Author Archives: grineye

Mash-ups

Mashups is an emerging music genre that has created much debate in the music industry. The dictionary definition of a mashup  is a song or composition created by blending two or more songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the music track of another.

Well, there are multiple reactions to this specific form of music, and two of the most extreme comments are, “ultimate  post-modern pop song,” and “the logical extension of the  sampling fever of the ’80s taken to its dumbest extreme.”

Well, one very interesting thing about mash-ups is, because of its low profitability, it has somewhat of a punk-rock attitude attached. Mash-ups are in some cases, hardly considered a form of music, and so, to fight against such extreme opinions, the movement began to incorporate such rebel-ish image to promote themselves as a new form of music that is being oppressed by the existing music genre, as were hip-hop, rock, and punk-rock.

However, I feel there is much need of discussion as to whether mash-ups can be called a legitimate form of music, regardless of its movement relating itself with previously oppressed forms of music. The key difference here is that mash-ups are not made with actual instruments, which has never been the case for any form of music before that.

Yet, mash-ups do take enough skills and knowledge to create as previous forms of music. Although you might not need specific knowledge as chords or harmonies or syncopations, etc, you need enormous amounts of music database and a talent to instinctively tell which ones will go well together. The fact that there have been many successful musicians who have managed to create famous songs without being able to read music scores support this view, since they both created a great sound with only their instincts and talent.

I’m not going to go ahead and make a clear argument about whether mash-ups are a legitimate form of music genre or not. However, I, as a rock/post-rock musician, cannot simply say that mash-ups are a legit form of music, since there is no original sound involved in the music. I mean, sure you can make a distinct sound by mixing a rap song with an indie/alternative rock backing, but those sounds themselves were created by a different musician, and just simply taking those and putting them together doesn’t necessarily make a new form of music.

Well, it’s up to you readers to decide. The general consensus will tell us in the end, whether mash-ups will remain as a distinct form of music or not, as it had for jazz, rock, hip-hop and many others. My personal for-cast of the outcome is that mash up will remain a form of music, but a rather unpopular one, since it definitely has a great deal of limitations in its originality.

Sophie Project

I’m finally done… but for some reason mine couldn’t be read with the computer in the lab. Maybe it’s because I used a PC version Sophie to make mine. In case you can’t read the files and need another copy, I’ll leave this adress to download the file.

http://pages.pomona.edu/~wl012008/The Hive by Marshall Poe.zip

Long Tail

Long tail is a term that I’d never known before I read the article, but is a concept that I’ve known all along. It refers to a special nature of the internet in which inventory is basically unlimited. Threrefore, with the rise of the internet, even those merchandises, especially movie or music, that were not able to gain a main-stream popularity are able to survive on the internet. This is very important because, as opposed to the previouse concept of musicians and movie makers making  all or nothing, the unlimited inventory of the internet led to the survival of middle class musicians and the preservation of non-mainstream but musically sophisticated songs.

On the other hand, because of the unlimited inventory of the internet, major record companies are in a lot of pressure. Major record companies are extremely careful at this point, and they have generally changed their focus from selling albums to promoting live concerts.

Furthermore, the long tail has brought about a storage of a tremendous amount of digital media and entertainment on the internet that the copyright laws are also becoming more and more strict to protect the muscians. One social trend that happened because of this is that non major labels accept unsolicited demo cd’s any more. I’ve had a chance to speak with one of the directors in the Warner Bros Music Group and she told me that they do not accept unsolicited materials becasue it is so easy to get into a lawsuit due to the tremendous amount of music on the internet.

So, as you can see by now, there are both pros and cons to the unlimited inventory of the internet. The pros side is that it is now possible to preserve moderately successful but artisticaly valuable materials, but the cons side is that because of such a tremendous amount of materials being posted on the internet, it is just so easy to get into a legal feud. Therefore, it isn’t clear how it will eventually  effect the  music and movie industry. However the rise of Youtube and Myspace suggests that we will be able to see the outcome in a very near future.

PodCAST – Than and Dorian

Here’s our podcast.

We’ve used four songs in it: “My First Song” by Danger Mouse, “Set It Off” by Girl Talk, “Requiem” by Mozart, and “Intro Song” by Dorian Lee/Grineye.

Thank you.

Death of New Media

New media is such an ambiguous term. I personally think that the term “New Media” cannot possibly refer to one specific type of media, though it is mostly coined with the digital media and internet nowadays. Therefore, in this post, I will coin the term “New Media” with any from of the most rescent mainstream media.

Well, everyone must have a different opinion on what the death of New Media might be, but as for me it is the transition of it’s  status from being  a mainstream to yet another past memory to complete oblivion.

Now, you might think that I’ve just concluded my argument by saying that oblivion is the death of New Media. Well, that’s not really what I’m going to do here, although it is certainly very tempting to just finish and go to sleep right now, which is 5:00 in the morning. Instead, I’m going throw a question and try to answer it myself, though I know it would hardly be a complete and thorough answer. Is there really a complete loss of a certain form of media?

I highly doubt that there is such a thing. Although older versions of media might no longer be used, all new form of media are built upon the older verisons. Like they say, there is no such thing as true creation – everything is derivative.

A very clear example is the WIndows and Dos. Although no one really use Dos as their primary OS nowadays, Windows was built from the basics of Dos, so I’d say that it still survives, even though most of the childeren after my generation don’t really have any idea what Dos is.

Well, that’s my opinion, that there is really no death of New Media. All I could really think of was the Windows – Dos example. Now I’m going to ask your opinions about this question. I’d really appreciate it if you have specific examples. Thank U.

Cyber Rape….

What is cyber rape? Could it even exist in reality? Personally, I think it’s just a fabrication of people who were offended on the internet.   I mean, let’s just take a look at what rape is. The definition of rape is a forced a sexual intercourse, sometimed referred to as sexual assault. It is one of the most intrusive and offending action that a person can do to another. However, it necessarily involved physical contact for something to be called rape.

Of course, I’m not saying that rape is merely a offensive physical contact. It  involves a severe mental damage, and the psychological aspect of it is definitely a crucial part of what rape is. Nevertheless, (perhaps because I grew up with internet where all kinds of slangs were abused under anonymity,) without any sort of physical contact or real-life confrontation, I certainly do not think anything can be called a rape.

I can see why people might respond seriously to a lot of insults via messangers, blogs, or internet in general, but if you  understand the premise that everyone becomes extremely irrisponsible when they’re anonymous, you can kind of distinguished the online world from the real physical world that we live in. Although the lyricist for the Grateful Dead said online world is where we escape our physical limits to a complete and pure interaction of minds, it entailded anonymity. Then, anonymity obviousely brought about irresponsibility. I understand that such progress wasn’t so clear at the beginning stage of the internet, but now, as we are well  learned about  the evolution of the internet, it seems pretty clear that people will abuse materials and insult others under the mighty shield of anonimity, so we are not so traumatized as those who might have been in the years of lamdaMoo.

So, my argument is that cyber rape is something that could only, if it  was actually be  so traumatizing to the offended person, be applied during the earlier stages of the internet. Now, most people tend to think that whatever trash talk that goes on on the internet is mostly due to the abuse of the abuse of the power of anonymity by the so called “Keyboard Worriors.”

I guess such reasoning may only apply to me because I view internet as a source of knowledge than a place for human interaction. However, no matter how much of a jerk that the someone on the internet may be, you should try to understand that  anonymity can naturally bring about such actions. Once you understand that you’ll agree with me that there really is nothing so grave on the network  as to be called “rape.” All there really is, as far as random insults on the internet go, are some childish trash-talk of those Keyboard Worriors who couldn’t satisfy their  needs offline.

The Most Horrible Website

this is the address:  http://pages.pomona.edu/~wl012008/project.html

It is made so that it’ll form an infinite loop within three pages, and the worst part about it is that if you really read everything on the page, it will either brainwash you or piss you off up to no end.  

It’s really lovely.

The impact of emotional turmoil on musicality.

Well, it is generally known that many musicians suffer from some form of a major flaw, whether be it their characteristics, appearance or bodily functions. That is because people tend to hold on to, or obsess about their flaws more than anything.

Emotional turmoil, whether it be bipolar disorder, ocd, or etc, has even more impact on the artists musicality, especially because the creative process allows the artist to feed more on those negative emotions, and possibly suffer even more.

Well, though such a thing may seem like too much of a stereotype, it is very true, and as a more extreme example, it seems very possible why Beethoven’s greater pieces were composed after he became deaf.

The Pop music scene nowadays.

Now a days, the major labels are drastically losing their power. Because of the development of file-sharing and possibly Youtube, anyone can put their songs out in to the market extremely easily. Nevertheless, there is a catch here. The easier the general population can put out there materials, the harder (so much ridiculously harder) it is to have anyone care about what you put out.

Because of the increasing availability and diversity  of the methods to put your music out, an incredible amount of music is shown to the public every day, which cannot be possibly filtered through, due to the limitaions of time and perhaps, patience of the listeners.

Then how should anyone put there music out? Well, it resorts back to a more classical approach: you should focus more on gigs and other forms of live music rather than electronic distribution. Having some sort of boundaries is absolutely necessary for people to process information, but the internet completely disregards such restrictions. So if you want to become a musician, go out ther and play your music!

Internet – its representation of the basic human nature.

On internet, no one  has to worry  about any responsibilities over anything he/she writes or states. Because of such nature of the internet everyone freely speaks their opinions and sometimes it is extremely cruel, greatly  hurting  other people emotionally.

Furthermore, it seems that people feel more comfortable when they are in a group. People tend to find others who share the same interest and form diverse groups. Such behavior can definately generate specialization and a rapid flow of information which is a very positive cycle. However, on the other hand, it can lead to a crowd mind, eventually destroying or utterly disregarding the opinions of the few.

Now, in the 21st century internet is not an option but an inevitable part of our life. Also, because we can ascend from our physical restrictions and boundaries when on the web, it will be very interesting to observe the true nature of people.