Interlude III: Folk vs Pop, The Final Showdown

Just kidding.

I’ve actually be listening to more pop radio lately. Sometimes it’s really frustrating, but sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes NPR is boring. I’ll start with some spine-tingling vulnerability. I will actually stop scanning and listen to the following songs:

– Mine
– California Gurls
– Beautiful Girls
– That one about how the girl is beautiful just the way she is
– Teenage Dream (but other than these two, no other Katy Perry songs)

Of late, I’ve heard Mumford and Sons get radio play, and 104.5 plays that new song from God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise, which is nice.

But, I feel like I came to a semi-deep realization. It may just be personal, but I don’t know, it could be general too. But I was listening to some random song on 104.5, already in a pretty contemplative mood (thus all this blog vomit tonight. Small Creatures has been churning for awhile now though.) and switched it to 106.5 and Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ was on. I was surprised to find my contemplative-ness leave almost totally and immediately and the song filled my head and (I assume) most of my inner being. It seems far fetched typing this, but maybe this is what Pop is meant to do. The heavy beat, grungy or sultry vocals, even the lyrics.

Thesis (sort of): Pop dominates where Folk-ish genre music tends to inform (dominate and inform your thought process, I mean). Also, Pop is sensual and forward looking, while Folk-ish stuff (let’s just call it FGM and take it to mean, ‘music I like and listen to a lot at this stage in my life’, it includes bands like Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, Josh Ritter, Avett Brothers, and so on) evokes images and memories, looking back. And also (similar to the second point), Pop is about what you want or will be where FGM tends to speak into who you are/have been.

It could just be that the music I like is softer and mellower and thus offers a good environment for my brain gears to turn and whirl. But I don’t think this is the whole story. Take ‘Teenage Dream’ vs. ‘The Trapeze Swinger’. Katy, in her song, appeals to my senses, to ‘put my hands’ on her etc… I talked about that one line from ‘Trapeze’ before, ‘Please remember me, fondly/I heard from someone you’re still pretty’ that honestly I still can’t get out of my head. Katy makes promises and tells me what’s going to happen tonight, Sam talks to me from a dead man’s perspective illustrating certain experiences and regrets. No wonder I’m writing so much tonight, right?

Or that, ‘I wanna be a billionaire so frikkin bad’ song. All about the future. I have a feeling that this is a weak post, but I think I may be onto something so I’ll publish anyway.


~ by justinhong on September 24, 2010.

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