Music

Recording Academy Task Force to Investigate Music Industry

Randall

As part of its charter, the task force will identify the various barriers and unconscious biases faced by underrepresented communities throughout the music industry and, specifically, across Recording Academy operations and policies. In an effort to determine pathways toward greater parity at every level of the organization, the task force will look specifically at Recording Academy governance, hiring and promotion practices, membership, awards, and telecast.Grammys

Farewell Rock ‘n’ Roll: Hip Hop, R&B Are Biggest U.S. Music Genres

Jill Serjeant

Powered by a 72 percent increase in on-demand audio streaming, eight of the top 10 albums came from the world of rap or R&B, including Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN,” Drake’s “More Life” and “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars, according to Nielsen Music’s 2017 year-end report, released on Wednesday. Rap and R&B also dominate the Grammy awards later in January, with rapper Jay-Z and Lamar leading nominations.

Carrying on Musical Family Traditions at the Grammys

Geraldine Wyckoff

As the title suggests, Gumbo stirs up a mixture of genres all of which remain solidly in Morton’s comfort zone and mastery. He gets funky on another original, the dance-ready, “Sticking to My Guns” that gets down with a full band – horns and all – plus background singers. He sends his message with a groove on “Religion,” and offers some old-school style soul on “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” that features The Chicago Kid and background vocals by the Hamiltones. Morton 

Racial Dynamics and Latin Music in the U.S.

Angelo Franco

Much like American Hip-Hop, reggaeton was first an “underground” genre that came from urban, predominantly black, working-class communities. In the Puerto Rican context, reggaeton’s emergence in the 1990s is tied to public housing developments that were part of anti-crime initiatives in the island. Dubbed Mano Dura contra el Crimen (Iron Fist against Crime), it was enacted in 1993 by then governor Pedro Roselló (the very same one who danced to the Macarena in his campaign rallies). 

Radiohead Didn’t Change the Music Industry, But at Least They Tried

Sandra Canosa

Few alternative rock bands from the 1990s should still honestly be described as “contemporary” artists, but at least Radiohead can be safely counted among them. Their May 2016 release and ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool, once again showcased the band’s continuous refusal to become irrelevant, despite the usual statutes of popular culture regarding people over 40. The record explores new landscapes sonically, but its actual release proved, yet again, that the band knows how to take advantage of the Internet.

Censorship or Hate Crime?: Analyzing Rapper YG’s Controversial Song

Gloria Liao

Critics say the lines are in essence a how to manual for robbing Chinese and other Asian American homes and businesses. Protest organizers have already successfully gotten YouTube to remove the video. They have circulated a petition to ban the song from public media and have YG investigated by federal authorities. The petition has already garnered the necessary 100,000 signatures for it to go before the Obama administration. 

Did Bob Dylan Deserve the Nobel? Maybe, But He Wasn’t the First Musician

Hasan Zillur Rahim

The decision by the Swedish Academy to award Bob Dylan the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition" was lauded by many and lamented by a few. But there was universal acknowledgment that the Academy had broken new ground by awarding the Nobel “for the first time” to a singer-songwriter since the French poet and essayist Sully Prudhomme first won it in 1901.

The Singularity You Can Hear: Post-Internet Waves in Popular Music

Sandra Canosa

To say that the Internet changed the music industry would be an all too obvious understatement. From instant downloads and streaming technologies to self-made YouTube stars and the Twitterazi, there’s no aspect of the music biz today that’s been left untouched by the crawlers of the digital web. But in an age where we’re never more than a thumbswipe away from the expanse offerings of the Internet, where playing a new single on YouTube is more commonplace than listening to FM radio, it’s rare that we ever take a moment to stop and think about how the Internet has actually affected what music is, or even what it sounds like. 

The Jam Music Community’s Biggest Fans? Orthodox Jews

Aryeh Gelfand

Those going off the religious path, or “Derech”, find different ways to cope with the imminent loss of community and purpose leaving brings. Still others, unsatisfied with a life of insularity as they are, bring the spirit of Judaism with them as they journey forth and explore what this world has to offer. These two groups of seekers and adventurers have found a common resting place among the ever growing, vocal, and distinctive subculture known as the Jam music community.

 

A Long Way to the Top: Rethinking How AC/DC Changed Rock’n’Roll

Sandra Canosa

It’s a well-known conundrum in the rules and regulations of the rock’n’roll canon: If it is popular, it must not be good. While AC/DC has millions of fans the world over and can continue to sell out arena tours (even with a completely different and controversial lead singer), they have very few critical accolades to show for it. They’ve won only one Grammy – for a song released in 2010, no less – and even the likes of Billy Joel managed to beat them into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.

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