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Author Archives: adam

A hip hop debate

From: Steve Ramsey Date: 24/10/2015 To: Adam Rowden Subject: Hip Hop My mental picture of hip hop involves people who have been worn down by poverty and discrimination and lack of opportunity and the low value put on life in their neighbourhoods. They become disillusioned and despairing and nihilistic and angry. So they make music which reflects that. It’s in-your-face and ...

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Good musicians, bad linguists?

I know this English girl who once, on holiday in France, stopped someone and asked for directions by saying: “Excusez-moi – Marks and Spencers?” Which I think sums up the stereotype about English people and languages. I’m convinced it’s true, and I have a theory about it. I’m learning French, or trying to, and find that some words are easier ...

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Going on too long!

I saw Bryan Ferry live last week, and it was rubbish. It was worrying, actually. I should point out that he sold out the Brighton Dome, got two standing ovations, and had dozens of fans crowding towards the stage for the last few songs. The audience generally seemed delighted. But they were wrong. Ferry had one of the greatest pop-music ...

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Why you shouldn’t discount U2 – The case for the defence

There is certainly a long list of reasons why U2 deserve people’s contempt. There’s the fact that they moved the base of their operations from Ireland to the Netherlands to pay less tax. There’s the story of Bono buying his favourite hat a seat on a plane after he left it behind somewhere. There’s the fact that their grasp of ...

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A new era of wordsmiths

The great Bard once said, ‘I feel like I’m too busy writing history to read it’. No, Shakespeare didn’t have the self-belief to come out with it, instead the poet’s modern day incarnate, Kanye West proved his way with words through that one liner. Fortunately, a survey by Musixmatch has got Kanye’s back, with the results showing that the rapper ...

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Carly Rae Jepsen: A role model in modern pop

As a kid growing up in the 90’s pop music was full of boybands, girlbands, terrible fashion sense and Aqua, and the only way the word ‘highlight’ would get involved in any conversation about the decade would be in describing a lot of the artists’ hair. It wasn’t the best follow up to the 80’s – arguably the best decade ...

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The weird and wonderful music of Vyacheslav Mescherin

In 1957 in the Soviet Union, Vyacheslav Mescherin founded the Ensemble of Electro-Musical Instruments, which created some of the most interesting, entertaining, funny and at times irritating music that I have ever been lucky enough to stumble upon. I am writing this today because I really do feel that more people should listen to this music. Not all of you ...

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Guilty Pleasures: why you should listen to The Proclaimers

First off, a disclaimer. I am of the belief that you should not feel guilty about liking a particular kind of music, of enjoying the output of specific bands, of playing certain tracks again and again. Only when you start forcing your taste on others can it be problematic. That, and if the artist in question has some ideologically questionable ...

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Fifty Shades of Live Music

In the late 1950s, a couple of psychologists created a fake sex-discussion group, which was ‘deliberately designed to be as dull and banal as possible,’ as they later reported. ‘The participants spoke dryly and haltingly on secondary sex behavior in the lower animals, “inadvertently” contradicted themselves and one another, mumbled several non-sequiturs, started sentences that they never finished, hemmed, hawed, ...

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Joanne Catherall’s Mouthful of Turd

Interviewing musicians is like a game. The musician plays to win publicity for their latest tour or album. The journalist’s goal is interesting quotes. These will generally not be about the product being plugged. There’s a natural conflict. There are tactics a musician can use. For example, only granting 15-minute interview slots, which puts the journalist under pressure. Or hesitating ...

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