In the assignment description for these blog posts, Dr. Stein declares, “There is no particular
I must admit that the movie that I own and play repeatedly is Music and Lyrics, starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. The movie is not my favorite, but there is something about it that never gets old.
While studying this week’s readings, Hugh Grant was my brain’s illustration. You see, music is not my favorite element of pop culture. Instead of the listening to music while I drive, I choose NPR.opportunity to dabble in all of the elements covered in our assigned readings without ever having to follow Sellnow’s counsel to, “read the chapter when and where you can access technology that will allow you to actually listen to the examples…” (pg. 170). Frequent viewing of the 2007 romantic comedy provided all of the demonstrations I needed.
In his article, “On Music, Culture, and the Human Brain,” Hadju (2011) cleverly detailed the music industry’s response to our country’s economic meltdown. While artists like Neil Young and Young Jeezy published work that was meant to send a message, Hadju pointed out that there is “the value of sheer entertainment as an escape from hardship” (pg. 90). Amen! I usually pop my Music and Lyrics DVD into a computer and set it up next to me when I have to tackle an arduous chore. Using Hadju’s terminology, the movie is the soundtrack for my labor meltdown. Painting bedrooms
In the movie, Hugh Grant is a pop star from the early 80s. While he is no longer relevant to much of the entertainment world, there are still many that revere what was. Bermingham states that “culture must always build on the past, and the past always tries to control the future” (pg. 44). This is the premise for Music and Lyrics, as our hero struggles to redefine himself.
Snellow’s “Music Perspective” of incongruity is demonstrated beautifully in Music and Lyrics. While in the beginning our has-been singer uses violent lyrics in a release pattern, later the softer words in the ballad musical genre are thrust into an intensity pattern.
I like that as participators in pop culture, we can have different types of favorites, none of which must fall within Adorno’s highbrow, complex, and sophisticated levels (pg. 66). While some moments in life may call for a quality song, there are other times (like when there is a long car ride with a giggling tweens), when quantity must be the champion. Music and Lyrics repeatedly makes me smile, and allows me to experience different categories of popular culture.
Question: Can you think of a song or film that you love because of the high level of quality? Can you freely admit that sometimes quantity is important, even if researchers like Adorno claim that, “no such mechanical substitution by stereotyped patterns is possible in serious music.”?
Sub-Question: Upon watching the film in its entirety can you recommend to Dr. Stein that Music and Lyrics should take the place of all four readings because the same principles are covered with many more laughs?