Nik’s Culture Page

Yet Another Pointless Waste of Time

Welcome

I'm just going to post whatever I feel like about music, books, whatever. I don't expect anyone to actually read any of this but you're welcome to.

Laura Stevenson

Laura Stevenson on Stage in Melbourne

I forgot how much I live music.

I talked the better half into staying up late on a school night and trekking into Collingwood to hear a singer she had never heard, and I had only been listening to a hundred times or so in the past year. One of us was much more enthused than the other but the music was very good.

Iona Cairns

She was an okay opening act, but not very popular with the other half. Alot of very sad, very personal lyrics with a good voice and guitar work. Not worth going to see on her own, however.

Lucy Wilson

Lucy is a really good singer with a nice stage banter and some intense lyrics. I would be interested in seeing her play with a full band, and I may get the chance as she's Australian. Her older EP is here: lucywilson.bandcamp.com and she said she has some new solo music coming out at some point.

Laura Stevenson

I have mostly listened to her newest Alternative crossover album Cocksure, which was with a full band and quite different from her solo show here. But that's good because it gave me a chance to listen to songs from her solo albums completely cold. And those albums are excellent, even if they're more Singer-Songwriter girl with a guitar rather than a real rock album.

I have no idea what her fan base is like in the U.S., but it was a real treat for this fan at least to hear her fill up the small space with some amazing music. I hope she's able to come back to Australia fairly soon, although she'll probably have a bigger stage on her next trip.

Signed Album

Yay! A new signed album!!
Now I just need a record player…

Was Beyoncé Robbed?

The thing about the Grammy awards is that the majority of people who vote are:

  1. Older than most music lovers
  2. Whiter than most music lovers
  3. Are only allowed to vote for the best album

So in the case of Beyoncé, her videos are what made the most impact. That Lemonade video deserves every superlative heaped on it as it is triumphant. But her singing and her music are strictly in the R&B/Urban/Hip Hop/Black area of music, which is harder for the older, whiter, voters to get behind. While Adele is someone they can understand easily, because those voters want interesting and challenging music, as long as it's not too far outside their comfort zone.

We also have the dynamic of Black music being a place where Black people go to express themselves outside of White culture. Some of these acts go out of their way to make sure Whitey feels unwelcome, uncomfortable, and the outsider in the way that Black people often feel everywhere else in America. And there's also the history there of a Black artist being so good that they get coopted by White culture even when they want to keep them at arms length.

And that's the problem with the Grammies or most of those artist awards: it's supposed to express everything that is excellent in this year's music, but it's ran by the establishment which is mostly white still. So Black artists are often in a situation where they crave the recognition they definitely deserve but they also use their music as a way of expression that they don't get elsewhere because they are outsiders in mainstream culture.

So was Beyoncé robbed? Yes, but awards are bullshit anyway. Especially for Black artists who are either forced to conform or be coopted by White culture. Or they're forced to stay out of the mainstream, which means they will only get the recognition they deserve from White culture years afterward when the oldest and whitest of the voters have moved on.

The Heratik Geeks Out

I've pretty much abandoned my Tumblr and I'm going to put some posts here instead. No one else is going to read this anyway since no one read the other one. And I'm all good with that because this is just for me.

What I'm going to cover: music, but not music like the almanac, books that I liked, movies/TV somewhat, and anything that isn't too serious.