In David Prudhomme’s Graphic Novel ‘rebetiko,’ A Music Revolution
Sent! A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. 7 To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs YouTube to stage its own music awards show Marco della Cava, USA TODAY 12:01 a.m. EDT October 1, 2013 Guests will range from Lady Gaga to YouTube violin phenom Lindsey Stirling. Lady Gaga chats with Andy Cohen on Bravo’s ‘Watch What Happens Live’ on Sept. 11, 2013. (Photo: Bravo) Story Highlights The inaugural awards show will air live from New York on Nov. 3 – on YouTube, of course Jason Schwartzman will host Seven awards will be handed out based solely on online voting SHARE 430 CONNECT 190 TWEET 7 COMMENTEMAILMORE If YouTube has proven anything over the past eight years, it’s that humans are big-time voyeurs. And one of the things we like to watch most is music. From a pre-teen Justin Bieber starting a revolution from his bathroom to Psy making the world realize we all love Korean hip-hop, YouTube has launched artists that a few decades ago might never have broken out of their own backyards. To celebrate that power, the mother of all video platforms announced Tuesday that it would throw its first-ever YouTube Music Awards show on Nov.
How country music went crazy: A comprehensive timeline of the genre’s identity crisis
Born in the 1920s, Prudhomme explains in a brief authors note, the themes of rebetiko are comparable to those of Fado or the tango. Sometimes its known as the Greek blues. The idea, he goes on, is to sing about the pain of exile, the romance of the ports, the swoops and flights of the nighthawks and their ill-starred loves; their failure and their humor. My kind of music, in other words, fueled by hash and booze and a sense that, for the duration of a song, at least, ones daily degradations might be washed away. Political, too, since, as Prudhomme notes, [i]n 1936, the nationalist dictator Metaxas seized power in Athens and decided that these singers on the fringes of society should be brought into line a decision that turned the rebetes into outlaws, and their music into a call to arms. Prudhomme sets Rebetiko in the early days of the Metaxas era and builds it around a loose association of figures, both historical and imagined, including Markos Vamvakiris , considered an early hero of the form. The story, such as it is, is a meandering lament, much like the music it seeks to celebrate, in which Markos is released from jail, reconnects with his friends Stavros and Artemis, performs in a port cafe, and eventually must make a treacherous escape from the law. Theres nothing left but smoke, melancholy, broken plates , Prudhomme writes late in the book. We were only little octopuses from the slums, with bile as black as ink. The larger implication, however, is that such little octopuses can have a bit effect when they tell their stories honestly, creating a space in which an audience can truly recognize itself. To get this across, Prudhomme re-creates the music deftly, using small panels that echo the darkness, the closeness, of the cafes while also filling them with movement, the movement of patrons dancing, or fighting, or being seduced. Because rebetiko is storytelling music, he highlights the lyrics, layering them atop his images, as if they were part of the atmosphere. At times, it can be difficult to parse out the characters there are a lot of them, and they come and go with a kind of fluid serendipity, leaving us uncertain about who is who. But that, I think, is part of the point also, for the culture of the rebetes was communal, which is the sense that we are left with: of a movement as social as it was political, in which the lines are blurred between participant and observer, and experience is most essential when it is shared. In the end, of course, rebetiko was tamed, in part by Mataxas and in part by the vagaries of time. Like the blues, it has become something of a museum music, softened by history, no longer risky (or even dangerous) but quaint. Censorship stopped in the end, Prudhomme tells us. Fashions changed to I adapted to everything.
The play screen for Smule’s Ocarina 2. (Credit: Smule) Every day, users of Smule’s Sing Karaoke sing 480,000 songs, and users of its Magic Piano play 1.2 million songs. And until now, all those songs have only been available to hear and interact with via the hit apps. But Smule wants the content its users generate to be available to everyone, not just those who have the apps, and today, the San Francisco startup launched a Web-based social network that it says is the largest social network of music makers in the world. Smule’s giant network of music makers and fans has been around for years. With Ocarina , Smule had one of the first major iPhone hit apps, a tool that let anyone create music using a digital tool meant to mimic a traditional wind instrument. Those songs could instantly be shared with a worldwide audience, and users could also simply listen to others playing with the app. Using apps like Ocarina, Ocarina 2 , or I am T-Pain, users have been able to create and share music with others around the world, regardless of whether they were friends or strangers. And through the apps, others have been able to listen to that music, and often, interact with it. With the new Web-based system, however, anyone with access to the Internet will be able to listen in, or interact, a system that Smule hopes will open up its network to a much larger audience, and ideally create much more music sharing and creation. Users will now be able to access the music — a terrabyte of which is added to Smule’s network every two days — via Facebook, Twitter, the company’s many apps, and the Web.
Smule launches huge Web-based music social network
Heres how the partnership was explained by Billboard : The goal for both teams is to keep an eye open for the other, sending writers to L.A. from Nashville and vice-versa to fit the needs of the two teams. Naturally, both sides see the current landscape in pop music as receptive to the merging of the two cultures, evidenced by Swifts use of various non-Nashville experts to assist with her music on her latest Big Machine release Red. April 7: Luke Bryan wins Entertainer of the Year at ACM Awards Like I said above with Zac Browns Grammy win, these artists are at peak popularity right now. April 8: Brad Paisleys Accidental Racist sets the internet on fire If nothing else, Paisleys controversial track (and really, the whole of his exploratory album Wheelhouse, which encouraged listeners to venture outside their Southern Comfort Zone) suggested that the stalwart star was bored with the current subjects covered in country. May 10: Kacey Musgraves says she doesnt like what country has turned into My voice is undeniably country, and I love country, she told American Songwriter . Do I love what its turned into? No, not all the way. Its a little embarrassing when people outside of the genre ask what I sing and I say country. You automatically get a negative response, a cheese factor My favorite compliment ever is when someone says, I hate country music but I love your music. June 5: Nelly closes the CMT Awards Appearing alongside newcomers Florida Georgia Line, the rapper helped end the ceremony in the performance slot typically reserved for super-established country acts. Granted, Cruise was a truly massive hit, but country is a very tradition-minded genre, and it was surprising that Florida Georgia Line got to close the show much less close it with the pop remix of their song featuring a rapper. June 8: Lenny Kravtiz flicks off crowds at CMA Fest Nelly wasnt the only non-country star at the CMT Awards. Kravitz was there too, and a few days later the rocker appeared as a surprise guest at CMA Fest. But when the crowd proved uninterested in his non-country set (which ran longer than some scheduled performers), Kravitz got increasingly frustrated as he tried to win them over.