Pop Punk and Bad Feminism

I found an interesting, and quite true read on the misogyny that’s evident in pop punk, and the kind of boy’s club that surrounds the genre. As the article mentions, there’s a similar love that many fans have towards the music that is explored in Roxanne Gaye’s Bad Feminism and rap lyrics, where many girls and women find enjoyment from the genre, despite the fact that many of the songs outright state how much a girl has ruined this poor boy’s life from her slutty-ness, despite the fact that this girl was never in a relationship with the boy in the first place, but I digress. I will admit I am one of them, the genre appeals to me in it’s energy and sound, and there are plenty of bands that find their way through the scene without laying blame on all their issues on the girlfriend they had in year 7. The misogyny is also explored in a blog post by Powered By Girl, where the issue of men quite literally forcing women out of the space by pushing and bashing them out of mosh pits for having the audacity to ruin their bro culture (something I’ve experienced personally). This isn’t anything new, of course, we’ve seen it before in 90’s Hardcore, which sparked the Riot Grrrl movement, so I’m warming up the pop corn for when Riot Grrrl wave 2 comes along.

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A Post About Fashion, Because Why Not

Recently I’ve been spending way too much time on Le Happy, a fashion/beauty blog that I found through Instagram. It’s been making explore the way that fashion and music intertwine these days. Each genre of music has its own style that’s synonymous with it, like plaid and studs for punk. Lately thought, we are living in a sort of post-fashion world where a blogger can have just as much influence that a fashion house can have on someone’s way of dress. Everyone can find their favourite piece of clothing at an opp shop and no decade is too old, or too recent to be used. To me, it just seems like another creative outlet that can be used to further someone’s image or career, which is great.

Songwriter’s Block

So lately I’ve fallen into the routine of coming up with a concept of a song I like, almost finishing it, opening Logic on my laptop, setting up mics and such, and then just losing all motivation to record it. It’s not coming from a lack of focus, because I can spend 3 hours on a singular chord progression. I think it’s coming partly from laziness, and partly from a fear of not being able to translate what I can hear in my head to something a little more tangible (as tangible as music can be). I think what I need is to find more people to bounce my ideas off, so I can hear a full band version of the songs I write before I try to record them one instrument at a time, alone in my studio.

Joan Jett

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Here is a screenshot of one of the many blurry concert footage videos I’ve watched on Youtube of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. One of my biggest influences, Joan Jett has been a pop culture icon since her days in the Runaways in the mid to late 70’s. She said a big ‘Fuck you’ to every record label that knocked her back when she formed the Blackhearts and sent out demos, which included the songs ‘I Love Rock’n’Roll’ and ‘Bad Reputation’. Instead of “losing the guitar” to help get herself signed, she sold records out of the back of her manager’s car, and using his daughter’s college fund to help Jett’s record and touring.

Very few people have come close to the je ne sais quoi that Joan Jett holds (maybe Kristen Stewart got close in the Runaways film, but that’s an entirely different blog). Moving between rock ‘n’ roll and punk Joan Jett has influenced many bands, and generations of girls to pick up guitars and sing songs that people told them they shouldn’t.

But what can I say about Joan Jett that hasn’t been said a thousand times before, and what does it have to do with this blog and Networked Media? I can answer one of those questions, and probably bullshit my way through the second. Are you ready? Let’s go:

Joan Jett reminds me that the music that I create doesn’t have to be the most complicated prog rock meets psychedelic baroque’n’roll masterpiece in the world in order to make it good and get people to listen to it. So many Blackhearts songs are three or four chords, a simple rock beat and a lot of grit in the vocals, and they sound amazing. The same thing has applied to many a popular band, let’s take Green Day for example, they have a similar song writing style, and have been one of the biggest bands that came out of the Cali punk rock scene of the 90’s. In terms of Joan Jett’s relation to Networked Media, she’s a shining example of the fact that sticking to your own style or voice will gain you a following that much more passionate, as well as a longevity that wont fade out because you chose to follow the current trend, ie, blogging about what you want to blog about, not just what’s popular or what’s clickbait.

Joan Jett wasn’t the first woman to play guitar like a god (all hail Sister Rosetta Tharpe), and she wasn’t the only woman in the music industry to break down every wall that was put in front of her ( the roll call includes Brody Dalle, Courtney Love and Kathleen Hanna to name a few), but her influence on everything from music to fashion (the ‘Joan Jett’ is a term used for hairstyles, makeup looks and outfits in the wonderful world of the fashion industry) in pop culture is something that is an influence and a motivation to me.

 

Week 3 – Copyright and Creative Commons

 

Throwback to Copyright vs Creative Commons, because this has been sitting in my drafts folder for who knows how long.

I think there are both pros and cons to each method of protecting your own intellectual property. Copyright gives you outright control over what you own, and it’s not going to be a good time for anyone who tries to claim your work as their own. You’re also protected for the 70 years after you end up six feet below, so you’re estate can benefit off any success your work might have, and no one can claim your work when you’re not around to tell them its not theirs (unless you’re into haunting). On the other hand, Creative Commons gives others the chance to use your work, provided that they have permission, as a spring board to make something new out of it. I think for artists and creators, a license to be able to continue a story from one creation to the next (while still maintaining the correct credits) is a great thing. Imagine a world without covers — so many Spotify playlists would become non existent. Share the love, use Creative Commons.

 

Hootsuite

Hootsuite seems as though it would be a valuable tool for larger bloggers, or companies with several social media sites, as it would allow them to post the same message across many different platforms instantaneously, saving valuable time. For my own personal use, however, I find that it may be helpful in some ways, but ultimately I tend to use different ‘personas’ over each of my social media accounts, meaning that a singular post going to each of them wouldn’t necessarily fit in with the discourse of each account. For example, I rarely post to my Facebook account, usually only using it to like posts and message friends. On my Instagram account the captions that I post with each photo usually contain a non sequitur, or a sarcastic comment about myself, or my dog (such as using the caption ‘Gross’ under a picture of my dog, followed by the tags #growth #family #blessed #mummyblogger). I will also only use my Twitter account to post links to Youtube videos I have created, or to post comments and observations that I find wouldn’t fit my other social media accounts. Hootsuite does offer the ease of use of having all my streams in one place, meaning I don’t have to swap between sites and apps, which is helpful, but again, I think that it would be more useful to someone who uses a singular voice across most or all platforms.

Networked Media and Music Sharing

I think one of the most useful things I can gain from this course is the ability to broadcast my thoughts and voice about the topics that interest me, gaining a following that I can share my music to. I’ve found this with my band’s page, and have seen this with every single band that’s ever had an Instagram ever, often the easiest way to gain a following is follow a large number of people yourself. This can be effective in some cases, but often you’re not going to gain a network of like minded people. Follower count doesn’t always equal follower-ship. Through blogging, however, I think that people can find people who have similar ideas and opinions as me, as well as like similar genres, creating myself a network that will be more responsive than just a ‘follow me back!’.

I’ve found this with the blogs that i have followed when I’ve actively sorted out something that interests me. Whether they are music news sites where I get updates about bands and festivals, or a Youtube vlogger that I find interesting. I find that I’m much more inclined to interact with, like, comment, or follow links from these blogs and sites, as apposed to liking a picture from a band that followed me on Instagram and then completely forgetting about them.

Week 5 Class Exercise

Reading stories online:

When falling through the living room ceiling, you may find yourself in the middle of the story with no context as to where it began, and no clue as to where it ends. Following links through posts and from searches can do this to you. You might find yourself for instance, reading through a news story about the current state of a political fued, without knowing where it started. Or you could find yourself at chapter 3 of someone’s story that they’ve published, reading about a character who you have no idea about in a situation with no explanation. You might even find yourself following links through your Youtube recommendations, where you click on a web series or series of vlogs and find yourself in the middle, and with no context as to what the series is and where it is going, or even finding yourself on a ‘Making Of …’ video without having seen the actual finished product.

Following the stories:

The first story I followed started at the She Shreds Magazine blog. I then followed a link to a band – Slothrust’s bandcamp page. From there, I found a link to a venue’s page on Songkick from a show that they had played there. From that page, I found a review to a gig that Highly Suspect played, which is interesting, because I gained no context as to how these two bands are related. The links ended there, what a journey.

The next story I followed started at Panic! At The Disco’s Wikipedia page. I followed a link that lead to the Wikipedia page for ‘Pop’, which then lead to a link for the ‘Verse-Chorus Form’ page. I then followed a citation link to a site with an article on “Rockin’ Out: Expressive Modulation in Verse-Chorus Form”. This then lead to a few more links to other citations further down the page. I then found a link to another blog that explored the “Sensitive Female Chord Progression” in music, which is apparently a thing, and from there I found another link to an article on the same site that taught me how to easily find if a song uses the sensitive female chord progression.

 

Over the break

After a short holiday from Uni that felt like it went for twice as long as it did, I managed to start on some new projects for my own music. I took a step back from writing for my band and dived into a blusey-er genre in order to up my motivation. While I never managed to do a complete recording and mix of these songs, I think that it helped me to approach my writing in a different way, instead of the usual Blink 182 inspired play-four-chords-that-sound-good method that I use for my band.

Week 2 Reading: Network Literacy

I think that this week’s reading brings up a good point about being network literate, as apposed to just computer literate, as understanding how blogs and other social media work, and knowing how to use them to their highest potential can help you to reach a wider audience and connect with more people. I especially think that the use of tags in networked media is important, as it helps people to sort through everything on your blog easily and find the things that are relevant to them.