Video commentary part 1

1) this song is autobiographical of the lead singer of The Script and his struggle with losing his parents.

2) The artist is very somber and sad about this as it is a tear jerking subject.

3) this video is shot in black and white which lends it a sad tone, also the main singer is seen pounding a wall and crying throughout the video. Shots of concerts depict the lead singer standing arms spread as the crowd cheers.

4) The artist isn’t wearing anything fancy, he is shown in shots at concerts infront of thousands of fans which is a fairly unattainable goal for most of us.

5) This video is a good connection between the gut wrenching lyrics and the sadness of the song, the black and white adds to that as well as the shots of the singer crying.

Pop Music part 2

In the Billboard Top 100 there seems to be a repetitiveness to the list, yes some new faces pop up every once in a while, but for the most part the list is dominated by the giants of music. Drake, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Rihanna, Beyonce, and others like them. Also the list is predominantly pop music with more and more rap being sprinkled in and a few country songs. When a popular artist such as Drake or The Chainsmokers drops a new song or album that song is normally shooting to the top 20 and staying there for a few weeks until a new one replaces it or it dies out in popularity. The Chainsmokers “Closer” was one of the most successful songs on the Billboard Top 100 with 11 weeks at the top of the charts.

Pop music Part 1

Pop Music is the music that is most listened to now, it permeates the consciousness of America and is our biggest export. On the radio pop music is played and what is played on the radio is what determines what is pop music, the DJ’s on the radio have an immense amount of control over what becomes the “Next Big Hit.” Shows like the Daily Countdown with Carson Daly have a section where they play songs that the host likes and this “suggestion” is what fuels the next month of pop music. What makes pop music pop is that it is by definition popular so it has to appeal to a broad and diverse audience so most of the music you hear isn’t by old artists and is more inclined to be from someone who has established themselves in the pop music world. The Billboard Top 100 has had a JT song in it for as long as I can remember, by virtue of this it is very hard for an unknown artist to make it into the top 20. This is a complaint of some people but most people who dislike pop music seem to dislike it because it isn’t like the music they grew up with. For example, I grew up with my dad listening to old 70’s and 80’s bands so I really enjoy music from that era, where as I am not a fan of more poppy music or rap music. On the other hand both of my siblings really like rap music which is probably from their friends.

Artist Interview

Part 1:

Martin, Chris “The Chainsmokers on Ruling the Billboard Hot 100 & Owning the ‘Frat Bro’ Label.”  16 Sept. 2016. Web. 27 March. 2017

The Chainsmokers, interviewed by DJTV, New York City, 5 Feb. 2014.

The Chainsmokers are a duo of 20 somethings that have taken the pop music world by storm. With their hit song “Closer” running on the top of the charts for twelve weeks. They describe their music as dance house, but more of a personal experience with the vocals so that they interact with the audience. According to their interview with the song “Closer” was actually Drew Taggart singing about an ex of his, this is an extremely relate-able experience for many people which could lead to its popularity. The beat for the song, according to co-writer Shaun Frank, was made in 30 minutes in the studio which gives a very personal appeal because the beat is more authentic then one that has been tinkered with for months and months. Both of these elements have rocketed The Chainsmokers to international stardom.

Part 2:

Song: “Closer” by The Chainsmokers

  1. The Chainsmokers are two guys in their mid twenties who live in NYC. They take most of their inspiration from past experiences which enables them to relate to their audience
  2. I first heard this song on the radio on KROC on the way to school and within a couple of days it was everywhere and I had it memorized in a week. I had originally heard of The Chainsmokers with their song “New York City” which I really enjoyed. I liked The Chainsmokers before it was cool!!
  3. Their music, specifically this song, is about life and how experiences shape us and they use their music to communicate this. The Chainsmokers seem to write mostly about breakups or bad experiences with relationships. “Closer” describes how a lover realized he was better off without the other but continued to do nothing to change it. Their more recent song “Paris” talks about how one part of a couple “don’t think that we could work this out” but stays and goes on to say “If we go down, then we go down together.”
  4. This song appeals to so many people because it plays toward a universal concept of Love and how it’s messy and hard and isn’t always the best. This is something that will always be around and relatable to by a large part of the population.
  5. “Closer” can be made to tell a story as it describes a relationship, but also as just a commentary on love.

Part 3: 

  • Who do you credit as your biggest inspiration? Why?
  • When did you realize you had made a mega-hit song?
  • How has your life changed since your song became so big? Do you enjoy the change?
  • With all of these big names wanting to collaborate with you how do you keep your music your own?
  • What are your goals for music making in the future?


Ownership in the 21st Century

Van Thillo, Christian. “Using Copyright Laws to Protect Free Speech.” 23 March 2017. Web. 23 March 2017

Some of the issues of “ownership ” in the 21st century are original content, and how to insert yourself in the story without just taking someone else’s original content for your own. In the Ted Talk we watched Mark Ronson talked about how he viewed taking someones content and adapting it to put his own personality in the music. “So Miley Cyrus, who wasn’t even born yet when “La Di Da Di” was made, and neither were any of the co-writers on the song, has found this song that somehow etched its way into the collective consciousness of pop music, and now, with its timeless playfulness of the original, has kind of translated to a whole new generation who will probably co-opt it as their own.” Miley Cyrus has made her hit “Can’t Stop” using lyrics from a song that was made before she was born. She inserted herself into the narrative by using it but completly flipped it around and you almost can’t tell that it’s the same song. On the flip side in the article featuring, ironicly, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars in their own copyright battle over Mars’ hit song “Uptown Funk” Mars and Ronson lost their lawsuit and had to pay the Gap Band royalties because of the similarities of the bass patern in the song. Ownership in the 21st century is difficult because of the large amount of digital media which is really easy to take from, and also from the fact that your experiences shape what you are so anything that you can create is based off of those experiences so is anything original anymore.

The Playlist

1) “Something Just Like This”-The Chainsmokers, Coldplay- 2017-pop

2)”Lord  Tullamore”-Carl Wittrock- 2001-classical

3)”Footloose”- Kenny Loggins-1984-80s rock

4)”Twentytwofourteen”-The Album Leaf-2004-edm

5)”Jupiter from The Planets”-Gustav Holst-2015-classical

6)”If You Could See Me Now”-The Script-2012-Alt rock

7)”Ophelia”-The Lumineers-2016-alternative

8)”Till I Collapse”-Eminem-2002-rap

9)”Monsters”-Imagine Dragons-2012-alr rock

10)”Centuries”-Fall Out Boy-2015-alternative

This music is representive of my listening. As an audience I receive pop, rock, alternative, alt rock, and classical music. My classical music taste is the most recent I started listening to it when I joined high school band, listening to recordings was a requirement and I found that I enjoyed the genre because it relaxed me. Alternative is a genre I like simply because it’s a deviation from the norm of pop music it surprises you with melodies and rhythms that you normally wouldn’t here and also concepts that are sung about are different from pop. I enjoy rock simply because I’m a drumme and the drums are always strong in rock music, plus it’s good pump up. Pop is just something I consume as part of the contemporary media.


Social Media Activism

Khan-Ibarra, Sabina. “The case for social media and hashtag activism.” Huffington Post. 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 March 2017.

Velasco, Hailey. “Six South Side Teens Spark Activism Using Social Media.” Medill Reports Chicago. 7 March 2017. Web. 11 March 2017.

In both of these cases the movement was started on social media, where their cause was posted and received thousands of likes/re-tweets in a very short period of time. Before social media neither of these causes, especially the second one, would have gotten very large. In the second article the teens created a daughter organization to BLM called Youth for Black Lives. They used Facebook and Twitter to reach a larger audience which in turn lent their cause greater credibility. In the era before social media if six teens wanted to be activists they wouldn’t be able to start a movement let alone be large players in one. The advent of social media has allowed anyone who has a cause to post about it and gain awareness. The big question is whether those likes/re-tweets turn into people at rallies or donations to the cause.