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Posts Tagged ‘mainstream’

Oak and Gorski must raise $10,000 by this week (Oct. 1st).

They’re at around $9000. It’s pretty much an all or nothing deal. Please help them not fail. Thanks.

Oak and Gorski Album/Music Video/Press/Tour KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN.

After you make your “contribution,” watch Ed shave his luscious locks and donate it to a charity of your choice. And/or have Ken come to your place during their tour and give you a private cello lesson. (No innuendo. It’s an actual cello lesson.) Hell…BUY Ken’s cello off him if you can. These guys have. no. limits. Nor shame for that matter.

Help them out if you can. Please. It’s for a good cause. =)

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Originally published in the Daily Trojan. (No longer archived on the DT website.) This is also the unedited version I originally submitted. I didn’t have any problems with the changes my editors made…except for them altering the entire perspective of the article by changing it from present tense to past tense. (Also, they asked for 1000 words. I gave them 1900…so yeah…cuts/edits obviously had to be made somewhere.)┬áBut yeah…this is how it originally felt.

Ken Oak, in a white long-sleeve shirt, jeans, and slightly messy hair that covers his face a bit, sits in a dimly lit, small, cozy Los Angeles cafe near Koreatown, nervously fidgeting just a bit. Ed Gorski, his bandmate, dressed in a moderately wrinkled grey button-down, cargo shorts, and a scruffy beard, leans back casually in his seat, one arm hanging loosely behind his chair. Both have faint but noticeable bags under their eyes — effects of the successful release of their new album at the Hotel Cafe in downtown Los Angeles earlier this month.

They are waiting for this interview, and this article, to get started as the cafe barista very slowly prepares the three mochas. The drinks arrive, Oak sits up, Gorski remains in his casual pose, and the interview gets underway.

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Rap music gets a bad rap these days.:) Some of it is because of poorly constructed puns like that last sentence in the music, but it is more likely due, in large part, to the perceived “thug” or “gangsta” image. I’m not even going to attempt going into the social causes or origins of that. All I’m going to say is that image is something that repulses many from the entire genre. It is one that often portrays women in a degrading manner, can glorify violence, and has a very self-righteous, arrogant attitude on top of it.

And it’s unfortunate this surface image is what keeps some very good music out of the minds of many people. Truly good hip-hop can be deeply expressive, socially insightful, and enlightening as well as entertaining.

There is a poetic, immediate quality to the music where the cadence and rhythm of language and words are paired with the same cadence and rhythm of music. In many ways, hip-hop appeals to me a lot strictly because of the way it can utilize and explore language through music in a way that can’t be done elsewhere. Sure, there can be some great lyrics in rock or any other type of music but your focus isn’t on them. It’s much easier to enjoy a rock song for the melody without even paying attention to the lyrics. Only in (true) hip-hop are the lyrics front and center — a song is built around the lyrics.

And skilled, talented rappers can create some of the most musically powerful and poignant stuff through that structure. Now I’ll give some examples of what I believe is some quality hip-hop. These aren’t necessarily classic, “important,” or “essential” tracks. I’m not an expert by any means, but I do enjoy what I find, and these are just a few songs that prove hip-hop isn’t all about, in the words of Jay-Z, “money, cash, hoes”:

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You should like Coldplay because they jump around in boxes just like you do. Oh you don’t? Oh…well they do. So like them.

Say what you want about Coldplay, but no matter what you say, they do have legitimate song-crafting talent.

It’s almost a given that the cool indie kids all bash Coldplay. In fact, it’s become so ubiquitous that I think it’s come full circle; you’re now cool and hip if you’re brave enough to admit that Coldplay is actually pretty good…with qualifications, of course. One mustn’t forget the qualifications.

Whatever, without further ado, here is the reason for my post. It’s 3:25 AM and just before heading off to sleep, I stumbled upon the FREE new single from Coldplay’s upcoming album, “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends.” Yes, I thought of Ricky Martin too.

I’m likin’ the song and I’m hoping the new album lives up to my expectations.

Song of the Day:

Go get the FREE single! It’s called “Violet Hill.”

Well, it looks like it’s no longer available for free. You can go listen to it though. Sorry if you, like me, didn’t know about this a week ago, and missed out (I got it last minute). I could just upload it, but I’m not testing the RIAA gods on this one. I’m sure they’re out like hawks. Hungry ones.

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