Music Blogging Week 3- Amanda

This quite abstract photo I’ve posted is the artwork for HAWAI’s single ‘In My Head’, which I wrote about and finally had published this week! I think the artwork works very well with the song since there is a lot going on in the photo, just like the song. I focused on the juxtaposition of upbeat instrumentation and gloomy vocals in my write up, which I think is reflected in the cover art too. My full piece can be read here. I’m proud of this one, I think that I found a good way to describe a song that’s different from my usual write ups. I also felt like the conclusion to this writing was more natural and kind of just came out coherently. Usually, I spend the most time on trying to figure out how to wrap up my pieces without sounding repetitive or just ending abruptly but this conclusion felt easier to write.

I also met with the English department chair and the librarians this week to talk about my project. The librarians were so helpful and they had such a wealth of knowledge for me to tap into. I was a little overwhelmed by how many different directions I could take my research and I think this week I’ll meet with T. Betsy and T. Victoria again to narrow down my focus. They had so many suggestions and I was so excited to hear all of them, but I could spend an entire year on reading through everything they talked about and still have made no progress. I think I want to focus on the tone of reviews and how writers address their audience. I was attracted to When the Gramophone Rings because of its everyday, down-to-earth tone. It’s a blog centered around sharing music as opposed to showing off the cool new music that the writers have found like other blogs do. I thought a good way to do this was find albums or songs that many blogs have written about so I could compare how authors write to appeal to a particular audience. I know that reviews from large mainstream magazines like Entertainment Weekly or People have to have a different approach to reviewing music than other specialized magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin. I want to stick to music in the indie rock/alternative genres just because that’s the main focus of When the Gramophone Rings and I want to improve my writing in that context. The more examples I have to look at, (hopefully) the better my reviews will get. I will want to look at some similar blogs to WTGR as well, like Earmilk and Indie Shuffle. Pitchfork is another blog I should definitely look at since it has a totally different take on music from what I’m used to and what I enjoy reading.

T. Betsy suggested I look into other forms of reviews too, like book or art show reviews. I think it would be interesting to see what is similar and what is different between the reviews, but I might not have the time to do it. It’s more important to me to look at writing on music just because that’s what I’m most interested in. I think this upcoming week will be tricky with looking for music and writing while trying hone in on a specific research topic, but I’m excited to start looking into how to better my writing. I love reading music reviews, especially on music that I’ve written about, because I want to see how other people interpreted or reacted to it. This week I’ll really start to dive into that aspect of my study and I can’t wait!

In My Head. Digital image. SoundCloud. SoundCloud, 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <;.

4 thoughts on “Music Blogging Week 3- Amanda

  1. lukasdesimone

    Hi Amanda! I think this is pretty cool work that you’re doing. I think you have chosen one of the hardest things to do, have an opinion about something completely subjective. Everyone has their own opinion about a song, regardless of how good the song or album may be. I think the goal of the reviewer should be to inform the reader on what is current, what is provocative, what “gets the people going.” While the listener will always make the final verdict on a piece of music, the reviewer can tell the reader/listener how they should receive the music in the context of current culture. I get a lot of my new music from Pitchfork, and I’m always amazed how well they can personify a song into something that’s almost as real as listening to the actual song, using a whole slew of other references and metaphors. Pitchfork reviewers, despite tending to be a bit conceited, do a very good job of linking the music they listen to to what they experience around them. I suggest trying to incorporate more of that into your writing to touch a broader audience.

  2. brandonlee2016

    I read your review and I agree that the conclusion was “was more natural and kind of just came out coherently”. From writing college essays I know how much of a pain word count is and am impressed by how much you were able to convey to the reader in such little space. Your focus on the tone of a review sounds interesting and I hope to learn more about it as your research progresses.

  3. lmagliente

    I listened to “In My Head”. I really liked it! I love the beginning, how it seems very chill. I then read your review and I like how you described it to be a ‘nostalgic’ vibe, as it also grows throughout the song. You commented on the lyrics. I was not really listening to the lyrics because I was distracted with the instrumental part. Thanks for this song!

  4. aidanpeterson

    I’d never heard of this group before. I enjoy the sound that they’re giving out. Your analysis of this track is on point. The nostalgic aspect of this track is very present on the top with the analog synths and vintage sounding instruments, yet it stands in today’s ‘standards’ of popular music.


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