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December 04, 2014 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-12-04

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3B - Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Michigan Daily michigandailycam

3B - Thursday, December 4, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

POP MUSIC "Our social stereotypes about
From Page B working-class people - who are
the class of people associated with
country music - are that we think
Reflect for a moment. they're not sophisticated enough
A few years ago you were to have any guises," said Nadine
satisfied with jamming out to Hubbs, professor of music and
"On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez. women's studies. "Authenticity
The major hit contained lyrics has always been part of the
ranging from "La la la la la, la la la country artist's shtick. Part of it
l Ia la la la la, tonight we gon' be is our beliefs about country, and
it on the floor" to the occasionally we really exaggerate the extent to
personified "It's getting ill it's which it's completely literal - the
getting sick on the floor." 'what you see is what you get."'
A few years ago you were also Hubbs isn't your run-of-
satisfied with jamming out to the-mill country music expert.
"Till the World Ends" by Britney Located kitty-corner from North
Spears. This major hit's lyrics Quad in her Lane Hall Department
ranged from "Oh oh whoa oh oh of Women's Studies office, Hubbs's
oh oh, Oh oh whoa oh oh oh oh" to walls are decorated from head to
the occasional shout-out "DJ what toe with LGBTQ- and feminist-
you, what you waiting for?" oriented posters - territories
These hits are extremely where most country music goers
dated in their form. Why is that? would never dare set foot. Hubbs
Because in 2014, empty words takes on a genre from its most
and phrases accompanying dance challenging perspectives, and in
music doesn't work. Now, it's all her most recent book "Rednecks,
about the anthem - something Queers, and Country Music," she
that's danceable but also has some proves to be the ideal consultant
personal fire behind its lyricism. for deconstructing country's
You're gonna hear me "roar," so demographic.
just "shake it off" We've got one "There's a country music
fewer "problem" without ya, so scholar called Jimmie N. Rogers,
just"break free."Whyyou gottabe who named these phenomena
so "rude?" Is it because I still get the 'Sincerity Contract,' and he
"jealous?" acknowledges that it's a special
When you're losing your voice thing in country music that fans
singing alongto today's hits, you're expect," Hubbs said. "They expect
actually taking the meaning of the the songs that a country artist
song into more consideration than sings to connect up with their
you've derived from songs from a actual biographies. They expect a
few years ago. core response between the artist's
The funny thing is, it's not just biography, the themes, the topics,
the songs that we're seeking more the lyrics and the image of the
real-talk from.We'reseekingmore musician."
"realness" from artists altogether. Lest we forget that Taylor
What drove Taylor Swift to the Swift earned her initial keep
top in this particular year? The as a country teen who had an
fact that her music is not only this uncanny ability to connect
so-called anthem music, but is also with the masses through music
authentic. There's never a doubt that had a uniquely general yet
in our minds that the only thing specific narration.
better than music that sounds Then - out of the blue -
brutally honest is music that Hubbs threw another genre
actually is brutallyhonest. into the mix.
And it's not just present in these "Let's look at hip hop,
modernpophits. It's presentinthe another type of music where
nature of today's other thriving an incredibly high degree of
genres. authenticity is demanded," she
said. "Why do we expect of our
Country and Hip Hop- hip-hop artists that they have
Brothersfromanothermother to have realness? If your life
deviates from this incredible
"And when we land I'll call her brutality, violence, misery
upand tell her'Kiss my ass,'cause and hyper-masculinity that
hey n 'mdrunk on aplahV:" audiencees pay 'for sod expe&
No, this is not one of our the rapper to bring, you can be
consulted University professors. in real hot water. We've seen
This is Dierks Bentley with his that. Kanye had to do some fast
second number-one country hit explaining when he was new on
of the year, "Drunk on a Plane." the block. He was preppyhe was
In the track, Bentley narrates college-educated, his mom had
the story of being stood up at the a Ph.D. and he had to explain all
altar and making the most of his that. And other people who have
non-refundable honeymoon plane seen to be 'frontin' have had P.R.
ticket to Cancun. disasters on their hands."
Country has never been a This year in hip hop, we
stranger to the real-talk appeal. witnessed these PR disasters.
The "kiss my ass" empowerment Iggy Azalea took one punch after
anthem has gone on since the another from the rap community
dawn of the genre itself and (including artists such as Snoop
this year there's a resurgence of Dogg and Eminem) for her
people who are more willing than apparently phony stage persona.
ever to consume both pop and A high-profile white, blonde,
country, since both genres share female, Australian rapper is a
a multitude of similarities in2014. recipe for hip-hop revolt. And
And despite three (or in this while there are examples of white
case four) chords and the "truth" rappers, female rappers and non-
now becoming a widespread American rappers, to qualify
phenomenon, country still for every position is an extreme
maintains the highest degree of deviation from the characteristics
authenticity over pop. that the community deems to be

authentically hip hop.
"(Country and hip hop) music
are linked to underprivileged
social groups in America," Hubbs
said. "We expect them to bring
us a kind of realness for our
consumption that shows us the
shadier side of life in a way that
we can handle and ina way that is
interesting to us."
Perhaps the "fancy" side of
life wasn't what the hip-hop
community was looking for this
Unpolished music as
polished authenticity
"There's a backwash of people
who are thirsty for how the music
would sound if the artists weren't
recording in the studio. You get a
CD that's been re-mastered and
they have four bonus tracks ...
where they didn't have this chord
worked out or this vocal worked
out and people are fascinated by
that and they'll buy that. People
want to hear artists working
on perfection rather than the
perfection itself," said Carlos
Rodriguez, associate professor of
music education.
One of the University's leading
authorities on popular music
and music education, Rodriguez
narrates an unorthodox trend
he has seen in today's tweaked-
to-perfection pop music. In fact,
whether he realizes it or not, he
has just described a significant
feature of Taylor Swift's new
It always seems to come back
to that.
Swift released three bonus
tracks of voice memos dictating
certain thoughts and processes
she was going through while
writing tracks with Jack Antonoff,
Max Martin and Ryan Tedder.
Swift isn't the first to do so, but
the voice memos are certainly
a representation of authenticity
and the dispelled illusion of
immaculate perfection.
Just look at your Facebook
newsfeed and Tumbr blogs.
They're all spitting out the same
message. No longer are they an
exaggerated outlet of your perfect
life and how hard you partied the
night before; they're a bunch of
back-and-forth posts on sources
and explanations of how not
everybodyis perlct; how'yos
should feel comfortable with the
way you look, of the way you feel
and tell everyone who doesn't
reciprocate your feelings to piss
Your 2014 music is essentially
your Facebook newsfeed and
Tumbr blog
"I heard an interview with Jack
White," Rodriguez recalled. "He
doesn't think of his songs as 'his
songs.' He says he just looks at the
world and looks what's around
him and does what he does and
then lets it go. He says he's just
herewhen ithappens,buthedidn't
create this. It's just everythingthat
goes on around him."'
Get drunk on a plane. Shake off
the haters. Marry her anyway. If
they're not about that bass, move
That's the biggest trend of 2014.
It's this brutally honest music in
your mind saying it's gonna be

What did you just call me?!
'New Girl's Schmidt
delightfully douchey

Max Greenfield's
character is the
type we love to hate
Daily Arts Writer
Of all the jerks on TV, there are
few that I love to hate more than
Schmidt on FOX's "New Girl."
Though he's the loft's biggest
contributor to the Douchebag
Jar - a refaced tip jar that's
filled whenever someone says an
offensive comment - Schmidthas
become an icon with his pitch-
perfect one liners and ridiculous
tenacity for life. As he says, "I
always like to give 110 percent."
Played by Max Greenfield
("Veronica Mars"), Schmidt is
a formerly overweight, socially-
awkward Jewish kid who has
blossomed into a smooth-
talking ladies' man with a taste
for the good life, whether that
be a nice jar of mango chutney
("or really any chutney") or
an immaculate manscaping
groom. Schmidt isn't shy
about pointing out any flaws
his roommates Jess (Zooey
Deschanel, "Elf"), Nick (Jake
Johnson, "21 Jump Street"),
Winston (Lamorne, Morris,
"Sex Ed") and Coach (Damon
Wayans, "Happy Endings")
might have. In season one, he
describes Nick as "delicate.
Like a flower. Like a chubby,
damaged flower who hates
Don't be fooled by his suave
demeanor, though, because
Schmidt gets the blues like the
rest of us simpletons: "You're

not ti
are pr
and I.
be goi
guy I
life. I
our d
raw c
was c
see m
a myt
and f
a long
his u
now v

he only one that's hurting of season four. This year, every
Jessica Day. The economy member of the cast is single and
s, bees are dying, movies ready to mingle - Nick and Jess
etty much all sequels now are finally just friends, Cece has
have a broken penis. Don't shut down Schmidt's approaches
nd to know my pain." and Winston is down on his
if Schmidt's manhood is love luck as usual - and they're
ged, the world must really turning to the hit-and-run Cupid
ing to hell in a handbasket. himself. The season opened
in all seriousness, with "Last Wedding," where
idt is exactly the kind of Schmidt devises a plan to get
actively try to avoid in real his roommates through the end
He's the type that would of wedding season by finding
with exfoliates before everyone a hookup. In "Dice,"
ate and judge my grilled Schmidt introduces Jess to Dice,
e order while sipping on a "Tinder"-like mobile app he's
arrot juice. After the date been using to meet girls, and
over, he wouldn't ask to graciously gives her tips for
e again, but rather would dating: "The point of dating is
with some deep nugget of just to keep on dating and then
m about how true love is never stop - like burning fossil
th and'affection is sweet fuels or seeing a therapist."
leeting, like chocolate or Then, in "Thanksgiving IV,"
gtime. Then he would give his gang-hookup ploy is back
brooding stare and strut again; Schmidt renames the
on the prowl again. As holiday "Bangsgiving," where
idt says,"I'm like aHebrew everybody in the loft has to
:ah." set up each other with a date
to bring to dinner, with the
intention that dinner will lead
S hm dt.1 to dessert (wink, wink).
is He's slick, arrogant and
t euses more hair products and
kctly the kid itchenware than I knew
guy I try to existed, but I can't help but
J y y like Schmidt - if only because
)id in real life he's so damn funny. There's a
difference between a serious
man-whore and one who blows
his persona up to the size of a
socially-awkward overweight
midt's serial-dating ways, kid. Maybe beneath his smooth
usually circle back to talking and aggressive frittata
unshakeable crush, Cece making, Schmidt has a heart
nah Simone, "Oldboy"), as big as everyone else's on
been side plots in past "New Girl," but like Dr. Seuss's
ns of "New Girl," but are Grinch, it would kill him to let
what place him at the core it show.

Each week we take shots at the biggest
developments in the entertainment world.
Here's what hit (and missed) this week.
Take a Walk on the Wilde Side
HBO orders Mick Jagger-produced
rock'n'roll drama starring Bobby
Cannavale and Olivia Wilde.
He Just Is That Into You
Scarlett Johansson secretly weds baby daddy
Romain Dauric.

Desigs by Gaby Vasquez
"Lost" In Space
First teaser trailer released for JJ. Abrams's
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Gilmore Girl Power!
Lauren Graham to star as late-night TV
host in Ellen-produced NBC comedy




Marvel's Guardians of the Suicide Squad Begins
Will Smith, Jared Leto and Cara
Delevingne among cast for DC's
-upcoming "Suicide Squad."

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