The real version of “Run The World (Girls)” jumped onto a trend already a tad out-dated (Afrojack’s still-awesome but well-worn shuffle by way of Diplo). Say Wut’s scrunched-up techno take fits into the general “WTF” feel of underground dance production right now, not six to twelve months ago. Screw vetting, Beyonce should just ask worker-bee regional innovators like Say Wut for some beats. Release this generous, obnoxious version! If the Baltimore club producer’s remix found its way onto the radio (outside of Baltimore that is, here it gets almost as much plays as the real version), it could really blow some minds. And while we’re at it, can Araabmuzik give her some of that Electronic Dream shit?
Anyways, pay special attention to just how well this new beat converses with Beyonce’s vocals from the original. This isn’t one of those remixes where your ears force it all to properly interact because hey man, Beyonce goes Bmore club! Cool! The beat here, all hard, crisps snares and squonking synths, calms down and then suddenly tightens up, switching up with the help of guttural “hey”s and the slightest tinge of good and proper though predictable dance-pop structure. The entire song is the awesome, rapid-fire part that drops after the build up. Now, when Beyonce goes “this beat is cray-zee,” you’re not gonna go, “really B? This beat?”
Have you listened to the new Beyonce? Maybe you even bought it. You should. That said, I’m tempted to brashly enter “redux” mode and suggest that this Say Wut version replace the original but no, 4 is much too subdued for something this buzzing and bold. The entire album is a slow burn up to “Run The World,” which doesn’t entirely work because the ender is an at-best okay song. Bonus track “Schoolin’ Life,” the kind of empowering anthem “Run The World” pretends to be, should end the album. Or if that’s cheating, 4 should begin on track two, “I Care,” and end with “1 + 1,” which would slowly rise out of the dance party wreckage of “Run The World” and leave you with some end-of-the-world, end-of-Watchmen love in the ruins feeling.
“Fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart.
Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.”—“How To Talk To Little Girls” by Lisa Bloom (via twofish)
“But where the larger query is concerned, I really don’t have a clue. How can I build an evaluative hierarchy that works in the absence of the capitalist framework through which I evaluated music throughout the majority of my life?”—
How do you decide what to get out of the library? This sounds snarky but it’s a serious question around this whole water-water-everywhere line of argument. Assuming you have access to a library (which is an assumption I probably shouldn’t make, since I have no idea about how the US library system works), you are confronted at quite a young age with the problem of there being vastly more information available to you, for free, than you have hours to absorb it. The library problem isn’t exactly the same as the free music problem but they share enough points that it’s an interesting comparison.
Nobody objects to libraries on the basis that they make reading worthless, for instance (OK, maybe some Randian nuts do, who knows). I’d guess that everybody who is into books and is confronted with the library problem finds a personalised solution to it in which a mass of glib, harsh judgements result in enough datapoints for a more-or-less efficient kind of triage, which then becomes a kind of second nature (“This book looks good” /”This book doesn’t look good”). Hardly innocent or unmanipulable - it’s why certain genres and certain fonts go together in lockstep - but not anything we really actively worry about.
So does this/will this/is this happening for music as well? (Rhetorical question, this.)
Obviously this doesn’t address the whole “musicians getting compensated” element of the discussion, but that’s really a separate question: the current vogue for worrying about a) there being too much music and b) the shifting nature of the music experience isn’t inextricably linked to musicians getting paid or not.