally influences the other. Check out articles like “Nightmare on Mainstream” and “In Exchange for Death” to get a better idea of that relationship. Each author of this magazine displays a unique and fanciful infatuation for music. Articles like this include interviews with theatrical artists and multilingual musicians. It’s not just the content but the design and artistic infrastructure of the magazine that create an overall spectacle unlike any other music magazine.

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Editor Biographies Theater: Where the Real World and the Stage Collide The Virtuoso Scan Here For Instant Access Exposed Nightmare on Mainstream

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15 CYE (Cover Your Ears) 17 Music With A Bad Rap 19 In Exchange For Death Creating the Perfect Pop Star 21 23 A Unique Form of Music 25 Music by Numbers How to be a Hipster at Half 27 the Price

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Demaree R. is very fond of her name because it can rhyme with a lot of different words and phrases. She has not yet grown out of her obsession for the manga Fruits Basket and probably never will (NEVER EVER EVER!). She also enjoys watching shows like The Big Bang Theory (which unfortunately no one seems to watch). Furthermore, (since this is a music magazine) the music she hearts the most is rap and hip hop- from the 70s up to the mid 90s. She could go on for hours ranting and raving about what she likes to call crap rap, which is, basically, the rap of today. On a happier note, she is also in love with bunnies! Please do not judge, but she has had a total of 38 bunnies in her lifetime so far. In addition she has recently been thinking of getting a light brown one, with dark brown pawsies, and wittle floppy ears, which she will name… Momiji.

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Shinjini R. is a partially insane bookworm with an obsession for music. She preys on her unsuspecting friends for literary inspiration, while simultaneously making everyone in her magical E-zine group laugh with her facial contortions. Among her interests (other than the obvious) are bunnies, sparkles, lame puns, and Panic! At the Disco. Not necessarily in that order. Her favorite types of music are 60’s-early 80’s, musical theatre type things, and jazz ballads.


Sahiti D. is an average 16-year-old who loves anything Japan related (anything and everything). She’s also a songwriter/singer (undiscovered) and finds the inspiration from everyday feelings. On most days, she hangs out with her friends at LASA High School and spends the rest of the day doing homework, but when there’s time available, she’s reading manga, writing songs, drawing, deciding on her new hairstyle, or listening to the music she loves. Sahiti likes manga, indirect lighting (sometimes total darkness), playing videogames, Pocky, Asian food, Hot Topic, and Japan-related aspects of life. Her motivation to keep moving forward is song lyrics that mean a lot to her. “Whenever I’m down, I always tell myself to “keep the faith” or other lyrics that keep me alive,” she says. “Keeping songs in my head drive me forward and hope for the best.

Elexus H is the Designer of this page.. (she would like to point that out right now since it took her FOREVER to finish it..) her hobbies are : drawing, designing stuff, listening to music, dreaming ofstupid music video remakes and Flash mob choreography. Her favorite band is Panic! at the Disco. (because they are awesome) Her favorite type of music are R&B, Rap, Hip hop, Alternavtive - Hard Rock. Also... Elexus is awesomer then those other girls in those bubbles...

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Features

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he curtain closes one final time, hiding a stellar cast of students from view. The audience sits quiet for a moment, absorbing what they just witnessed. When the curtain swings open again for final bows, the room bursts with sound: Clapping, cheering, and the murmur of many conversations. As the auditorium slowly empties the actors and actresses mill around backstage, congratulating each other on a story well played. At LASA, a school that leans heavily towards science and math-related programs, theater can best be described as a creative outlet for of a place to express themselves. Many students looking for a place to develop their fine-arts skills find themselves enveloped into this community-central program. Theater is an integral part of LASA, and for a good reason, too. “The feeling of hearing applause… It’s just like nothing else, it’s like nothing in the world,” says Alina Vega, a junior at LASA high school. She performs with The Alley Cat Players, LASAs acting group. “The passion of being on stage is something I love,” she adds. This is just one of the many experiences that young actors go through. “One time, Ms. A was working on the set right before we performed Sleeping Beauty, and she got electrocuted by equipment. The next day,

she had to skip school,” says Zoey Foley, a freshman representative of the Alley Cat Players as she tells me about the variety of incidents that occur in theater. Because of these occurrences, actors and actresses learn many lessons that carry through their other activities, not just theater. “I’ve learned a sense of community,” says Laura Austin, another member of the Alley Cat Players. “A sense of ensemble.” LASAs theater teacher and director has also noticed social benefits produced by her class. “I think my students learn how to deal with their emotions better because they look at how people deal with their art through the written word and through stage,” says Melissa Alexander. While confidence in interactions with other people is important, confidence in oneself is vital to success. “[Acting has] given me a way to feel more confident about myself, knowing that I can create something beautiful,” says Vega. Acting is proven to build self-confidence, social skills, and the ability to express oneself. In the workforce, these qualities are essential to being successful. The development of these qualities does not often occur in other non-liberal arts areas. Social benefits aside, there are many reasons why LASAs high school students love theater. “I like the escape that it provides, not only for the people that are watching it, but also being the person performing,” says Austin.


Where the Real World And the Stage Collide “[Acting feels like] a little piece of someone else’s world, which I think is refreshing to any human.” Another student, Noé Mina, provides another reason as to why he loves theater. “[The challenge of becoming a character] is just a feeling you can never get with anything else,” he says. Some say that art imitates life, but there is a much stronger bond than imitation between theater and life. “I think [a sense of community] is really vital to acting,

“” [I feel more confident] knowing that I can create something beautiful.

important. Sometimes, it helps to know that you’re not alone. “If nothing else, you can learn that someone else has gone what you’re going through,” says Ms. Alexander. LASAs actors not only love theater for the benefits it gives them, but for the joy it gives others. “The ability to [cheer people up with a play] is just something that has given me something to believe in, and is something that has made me more confident as a person,” says Vega. Theater is a wonderful place to learn and grow, not only as an actor, but as a person as well. At LASA, theater students know that they always have a place to go, somewhere that they are always welcome. By Shinjini R.

and also just to being a person, to being able to work with people and support each other, that sort of system,” says Austin. For some people, a sense of community is very

Images are credit of The Alley Cat Players

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MusiCulture

ustin is a city full of musicians, each with their own original vibe, but none like guitarist Tom Johnson. Unlike other musicians he doesn’t just sing the songs as they are, he translates English songs to Spanish, and Spanish songs to English. Nonetheless, like many things in life, there’s the right and wrong way to do things, as well as a great many factors, which ultimately lead to either fame or failure. Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, he grew up listening to his father’s Johnny Cash records, his mothers Neil Diamond records, and his older siblings classic rock CD’s. Tom recalls spending hours on end listening to these records as a child. When he grew up, he moved to Austin, and for the fun of it, decided to translate one song, “People liked it, so I kept doing it and I enjoyed it too. It’s good exercise musically and for Spanish.” There is something inside of every musician that triggers the want to be an artist, and most of the time it’s a role model. Tom has a grand respect for many artists (both famous and infamous), like Jimmy Page, the founder and lead guitarist for Led Zeppelin. sahd the artist whom he truly admires is Pete Townshend. Pete Townshend is the guitarist and songwriter for the band The Who, “He’s just a really amazing guitar player who, even though he’s not a virtuoso, is creative and resourceful, And I see myself similarly.” He said with a proud yet humbling resonance. A lot of thought goes into the songs he translates, “I hope they don’t think it’s just a gimmick, they tell stories”. The songs he sings are country, and singing them in Spanish (or vise versa) definitely adds the extra cultural pizzazz, something you need to see to fully comprehend. “Country lends itself to translation more than any other genre, because it’s so straight forward, it really resonates with audiences.” Being a musician requires so much more than knowing how to handle an instrument. There’s the matter of professionalism, a difficulty whish Tom is all too familiar with. “I haven’t been more effective in finding and putting together a band. Sometimes maybe I’m too sentimental; I want to play with friends, even if musically everything isn’t working out.” –stop, now doesn’t that sound familiar, “I enjoy fellowship, and I should be more hard-nosed.” There are important decisions everyone has to make in life that should be considered carefully, even in times of what seems like fun, like starting a band.

Fall 2011


Being a musician is a profession that leaves plenty of room and freedom for an artist to continue growing, new achievements and most importantly- goals. “I would love to be able to play music full time, spend more time writing become better on the guitar, and work with other musicians.” Along with freedom, there is the issue of perseverance. In a town like Austin especially, there are musicians everywhere, all with the common dream of sharing their art with the world. Even with the creative flare that Tom has, there are bound to be disheveled moments. “I went for about 5 years on the shelf, just frustrated with it, but, you just come back to it, it’s part of who you are.” Moreover, of course there’s the all the fun and games. Though Tom takes his career and style very seriously, a musician is an artist for a reason. “I translated Folsom Prison Blues, and even though it’s kind of a joke, I like that Gaga song Telephone.” When was the last tie you heard a guitarist, from Florida, who idolizes Pete Townshend and Jimmy page, sing

Lady Gaga’s Telephone- in Spanish? Along with the challenges of being a musician there are the glories, the things one can take pride in, the fruits of your creation, “I think I’ve written some pretty good songs, having translated so much maybe stands out a little bit, because it’s so unusual.” Combine a classic-translated- country song, ingenious guitar skills, and a voice that transfixes any and every spectator, and you’ve just witnessed one hell of a performance. “Really, for me, music is a solace from the difficulties in life, providing that to others with the right music is just fun.” The music industry is a place where it’s easy to lose yourself, “There are many obstacles to success in the music business, but one thing you have to be prepared for is that other musicians can be a challenge, you have to be careful who you team up with, it’s really great when you find the right people.” Upon the first sighting, Tom looks like a very shy, almost passive man with a guitar; it makes you wonder what he has to offer. Then you witness a performance, and in the middle of it, you begin to recognize the tune, so you lean in a bit closer to him, and the song becomes clearer with every strum of the sandy acoustic guitar, only thing is, it’s in a different language. In the end, you’re left with a small and serene smile that you share with the rest of the audience, and then you look again at the same person in awe, the one you knew for sure you could have lost in any crowd.

Art and story by Demaree R.

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Scan here for Instant Access A Peek Inside One of Austin’s Local Bands

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sually when people think about music, national-or-internationally known artists come to mind: Lady Gaga, Lil’ Wayne, and Rihanna just to name a few. However, that doesn’t mean that local bands can’t gain popularity. In the eccentric city of Austin, Texas, local music is always the next big thing. The city self-proclaimed itself as “The Live Music Capital of the World” due to its immense number of live music shows throughout the year. The purpose of these live shows was to increase the popularity of upcoming bands that introduce audiences to their music, and is considered a yearly tradition. This tradition proved effective, thanks to one of Austin’s local bands, Schmillion. Schmillion was formed in the summer of 2009 by a small group of students who attend LBJ/LASA High School in North Austin. Since their success, there have been several attempts to uncover the secrets behind it, but none of the band members provided any information regarding this. Until now. Meet Frankie C., one of the band’s guitarists. As an original and current member of the band, she was willing to explain Schmillion’s success and about the band itself. “With any band there’s gotta be a measure of luck and we’ve sure had a lot of that,” she said, “But we also make music that we enjoy and I think it carries over to how we perform. The most important by far are our fans and friends. It really sounds cheesy, but they really are fabulous.” In October the same year Schmillion formed, the band was invited by Station Identification to perform their first gig at The Parlor, a now-nonexistent pizza place that used to be on East North Loop Boulevard. “We actually had our first gig planned before we had all of the songs we were gonna play, so we were in a frenzy before hand.” Frankie admitted. “So we sat down and wrote, like, ten songs [to play at the gig]. Everyone we

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had ever met was there basically piling out the front door. We were so nervous we didn’t move at all.” This year, Schmillion updated their lineup; their old drummer, Sienna, was replaced by current drummer, Graham Bailey. “Just this year our old drummer decided to be a dancer, which is great and we totally support that,” Frankie stated. She said she met Graham in her music theory class, where he started playing on the drum kit that was there. “I was like… wow, we should get you in the band, since there’s an opening,” she said. “We did a coffeehouse [gig] last year and we were like, ‘Hey, you know what? Come be in this band.’” The change in lineup seems to have brought changes to Schmillion’s music, though the members themselves are still good friends. “Anytime you get a new person in a band, new ideas, new influences, so that really changed our sound. I think [our music] is always sort of evolving.” Schmillion’s schedule already started to get busy this year. The band just ended their participation in the Fun Fun Fun Fest in November. “I emailed the guy putting on the festival thinking, ‘We’ve been a band for a couple years now, so maybe he’ll just throw us in there.’ And I emailed him and he [replied saying] ‘Well yeah, sure. Come on in,’ which was not the response I was expecting, because we’re not a huge band. I wasn’t expecting him to say yes right away, so it was exciting. It was [also] really surreal, to be backstage.” Frankie explained. The band is working hard this year, with a wide range of events happening throughout their schedule. “We’re working on an LP* right now; we’re working on writing some new stuff, so we’ve got a couple of new releases coming out. Hopefully by the spring we’ll have the entire new album released.” Schmillion also received acceptance to SouthXSouthwest (SXSW) 2012, though the actual

dates haven’t been given yet. “[The people who work for SXSW] haven’t told us when or where [it is]; it’s very, very top secret,” Frankie replied when asked about the acceptance to SXSW. “But that’s [one of] the big, main things. We’re gonna try and get in some other stuff too.” Frankie also provided some excellent advice for those who would want to enter the music industry. “Just do it. Just find a group of people you like to be around and could possibly be in a car with for hours on end and if you do play an instrument already, great. If not, then teach yourself and learn from other bands. Advice for success would be to always be ready to make connections. Every show is important; you never know who’s going to be there. And talk to everyone and always have a CD or a card or something to be able to promote yourself.” By Sahiti D. *An LP is a “long play” record. LP’s are usually shorter than CD’s in play length but longer than EP’s, or extended plays. Here’s the general breakdown: Single: Usually 1-3 songs, single sided EP: Usually 4-5 songs, single sided LP: Double sided, usually 10-15 songs on each side


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Photograph by Gabby Watson and slightly altered by Elexus Hargis.

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A look inside the mind of Gabby Watson

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Fun Facts! • Seth MacFarlane (Creator of Family Guy), Bryan Konietzko (Co-creator and Exective Producer of Avatar: The Last Airbender), and Michael Dante DiMartino (Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Avatar: The Last Airbender) all went to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). • 96% of RISD alumni are employed in creative fields one year after graduation. • Watson’s favorite artist is Audrey Kawasaki.

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A watercolor picture titled Invisible by Gabby Watson

he smell of plaster fills the air. A table that was once a rosewood color is now filthy with water droplets and loose plaster. A pair of hands that are caked with the material, mold and sculpt furiously, accentuating every curve and bump. Every little flaw set in glorious perfection. Every twitch of a finger is deliberately made in just the right spot. The shape of a torso is apparent, while in the chest cavity there is a hollow center waiting for its hand to be finished and placed inside. The creator of this sculpture is Gabby Watson, a senior in LASA who is “just one of those people who just have been doing [Making Art] their entire life.” Watson has been in a fair amount of contests such as UIL’s Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), which she participated in while in her middle school years and in her freshman year where she was the only person from LASA to go to state, “I got to go to state in Houston which was

really nice.” Watson also participated in the Pecan Street Festival’s art contest in which she earned $200 for 3rd place, she also participated in a photography contest for the Austin Tourism Bureau, “I got an Honorable mention and I got a nice signed photograph from a famous Austin photographer.” She says. Though Watson has been in local contests, she still has not had a show of her own “No, I haven’t had a real show yet which is what I’ve been trying to do. I wanna have one before I go to college,” So she is studio searching for any spot she can find “I just started looking into studios where they will let me do it for free. Basically, I really, really want a show.” says Watson. Moreover, perhaps the best and easiest place to go studio shopping is the East Austin Studio Tour or EAST. The EAST tour is a week or so long even, where dozens of East Austin art studios open to the public. It gives the public a chance to buy some original, local art and it gives up-and-coming artists time to talk to some of their favorite local artists to get advice or just talk, which is something,


The Design of the Plaster Bust Gabby watson is working on.

sadly, that Watson didn’t get to do at this year’s tour, “we had car troubles.” Nevertheless, she is still spreading her talent as much as she can by using the internet and websites such as Facebook, Flickr, and Tumblr etc. She uses her Flickr account for her more “professional” stuff such as college applications to the Rhode Island school of Design and the Cleveland School of Art. She picked Rhode Island as her “Reach” school since it is renowned in the art industry for many things and the Cleveland School of art because they are one of the only school who offers the particular major she wishes to focus on, Biomedical Illustration. To be a Biomedical Illustrator means that you draw reference pictures of body parts for medical journals and books such as the various pictures you see in your science textbook. Why would somebody want to draw organs you ask? Well Watson’s reason is simple, “I always liked science but I never wanted to be a scientist, I’m not that great with math, yeah, so I could still do this it’s like the best of both

worlds.” And it’s also because her favorite thing to draw is “human bodies and figures and stuff like that but has some sort of scientific element in it,” Such as the plaster sculpture mentioned earlier which is a “bust [with the stomach and heart cavity] all exposed and a plaster hand is inside.” Although Watson has been working on his piece for a couple of weeks, she admits that she is more comfortable with 2D stuff like “colored pencil and watercolors, acrylic paint and I guess photography… Just traditional 2D stuff…” By Elexus H. One of four dresses made by Gabby for LASA’s Threadfare competition. This one is called “Lungs”

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Opinions

If

you turn on the radio and roll your eyes because the stations play the same old songs, then you must agree that things need to change. More than ever, genres that listeners don’t consider as mainstream face the danger of growing smaller and smaller, until all music sounds the same. In the last few years, the entity known as ‘mainstream music’ gained many artists. However, this growth cannot be considered their (or their managers’) fault. That’s right, readers. I’m looking at you. More and more, artists turn to mainstream music as a way to get popular. If we, as music fans, just became more open to different genres, the loss of individuality wouldn’t be happening at all. For example, let’s take a look at the band Panic! At The Disco. According to their discography, their first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, ranked as their least popular album. In a 2011 interview, the band stated that they tried a very different style in their second album, Pretty. Odd. so that the album would

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sound more pop than their almost theatrical sound. This album ranked as their most popular one, peaking at the #2 spot in the U.S in 2008. In the same interview, P!ATD confided that they would return to their original sound (although more suited for their ages) for the third album. This particular album would go on to be their second most popular, peaking at the #7 spot in 2011. Why is this significant, you may ask? Panic! At The Disco changed their style to gain popularity. Their third album (Vices & Virtue) stands as the main indicator of this fact. If the second album gained popularity simply because the band had more followers, then Vices & Virtues would follow the trend and become more popular. The difference in style remains the only other large factor that could contribute to this decline in peak chart positions. The deterioration of lyrical and presentational value represents another sign of the degradation of musical integrity. Artists often change attributes of their music to fit what the fans want. Lady Gaga embodies this idea


delivered in a much more meaningful way. In a stark contrast, her famous numbers encompass a mash-up of electronic instruments, catchy beats, and an almost robotic-sounding Gaga in the background. Look at these lyrics, and decide for yourself: The chorus of Wonderful, released in 2009: I really can’t believe I lost myself again Looking for something crazy Beautiful love and nothing now I’m talking in circles again Have my love, baby Are you hungry for wonderful ‘Cause I am, wonderful ‘cause I am The chorus of Pokerface, released in 2008: Can’t read my, Can’t read my No he can’t read my poker face (she’s got to love nobody) Can’t read my Can’t read my No he can’t read my poker face (she’s got to love nobody) P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face (Mum mum mum mah) P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face (Mum mum mum mah) Of course, both songs posses typical Gaga flair. Why should Pokerface be so widely recognized, though? By all rights, Wonderful has no reason as to why it shouldn’t become popular. Its release date came after Pokerface, so Lady Gaga already stood as a music icon. No, the main reason that Wonderful didn’t become famous is that listeners wanted a different style.

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Lady Gaga’s diversity remains well known, as does the music industry’s. At least, it should. With every musician that changes their style, the industry becomes more about the selling and less about the product. Music that advertises so-called ‘independence’ in reality sounds rude and immature; the dancing songs involve sex and alcohol. All this happens because we as listeners ask for it. Beautiful songs must suffer the indignity of faster beats just to fit the popular cliché. Producers look over unique music because it doesn’t sell. Granted, these musicians don’t need to change. Others might say that all fault lies with the songwriters because they produce the music. The only necessary rebuttal is that without fan pressures, the problem would never have arisen in the first place. Then, my opposition might point out that artists won’t become successful without giving the fans what people see as popular. Could a more inaccurate statement exist? Look at Elton John, Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles. These artists didn’t become legendary because they produced mainstream music, but because they sang about things that mattered. Their songs possessed true meaning, and nothing that modern musicians come up with can ever compare with that depth. If Kanye West, Justin Beiber, or Rihanna went to sing back then, laughter would be the only response. So you see, readers, our music depends on us now. Explore iTunes when you want new music, instead of immediately buying the latest pop songs. At parties, include music that your friends aren’t familiar with, instead of the same old tracks. Take action to save our music, because we, ultimately, control the fate of the industry. By Shinjini R.

These images are credit of flickr.com

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1. Lady Gaga Known for her crazy sounds, (Bad Romance, anyone?) she has a soft side that no one gets to hear.

2. Lil Wayne Singing about his home is this rapper’s MO. However, lately he’s been unsuccesfully branching into singing, rather than his normal rap.

3. Hot Chelle Rae Most famous for their catchy number, Tonight Tonight, this group tends to make more thoughtful songs.

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(cover

your

How auto-tune has ruined music.

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ears)


generation, lets face it, is totally tech savvy. Pick up you iPod and look through all the pop songs you have. Chances are, the most recent ones are carry an infectious new technology Time magazine has included in their list of “Top 50 Worst Inventions”. This horrible demon of software tore the true essence of essence hip-hop to miserable shreds, since it’s spawning in 1997, and it’s infestation through Cher’s Do You Believe? in 1998. What is known as…Auto-tune. Hip-hop originated in the crime infested streets of the Bronx in the early 1970s. Young adults who needed to be heard created a way, or an art rather, in which they could express their feelings and their views on controversies and issues happening all over the world. Flash forward about forty years and try finding that value in the hip-hop songs of today. Unfortunately, you can’t because now hip hop artists sing about four things more than anything else; partying, abusing substances, look-at-melook-at-what-I-have, and sex. If you look back in the early days of hip-hop, “Two Little Boys” was on of the biggest songs of 1970. It was sung by a group called “The Last Poets” and the song addressed discrimination of African Americans from the viewpoint of a small African American boy. By 1985, hip-hop had globalized and turned into a multi-billion industry including four key elements, the Dj-ing, the rapping, the break dancing, and the graffiti (please note graffiti functioned as form of pop art for that era, not to map out gang territories like modern graffiti, an argument for a later date.). So by1985 hip-hop was in full effect, but the music still held true to its original purpose. For example, according to Billboard.com, “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna stood as the number one song of 1986. Her song that spoke of

the issue of abortion and teen pregnancy. However, shortly after the auto tune boom you can see songs begin to transform from an array of topics to the four stated earlier. To list a few; in 1999 (only 2 years after auto tune cam into play) the number one song “Genie In A Bottle” by Christina Aguilera, in 2002 “Hot In Here” by Nelly, 2006 “Promiscuous” by Nelly, 2007 “Umbrella” buy Rihana, 2008 “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry, 2009 “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, and in 2010 “California Gurls” by Katy Perry. All hip-hop songs are sounding more and more similar. You can stick all of these number one songs into one of the four categories. Now all hip-hop songs are beginning to sound the same. A vast majority of hip-hop songs need catchy beats, use auto tune, and sing about one of the four topics. Hip-hop used to do so much more for listeners. It feels like more artists stress on who can out weird the other, rather than writing meaningful songs. Artists used to become famous by their voice and the way they expressed themselves through music. Rather than be unique naturally, you see a lot of copycats and music videos that try desperately to incorporate the “weird factor”. Since artists depend more and more on auto tune, their voices are “untrained” (for lack of a better term) which result in terrible live performances, which unfortunately consist of lip singing or bad vocals. In fact, Josh Tyrangiel from Time magazine says “singers are getting lazy” and he states, “Some of the best songs are pitchy in some places.” But when comparing the auto-tuned albums of, let’s say, Kesha and comparing them to her liver performances .The difference is painfully noticeable sound much worse because she is so out of practice. After her Grand Sierra Resort Performance, David Hegle said, “The song was stripped down and slow, and she’d make a big show of hitting electronic drum pads like they were a timpani.” It even looks like she’s trying to make up for the vocals by flailing around, which was supposed to serve as dancing. Or those awkward sounding moments where her straining voice decides to sing along with her auto-tuned voice playing somewhat in the background. Auto tune has developed so that it’s harder to tell their using it, but you can hear the difference in live performances. So while auto tune may sound “cool”, it has backed songs (or artists rather) into a small corner of the music realm, leaving no room for a broader range of hip-hop. “People are getting used to hearing things dead on pitch,” says Josh Tyrangiel “and it’s changed their expectations”.

Art and story by Demaree R.

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“Rap music is rotting our children’s brains!” is one statement I have heard too many times. I have also heard of Rock ‘n roll doing the same thing. But what evidence do they have? Kids acting out, parents losing their minds, the vulgar language used in the genres. At a glance, these reasons seem to be the worse things for a musical genre to do to our community but I disagree. How can you shun a type of music for the way a child acts if there are hundreds of thousands of kids that listen to the same music and act a whole other way? There are some kids who are exemplary citizens who are productive in their school and communities. I believe people who believe in banning these two unique genres of music are afraid of change in their households and are too weak to put an end to it in their homes without having people to back them up. It is usually these people who are trying ban the genre and they are ruining the music just because they think they are doing what is best for the world. Let me tell you why they are wrong: 1. Their Parental guidance is not showing kids what is right or wrong.

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MusiCulture

Fall 2011

2. Kids are responsible for their actions, not some kind of audio expression of emotions. 3. Rap and Rock have actually had positive effects on youth. Have you ever noticed how Americans never like to take the blame for something they did? This applies to some parents as well. I mean, as parents, they have control of what their children watch, read, eat, wear, and even listen to. There are such things as parental controls on television and computer. There is also a parenting idea that kids have “no privacy” which means they have the right to search their child’s room and confiscate anything they don’t want their child to have or they can search the room to understand their child’s interests (which of course can lead to fabulous Christmas present ideas!). Well what I am trying to say is, if parents have all of this control over children at their fingertips, why aren’t they paying attention to what influences their children? All kids are in control of what they decide to do. For example, if they decide to break a wall because their mad, it was them that


“

Rap Music is rotting

�

our children’s brains!

decided to close their hand into a fist and smash it through the wall, nobody can make them do that. Every one makes their own decisions every day, they can decide whether they want to follow rules or break them. Some serial killers listen to classical music and nobody tries to ban that genre.[insert statistic on what serial killers listen to] It is not fair to blame a persons actions on what kind of music they listen to. It has been proven that yelling decreases stress, this may be why teenagers are so attracted to these genres. Because most teenagers are going through what they believe to be the most

stressful time in their lives, so it is a nice, harmless way to relieve stress compared to the physical damage that comes frombreaking a wall with your fist or foot.

By Elexus H.

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In Exchange for Death The Impact of Jamey Rodemeyer’s Death Towards Music Celebrities and Teens Across the Nation

Photo of Jamey Rodemeyer, courtesy of the Rodmeyer Family.

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Freshman year of high school was supposed to be exciting for Jamey Rodemeyer, who had just entered Williamsville North High School this year. It was all about finally being able to grow up and deciding his future. However, he faced the torment of bullies wherever he went. Three weeks later, on September 18th, he committed suicide to escape the pressures of bullying. The day before, Jamey posted his last farewells all over the Internet on his Formspring, Facebook, and Twitter. The news of his suicide touched many hearts, including his idol, Lady Gaga’s. As a major influence in the music industry, Lady Gaga feels the need to address Jamey’s suicide directly, and wants to meet President Obama about creating anti-bullying laws that will keep bullying contained and at a bare minimum. Victims of bullying have a risk of falling into depression that worsens over time, which places them at risk for committing suicide. Since schools are aware of bullying issues yet leave the issue to grow, it’s reassuring that even a music celebrity wants to end bullying and supports anti-bullying laws that can reduce it. Though Jamey died from the torment he faced, in the end his death might evolve into something bigger that can help prevent teens from following his footsteps.


already carry. Without a doubt, bullied victims dealing with depression are at a higher risk for committing suicide. In a review conducted by the Yale School of Medicine, studies showed that in 13 countries, researchers “have found signs of an apparent connection [among] bullying, being bullied, and suicide.” The government website StopBullying.gov pointed out that “[i]n one study, adults who recalled being bullied in youth were 3 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts or inclinations.” It is also true that suicide is the third leading cause of death throughout the world, yet the death rate continues its increase as the amount of bullying increases as well. Even after high school, teens who experienced bullying carry their suicidal tendencies into adulthood. This may not be true for all once-bullied adults, as this is based of a study which included several participants with different lives and ways of overcoming the bullying they faced in high school. One of the most recent teen suicides, the death of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, spurred the idea of anti-bullying laws that may dramatically reduce bullying in schools throughout the country.

“Just love yourself and you’re set. I promise you it gets better.”

A vigil with family and friends to remember Jamey Rodemeyer is held outside Williamsville North High School in Buffalo, New York. Image Courtesy of Buffalo News.

For most people, bullying as an analogy is a chain reaction. It starts with taunting which progresses and worsens, which pushes the victim to depression. According to Bullying Statistics, researchers have found a link between bullying and depression. “The relationship between bullying and depression is not limited to face-to-face bullying,” the article states. “The Cyberbullying Research Center found that victims of cyber bullying were more likely to suffer from low self esteem and suicidal thoughts. They suggest further research needs to be done to see if low self esteem is a result of being cyber bullied or if it makes a person more likely to be a target of cyber bullying. A recent study by the US National Institutes of Health, reported by Reuters, found that victims of

cyber bullying showed more signs of depression than other bullying victims. This may be because cyber bullying can be more relentless and more frightening or discouraging, especially if the bully is anonymous.” Another article from Kidshealth stated “studies show that people who are abused by their peers are at risk for mental health problems, such as low self-esteem, stress, depression, or anxiety.” This is where the chain starts and doesn’t seem to end. For bullied victims, it’s hard to ignore words that sound hurtful and rumors that aren’t true. They also may feel that no one can help even if they send cries for help in any way possible, such as writing letters and messaging on social media sites. As victims sink deeper into depression, the chain lengthens and attaches suicidal intent to the burden they

Jamey began his high school career looking forward and hoping for the best. He knew he wasn’t the only one in the school; almost 20% of Williamsville North High School’s populace consisted of LGBT teens. Based on a recent (2009) study posted on The Minaret Online, “[an]early 40 percent of student in junior high are bullied, 90 percent of LGBT teens (of any age) endure some form of bullying.” This study, conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), also focused on high school students. The researchers reported that “[b] y senior year of high school, only 20 percent of the student body [was] bullied, while the number of LGBT students bullied remains at 90 percent.” Jamey’s idol, Lady Gaga, expressed her anger through Twitter messages just after hearing of Jamey’s death: “Bullying must become illegal. It is a hate crime. The past days I’ve spent reflecting, crying, and yelling. I have so much anger. It is hard to feel love when cruelty takes someone’s life.” Lady Gaga discussed her desire to meet with President Obama and assert her position in creating anti-bullying laws in another tweet: “‘I am meeting with our President. I will not Continued on Page 23

MusiCulture

Fall 2011

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Alternate Story Form

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MusiCulture

Fall 2011


1. Hair M’kay sweet babies, first off, every pop star has a) fruity colored hair or b) hair with a solid design

2. Facial Expression Most of the time they’re blinking at a dramatic and inhuman rate, or giving their best ROAR face

3. “It’s Conceptual” Clothes The outifts you just don’t have an explanation for, often times they are sparkly or exploding with a whole bunch of “WTF?” they like to call art.

4. Unicorns You know what they are.

5. Shoes This is important, the shoes can not look like shoes! unless of course thay are insanely tall

Demaree R.

MusiCulture

Fall 2011

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A

Form of

Music

e all know music genres like like hip-hop, pop, rock, blues, and alternative, but there’s a music genre that completely different from the typical mainstream genres: Visual Kei. Visual Kei originated in Japan, literally meaning “visual style,” which combines make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes. Of course, each visual kei artist within the genre has their own style. The genre itself was inspired by Western music styles, including glam, goth, and cyberpunk. Since its creation, visual kei gained popularity, now known as a worldwide genre. Many visual kei artists are well around the world, such as Alice Nine, the GazattE, D’espairsray, and L’Arc~en~Ciel. By Sahiti Dhulipala

W

Band: the GazettE

Band: L’Arc~en~Ciel

Members: Ruki (vocals) Uruha (lead guitar) Aoi (rhythm guitar) Reita (bass) Kai (drums, leader)

Members: hyde (vocals, guitar) tetsuya (bass, backing vocals) ken (guitar, backing vocals) yukihiro (drums)

Music Style: rock, but usually have more metal elements

Band: D’espairsray Band: Alice Nine Members: Shou (vocals) Hiroto (guitar) Tora (guitar, backing vocals and piano) Saga (bass) Nao (drums and leader) Music Style: Rock, with touches of pop, and a few instances of dance music

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Members: Hizumi (vocals) Karyu (guitar, backing vocals, leader) Zero (bass, backing vocals) Tsukasa (drums) Music Style: Hard rock, also with metal elements

Music Style: progressive rock, alternative rock, pop rock, hard rock, punk rock

Band: girugamesh Members: Satoshi (vocals) ShuU (bass) Nii (guitar) Яyo (drums) Music Style: Alternative metal, nu metal, industrial metal, metalcore, alternative rock


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2%

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MusiCulture

Fall 2011

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Plaid Shirts

can add splashes of color to an otherwise drab outfit, luckily these are easy to find. You can buy assorted shirts and colors at you local Dillard’s or Ross for around $5.

Faded Grey Skinny Jeans

can be found in any teen store such as Rue21, Zumies, Vans, Journey’s, and Hot Topic for around $20

Two-Tone Classic Grey Vans

Vans can add just a touch a rebelious skater-punk to your style and they are made to fit your personality with their many color and patterns. usually $60, can go down to $20 with a deal.

Fox Tails

These Keychains are perfect for that odd somebody you know! surprisingly, there are plenty of places that sell these. but if your looking for fake fox tails, you might want to try Aldo or Hot topic. $2 - $10

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Fall 2011

Assorted Bracelets

You can always just make these stylish thing or get them from friends or better yet buy them yourself. You can buy or get free wristbands from practicly anywhere. free - $5

Jack Skellington Reversable Beanie

You can get one of these babies at Hot Topic for $14



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