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Lecture 3

MUS240H1 Lecture 3: MUS240 Lecture 3 Carnivalesque

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Alia O' Brien

MUS240 Lecture 3 Affective Overdrive and Metal: Pleasure, fun and the carnivalesque Carnivalesque • Concept developed by philosopher, semiotician, and critical theorist Mikhail Bakhtin • a historical phenomenon (carnival) that became transmuted into a literary style • chaos, disorder, mixing of unlikely elements, grotesquery (often bodily in nature) o constantly threatening to overturn things • affective/affecting phenomenon: revelry, humour, pleasure, bricolage • Costumes, imagery, hyrotechniques provide an affective recharging musical experience on fun and pleasure Visual Kei • trans. “visual style” or “visual system” • genre of music originating in Japan; initially influenced by 70s and 80s glam rock/metal bands like KISS and Twisted Sister, and visually by Kabuki dance-dramas • psychedelic, crime of visual shock • second generation of Visual Kei groups is less overtly influenced by rock and metal, more “pop” or commercial sounding o still extreme stage that goes back to the days of glam rock • gender ambiguity, elaborate “themed” costumes o style goes from glam rock to goth looking o sound is connected to the theme • Idol pop is another sector of Visual Kei in Japan o manufactured stars are marketed for their cuteness with different groups signed different musical genres and aesthetics • Baby Metal o popular consciousness and metal consciousness o 2013, upset in both idol pop and metal worlds o grimed ritualistic imagery and idol pop styles and death metal [both genres] o theatrical visuals o elaborate concept o top-down musical agenda o it is transgressive that it combines different sounds and concepts • Audiovisual example: Babymetal – Megistune o a mixture of melodic death metal, idol pop, visual kei, and “traditional” Japanese musical forms o combination of pitched vocals (Su-metal) and shouting (Yoimetal and Maometal) o catchy synthesizer “riff” overtop blast beats ▪ moving away from guitars, bass, drums and prominent synthesizer in the song ▪ blast beats in the song (machine gun drum sounds) o lyrics about womanhood; e.g., the line “smiling with our faces, crying on the inside, saying “that’s right” and never showing our tears…women are actresses”, likens women’s emotional socialization to the magical, shape-shifting mythological fox figure (kitsune/megitsune) o synthesized koto; video playing “traditional Japanese instruments including shamisen • Carnivalesque transgression/a new sort of femininity in metal o different vocal aesthetic tied to idol world of femininity o backstory that could be read as both Japanese, and arguably feminist o novel, feminine and feminist recording act o debates whether Babymetal is true metal ▪ combination of factors, issues of sound ▪ too many mixed match type of music ▪ commercial endeavour o Do they embody the carnivalesque? ▪ idea of the fox figure in mythology ▪ crucifixion but also engaging with indigenous Japanese ritual Punk “Punk” and its Usages • initially a slur; has held different derogatory meanings over time o a prostitute (Shakespeare) th o by early 20 century  “young hoodlum”, “criminal”, “gay man” o by late 20 century  used on crime shows/cop shows on TV, worthlessness, lowest of the low • musicians took it in garage rock before punk became a genre-unto-itself • when bad becomes good (echoes of noise-as-genre) • 1970s, Lester Bangs used it as stooges o as garage rock music UK Punk, 1970s • punk rock did not emerge in one location • it existed in circulation • noise music is emerging through circulation of performing artists, tape music etc., between US and Japan • Subculture, style, and social movements o Dick Hebdige, media theorist, sociologist ▪ thinks a lot about domination and resistance and thinks about UK as a venues of resistance o frames punk as a subculture ▪ a social movement that pushes against more dominant cultural forms(fashion is important) ▪ focuses on UK punk and its styles in the 197
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