30 May 2010

(Pseudo)Holidays

I prefer to call them by that because it gives you an incomplete sense of freedom. Although it temporarily allows us to enjoy lesson-free periods, the holiday homework and CCAs and holiday remedial lessons keep us deeply rooted to the schools. It's basically extending the leash of the dogs, but they're still attached to the leash. Not that I'm saying that schools treat us like dogs, though.

Sooooooooo, I have Chinese + English work. Even though it's just two subjects(I think it's only these two, can someone clarify???), there's still a lot of work for each of the subjects. Chinese homework consists of a big compilation of newspaper article reviews, and preparation for a book test. Except that this "book" is a Chinese student magazine with tons of articles inside, and I have to go through ALL of them because I don't know which ones the questions will target! There are probably more than 20-30 articles in there if I'm not wrong...

English is not really better off; besides the showcase portfolio(mentioned a few posts back I think), there's the reading assignment again. This time, instead of individual work, the format becomes something like a book club discussion. We all read up on a book, and then each person discusses on different aspects of the book. The problem is, there are only individual marks given, which depend ENTIRELY on the content you have to discuss, and what you're given to discuss might be based on your luck...

At least I have more time to do the things I want, like listening to music. And I have noticed some things about today's popular music. For example the rappers: most of the content they rap about is mainly bragging about themselves, or complimenting the girl of their dreams. The difference is established through the background music loops, and sometimes the singing vocals. Also, when the rappers become the "featured artist" of a particular song, like " by ft. , they mainly rap in the beginning or somewhere near the bridge. And they usually mention the singer's name somewhere as a form of acknowledgement...

Actually, nowadays a LOT of songs include a mention of the artist performing the song, and this fad seems quite recent, mainly showing up only in the last few years. Many singers do this, like Lady Gaga, Akon(as Konvict), Pitbull(also Mr 305), Sean Kingston, Ludacris, etc. Sometimes, it's not the singer's name mentioned but the person/people who helped in the recording process, e.g. Red One helped in Just Dance, so he is acknowledged in the intro. And some of her other songs like Eh Eh(Nothing Else I Can Say) and Starstruck have "Cherry Cherry Boom Boom" in the intro, which refers to a recording company called Cherry Tree Records.

But why does this trend only surface now? Maybe they want to ALWAYS be acknowledged when someone performs the song? People who do covers of the song would just treat this as the lyrics, but it is more like a tag to me. Maybe the tagging fad on online sites like Facebook have triggered this??? The songs are becoming something like movies, where some of the credits roll at the beginning, although for Bad Romance it becomes like a movie with "Sung By: Lady Gaga" popping up after each chorus!

I really wonder who actually started this "artist declaration" tradition, because at times it becomes strangely annoying even though it may be for a few seconds. You deny radio deejays the chance to introduce who sang the song, simply by singing out your name somewhere in the intro. It's not like you HAVE to do that before people find out who did this song. Are singers really afraid of plagiarism or cases of "unknown artist"???

Maybe yet another trend would surface that everybody will keep hearing on the radio. We've already got autotune, and a bunch of people who dish out hearty servings of autotuned voices, but could there be a new fad that could overtake that too? What if music suddenly goes back to the oldies and revives them? Music can be very hard to predict...