Are Music Videos Dead?

Kaitlyn Koegler

WGMU Blogger

It’s a question many music fans have asked, and certainly one that doesn’t come without its merits. After all, one of the first suggestions that pops up on Google when typing in, “do music videos” is “do music video still exist?”

While many of us know they certainly still exist, to what extent do they still have power and impact in the music world? We’re no longer in the days of cramming around the TV to watch a new music video from our favorite artists on MTV. No longer are we in the days where a new music video causes huge pop culture buzz and excitement.

We are now in the days where streaming services like Spotify and Pandora thrive and the focus on an audio experience seems to be more popular than that of a visual one. We’re busier now; our lives are arguably more fast-paced than ever before. We don’t need to worry about making time to turn on the TV or buy a CD to hear music; for all we need to do now is just log on to YouTube on our own schedule.

But has that switch to media consumption through the Internet caused music videos to fall through the cracks? It’s certainly an argument that can be made. On the other hand, however, it could simply be that music videos just don’t have the mass amount of funding that they did back in the 80s and 90s. Music video directors like Anthony Mandler find this to be music video’s biggest problem.

“Part of what is missing today are event videos,” said Mandler to Forbes magazine. “70 percent of videos today don’t have enough money invested in production or start with a clever enough idea to do something unusual … and, therefore, slip into the sea of the average.”

This is not to say that music videos today are never clever and impactful by any means. Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” is an entire compilation of music videos that easily pass as an art film with an initial release on HBO that harped back to the best years of MTV. But it’s a matter of the frequency of these types of videos and how, in modern times, we just don’t see them very often. They just don’t pack the same punch as they used to.

Could music videos go back to being as huge as they were in their best days? Perhaps. The platform is there, and the ability to reach a global audience is right under artists’ fingertips. It’s just a matter of not only funding, but bringing back the emphasis on visual performance that we once knew with greats like Michael Jackson or Prince. Audiences need to have a reason to want to see a music video. There needs be an aspect of an artist’s music that can only be expressed through the motions of a music video.

Will those motions appeal to mass music audience ever again? Only time will tell.

The Greatest Show on Earth!

Kyle Kuhn

WGMU Blogger

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Clowns. Lions. Magic. Thrill. Are you ready for the circus? Because we know that the Circus is ready for us. Founded in 1871 by none other than the original Ringling Bros., The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be appearing at the Eagle Bank Arena! If you are into extraordinary performers, exotic animals and the ultimate circus experience, be prepared to buy your tickets as soon as possible. Between April 7 and April 16, you will have the opportunity to witness their final show. Prepare to take a ride to the intergalactic space-age to join the adventurous family in a futuristic show as they present “Out Of This World.” Audiences will be able to join the Circus fleet as they go on a good versus evil hunt, letting them expand their imagination and experience unexpected surprises and thrills.

Through the eyes of a magic telescope, The Ringling Bros. have outdone themselves in presenting a story that will blow your mind. Including gravity-defying acrobats, majestic animals, fearless daredevils, humorous clowns and orbital aerialists, the show will include various acts to make sure you are on the edge of your seat the whole entire time! To find out more about the Ringling Bros and their upcoming shows, you can visit www.ringling.com!

More good news?! If you can’t make the shows at the Eagle Bank Arena, they will also be holding shows at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. March 31 to April 2!

Get Ready…Because Ladies and Gentlemen, this is…THE GREATEST SHOW ON THE EARTH!

 

The Game Boy for Adults – “Nintendo Switch”

Michael Cohen

WGMU Blogger

nintendo switchFriday, March 3 was the launch of Nintendo’s first console since 2011. The console is the Nintendo Switch. The Switch costs approximately $300. The console has a design that is comparable to no other on the market. The controllers slide on/off the sides of the screen allowing it to go from a living-room console to a mobile thingamajig. The screen size is 6.2”, which is easy enough to “throw” it in a bag to use while commuting to school or work or to “throw” in a tote bag to go play it in a park, just as people did when Pokémon Go was released. The Nintendo Switch is also known as the Game Boy for grown-ups. When you turn the Switch into a mobile thingamajig, the battery holds out for about three hours, which is exactly what Nintendo has predicted. Three hours is great for commutes or when taking road trips. The Switch comes with a 32GB memory card, which is not a lot if you download a good number of games. Therefore, if you want to download a good number of games you want to consider purchasing a larger memory card at your everyday electronics store. Yes, Nintendo has some more things to do to make the Switch more attractive for most people’s disposable income. However, if Nintendo does make it more attractive, then it will be a hit in the markets.

Mixtapes

Alyssa Casano

WGMU Blogger

mixtapeThere’s nothing like the gift of music. When you have a message you want to say but are unable to put it into words there is likely a song out there to express the message for you.

Want to tell someone that you love them? There are millions of songs for that. My suggestion would be Plain White T’s song 1,2,3,4. Want to say you don’t care about what others think? There’s another hundred thousand songs to choose from. My suggestion would be Lady Sovereign’s song Love Me Or Hate Me.

Want to get some motivation to study before midterms? Well admittedly this would take some more creativity to find a song but it can be done. The best suggestion I can give for motivation would be Eminem with Lose Yourself. Of course, my suggestions could be songs that you might not like but there are trillions of songs out there in the world.

There will be something that fits whatever category you are looking for. It may take some time, and it could be an unknown artist that produces what you are looking for, but music is there for your every need. Take the time to discover the amazing world of music.

Maintaining Your Zen While Maintaining Your GPA

Rachel Handschuh

WGMU Blogger

stressed girlHomework. Quizzes. Exams. Finals. It’s a lot to take in, not only time management wise but mentally. College is a lot of work, which leads to stress not only on your brain but your body as well. Lucky for you, Mason has you covered! The Center for the Advancement of Well Being, which is run by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, offers a lot of programs to relieve you from that test you’ve been studying for.

All of the free services that are available for Mason students, faculty, and staff that they have on a weekly basis include Yoga for Well-Being, Silent Meditation and Mindfulness Practice. Using these services, which you can find out more detail about on http://wellbeing.gmu.edu/our-programs/weekly-well-being-practices, can help you establish a daily practice of mindfulness.

Establishing a daily or weekly practice has amazing effects for your mental and physical health. For example, meditating and yoga do not only reduce stress levels, but they reduce blood pressure, which is good for anyone looking to be healthier. Also, it helps with focusing before a big event such as a project, which is a main reason why I choose to do it myself. So, if you’re looking to maintain your Zen and maintain a great GPA, look to The Center for the Advancement of Well Being for some mindful inspiration.

The Nice Guys: Spring Break Woes

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Cory has a bone to pick with Spring Break. Of course it’s bizarre and doesn’t make much sense. Plus, it’s weird how much adults LOVE Disney World.

 

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Special guest and WGMU alum Brian Gianelos joins in on our discussion.

 

You can hear The Nice Guys every Wednesday, from 4:30 to 5:30. Tune in for hosts Cory Morgan and Matt Dotson, as they provide a look into their daily lives and neurotic ticks. Self deprecation, unwarranted hostility, and overall hilarity ensues each and every week.

 

 

After The Trade Deadline, The Capitals Postseason Looks Promising

Nick Colletti

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Thursday March 2, 2017

skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 28, 2017 in New York City. The Capitals defeated the Rangers 4-1.

The acquisition of defenseman Kevin Shatterkirk from the St. Louis Blues has given many Capitals’ faithful genuine excitement heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A blue liner that can assist on the power play and provide even more depth to what was already a deep defensive roster. Goaltender Phoenix Copley was also a part of the transaction as well, returning to the organization that drafted him.

Multiple high draft picks were sold to buy these players but these are picks the Capitals can afford to lose. Once again a favorite to win the Cup, the Caps had no business selling and GM Brian MacLellan demonstrated his confidence in this squad by locking and loading  for April, and hopefully May and June. His team is playing the best hockey this franchise has ever witnessed, even more so than the Presidents Trophy squad the season before.

The Capitals who currently possess the best record in the league, also have multiple injuries that can hopefully be resolved before the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Andre Burakovsky is nursing a broken wrist and may not return for a couple of weeks. Both Brooks Orpik and T.J Oshie have been bruised up but both are expected to hit the ice in the not-so-distant future.

A major complaint of last year’s Caps team was the theory that the team had peaked to soon and weren’t in postseason shape when the playoffs began. This year as the playoffs become less distant it seems the Capitals are starting to peak at the perfect time, such as the Pittsburgh Penguins did last year. Emulating the 2015-2016 Penguins isn’t a bad idea at all and the Caps should do all they can to play copycat. If they do, few teams pose a threat in their quest for Lord Stanley this spring.

The Nice Guys: The Goose Problem

nice guys 3Matt brings to our attention a rather concerning issue with some new campus residents.

You can hear The Nice Guys every Wednesday, from 4:30 to 5:30. Tune in for hosts Cory Morgan and Matt Dotson, as they provide a look into their daily lives and neurotic ticks. Self deprecation, unwarranted hostility, and overall hilarity ensues each and every week.

 

 

 

Just By Chance: Chance the Rapper’s Rise to Stardom

Kaitlyn Koegler

WGMU Blogger

chance the rapperIt was an unprecedented event; a rapper with no record label behind him winning three Grammys.

Becoming the first artist to win a Grammy for a streaming-only album, Chance the Rapper (born as Chancellor Bennett), is a 23 year-old rising star with three mixtape releases under his belt.

Releases all pioneered by none other than himself.

Chance, unlike most big names in the industry, is not signed by any record label, releasing his music on Soundcloud to avoid the restrictions that come with being signed to a huge company.

Not to say that he isn’t wanted by any; he is. Big time. Pagesix reports that the artist is reportedly turning down 10 million dollar offers just to stay out of what he believes is a pointless deal.

“It’s a dead industry,” said Chance to Rolling Stone. “What’s an album these days, anyways? ‘Cause I didn’t sell it, does that mean it’s not an official release?” 

Despite his criticism of labels, he continues to prosper. With 1.39 million followers on Soundcloud and all-star artists like Justin Beiber and Kanye West featuring on his tracks, it doesn’t look like Chance will be slowing down anytime soon.

If you’re interested in seeing Chance live, tickets for his summer tour are currently on sale at ticketmaster.com. He will be making stops in Bristow, Virginia Beach, and Baltimore.

Kaine & Mason Student Elyazgi on Travel Ban and Community Effect

 

Photo Credit: Dea McCollum

tim kaineOn Friday February 10th, former Vice President nominee and current Senator of Virginia Tim Kaine returned to George Mason. He came in the fall, accompanied by Joe Biden, to promote the Clinton-Kaine ticket. Now, after the conclusion of the election, he came not for self-promotion, but to speak about the new administration’s recent ban on seven Muslim majority countries.

Prior to the entrance of Tim Kaine, the room was quiet. Hushed conversations peppered the space as Angel Cabrera; President of George Mason peered into the room every few minutes, allowing the audience a glimpse of his festive yellow shirt and green tie.

Many feel that the diverse and international student body is what enriches the student experience here. 87 students at George Mason are from the seven countries targeted by the ban. Hadeel Al-Tashi, a Yemeni graduate student, speaks about the hardship her family members in Yemen are experiencing due to the war and resulting displacement. She speaks of scattered families seeking refuge prior to the executive order, and how this ban has impacted human lives. She emphasizes the human aspect of the issue. She stressed that policies are not simply on paper, but are causing people to suffer. Here is her speech:

 

 

Sitting in the front row was Najwa Elyazgi, a Libyan George Mason student who had only recently been able to return to the U.S. She spoke prior to the Senator, detailing her experience. She conveys the harrowing feeling of not knowing whether she would be able to return to her studies. As she waited for information about whether she could return and communicated with her lawyer, she spent her time sequestered in a hotel, applying for other universities. She sent applications out of the fear and real possibility that she would be unable to ever return to George Mason. After a week of uncertainty, her brother called her in the middle of the night with the news that a federal judge had put a hold on the ban. She immediately booked a plane ticket to the U.S. A stark contrast to the executive order that kept her away, she recalls a CVPA official in the U.S. on her arrival saying “welcome back, we missed you”. Here is her speech:

 

 

Senator Kaine begins his speech by noting the inherent American value; talent from around the world is what energizes our country. When the ban went into effect, Senator Kaine was in Blacksburg. Even in an area not assumed to be a home of immigrants, the community there is connected to families affected by President’s Trump’s executive order. Senator Kaine learned of a Syrian family that had become important and loved members of the community. This family spoke of another Syrian family coming to live with them that had been in a “refugee camp in Jordan for four years being vetted”. Despite having successfully completed the lengthy vetting process, they could no longer enter the country. The small Virginia community ready to welcome this family would have to wait, as the family was detained due to the ban. In Many other areas of Virginia Senator Kaine visited, there was a great deal of uncertainty about how members of the community from the targeted countries would be affected. Here is his speech:

 

 

Tim Kaine remarks that while the administration denies accusations that this executive order is a Muslims ban, the ban affects Muslim majority countries, but has provisions for religious minorities – meaning provisions for non-Muslims.

He recognizes the issue with the ban turning away green card holders, or permanent legal residents. It should cause one to question whether those who follow the legal entrance process into the US should be punished. He takes issue with discriminations based on religion and country this ban appears to promote. He criticizes the fact that the ban applied too broadly, restricting those who were already legal residents.

The Senator spoke fondly of those he saw protesting in airports, standing with welcoming signs trying to convey their message so that it would be received by those who felt anything but welcome.

He notes specifically the affect of this ban on universities, who house many international students and faculty. The wildly diverse audience nodded at this, feeling his point to be incredibly relevant to their experience, no matter their background.

So what happens now? Or, more specifically, what will the administration do? According to Tim Kaine, the administration might try to repeal to the Supreme Court, fighting to prove the constitutionality of the executive order. It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court has a vacancy, making it possible for a ruling to be tied. If the case is repealed to the Supreme Court and tied, the 9th Circuit Court ruling would stand, continuing the freeze on President Trump’s Immigration order.

The second possibility is that the administration could try to make their case and present evidence in a lower court, fighting the decision. Another possibility, however unlikely, is that the administration could choose to retract the order and admit fault. As events continue to unfold, the administration’s choice will become clear.

The Senator closes by reminding us to have pride in the immigrant nation that we are, and to celebrate the strength of our diversity. In the diverse and international community that composes George Mason University, this event provided a venue for students to voice their fears, concerns, and their staunch dedication to working towards a more welcoming and inclusive community.