Tag Archives: critique

Today We Learn About: Led Zeppelin & the Blues

Baby, baby, I’m gonna bring it on home to you

I done bought my ticket, I got my load
Conductor done hollered, “All, aboard”
I’m-a take my seat, ride way back
and watch this train roll down the track

Baby, baby, I’m gonna bring it on home to you

-Willie Dixon “Bring It on Home” (1963)

Baby, baby, gon’ bring it on home to you

I’ve got that ticket, I got that load
Join up, gone higher, all aboard
I’m-a take my seat, ride way back
and watch this train roll down the track

Gonna bring it on home, bring it on home to you

-Led Zeppelin “Bring It on Home” (1969)

The popular English rock band Led Zeppelin has been brought to court for their multiple instances of copyright infringement. These cases have settled out of court, but are outnumbered by the startling similarities that reside in the remainder of the band’s catalog. Through an examination of the blues as an art form and contemporary copyright law as it stood at the time of Led Zeppelin’s fame, it will be shown that the band went far beyond the tradition of shared concepts, rhythms, and structure that is present in the blues. Led Zeppelin has committed the unforgivable; they have not only taken ideas, lyrics, arrangements, melodies, and rhythms without any credit, but they have taken these musical elements from a population that has been historically exploited. Led Zeppelin is yet another in a long line of western light skinned appropriators that have taken what they deemed just from African-American culture without fair compensation. This practice has not been isolated to labor and culture, but expanded to creative works that are protected under internationally recognized laws. Called into question is the African-American community’s ability to combat such appropriation. Often the artists themselves are not responsible for litigation, but their record label or other representative who act of the musician’s behalf. We will examine this tendency and its implication for what can be seen as a broad, unrecognized cultural theft. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: The Implications of Business on an Art Form

The music business is changing because the record business is changing. While touring, merchandising, and licensing continue to flourish, the sale of CD’s has diminished in recent years. While CD sales decrease, digital music retailers like iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and eMusic set new revenue records almost yearly. Companies like Tunecore allow artists to become their own record label. A shift in revenue source, a focus on singles over album sales, the creation of new mediums for delivery, and the ease of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) distribution have drastically changed a landscape that for decades has relied on an unwavering business model. In changing times, a business model must change as well. Along with this shift in business model must come a shift in regard for the very art form that has driven the music industry forward since sheet music was sold from Tin Pan Alley. Likewise, a shift in regard for those who create this art must also take place. Continue reading

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Geeking Out: Acopolyptic Views of the Record Business are NOT the Entire Picture

this is going to be really quick. thats the intention, but i could go on and on. but i’m gonna keep it informal. like a deal point memo, i reserve the right to expand this entry upon either parties request.

holy jesus christ almighty. can we please stop with the wah wah wah record sales are down, the world is ending bullshit?! record sales are not the music industry. the music industry is doing decent enough, the record business is utterly fucked. and its not because no one buys records anymore. Continue reading

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Geeking Out: This Bastard Stole My Blog Idea

Complete with the exact page that I linked to… unbelievable! At least gimme a shout out!

http://news.discovery.com/earth/so-many-earthquakes-the-end-is-nigh.html

What a dick. Please view my blog post below.

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Today We Learn About: Hypocrisy in the Quest for Independence

Samuel Johnson said, “How is it that we hear the largest yelps for liberty among the drivers of the negroes?” In this statement a British man remarks on the tendencies of a nation three thousand miles to the west, and this nations thirst for independence from the very land that Johnson himself called home. Spoken in 1775, these remarks came at a time in history when tensions were high and every opportunity was taken to put down, or bring to light inconsistencies or hypocrisies in the practices of other side of the argument. Much like a political campaign, these comments had effects that went beyond merely stating the truth about those who were shouting for revolution. These comments also served to undermine the revolution as a whole, and break down foundations it had been built upon. Given the historical context of this quote, it can be said that there is a fairly decent amount of symbolism behind these words, and much that serves to be considered in the deconstruction of Johnson’s statement. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: The Post-American World

In Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World the reader is given an insight into the growing global economy in which countries like China and India are gaining ground on the current world superpower, The United States of America. Also given are detailed examples of where the United States has gone wrong, and what improvements can be made in order to better adapt to the changing global power structure. The United States has slowly become a country that focuses on the worst of the world around it, leaving the nation unprepared to actually deal with the problems that arise in a changing landscape. (Zakaria 27) This is a landscape that is marked by the resurgence and return to greatness of two of the pre-industrial worlds great powers, China and India. China’s dictatorship has taken an active role in transforming that nation over the past thirty years, while in India the democratically run government has also seen considerable growth during this time period. In the meantime, the America that once influenced and set the global standard has been slipping away much the same way Britain did at the time of the Boer War. (173) Zakaria makes a case for America returning to this prior policy of “world building” through various means rather than the nations current trend toward bully tactics. All in all, Zakaria’s main points and ideas are well received and interesting. With that said, some of the information certainly leads the reader towards larger questions that, while somewhat addressed in the book, could definitely use some further thought. Continue reading

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Today We Learn About: Modern Feminist Arguments Regarding Women in Shakespeare

‘Are We Reading the Same Play?’

“A feminist editor of Shakespeare… must interrogate the assumptions made about gender in the text itself and in the previous transmission and elucidation of the text, drawing on feminist studies of the ways in which Shakespeare has been reproduced and appropriated by patriarchal cultures.”
~ from Ann Thompson’s essay “Feminist Theory and Editing Shakespeare”

Audiences still flock to showings of The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet. These modern audiences judge these pieces, applying them to their lives and interpreting them how they will. The ability to do this has helped Shakespeare’s plays stay popular despite the fact that he would have celebrated his 445th birthday this year. Many contemporary feminist scholars, however, take issue with Shakespeare’s treatment of strong female characters and portrayal of weak ones. Books and essays have been published and plays have been rewritten in an attempt to undo the damage done by a well-loved form of entertainment that celebrates taming a woman who is honest and does not put up with anything she does not want to. These plays show women as individuals poisoned by their sexual passions and eager to secure their place among power and wealth. Continue reading

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