Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Friday, 28 October 2016

SOCIAL MEDIA dying on the Vine: When the music's over

...turn out the lights...

So Vine has withered, joining MySpace in the one-time music industry giant graveyard (though relaunched MySpace struggles on)

Shawn Mendes and the Harlem Shake: what Vine did for pop

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Artist Case Study

However far from the existing image (brand) of your artist your own ideas are, you do need to evidence your awareness of this, and the research steps taken to inform yourself. You need to consider and provide info on such aspects as:
  1. are they signed to an Indie or major record label?
  2. considered a global artist or just UK or US success?
  3. what record, if any, of chart success?
  4. are they associated with any particular eras (eg the 80s)?
  5. what genre/s do they work in?
  6. who would be their core target audience, and consider any possible secondary audience/s?
  7. are there 'leitmotifs' (common themes, symbols) in their videos, and perhaps lyrics?
  8. provide a synopsis of their career
  9. are there particular directors they work with? do these bring their own styles?
  10. research some reviews of their videos, including YT user comments
  11. comment on the media language and editing used
  12. do they have any social media presence (consider how significant; the branding etc)?
  13. can you find UGC (fan art, fan-made videos, lyric videos etc)?
What you can find will obviously vary depending on the status and longevity of your act. You should consider the longer list above, but here are core elements you should evidence research into and consideration of - you could split this into multiple posts with a main summary post:

Major releases, successes, landmark dates - don't copy/paste huge reams from Wikis. Do hyperlink/credit all sources.
Overlapping with research into target audience, sum up their media profile: what sort of media do they appear in? do they get a favourable response? does this vary by media type/audience? Make sure you suitably illustrate such points.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

MARKETING The Gaga blitz v Solange silence

There are lots of examples raised in this Guardian article which you can reflect on as part of audience AND industry research, as well as consider mimicking.

Your simulacra of any known form of marketing could range from Photoshopping your version of an established magazine's cover to creating your own carpool karaoke.

Such approaches will also help you with the markscheme requirement for CREATIVE presentation and use of technology in the Evaluation especially, but also as content for social media and website.

The article has a somewhat confusing conclusion, but this can be translated as the simple message that there is no clearcut smart way to market an album or musical brand anymore; the marketing blitz is no longer any guarantee of success.

I'd recommend reading the Elberse chapters on the music industry to deepen your knowledge not just on marketing but also distribution.

Silence is golden: how keeping quiet became 2016's album launch strategy

Friday, 21 October 2016

GENDER Tove Lo and Lady Wood

NB: the artist under discussion often swears in her lyrics and interviews, both of which address her sexual identity in a frank manner.
Lo might be a new low for some, her very in your face lyrics and gyrating in her videos leaving little room for interpretation, but she isn't doing anything new - nor is much of the censorious or dismissive critical reaction, and its grounding in gender politics, new.
Pop writing often ignores great female blues and jazz singers who addressed their sexuality lyrically, and each latest controversy somehow forgets Donna Summers, Madonna, even Alannis Morrisette (whose Jagged Little Pills brought some challenging topics to a huge mainstream audience).
Lo is right to be exasperated at the double standards over male performers, and the issue of agency is central here.
Is her sexualised image and performance a reflection of a patriarchal society and a misogynistic music industry (a traditional feminist stance), and Lo therefore an exploited victim, OR is she an assertive, self-assured woman in control of her image and art freely choosing to explore sexuality (a more typically post-feminist position)?
Perhaps there is some truth in BOTH positions? Lo is asserting female artists' freedom to discourse in a manner seen as male territory and unbecoming for women, thus challenging normative, hegemonic gender identity.
BUT ... she is doing this using visual tropes long linked to the male gaze, and which surely are appealing to a heterosexual male audience as much as generating any identification with or aspiration from (uses and gratifications theory) a female audience?
This is seemingly an endless debate. Going back a decade were the Pussycat Dolls empowering role models or a cynical male manager and record label boss' means of putting a positive spin on an exploitative, sexualised image?
Tove Lo: ‘Being open about sex is not a bad thing’

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Links lists

As a precaution against another blogger issue wiping my links lists again, this post is simply a backup of links lists - as I gradually try to recreate the many, many lost. Thanks blogger...