“I listen to everything”

Every Noise at Once is a fascinating rabbithole– especially for us music-lovers in Radio, who tend to appreciate widely varying genres. It seems right now that my favorite music genres are punk rock, electronic, and hip hop (though I don’t know much about hip hop yet). Anyone could hear a song from one of these broad genres and say which it belongs to, but they would find the reason why a song is punk and not hip hop harder to articulate. Punk songs are characteristically fast-paced and often as short as 1.5 minutes, but many slower and longer songs are also characterized as punk. They almost always have rough voices which are cheeky or angry, stripped down instrumentation, and their lyrics are often political or anti-establishment.

Electronic music is an absurdly wide umbrella term (especially as all recorded music is processed by electronics in some way these days), but can be thought of as music with sounds that are primarily synthesized. If there are vocals and they are more in focus than these sounds, I would no longer call it electronic music. To be called “Electronic Dance Music” a song must have a beat for most of the song, and it is usually in 4/4. There are infinite subcategories of “electronic music” and of them I like many, and some not as much. The only electronic music I don’t like is the real “mainstream” stuff with a lot of vocals and predictable cookie-cutter buildups and drops.

A Brief Meeting with Renowned Actor Danny Scheie

ZilkaInterview (1)-xs8mq7

 

While taking his Introduction to Acting class and being shocked by his pure wit each day, I always wanted to hear more about this crazy man’s real-world acting experience. This unexpectedly serious talk does not quite do his humor justice, but it does illuminate the vast array of weird characters he has played. I highly recommend Theater 20 for anyone who can manage to fit it in.

An Interview with Quadroon

 

Hello world, Fans of music, Hip-Hop, and all things cool. Join us for some casual conversation, and light background music. I, DJ Robe, had the wonderful experience of interviewing a really bright young artist. Cameron Johnson aka Quadroon is without question a rapper. This man can really spit hot fire. He started rapping in his middle school days, and has really mastered his craft since then. In the interview we go over new things with Quadroon, talk about baseball, personal influences, and his style choices.

This 19 year old artist has really been keeping busy. In the picture above Quadroon was preforming last Friday at the porter stage. If you are looking to reach the man you can definitely find him on the normal social media sites. And, if you are looking to bump some music definitely check his Spotify. I personally like his one song BoomTrap.

Bangers En Español

Starting in the early 2000’s trap music has risen to prominence in the US with artists like Travis Scott and Future at the forefront.  More recently Latin trap has exploded onto the scene pioneered by artists such as Messiah and Arcángel.

Similar to American trap music, Latin trap also features booming 808 drums and relentless snares and hi-hats (see Un Beso Tuyo  by Juhn). Song content is also very similar, talking about things such as sex, material possessions, and drugs (see Krippy Kush by Bad Bunny). Latin trap also has major differences such as using Spanish as the primary language and including more singing as opposed to rapping. Latin trap has heavily influences from reggaetón and often includes themes of love.

El Farsante by Ozuna brings bachata elements into the Latin trap scene with a Romeo Santos feature. While the song doesn’t have any of the rhythmic elements of bachata it does bring the strong falsetto vocals of Romeo Santos, known as the king of bachata, something not often heard in American trap music. The song chronicles the pain of heartbreak, a topic not often covered in American trap.

Unfortunately, latin trap is dominated by males, however; womxn are making huge waves in this new genre. Artists such as La Mulata (see Solo Soy Una), a New York based Latina artist, or Afro-Latinas Bia Landrau (see La Tirana) and Amara La Negra (see What A Bam Bam)are paving the way for womxn in Latin trap and hip-hop.

While this genre is still new and evolving, it’s clear that it is adaptable. It has become a main stay  in youth Latinx culture and will no doubt be played at the next quinceañera you attend.

They Used To Call it G-Funk…

The song Somethin’ 4 Tha Mood by Dj Quik off of his third album Safe and Sound is a perfect example of the g-funk genre. G-funk or “gangsta-funk” is a style of hip-hop that came out of the west coast rap scene in the early 90’s. Its key characteristics are the content of the lyrics, and the use of a synthesizer. In the g-funk sub-genre, lyrical content usually has to do with partying, or sex, or drugs. The synthesizer is often sampled from funk groups such as Parliament. Back in the day, the music they were making was referred to as p-funk or parliament funk. When hip-hop producers such as Dj Quik repurposed, and recontextualized the music they changed the name to g-funk, to better represent their own message.

By the late 80, ‘s the East Coast had a pretty carved out hip-hop scene with greats such as Grandmaster Flash, KRS-One, De La Soul. While the East Coast had already started to develop its rap sound, the West coast was still in a disco daze. It wasn’t until Dr. Dre’s The Chronic dropped in 1992 that the West coast had a distinct rap sound. This sound was only bettered with such artists as Warren G, SnoopDogg, and Dj Quik who came in the middle 90’s. And while each of these artists brought their own interpretation of the genre to the table, it was in that sweet synth sound that g-funk was born, and shared by West coast artists. Today G-funk has kind of fallen by the wayside in West coast hip-hop. What once was the catalyst for a single region of hip-hop development, is now a genre that mainly exists in the flavors of rap made all around the world. G-funk has kind of reached beyond a single quality genre. Aspects of its sound are entrenched in all hip-hop today. So while there are no g-funk albums coming out this year, many hip-hop albums that have been, and will be made, will be inspired by G-funk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtzixlMsr_w

Music Genre Spotlight: Doo-Wop

   Doo-Wop is one of my favorite genres. I’ve decided to write this post on Doo Wop and not the other genres I like like New Wave, Punk, and Rockabilly because unlike these other genres Doo-Wop is no longer popular, and is viewed as an “oldie” genre, meaning that there is little interest in making new music in this style, so if feels important to bring attention to it again.

Rama Lama Ding Dong-The Edsels

Doo-Wop is a genre of Rhythm & Blues that was popular in the 50s and early 60s. The most notable feature of the genre is its use of group vocal harmony and use of nonsense syllables, like in the song above. Similar to acapella, the singers use their voices to replace instruments, usually with a very high singer singing lead and a deep bass singer singing a nonsense bass line. Doo-Wop does feature instruments like piano, saxophone, guitar and drums, though instrumentation is often sparse. Doo-Wop is also characterized by it’s simple chord progressions, like the “The ’50s progression” I–vi–IV–V, which was popularized by the gerne. Some people like to split Doo Wop up into two styles; the manic novelty songs such as “Rama Lama Ding Dong”, and slow romantic ballads like “Earth Angel” by the Penguins.

   “Earth Angel” is a prototypical Doo-Wop song; it features sparse piano playing the “50s progression” background singers singing “oh woo oh”, with one of them going higher and one singing a bass turnaround at the end of the chorus, and simple ballad form.

 It’s important to note that Doo-Wop was developed by African-Americans. As with Rock ‘n’ Roll, white people often found more success with covers of Doo-Wop songs than African-Americans did with the originals. There where a few notable  white Doo-Wop groups though, such as Dion and the Belmonts.

  Doo-Wop fell out of popularity in the later 60s, but it had a large influence on soul, rock, and pop. Acts ranging from the Beatles to Rihanna have used elements of the genre. Doo-Wop style backup singing and chord progressions are still used in pop songs to this day.

“Changes,” an Exploration of Genre

 

"Changes" by Antonio Williams and Kerry McCoy is the product of a collaboration between two musicians who make music of very different genres. Antonio Williams is usually Antwon, a Bay Area former-punk-gone-rapper. Kerry McCoy is usually the lead guitarist in the black metal outfit Deafheaven. In 2016 the two came together to make a couple of tracks are hard to fit into any one genre. "Changes" is certainly not black metal. The guitar part is gentle and floaty and the entire rhythm section is dry and sequenced into a perfect 1/16th note grid. And Changes is not hip-hop either. Antwon belts his heart out in a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus format (very common in pop music).

Though, it is not conventional pop music either. The two collaborators bring their own personalities to the track. McCoy's surf rock influence shape the guitar tones and composition as it did on previous Deafheaven record, Sunbather. Antwon's voice has the punchy quality common among many rappers, and that quality appears in Changes as he howls on about the pain and complications of heartbreak. The bridge features a synthesizer sound that evokes the heartland sounds of 1980s Springsteen and Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer." The sparsity of the track and the lyrical content ("In the same old town // I saw your face") bring a small-town "Middle-America" feel to the track.

"Changes" is a track unlike anything I had heard before it. It doesn't really fit into genre categories well. I would say that it is probably closest to post-punk. It has New Order/Joy Division inspired rhythm section; the simple structure and punchy vocals of a punk track, but with a much lower tempo that gives room to a floating and melodic guitar performance. But it doesn't need a genre. It is an excellent track without needing to fit into the rules of any one genre.

 

brb… estoy llorando

I have also had an affinity for old (as well as new) Mexican music. I was raised to associate it with good memories and good time (also with dancing with/like your drunken tio at any occasion 😉

 

My friends tend to make fun of me sometimes when I play this music in my car. We tend to simply call music like this, or music that makes us feel this way: llorandos (“I’m crying” songs). We call all songs that would usually be classified more precisely by their musical genres and subdivisions established by their specific use of certain instruments, language and cadence, to be assembled into this more widely applicable genre, otherwise known as the music I play in my car.

 

This song Cucurrucucu Paloma was originally written by Tomás Méndez and performed by Pedro Infante in 1954 for the soundtrack of . The song was originally classified as a  huapango song, signifying a specific Mexican folk genre and dance. Then was played in a more playful, dramatic version by Harry Belafonte in 1956, much slower here and focuses primarily on the ballad aspect of the song.

 

This song would not be performed by the enchanting and lovely Lola Beltrán until 1965 when she starred as “Paloma Méndez” in Mexican film Cucurrucucú Paloma, directed by Miguel Delgado in that year. However, She is considered one of Mexico‘s most acclaimed ranchera singers, a different genre (maybe more all encompassing, due to its signature presence of mariachis). This song however to me feels more dramatic and more evocative than the two other versions mentioned, Lola makes me cry, so I shall always put her amongst my llorandos.

The Crust of the Punx

If you’ve heard of folk punk, you’ve also probably heard the non-hygienic parodies and stories of drug addiction associated with it. Despite it’s satirization and generalizations, I have found a visceral power at the core of folk punk.

One of the most popular folk punk artists, AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad), is emblematic of the essence of folk punk. In the band’s early albums, AJJ showcased the acoustic intimacy and anti-establishment ethos at the core of folk punk, especially the track “People II: The Reckoning” of their 2007 album People Who Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World.

A major factor that distinguishes AJJ from other artists is their criticism of not only society, but of themselves as well. Although “People II: The Reckoning” has a greater concentration on societal criticism, the song’s place in the album nevertheless functions as a paradigm for the band to judge in later tracks. For instance, the band contradicts the nihilistic attitude portrayed in “People II: The Reckoning” with the track “People”, which harps on the ultimate uselessness of cynicism.

This balance of intimacy with the artist and a shared motive on a societal scale is an innate quality to folk punk. Because the genre often merges the storytelling aspect from folk and the counter-culture rebellion of punk, listeners are drawn especially close to these folk punk artists. Rather than merely receiving a message distant from the artist themselves, or merely relating to the internal plights of an artist, the listener gets both.