Friday, January 20, 2006


Ben Rubenstein's most recent column at PopMatters explores the recontextualization of music in everything from hip hop to car commercials:

Our initial reaction to a certain song is the one to stick the most; many critics will tell you that some of the greatest albums take a few listens to really take in, but it's that first involuntary response that is likely to keep you coming back. We all hold onto our favorite songs as though they were our own, and want to believe they hold the same importance for everyone. The likelihood of this is compromised when the songs we love exist in other forms — it is possible for others to view them in very different ways...Maybe this is the beauty of music: it can be experienced and loved in multiple formats; it can be recycled to inspire new generations and demographics.

: I tend to view sampling as a postmodern referencing point that points to an artist's influence. However, I’m occasionally reminded that not everyone is looking in that same context. A younger guy I work with is a huge Tupac fan and had “Changes” playing one day when I complained that I could never actually listen to the song, which expresses “the social stresses of the black race in America” because of all I ever hear is the cheese of Bruce Hornsby’s soft rock staple “The Way It Is “. This has never been a problem for my coworker, who first heard of Hornsby's version when he thought he heard Tupac playing at the dentist office.

No comments: