Category: - Tunage Magazine

The Hype and Hate: The Death if Dubstep

"Dubstep has reached its post-moment." says Gabe Vodicka of Vodicka writes a lengthy article about Borgore and his unique take on dubstep but mentions the new statement that everyone seems to be making-- dubstep is dead. This is an article written in December of 2011. So, doesn't this mean that dubstep is long gone? Not necessarily.

A few years ago, dubstep made its way into just about any genre it could. A popular hardcore band named Enter Shikari regularly incorporates gratuitous yet mind-bending dubstep into most of their breakdowns to add some flair into the genre. Nowadays a person can't even turn on the radio without hearing a wobble; Britney Spears and Flo Rida have had hit songs that include a dubstep drop or two.

          After Skrillex released his chart-topping EP Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites in 2010, dubstep fans all around the world disregarded his fame and popularity and coined his music as brostep. This term seems to classify dubstep artists like Skrillex and even EDM artists like Deadmau5 as mainstream. Justin Janich, 18, remembers the impact that Skrillex had on people around the world. "Remember when everyone was listening to Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites? Like any form of music, it will have its die-hards and the fanboys, but the majority of casual listeners will hunger for something different and I believe that EDM as a genre will continue to evolve and change." Janich compares dubstep to the autotune trend that took the world by storm just a few years ago. "The phase of excessive autotuning hasn't gone away completely, but its prominence has fallen from being featured in whole albums to rare occurrences. The same will hold true for dubstep." It's clear that the epitome of dubstep lies in the hands of fans and haters.

          "I wouldn't call it dead, but definitely dying," says Dylan Rodin, 17, when asked about his opinion on dubstep's fate. "It's like all great music; once money becomes the main factor, the creativity goes down the drain." Rodin believes that underground music and small labels produce music that is not necessarily popular because it is the music that they love to make. "Yes," says Trevor Dodson, 18, "[because] the technology required to produce dubstep is nothing but a computer." Dodson expresses his opinion that people want to hear something that can be played by musicians on a stage with instruments, not a dude with a laptop and a mixing table. (Trevor, check out Pendulum's live set along with The Qemists' live set and you will be surprised by their live dubstep and EDM performances!)

         Is there anyone who believes that dubstep lives? "No, I do not believe that dubstep is dead," says Michael Franke, 17. "I think that the 'old dubstep' is not really being made much anymore because of the immense change in the scene. Although it does not sound the same as the 'old stuff,' it is still alive." Franke believes that dubstep has taken a new form. "Yes, the original dubstep is disappearing, but the new form is growing and becoming more popular. No matter what, clubs and festivals would not be the same without that hardcore dubstep bass stage." You said it, man!

           As Vodicka said, dubstep has reached that post-moment. Wikipedia calls this era's genre "post-dubstep." Although people like myself and others at Tunage don't believe in dubstep being killed, there is no denying that its prime is over. However, as 17-year-old Michael Franke stated, dubstep has taken a new form. It is very alive and completely ever-changing as every genre in the world should be.

Do you agree with the popular opinion or are you on dubstep's side? Voice YOUR opinion in the comments below!

Written by Jordan Mafi

- Tunage

Best & Worst of Music Fests

Every year, music festivals are put on all around the world. Whether you live in California or Europe, there are almost too many choices of where to spend your whole day or your whole weekend. Some of the most popular music fests in California are Coachella, Vans Warped Tour, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Lollapalooza. The music genres vary immensely between each fest. If you're into indie music, head to Coachella and even check out some electronic artists as well. If you're an avid reader of Alternative Press, check out all of the mag's featured bands at Vans Warped Tour and even Lollapalooza. If you want to dance the weekend away, make a trip to Electric Daisy Carnival.

Although every fest is different, each has its ups and downs. You may adore the weather while camping out at Coachella but hate the messy environment. You may even be someone who has never attended a music fest and wants to know which one to go to. With these lists, you will find the good, the bad, and the obvious. Let's analyze these fests one by one.

Coachella: An annual three-day music and arts festival, founded by Paul Tollett, held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, in the Inland Empire's Coachella Valley. The event features many genres of music, including rock, indie, hip hop and electronic music as well as large sculptural art. Expect good music, tons of hipsters, odd fashion, and drugs-- lots of drugs.

Vans Warped Tour
Vans Warped Tour: A touring music and extreme sports festival that started out as a showcase for punk rock music, but its more recent line-ups have featured a diversity of genres. Expect lots of moshing, a plethora of scene kids, hot asphalt, and a lot of screaming.

Electric Daisy Carnival: An annual electronic dance music festival held in the summertime. Originally a one day Southern California event, the EDC spread to multiple venues in multiple states from June through August. Expect nonstop electronic music, girls wearing close to no clothes, infinite lighting, and even more drugs than you would expect at Coachella.

Lollapalooza: An annual music festival featuring popular alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip hop bands, dance and comedy performances, and craft booths. It has also provided a platform for non-profit and political groups. Expect nothing but music and vendors. Oh, and kids who argue over music genres.

Which one should you attend? 

         We can start by talking about the things you might hate. If you're not into being around an insane amount of drugs and alcohol, stay away from Coachella and EDC. If you'd rather not die of overheating, Vans Warped Tour and Lollapalooza may not be the best places to go. If you're only going to a music festival to dance, Vans Warped Tour is not it. If you're into rock and ONLY rock, then none of these fests are for you! Almost every music festival in the past three years has been taken over by artists such as Skrillex, Deadmau5, and other electronic acts.

          If you're in love with the great outdoors, stay the whole duration of Coachella and camp out. It's pricey, but totally worth it. If you want to spend an ideal amount of money and have a good time with your friends all day long, go to Vans Warped Tour. There's plenty of different bands and artists there and you're bound to like at least ten of them. Are you into a mix of everything when it comes to art, music, and interesting vendors? Lollapalooza is your place. Finally, if you're ready to party all day and all night under the electric sky, make your way to the Electric Daisy Carnival. It's an experience you will never forget.

Which fest are you interested in going to or which ones have you gone to? Let us know in the comments! Visit these sites below to get more details about each event. Happy festival hunting!

Written by Jordan Mafi


The Great Debate: Music or Lyrics?

         Have you ever had one of those moments where you realize that you’re losing yourself to the music? You’re sitting in your bedroom and listening to your favorite band when you suddenly notice your foot tapping or you hear yourself singing without even consciously trying to and you realize that you love this song. Do you find yourself constantly drumming beats with your fingers or belting out those high notes?

          The real question could possibly be one of the hardest you’ll ever have to answer. What is the most important foundation in a song: music or lyrics? It’s a tough choice. A song could be beautifully composed with perfect guitar work, rhythmic drum patterns, and even a captivating voice. However, we’ve all heard those great songs with stupid lyrics. Jake Shelton, guitarist and vocalist of a thrash metal band named Lathyus, speaks his mind about lyrics in a song. “I've heard a lot of really good songs that had stupid lyrics, so I’m going to say [that] music [is more important.]” I sympathize with Jake—have you ever listened to Dance Gavin Dance’s latest album? The music is sweet but those lyrics have got to go!

          The importance of the music in a song is to embrace the listener with instruments. No voices to sing to you, no words to tell you, and no vocal outbursts to distract you. Even though lyrics are a very important element in a song, a lot of people believe that music is the best part.

          Do lyrics ever win in this debate? Dante Mallard, 18, believes so. “Lyrics are what speak to you; it’s what gets you hooked. ‘Music’ can only get you so far.” Lyrics seem to always win in one circumstance—hip hop. Many over-hyped rappers have been known to write idiotic lyrics about girls, drugs, and being a thug.  Although this is spewed out of radio stations across the nation, there are many hip hop artists who are passionate about what they say, like Tupac, Eminem, NaS, and Kid Cudi. Listening to endless stories about growing up, overcoming struggles, and even just crazy adventures in music is a pretty cool way to listen to a story. Many people could say that hip hop is storytelling.

          Although people have great points about why music or lyrics are better than the other, almost every person who was asked about their opinion had to say that both are essential to a great song. Karsen Trull, a local high-schooler, gives her opinion. “It really is the two that complete each other. The sound of the music makes you feel something internally, and the lyrics make you think. That’s why people love it so much. Music is an art that says what they can’t.” Dylan Rodin, 16, agreed with Karsen by saying that music and lyrics are like yin and yang. “They keep each other balanced. If it’s all lyrics, it’s just a poem. If it’s all music, it’s an instrumental. The combination of both lead to the beautiful thing we call music.”

          An artist previously interviewed in Tunage, Alex Skinwalker, had to say something about the topic as well. “Music needs good progression and pace and lyrics have to have heart in them, or at least be catchy; otherwise you're just listening to dubstep.” To tell the truth, I’m a die-hard EDM fan, especially a fan of dubstep!

          As you may have guessed, the results are tied. It’s almost impossible to pinpoint the most important element of a song. Although I can agree with the opinions of Jake and Dante, I totally stand in between. Rather than this being an undecided debate, it is simply safe to say that both music and lyrics are equally important to a song. Case closed.

Where do you stand? Let Tunage know in the comments!

- Tunage

Written by Jordan Mafi

Warped Tour Survival Guide

         One of the greatest music festivals of all time is approaching this summer. Sun, fun, and music-- perfect, right? Not always! Some things can go wrong your first time at Warped Tour and even after you've been before. I've got tips and tricks up my sleeve for first-timers and also for Warped veterans who want to know some cool and helpful hints.

         First thing's first; get your ticket! If you haven't already, you can buy a ticket at the box office the day of the festival. It's highly doubtful that Warped will sell out, but it is possible. Try to get there early to avoid a long line and get your ticket before anything can go wrong. If you already bought your tickets in advance, do not forget to bring it. You will either have to go all the way home to get it or you'll have to buy a new one. You won't be let in without a ticket!

         There are ways to jump the line. If you give blood or donate some canned food, you are entitled to a Jump the Line Pass and possibly a VIP wristband. Although VIP sounds like a dream, there are normally a lot of restrictions. If you are given any sort of VIP wristband or pass, don’t expect to hang out backstage and meet all the bands and get treated like a rock star. Just chill out and be thankful that you get some more perks than the other concert-goers!

         Now that you’re in the venue, take a look at the big inflatable by the main stage. This is where you will find set times for all the bands playing on every stage. It’s very useful to write your favorite band’s set time somewhere or make a note of it in your cell phone. Sadly, times are subject to change and it could throw off your whole schedule, so keep checking the inflatable to stay up-to-date.

          Once you’re watching a band play their set, there’s always one question that you must ask yourself—“Where should I be standing?” Well, this depends on what kind of person you are. If you enjoy chilling out and watching bands play their music, stick to the back of the crowd and enjoy the performance. If you enjoy getting wrecked and jumping around to the music, you better get yourself in the midst of that wild crowd! Make sure you can handle the heat during sets or else you can get overwhelmed or over-heated.

          Speaking of heat, you must remind yourself to DRINK WATER. Drink lots and lots of water. I know it sounds lame when I say it, but your body will be very grateful. Water bottles are less expensive at every venue this year and each tour stop provides a Kleen Kanteen booth where you can fill up your water bottles or travel cups for free. I was the only person out of all my friends to bring my own travel cup to the festival and many people were begging me for a sip of water! Drinking plenty of water will save you from dehydration and over-heating, so do it!


How to Survive a Hardcore Show

          Hardcore shows can go one of two ways; either you're standing in the back watching a cool band play or you're getting killed when you're standing by the pit. We've all wanted to see our favorite bands from the very front because we want to connect with the musicians, but it's not totally possible for some us. Most of us, honestly! I'm only a mere five feet tall and 90 pounds, therefore I can't exactly block anyone from smashing into me.

         My favorite band is Bring Me the Horizon and I was too excited to see them playing at House of Blues last August. My boyfriend and I got a spot right in the front against the barricade. We watched the opening acts with a perfect view and all, but we were waiting for the main event. I knew I was going to freak once my favorite band took the stage. I've seen them a couple of times and even met them back in '09, but this was different-- I was right in the front! The lights dim, everyone cheers, and there they are. This would have been a glorious moment if there wasn't this one problem: those angry asshole hardcore guys.

          So here I am, getting pushed to the floor and having my hair pulled hard by multiple people. These guys were at least 200 pounds and much taller than me. Why the hell are they jumping to grab Oliver Sykes' crotch? Really, guys? Whatever. Anyways, I had to leave my spot because it was too much for me to handle. Being the emotional girl that I am, I'm crying and the security thinks I'm hurt badly. They hand me a cup of ice cold water and take me to the back of the room. I'm watching my favorite band play, but I just feel robbed. I was there early just to stand in that spot and after one minute, it's gone. Did I deserve that? Nope. No one really does.

          Moral of the story? None, actually. I was pretty bummed for a straight week. I've always asked myself why these guys decide to do this, but then I remember how I acted when I started going to shows. I was all about crowd surfing and moshing and being that asshole. It seems to be an adrenaline rush for some and maybe even a way to let your emotions out there without feeling down. All people take in music differently and it's proper show etiquette to accept that.

          You may ask yourself why you should let these big guys take over the pit and hurt those innocent bystanders. Yeah, it sucks, but remember that everyone is totally different when they listen to music and their way of expressing it isn't exactly safe. Those guys are flailing their arms in no specific direction, therefore they might hit you! To show your proper show etiquette, you should be the one to tell them to stop. Hold your fist out and kick the guy (not too hard!) back into the pit. They'll get it unless they're an actual angry tough guy who dances in the pit to punch little girls in the face. That actually happens, no kidding!

        If you're wondering where to stand in a crowd, think of yourself. Do you like being in the front of the crowd to sing along with the band and possibly get in their face? Go ahead and do it! But beware-- you will get pulled and shoved and hit and possibly have your hair pulled harder than you can ever imagine. Sometimes it's really worth it to stand there and have the time of your life. If you'd rather be watching the band and listening to the music, stand in the back. You may have an obstructed view, but you don't want to get involved with that nonsense. You're there to listen to the music instead of getting into the music and that's totally cool! Never feel as if you're lame because you're not jumping all over the place.

          As for those guys who will hurt you at one point, you've just gotta accept it. You can protect yourself or take a risk. Either way, try to have fun and focus on the music while being aware of your surroundings. That's what you're there for in the first place, the music! You should have fun and bounce around like an idiot or even just stand back and admire the beautiful work of a great band. After all, it's a show. Everyone belongs.

- Tunage 

Written by Jordan Mafi