Dun' be Hatin'

          Few things annoy me more than when I'm listening to a piece of music I love (say, a Charles Ives sonata) and I hear some chick groan an "I hate this song" - especially because I know that if I started talking about how much I "hated" Katy Perry, she'd be just as offended. Sure, we might not all adore every type of music. But unless you're sitting next to someone who just so happens to think exactly the way you do about everything, I don't think that "hate" is an appropriate word to use when discussing the touchy topic of taste - unless your goal is to come off as kind of a prick.

          Now, don't get me wrong, I've been guilty of the "H"-word before. I used to blurt it out often when a song came on FM 93.3 that I felt was cheesy enough to turn my brain into a bowl of Kraft macaroni. However, I found that my passengers weren't always in total agreement with me - not by the fact that they'd verbally disagree with me (because they seldom did), but by the fact that when I'd ride in theircars, they'd turn up the volume on the very same songs I practically punched out my radio to avoid hearing. You kind of have to assume that there is at least one person who might be enjoying the song, and if you announce your total disgust of their playlist-worthy piece, well, then you just might hurt a friendship a little without even realizing it.

          I'm a definite advocate of having an open mind toward all genres of music, however I also understand that there will always be those few songs or styles that our ears just can't accept no matter how hard we try to persuade them. Instead of throwing a little "This-music-sucks-I-hate-it" tantrum when that new atonal piano piece comes on, just politely ask, "Can we please change the station?" People will like you more. Trust me.


Written by Chloe Austin

The Answer Isn't Blowin' in the Wind

           21st century America has proven itself home to some of the whiniest, most unproductive citizens in the history of our country. It seems like we all have something – if not a Christmas list full of things – to complain about, with topics ranging from human rights to gas prices to the environment to the banks to education…and sure, we have an endless amount of shit to deal with, but my question is: If it’s THIS bad, why is so little being done to change it?? Much of it is because most young people aren’t being encouraged enough to actually take any real action. I’m gonna have to blame today’s Top 40 stations.

             My conservative grandparents love to talk about Obama’s lack of action in fixing the economy and my liberal mother loves to talk about how all of our constitutional rights are being taken away from us. The woman I buy coffee from on Monday mornings loves to talk about the flaws in our immigration system and T-Pain loves to sing about going home to screw his girlfriend so she doesn’t “go crazy.” Bruno Mars loves to sing about “not doing anything” and Britney Spears loves to sing about simply “dancing till the world ends.” These are the types of messages that currently define the twenty-first century’s mainstream musical culture; these are the messages that get stuck in the heads of every American teen and young adult who turns on the radio or visits a party or shares a friend’s iPod. Reeeal motivational, right? For such a politically-discontented audience, they’re downright counterintuitive. Yet they’re all that the stations are giving us.

            Our local top hits stations need to take some advice from the ’20s and ‘60s! We need the airwaves flooded with more “Strange Fruit”s and “Blowin’ In The Wind”s! Radio music is one of the most powerful mediums to spread ideas because EVERYONE ends up hearing it, and the more they get it stuck in their head, the more it gets lodged up in their brain cavities to be processed. I’m not saying that the stuff playing now has to go away altogether, but for God’s sake I would think that a listener wouldn’t mind the occasional break from party-party-sex-sex songs to reflect on an important issue that affects them in their own daily lives. Maybe…gasp…just maybe, people would actually follow in the footsteps of their progressive music-loving ancestors from the Vietnam War era and the Civil Rights Movement who were also driven by song to unite and fight together for a better world. Pop, hurry up and get political again! We need another movement.

And no, a Lil’ Wayne love song featuring an “Honestly, I’m down like the economy” doesn’t count as raising social awareness. It’s just one more crappy lyric.    

- Tunage

Written by Chloe Austin