Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Music as a form of expression

I saw some random twitter thread where a musician was being criticized because his messages were “becoming too political, I just want to listen to your music...”

The artist responded by saying “it’s funny. If you listen to the lyrics of my songs, you’d realize that my songs express the same point of view. So thanks for listening.”

And that’s the thing. Music expresses something.  Whether it’s a love ballad or a political statement, music is often telling a story.

There’s an interesting thing that happened after the Kent a State Massacre: a music revolution was born. You can read more about it here https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/ct-kent-state-massacre-music-20180504-story.html

So, yes, even Devo‘s “whip it” is about American optimism - in spite of its somewhat silly lyrics. I’ve talked about “walking in the sun before” but how about “land of confusion,” whose meaning becomes clearer if you watch the video, or “it’s like that” which in many ways expresses some of things we’re seeing today.

What was punk rock, exactly? Listen to a song like “rock the casbah” which went mainstream  sometime and see what you think.

I just find it interesting that people miss the simple point. “I like the music...wait it’s about what exactly?!”



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