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Downloading music: Right or wrong?

November 29, 2011

Karina Yap

People everywhere in the world have loved music since the beginning of time. Recently, however, the way we get it has changed drastically.

Back when there were no computers and phones, people could only rely on the radio to listen to their favorite songs. If they wanted to obtain these songs, they had to buy CD’s or even tapes. Today our generation has programs like iTunes and Amazon, so music is much easier to acquire. Even so, iTunes and Amazon have become less popular nowadays due to the ability to download music online for free from file sharing websites such as MediaFire and 4Shared. You may be saving money by downloading free music, but is it right to do so?

Although it is looked down upon to own copyrighted music without purchasing it, I believe that music should be available to everyone without a cost. Putting a cost on music is like making listening to music a privilege. Artists mainly create songs in order to share their talent with the rest of the world, so people should be able to take part in the entertainment without restrictions. However, artists also record tracks in order to make profit. I’m not against downloading free music but if I really like a certain album or song, I’ll actually purchase it in efforts to support my favorite singers.

I asked my close friends their opinions on this topic. Unlike myself, my friend Gio Cruz opposed free downloads: “I’m against it because it is bad for the artist. They make no money that way.” On the other hand, another friend of mine, Navjeet Phull, says “I think downloading music for free is cool since music artists don’t really get all the money anyways. Besides, there would be no way for them to stop people getting free music.” People will always have their own opinion, but like Navjeet said, there is really no way to stop people from getting what they want.

Mainstream music fails to deliver significant meaning

March 8, 2010

Jimmy Young

The quality of music has diminished in American society. Teenagers’ standards for music have decreased, and the music industry has responded to that. They give us generic beats and synthesized voices layered with meaningless lyrics. The problem is that we are actually accepting this trash.

The quantity of money listeners paying isn’t proportional to the quality of the music. Adolescents just blindly accept this trash as good music simply because it is played on the radio.

So why have we not noticed this earlier? A lot of teenagers started listening to music during Phase 2. So what are these phases?
I’ll divide the time periods into 3 phases.

Phase 1: Around late ’90s and before. This was the time when a lot hip-hop albums were sugar. You could lick the album all the way around and there wouldn’t be track that was left uncoated; ranging from the jazzy cool A Tribe Called Quest to politically controversial Public Enemy.

Phase 2: This time period is best put as middle school. We were too young to think about what was really going on. The well-marketed iPod increased listeners for its portability and simplicity—it became easier to listen to massively streamed music. Technology slowly seeped in and before you knew it everyone was poisoned by the pollution of mass produced “music.” Artists rely too much on technological advantages like auto tune, a voice correction tool now abused by music producers to produce an artificial voice. Individual artists seek their musical philosophy but producers shut them out-they believed that this generation did not need them anymore.

Phase 3: Now and beyond. Are we going to keep accepting this poor music? Is the “sex” ever going to get old? Who’s going to stand up to it?

Mainstream music overflows with repetitive, catchy and manufactured sounds and underground is the dense, qualitative and powerful music. In the ’90s, the majority of hip-hop music was held to a higher standard. From the beats to the lyrics, everything was original and meaningful. But today’s rap music is just compiled plastic. Music industries treat money as a higher priority than the songs. There’s no real talent under all that futuristic make-up.

What we listen to is not music anymore, it’s just sounds. It’s just vibrations that strike the eardrums. Producers simply need to let the creativity of the artists flow. So who’s going to listen to music?

This article originally appeared in print on March 2, 2010. It has been modified to correct style and grammatical errors.

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Local San Francisco band rocks out on EP

November 9, 2009

Raphael Ghieuw Sien

San Francisco band, Goodbye Nautilus’ first EP, “Recycled,” is an indie mix of classic rock and a hint of modern pop rock. The band sounds like a mix of The Smiths, The Beatles and Weezer.

The album starts out with the song “Heart,” which is in a classic rock style. As the song progresses, we can hear catchy riffs of keyboard/synthesizer and bass in the background. “Artist Said” and “Norah” both have significantly softer sounds, which are turn-offs for hardcore rock lovers like myself.

The last song on the album is a seven minutes slow song. The song is filled with piano and guitar on the background, creating a peaceful atmosphere.

The highlight of the album is “Simone.” The song starts out with a soft beginning of clean chords and the lead singer and WHS history teacher, Eric Shawn’s voice. About half way through the song, there is a guitar solo which brings the song to its climax. The guitar solo of the song and the singing matches brilliantly and creates a slightly melancholy feeling.

The song lyrics are often colored by confessions of heartbreak and alienation.

This EP by Goodbye Nautilus is now on sale on Amazon.com and iTunes for $4.95. They are also accepting direct orders for $6.25 on their MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/goodbyenautilus.

Unfortunately, this EP lacks one of the band’s best, catchiest songs, “Damn Japan,” which can be found on the band’s MySpace page.

Although this EP isn’t for those who are looking for hard rock or alternative punk pop, it is thoroughly enjoyable. However, there is still room for improvement to “pump up” some of the songs and make them more energetic. Verdict: B