All in pop music discussion
People hate country music, but why? And how can we tap into these particular hates to put together the greatest (see: worst) country song of all time? Guest Garrett Vandenberg is going to explain how he did it for a video for the BlimeyCow YouTube channel. This episode is fun and incisive as we explore country music and how it fails.
A week ago, hundreds of Twenty One Pilots fans and I dared to ask the question "Which is the best Twenty One Pilots song?"
I don't know if the Clique could ever not want new music from Twenty One Pilots, but it's been two years since Blurryface was released, so we're all kind of itching to hear something new from the band. We did get "Heathens" last summer, but historically the band has released a new album every two years, and Blurryface came out in 2015, so 2017 should be the year of a new album, but it's April already, and we've heard nothing.
So, I researched all of the Top 10 songs of 2016 (according to Billboard.com), and I found 58 songs that were extremely popular in 2016. It just so happens that 10 of these songs (with two honorable mentions) were also rather deep and had interesting things to say. So, today my beautiful wife April and I discuss these songs and what exactly their meanings are (and, in April's case, why I might be wrong). Enjoy!
Literature teachers and professors keep looking for ways to be culturally relevant. It's kind of a buzz word these days, and everyone thinks it's going to keep students interested, attentive, and learning. So, teachers use memes, cultural references, and examples based on Star Wars or Taylor Swift to get points across to their students seeped in entertainment and culture. Well, I'm here to tell you that studying popular music in your literature classroom won't just be "culturally relevant"; it could revolutionize the ways your students think about literature and culture. Pop music is everywhere, and it has a lot to say to us about who we are and where our culture is; thus, we need to understand it. And since our students probably listen to it more than we do, they need to understand it even more.
The most fought over question I've come across in my sixteen months of song explaining is this: Whose interpretation matters more--mine or the writer's? And it's a good question. Chronicles of Narnia and Cambridge English professor C.S. Lewis writes in An Experiment in Criticism that people wonder, "Why . . . should I turn from a real and present experience--what the poem means to me, what happens to me when I read it--to inquiries about the poet's intention or reconstructions, always uncertain, of what it may have meant to his contemporaries?"
I usually respond to comments on my blog every week. It takes me about an hour, and every time I do it, I wish I had started sooner.
The kinds of comments and questions that I get inspire me to think, to write, and to keep listening to songs with deep meanings.
It's time to ask difficult questions about what's art and what's not. There are some songs that mean something deeper, and there are those that help us to have a good time. How do we tell the difference? Be sure to listen on this week's episode of the Pop Song Professor Podcast!
Twenty One Pilots fans are divided on two questions: Is Twenty One Pilots a Christian band?
Does it matter?
In my most recent podcast, I answer both of these questions, and I think what I have to say and the songs we talk about will surprise you and give you a lot to think about.
It definitely seems like Coldplay's taking a satirical jab at Donald Trump's proposed "giant wall" between the United States and Mexico.
2015 gave us a LOT of good music. If you're here on the blog, chances are that you've enjoyed it too. What were your favorites? The Weeknd? Mumford & Sons? Ellie Goulding? Macklemore?
If you're a Christian, a mistake you can make right now is to ignore songs like "The Hills" by The Weeknd and to write them off as evil, pointless pop hits that encourage the depravity of mankind and corrupt children. If you and your kids intentionally interact with the lyrics of "The Hills," the experience may change the way you see pop artists. Discussion of this song is recommended for ages 15-18.
We realize this podcast is a little late, but better late than never, right? These are the artists and songs April and I did vote for before the winners came out. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: The portions of songs played in this podcast are done so with “Fair Use” policy in mind. The segments are kept as short as possible and are used for criticism, not as a market substitute.