Friday, February 15, 2013

Shallow Rewards: The Hiding

1.) 2.) The podcast discusses how alternative artists appreciate having enough exposure to have their music enjoyed to its fullest by a specific group of listeners. On the other side of this, some fans of non-mainstream music chose to listen because the music is not mainstream. These teens prefer to keep their music private so that they have a place of belonging that is theirs because they have proven themselves by learning about particular artists on their own and only a small group of people with the same interests would be just like them. Additionally, he says that they chose to listen because they are intending to hide from the music that is mainstream rather than running away from it and because of this they do not want the artists their listening to become mainstream since they will no longer be able to hide. And if an alternative artist ends up being mainstream the fans end up disliking them for it and refer to them as being washed out and/or selling out. Likewise, alternative artists could feel exploited by getting the wrong type of media coverage that does not satisfy them in the way they were exposed. 3.) The podcast addresses issues in listening by exploring the topic of choosing to listen to a particular kind of music from a fan’s perspective. He explains that teens can strongly identify with certain artists because the artists are able to better express for them feelings that they cannot from lack of experience; so much so that teens can view such artists as being part of them which they do not want the artists to change by suddenly widening their fan base to include other people that they cannot identify with because they would be unmotivated to listen. Within this privatization of listening to music, he gives the example of being able to use other technological ways of playing the music as a way that alternative artists allow their fans to put in the effort to explore their music by remaining alternative rather appearing everywhere as mainstream artists which defeats the purpose of needing to make an effort to hear their work. 4.) The theoretical and cultural context being used to present and discuss the theme is idea of being a serious fan of something. He provides examples that he parallels to being a fan of alternative music. He centers this argument on the idea of its seclusion from mainstream music and equates it to fans being consumed in rare pokemon trading cards that are rare because the company generated so few of them. He adds to that by highlighting that in the cases of rare pokemon trading cards because of the artificiality based in the nature of their rarity they are not appraised at the same great value as a rare baseball card would. Rare baseball cards, he highlights, have their rarity based more on historical events rather than what the manufacturer is at present time doing to generate buzz around the item. The context does go beyond a historical and biographical documentary. Not only does he make personal connections to his youth, he parallels them to examples of similar activities that are being engaged in by the youth of a different generation, one of which includes the alternative music scene under discussion and pokemon trading cards. 5.) The video uses effective imagery in the beginning by demonstrating a term commonly coined by fans of alternative music, which is examined at length in the podcast that is to follow. The video sequences a cassette being taken out of its package, played and then put in the dishwasher and taken out all accompanied by a resonating one note sound vibrating in the background to emphasizes the actions being taken. The term he addresses by doing this is when music is “washed out” which happens when musicians make more sales, which is coined as “selling out” and they in turn earn more money and make more fans. The negative connotation that surrounds the terms “selling out” and “washed out” music is one that is based on the fans reactions/perceptions to the music’s gain in popularity. He addresses this perspective by stating that teen fans can so strongly identity with a particular music enough to see it as their own, so much so that they would only want to keep it to themselves and at their level, rather than sharing it with a million more fans which is when it can be over played and lose meaning to their older fans. He criticizing this reaction as being childish but he understands how teens can be so consumed in a particular genre of music as he had in his youth. He encourages his sort of listening, by highlighting the thrills he experienced in his youth of getting a record and privately playing his own music and enjoying it privately as a way to hide his listening interests from mainstream music as a way to curve out his own identity. 6.) I would use examples of clips of alternative music to serve as examples of the type of music he is discussing rather than simply holding up the cassettes that he was referencing. His eye contact throughout was extremely effective in that it exemplified that the topic in the video was of his opinion only and that he is a prime example of who is talking about and his serious expression translated to him wanting to be taken seriously which is all why he was effective. But instead of having the video focus on his eyes, he could have inserted images of what he was talking about in order to create more specific examples of his thematic focus aside from himself.

1 comment:

Trace said...

This effectively captures the main themes and contexts of the video podcast. This is obviously very closely related to your own proposed podcast. What will your own work add to this, make it into a discussion? Or will your podcast primarily repurpose some of these ideas about private music and the potential "stain" of going mainstream or becoming pop? Do you have in mind a culture of music that is substantially distinct from what this Shallow Rewards podcast discusses? And by that I mean, not just distinct in terms of topic, but what new thing will you add thematically to enrich our understanding and appreciation of emo pop?