Friday, June 18, 2010

Blog on Blog: Rockers Write About Music


Every summer, Girls Rock Austin campers not only write songs, rehearse, and play live after only a week together, they also tackle – and finish – additional creative projects while they're doing it.
In Session 1's Music Journalism workshop, three incredible rock & rollers discussed ways of writing about music, learned about finding their writing "voices," and wrote, created, and posted original pieces about music and culture. Their blog entries are posted below. Check it out – they did some great work!

Monica Skinner's profile of musicians who promote vegetarianism and fight animal cruelty on her blog Head First (http://skinner-headfirst.blogspot.com):
Popular belief: vegetarianism isn't ideal, it's unhealthy, it's too much work. Most non-vegetarians say that what's stopping them is the accessibility to vegetarian-friendly foods, but I find that to be
an easy excuse out. I believe it's just a lack of inspiration. What's the point anyway?
I was lucky enough to be inspired into vegetarianism at a young age. I was nine years old, and in third grade. None of my friends were vegetarians, nor were any of my family members. The Korean half of my family ate lots of red meat, as did the strictly Texan side, so it was a bit of a stretch. I decided to be come a vegetarian because of my dominant role-models, the members of my favorite bands. My idols. Many of them had taken their personal time to speak out against animal testing, the meat industry, the dairy industry, and countless other issues that must be faced. Music is what led to my vegetarianism, and I am positive that it's led to many others in this urgent generation.
Jepharee Howard of The Used speaks out against cruelty of animals for commercial purpose out of compassion for the defenseless animals hurt in the process. This is the same as countless other known musicians, such as Colin Frangicetto of Circa Survive, Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy, Kathleen, J.D. and Johanna of Le Tigre, and even Members of Anti-Flag. Vegetarianism and animal awareness are spreading, thankfully. It's great that bands with such impressionable audiences have began to join the cause. For the younger crowds, it probably isn't the greatest idea to put PETA videos and cold hard statistics in their faces, because they won't take it as easily as older folks may. Seeing why these musicians were so passionate about their vegetarianism (the practice of following a diet without meat) and veganism (the practice of following a diet without any animal products, no milk, eggs, etc.) is what made me want to see what it was like.
I'm hopeful that my generation and generations to come will see vegetarianism as I have, through the eyes of music and who I want to be. As I've grown older I've backed my beliefs with more and more facts from the horrors that go on behind the scenes of the animal industries. For instance, on many factory farms raising chickens for food, arsenic (a harsh chemical used in pesticide) is added to chicken feed to stimulate growth. This chemical stays with the chickens, and in result is taken into the bodies of the consumer. In the fur industry, animals are put in cages that don't even give them enough room to take a step to the left or the right. They spend their whole life burdened by stress, disease, and psychological hardships. “If you have to murder another creature to be cool, you're not very cool to start with.” Says Kathleen of Le Tigre.
As said by Colin Frangicetto guitarist of Circa Survive, “If you can save anything from suff
ering, it just makes sense.” Vegetarianism, cruelty free consumerism, it's all been a normal part of my life since I made the decision to switch six years ago. Its was the most worthwhile decision I've ever made, and it wasn't even hard. So go ahead and try-- It's what the cool kids are doing.

Here are some sites with nice tips on adapting to a vegetarian or vegan diet:

http://www.Peta2.com

http://www.Goveg.com

http://www.Veggieglobal.com


And here are some videos of popular musicians for Peta2:


Nina Soza's record review on her blog, Shark Bait (http://sharkbaitatx.blogspot.com/):

Vampire Weekend's new album, Contra, consists of ten songs that have a sort of an African vibe to them. I think this is an album everyone will enjoy because it's full of upbeat and unexpected melodies. I enjoy this album because it's such an unusual and happy music and lyrics like “In December drinking horchata.”

LaRessa Quintana's thoughts on music, conformity, and style (look for her blog soon):

MGMT, once a very original band, has come out with a new video and song, “Flash Delirium.” If you haven’t seen the new MGMT video, you’re not missing out on much. While watching this video, I interpret it as MGMT saying, “The record company wants us to change our sound, but we’re trying to stay original.” Which I think this very ironic because, the song itself and the music is very mainstream – and the idea of not conforming is not original, either.
In fact, the idea of not conforming is conforming. People are conforming to the idea of individuality and not being like everyone else. I've noticed people are starting to wear flannel shirts; and not just a small number of people, but a lot of people. These people are trying to be different by going to the mall or a store to buy something that everyone else is wearing, thinking that they're being different. These same people are listening to MGMT and the new songs and liking them, maybe even more because their new songs are more mainstream.
When looking around town when I'm out, I see people wearing very funky things, and shirts I've never seen before and shirts probably no one has seen before. But when you put a group of people together who are all wearing unique and different shirts, what do you get? A group of people who are all different … in that they're the same. The music they listen to is unknown, and they go to all these little shows here and there. All of these people are doing what society considers not cool or hip – together.
Even now, my speaking out about how everyone is conforming has been done before and will be done again. But until you read another blog about people conforming, remember, I'm original.
P.S: If you would like to see the new MGMT video and critique it yourself, here it is:

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