Simply Taylorlani The Musical – The Final

SIMPLY TAYLORLANI THE MUSICAL 

Contextual Report, BCM206, Future Networks

Author – Taylor Housman, 2021

Overview/Summary:

This semester, a collaboration between this blog and my content based Instagram, Simply Taylorlani (ST), worked to develop and create a Digital Artifact project. This project as a whole was to produce written content centred and exploring a particular interest. This niche was decided by a poll on ST’s stories, choosing between books or music. Music won with 86% to 14% difference, much to my excitement. 

Before the commencing of this DA, written blog posts, Instagram and Twitter were something I utilised to engage with and contribute to music. Written content is where this started, which eventually branched to Instagram stories and posts.The idea that music scenes are more than a hobby, but a lifestyle, especially one’s like Pop Punk and Emo, is a large concept I work within separate from University. It is work and something I’m focused on furthering career wise. Which is why this was a perfect opportunity to attach a University DA to. 

There are many people who have been an inspiration to my writing over the years, but someone who is working within a similar realm to what I’m trying to do is Yasmine Summan, a media writer from the music scene. 

Process/Analysis:

The process of this project was, as I have mentioned in progress posts, not too difficult for me. This, I believe, is strongly because I chose a niche/subject to centre this DA around that I am strongly invested in in my outside life. That being said, there were certainly ups and downs and growth. 

The first piece I wrote was an album ranking, and while I’m not disappointed in what I produced there was little to no engagement. At this point I was not creating Instagram posts for the blogs either. I wasn’t exactly digesting readings or analytical content around this time either, and largely diving into my personal experiences. 

The second post is where this project started to take off. I wrote a piece shouting out artists and bands within the Pop Punk scene, ones that were not a part of “celebrity circles” benefiting off the bands that kept a genre alive for over a decade when it faded out of the mainstream spotlight. There is an immense amount of creatives who are doing more for the scene than those celebrities and I felt it was important to highlight them. After sharing the post on Twitter, a band which I featured took notice, retweeted, and liked it while the vocalist of the same band did the same, followed me, and quote-tweeted it “This!!!”. They later followed me on my other platforms.

From this, artist recognition was something that became a regular, which was a very shocking result of this project. I am incredibly appreciative of it too, and the few connections I have thus created. Around this time I started sharing weekly songs and albums on Instagram stories, and created a playlist to keep them in one spot. I got some engagement from audiences separate from University peers as bands/artists would retweet. This led me to making tweeting at those within the scene a thing, and from this new followers etc arrived. 

Timeline Version One
Timeline Version Two
Stories & Weekly Song’s/Album’s Example

I started to regularly partake in readings and research. A full reference list will be at the end, but some notable quotes and points are:

I continued on with this streak, writing blog posts, tweeting, stories, Instagram posts. It was fun, and allowed me to explore further in depth the styles of writing I prefer, which gain tracking and such. The other aspects of this project were my graphic design changes, making my blog and ST more professional, and maintaining industry relationships. 

I managed to feature on a friends podcast during this experience, where I do briefly touch on how I got into music. I received a lot of nice feedback as well, which was really comforting and motivating. I spent a lot of time trying to make lecture and framework connections to this project, and some feedback was very insightful in assigning Postmodernism framework and ideas to it. I go deeper into this here. 

Over the course of this DA I have learnt how to properly engage within the subculture and media sphere that I desire to work within. I have accomplished more than what I ever thought I could have, and found a larger passion for it while developing it to fit a work identity. Adapting this further to online professionalism, and persona, more than I already put out there, has increased my comfortability with presenting myself. For example, I never included my writing on Twitter much or ST before this DA out of fear. I have grown in ways I wouldn’t have without taking this leap. 

Podcast Feature

References:

10 music industry pros fueling the pop-punk revival behind the scenes (2021) Altpress.com. Available at: https://www.altpress.com/features/music-industry-pros-pop-punk-revival/ 

Album review: Lil Lotus – ERRØR BØY (no date) Kerrang.com. Available at: https://www.kerrang.com/reviews/album-review-lil-lotus-error-boy/ 

Berkland, D. (no date) Androcentrism and misogyny in late twentieth century rock music, Core.ac.uk. Available at: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/145050367.pdf 

Boas, S. (2020) Boas: Pop punk has a diversity problem, Northbynorthwestern.com. North by Northwestern. Available at: https://northbynorthwestern.com/boas-pop-punk-has-a-diversity-problem/ 

Davis, J. R. (2006) “Growing up punk: Negotiating aging identity in a local music scene,” Symbolic interaction, 29(1), pp. 63–69.

FQS (no date) View of autoethnography: An overview, Qualitative-research.net. Available at: https://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095 

From Lil peep to paramore, Emo and rap have been related for years (no date) Kerrang.com. Available at: https://www.kerrang.com/features/from-lil-peep-to-paramore-emo-and-rap-have-been-related-for-years/ 

Gaponov, S. A. (no date) YOUTH SUBCULTURE, Sfu-kras.ru. Available at: http://elib.sfu-kras.ru/bitstream/handle/2311/4694/5201.pdf?sequence=1 

How Emo rap has redefined rock music (no date) Kerrang.com. Available at: https://www.kerrang.com/features/how-emo-rap-has-redefined-rock-music/ 

Kay, B. (2012) History of pop-punk music with timeline, Spinditty. Available at: https://spinditty.com/industry/History-of-Pop-Punk-Music-with-Timeline 

The Art of Punk and the Punk Aesthetic (no date) Designobserver.com. Available at: https://designobserver.com/feature/the-art-of-punk-and-the-punk-aesthetic/36708 

The rise and popularity of mixed genre music (2015) Tremr.com. Available at: https://www.tremr.com/michaelab/the-rise-and-popularity-of-mixed-genre-music 

West, E. (2015) “where is your boy tonight?”: Misogyny in pop punk, Athena Talks. Available at: https://medium.com/athena-talks/where-is-your-boy-tonight-misogyny-in-pop-punk-669eccedc811 

yasminesumman (2021) Pop punk’s inevitable comeback – how the hell did it even survive?, Loudwire.com. Available at: https://loudwire.com/pop-punk-comeback-how-survive/ 

(No date) Researchgate.net. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265416952_The_Aesthetics_of_Punk_Rock 

So, The Internet Of Things? Hacking? Meme Warfare?

Hey, hey!

Previously I have spoken about the Network Society Padigam and something I mentioned within that is the way we as a society developed from the telegraph. A core aspect I mentioned was the way we have now developed in the future to be more demanding of attention, the “need a response right now” type, branching from this constant online connectivity. 

Now, I don’t want to restate myself, however in this next module we looked at other concepts like The Internet of Things, and Meme Warfare. You might be thinking how do any of these things connect or even link back to this connectivity issue? 

Well, some background.

THE INTERNET OF THINGS – 

Communication derived from the Telegraph, and thus so did the Internet. The Internet was never as large as it is currently, and it is always growing and changing. With that growing possibilities and challenges. The Internet of Things (IoT), as defined by “where devices (things) are connected to the Internet and each other. These things comprise a multitude of heterogeneous devices ranging from consumer devices, such as mobile phones and wearables, to industrial sensors and actuators.” 

This is very much a current aspect of society, as mentioned with the different waves of the Internet, and that is why this is relevant. 

MEME WARFARE – 

Information warfare, propaganda, has existed for as long as communication. There has always been a need or reason to enforce a different meaning, one that might not be mostly accurate, when communication has been there. Now, when applying this to how much attention is desired, scares and important in relation to now – the future – and The Internet of Things, the mass of information warfare has certainly grown. 

“Memes are a ubiquitous part of the internet, particularly social media. Internet memes spread virally, being shared and distributed across the internet rapidly and widely…more than just funny internet pictures – they are behaviours, concepts, norms and ideas…They are closely linked to the moral forces, exerting influence on them the same way that other pressures do.”

Memes carry power, and because of this they hold influence over us. Anyone can make a meme, anyone can go viral on the internet, and with any kind of information. This twitter thread here, goes over the way Tumblr misread information all the time and raised a generation of it. 

The Internet of Things has, in a broad idea of it, taken over the world. We have seen the internet, its forms of communication like memes, develop over years to get where we are presently. However, with the speed of which all of these things are growing we can only expect it to do so more. 

So, what is or what will be the future of the internet?

This constant, needy connectivity we have as a society is something out of Dystopia, constantly watched and turned on. Some prime examples of IoT are automated cars, wearable health monitors such as Fitbits, Apple watches, smart home systems like connected lighting, alarms, and even all your connected devices. Most people these days own more than one device, iPads, laptops, smart tvs which are even more connected to everything. All of these share data, are basically one, just extension of the larger system. 

In theory all of this is going to continue expanding. This might not be a bad thing, I’m not opposing it, but there is this question of is The Internet of Things making us as a society more valuable?

Ideas of Hacktivism, Meme Warfare propaganda all link back to this question. With the rise of online connectivity, the rise of Hacking, Cyberwar and botnets. 

BOTNETS – 

“Botnets are the workhorses of the Internet. They’re connected computers performing a number of repetitive tasks to keep websites going.” Botnets are a cluster of networks with malware and hackers are able to gain control through them. This is where we have the term botnet attacks. “Cyber criminals are then able to use these botnets to unleash a string of attacks, Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks are the most common of these…used for credential leaks, data thefts and unauthorized access.” An example of an attack is email spamming and network blockages. 

We as a society are prescribed to view and engage with Memes and Internet culture, which has already aided in being vulnerable online. The advancement of communication has always held information warfare as a variable, and with the immense growth of IoT we can expect to see more of it. This growth has also created a way for one’s home to be included as a device, which makes the question on the future of the Internet, and how much more vulnerable things will get from here in relation to things like Hacktivism, and Cyberwar. I mentioned before how Dystopian this can be perceived, which only makes the question of how will the Internet continue to grow from here? 

The thing is we can’t really say how it will continue to change, aspects like money/investments don’t have to be tangible physicality with the rise of Cryptocurrency which is still largely considered new. We can’t say if it will create more vulnerability, for communication has always allowed for the spread and creation of propaganda to exist, nor can we say that it wont with these very online types of attacks. 

REFERENCES

au.norton.com. (n.d.). What Is A Botnet? [online] Available at: https://au.norton.com/internetsecurity-malware-what-is-a-botnet.html.

Lynn, T. (2020). The Cloud-to-Thing Continuum: Opportunities and Challenges in Cloud, Fog and Edge Computing. [online] Google Books. Springer Nature. Available at: https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=efLvDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=info:bu6HIy7lhhEJ:scholar.google.com/&ots=WnsQ0Z_XNG&sig=qDYozoM7ScKMM938y7eZeB74gdw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false 

‌Milan, S. (2015). Hacktivism as a Radical Media Practice. [online] papers.ssrn.com. Available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2901929  

Nižetić, S, Šolić, P, López-de-Ipiña González-de-Artaza, D & Patrono, L 2020, ‘Internet of Things (IoT): Opportunities, issues and challenges towards a smart and sustainable future’, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 274, p. 122877.

‌Rowett, G. (2018). The strategic need to understand online memes and modern information warfare theory. [online] IEEE Xplore. Available at: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8622051?casa_token=o88jHhTcZF8AAAAA:0s_OHjnuuaDLCXpjBw4fKZRJDpHVgvD5gzUzrRjbjdDg84fUixC0RCoFeP5dqaH97fG4td0M 

‌Uberoi, A. (n.d.). What is a Botnet Attack? [online] http://www.cm-alliance.com. Available at: https://www.cm-alliance.com/cybersecurity-blog/what-is-a-botnet-attack 

“You Live In My Head Again & Again” – Simply Taylorlani Still Progressing

Hey, hey! 

I would like to welcome you back to one of my Digital Artefacts for this semester, and if you’re new here you can read the Pitch for this project here

A little while ago I decided for this semester of University I would choose to focus on a hobby of mine outside of work and span this project over two classes. That hobby being my writing and specifically my music based writing. 

To summarize, I create content here on my blog and my content based Instagram @simplytaylorlani centered around music, my thoughts, opinions and my love. I have shared a few posts where I focus on different things:

1. Where I discuss my thoughts and ranking on some albums.

2. A post where I highlight artist’s I deem need your attention and slightly touch on the unpleasantness of the Pop Punk genre.

3. A small 12 song list that would be best suited toward those 3am sadboi hours.

Besides those things I share weekly a song and an album which I am loving which resulted in the creation of a Spotify playlist for this DA.

I have said it before, but I don’t believe I have really struggled with the project at all, and if I have it is genuinely forgetting to post a song every sunday. However, that doesn’t mean everything has been positive and great. My first piece of writing – the album one – hardly got any engagement at all and I kind of started to feel that that route might not be the correct way about things. I switched it up with that second one and to my surprise I got so much engagement from it outside of Uni. Artists I tagged and wrote about in that liked and one going as far to retweet on the band account, his personal account and follow me back on most of my personal socials. This started an uphill climb in my work as many different artists and bands have started to follow, engage and just notice me whether that has been from tweeting or writing. Beyond this I have started to create personal connections with people in the industry which has been wild. 

Inside Uni circles however, I have even had the pleasure to feature on my friend Tyneesha’s DA, where we recorded a podcast and I got to roughly speak on my history and how I got interested in all of this. Tyneesha also had some really nice things to say about my project in this Twitter thread here which I appreciate a whole lot. 

I don’t think there’s been any major changes in this project outside of maybe my professionalism. I stated this in a class about how the relationships made through this project and managing them have been incredibly different to what I could have thought, in a good, but ultimately more complex way. 

For another breakdown of all of this over the course of this project you can see in this video.  

I’ve Been Much Better But At Least I’m Healing – Song’s To Listen To When Alone At Night

One of my favourite things about Pop Punk is the way it made me feel, especially when I was younger and would spend hours on Tumblr. It is simply one of my favourite genres to listen to when I’m sad alone at night. And I have been doing so for years at this point which is why I think I’m ready to share a collection of songs that are perfect for those moments. Not everything here is Pop Punk to be fair, but a fair amount is, not that you need to apply genre’s to everything. I’ve said it before but never box yourself in with that.

This isn’t a complete list or anything, there are tons of songs, of albums, of playlists that could be here. But for now here’s 12.

How To Never Stop Being Sad – Dandelion Hands

Would you call this Pop Punk? Some say yes, some say no, some would probably suggest it being more Midwest, either way I’m 100% including it. The thing about Dandelion Hands is that their music is the opposite of a hug, if that makes sense. It tends to leave me senseless in a way that I can’t stop staring at the ceiling and playing over my own mundane actions of life. It’s not comforting, but you don’t want it to be, not really. It’s a moment of “oh”. It is simply something you need to experience at least once. 

The Night I Drove Alone – Citizen

This right here is a classic Sad Boi anthem and if you’re into this style of music it is probably no surprise that it is here. Have I sobbed to Citizen multiple times? Absolutely. Is it usually at night in some of my darkest moments? Correct, yeah. Do I think you should give it a listen in those times for you? Yes, yes I do. Citizen nail this thing about gripping vocals that make me feel as if I’m screaming from the heart.

High Definition – Waterparks

This might be my favourite song on this list, mostly because it is one of my favourite songs of all time. I will take no slander for it at all. I don’t think I can even describe what it is about this song. All I know is I relate to it too much sometimes, and perhaps you will too. Especially if you struggle with ideas of love. Awsten sometimes says this is the best song he’s ever written and I hope you take a moment to listen to it.

Bummer Summer – Charmer

Oh, I cannot even translate how dearly I love this classic midwest-y tune. It is just something you need to experience. It, like most of this style of music, reminds me so much of fall and broken promises. It leaves me feeling a little less empty, but a little more sighing in sadness.

July (Part One) – Hotel Books

Only listen to Hotel Books if you really want to be broken. Or, maybe, you already are broken and just need reminding of it. If you need something to scream about, something to violently sob for a second if you really relate to the context of this. I’m sorry if you do, but please take this as my offering to you.

Whole – Basement

Just – just listen to it. In fact just listen to Basement. I’m losing my words here.

Losing Days – Hot Mulligan

Hot Mulligan is one of those bands that I listen to when I’m sad, happy or ready to think about my existence. I really thank them for that ability, and the fact that their Twitter really radiates some kind of energy that makes their music more enjoyable than it already is. Losing Days is only one of many songs I recommend listening to late at night in your room.

I Usually Call This One “Dying” – Gloom

Ah this, this doesn’t necessarily sound sad, not really. But it’s a nice breather between the others I have mentioned. I don’t really know a lot of people who listen to Gloom, but I will suggest it. This is a song that’s a vibe, reminds me of when my fairy lights flicker as I cry a little.

It’s Too Much – Moose Blood

Okay, I know people either love or hate Moose Blood and this genre has a ton of issues from bands. But this song, hell any of their songs? So good and I hate it. Moose Blood had music I loved early on in my exploration of Pop Punk and I cry often to them. It is just, I really can’t explain it, so beautifully sad. 

Sixteen – Real Friends

Oh, Oh Real Friends. I treasure them with my entire heart. They are the perfect sad band for me. I love everything they’ve done, even if it leaves me upset clinging to a pillow remembering my pain that never really leaves. This song is one that if you take anything away from this post at all, is that you should listen to it.

The Grey – Movements

Like Real Friends, Movements is that band that can fill a song with a broken heart, trauma and loneliness in a way I am obsessed with. Their Feel Something album is quite loved for this reason, and yes this song comes from there. Movements are like a blanket to me, they weigh me down but comfort me at once. I love them so much.

Well Adjusted – Summer Wars

There’s something about being an anxious person to the core and cold, rainy weather that Well Adjusted pulls out of me. I don’t just listen to this at night, but it hurts me a little more when it is. I am not well adjusted, I like to think I will be one day, and everyday I get up and attempt to be so. However, in those times where I am down so many levels this song is like taking a hammer to me feelings.

I recommend listening to these tunes. Really, each song here makes me feel things when it’s 3am, I’m staring at the ceiling, and I have a Uni class in a few hours. I cry to music a lot, and sometimes it makes no sense when I do. Like why do I cry to Future? That – that one makes no goddamn sense at all. However, these song’s right here are perfectly crafted for these moments of loneliness.

You can find each of the song’s mentioned here in this playlist of mine that includes the artists and music I talk about for University.

The Words’ll Never Come Out Right – Pop Punk Artist’s You Should Be Paying Attention To

In recent time’s Pop Punk has come again into the light of mainstream attention as it did when bands like Yellowcard, Blink-182, Good Charlotte, and All American Rejects were played constantly on the radio or the soundtracks of movies. History repeats itself constantly, so really it should be no surprise that it has once again caught on – at least for the moment.

I have no issue with this. Like I said it’s not the first time and really it’s a way for kids to discover things. Not to mention some of what has arisen from the current spotlight has been pretty decent. That being said, the mainstream lane right now is not at all what is happening within the genre. The only way I can describe it is that no matter how many different eras/styles there are to choose from – neon, skate, sad boi, etc – they only ever go for the same thing. Nostalgia, let’s revise the sound of what mainstream Pop Punk used to be. It’s always the same thing with a new face and a hint of contemporary to make it “now”. And to be honest I get it. It’s smart, who doesn’t fall for nostalgia? But really that whole lane is completely separate to the current state of the genre. The way popular culture picks things up is not to be a part of what the current wave is doing, from what is actually happening.

For a while Pop Punk from the 2010’s hit a rut, even me who adores this genre won’t hesitate to say so. It becomes, like most genres do, over-saturated with copies and personations. So with that being said, nothing within the genre really was interesting for a while.

At least, I think so, until now.

The new wave that has been appearing for a moment has been encpatualising. It has not completely moved from the ‘Sad Boi’ tumblr style, but it is totally switched up. I think after that massive hit of Emo Rap we had, bands have started to adapt to this way of not sticking to one thing anymore. In my opinion it’s great, amazing even. Especially when everyone has different ways of incorporating multiple things. Not to mention the features! The 2010’s era was full of features from other artists, bands, from the genre and it was great for sure. But now? I don’t think I’ve encountered as many slight rap crossovers as this new wave has been bringing. And no, I’m not talking about MGk’s album, I mean the artists who are separate from the spotlight.

Part of the reason why I wanted to write this was to share some really great artists who are being overshadowed by mainstream popular culture though. Of course someone within that is going to be a more prominent result when searching new wave Pop Punk than a band with a single EP.

SO, THE ARTISTS?

If I’m being completely frank right now, this isn’t a long list. This is partly because I have hardly been engaging with the Pop Punk scene for a while, just glimpses here and there. Not because I don’t love it, not because I hate it, but simply because I enjoy so many different types of music that it just hasn’t been my main focus right now. That’s okay though, and it leaves room for me to make an updated list in the future, but for now here are a few artists you should be paying attention to.

Magnolia Park

I discovered Magnolia Park from tiktok of all places. I was just aimlessly scrolling, as we all don’t lie, when a snipped for one of their songs and the band came up. Paired with ‘can we be your new favourite Pop Punk band?” text I stopped to pay attention. It was great marketing, I’m not gonna lie. Hell, these kids didn’t even have a single EP when I found them, yet I was actually interested.

They sounded like a mix of classic upbeat Pop Punk with this newer level of production and mixing that would have been labeled as ‘fake auto-tune bullshit’ from those types of fans. To be honest, this whole new era probably is labeled just like that to them. 

I would also like to point out that Pop Punk for the longest time, and taking a look at the mainstream counterpart right now, is very white. Really, most of who you’ll encounter are just pretty white boy’s, and while that was kind of the ‘midwest, angry, white guy’ frontman was a thing for a while, it’s kind of fucked. Magnolia Park features more than one, and not ‘just thrown in there’, POC unlike most in the genre. Actually, it was part of the reason they caught my eye.

Magnolia Park is a five piece pop punk/alternative rock band from Orlando, Florida. The band blends elements of hip hop, pop punk and Emo rock to create a captivating sound and haunting aesthetic. Their music is produced by legendary alternative rock/pop punk producer Andrew Wade of The Audio Compound, who has worked with bands like A Day To Remember, Neck Deep, Wage War, Real Friends, and more.

Magnoliaparkband.com

As smaller artists they’ve done quite a bit of collabs and brought people to feature on tracks. This is a really smart thing. For example, ‘TDH2S’ from their ‘Dream Eater’ EP feature’s Oliver Baxxter, the vocalist for Broadside. While Broadside isn’t a name like The Story So Far or Neck Deep, their existing presence within Pop Punk is there. Along with that, ‘Back on My Bullshit’ which was a popular single before the release of the EP, features iamjakehill. Both of these and others, especially with the appearance of popular emo boy Kellin Quinn, have enabled the band to engage with multiple different audiences before even an album.

To me, Magnolia Park really encaptualates what modern Pop Punk is and needs to be. It’s so interesting and different from where we just were in the genre, and I honestly just adore them. I can’t recomend them enough.

Point North

I think Point North has been around for a little bit, and to be honest I still don’t really hear many talk about them. It could be due to the fact that they’ve always had this new wave style to some extent a part of their music, and like I said before, people don’t ‘like that’. I first heard Point North because of Spotify – thank you Spotify so much – all from their cover of Nothing, Nowhere’s ‘Hammer’. It’s nothing like the original, it’s fast and loud and high energy. Honestly, I would describe most of their music like that. I love Nothing, Nowhere but that cover tops the original by far.

Point North have two albums, ‘A Light in a Dark Place’ (2018), and ‘Brand New Vision’ (2020). Both of these, to me, really express the type of stylistic choice Pop Punk is having currently. Their 2021 singles, especially ‘Nice Now’, are bright, loud and evocative, something that has always stood out to me with them.

Though most of their stuff goes back to 2018, a moment when the 2010’s had kind of a stand still in defined sound, I think they’re gonna thrive with where this genre is headed. You can already feel it with the release of their second album mid 2020, and now with a new single every few months. They’re picking up this fire momentum, something I think will get them far. Like Magnolia Park, Point North has had a feature from the infamous Kellin Quinn, who from the looks of things really enjoys getting involved with smaller artists.

Meet Me @ The Altar

As I mentioned above, Pop Punk always had a white dominating scene, and along with that male. I know you’re probably sitting there like ‘but hey Paramore!’ and you’re right, sure. However, the amount of discourse over Paramore being simply just a Pop band was everywhere in the 2000’s and 2010’s. It really wasn’t about the music, it was just about the fact Hayley Williams is female. Not to mention, Tonight Alive and Against The Current are both female fronted bands that never got anything as much as others based simply on gender. There’s this stereotype of ‘Misogynistic Pop Punk’, lyrically and community wise, and for the longest time it completely was.

I say all this because one of the incredible driving factors of this new wave is the diversity in race and gender. And Meet Me @ The Altar is making impacts in changing how the scene has been for the better.

Once again I did find their music through TikTok, which is proving to be a solid platform for music artists. Honestly, I didn’t come across them themselves, I saw many different people talking about them instead. The thing with this genre is that it is incredibly closed off, or used to be, and so many fans still want that for it. Which is why when you hear a lot of people talking about the same artist, especially newer, they’re usually really good. And boy, are Meet Me @ The Altar is.

An exhilarating blast of sticky-sweet vocals, fluttery electric riffs, and a dangerously catchy chorus (“Your flowers will finally grow!”), it’s all but guaranteed to have you longing for the days of black eyeliner and studded belts.

rollingstone

Meet Me @ The Altar is really moving this genre forward at such a fast pace, and I do wholeheartedly put a lot of the new transitions that are happening to them. Their song ‘Hit Like A Girl’ is completely an anthem for me. It’s something I wish younger me could sing along to rather than ‘Do you look yourself, straight in the eyes and think about who you let between your thighs?’. It’s been time for change for a while, and it’s here finally. If you should pay attention to anyone on this list, if anyone I have mentioned is going to make massive headways, it is them and you should really, really check them out.

Honourable Mention – Lil Lotus

Okay, I know this might get me disliked by some people. Which is fine, I don’t really care if you’re gonna disagree about this.

I mentioned before how the Emo Rap movement that we had in the 2010’s really aided in some newer influence, to bring things together in production and out stepping genre boxes. However, that goes both ways. There are so many artists within that scene, or even those who’ve transitioned from musician to producer, who came from Pop Punk influence. You’ll be surprised with how many Sad Boi Pop Punk era songs have been sampled. Even Lil Peep songs, if you want me to go there.

The point? Influence isn’t a one way street, and while Lil Lotus is commonly more associated with emo rap, he isn’t remotely a simply artist like that. His latest album, ‘Errør Bøy’, is honestly more fitting with bands like Magnolia Park than rap – while still so distinctively being both. Actually, Lil Lotus is touring with Magnolia Park as an open for him, so there you go. That sounded aggressive, but I guess I’m tired of the genre box. ‘Romantic Disaster’ off the album actually features Chrissy Costanza, from Against The Current if you remember them from what I said before.

Change is on it’s way, it’s been meaning to happen, and I really think now is the time to stop thinking you can only listen to one thing to really be a fan. Lil Lotus isn’t just a Rap type artist, he isn’t so simply placed like that. I think if you’re really into keeping up with the way the scene is growing, you need to acknowledge that genres can influence each other. That artists are going to influence each other, and that’s a great thing, not something to hate on.

I Wanna Live Inside Your Mind Next To Your Favourite Songs – Ranking Waterpark’s Albums

I would like to say that I have a pretty open and vast music taste. For me it really is just about the music, or well, art anyway. I don’t like to sit there and critique something based on what someone else thinks is “real music”, especially when all they mean by that is organic sounds. It’s just a silly argument to me, as if sound and music isn’t just pretty little air waves that we all hear differently as living beings. Not to mention it’s just self expression, it’s just creation like everything else in the world is. I think you must live a pretty boring life to only be open to one thing – I could never imagine only watching trashy rom-coms just because something else is entirely different. That’s the point, right?

Now, I promise you this has a reason, I’m not just ranting.

Waterparks are a three piece band from Houston, Texas, and when they were younger very much so inspired by “pop punk” music. As most of us who found bands at a young age can be. When signed to their first label, the whole “pop punk” box was something Waterparks fell into because of this. The issue? They’re so much more than that.

As the years have progressed there has been plenty of talk from Awsten Knight – vocalist, intense creative mind – about the genre in correspondent to the band:

Q: “What do you take from pop punk music and work into your own art?”

A: “The thing is we have all the ingredients for a pop punk band, but it’s the last thing I want to be.”

Q: “Why?”

A: “Because I just – I feel like pop punk hit where it was gonna hit…and at the same time it’s such a limiting genre because you can only do so many things with it. And that’s – that’s another reason I’m so into like -“

Q: “Genre belnding?”

A: “Yeah, and it’s like – and it’s no disrespect like I’m not just trying to shit on like pop punk stuff, but it’s like I just like so much more, you know what I mean? Like besides and also another thing that sucks is when you’re put in that category it’s so hard to get out of it. And when people see you as a “pop punk band” it’s just associated with like being a teenager at warped tour or whatever and it’s like that’s just not what I want.”

Awsten Knight, Zach Sang – The Zach Sang Show, 2019

I only bring this up because often the most negative criticism of Waterparks is the fact that they’re “not pop punk.” It’s not hard to find macho midwest dudes who dislike them just for not making pop punk music, all because the band themself would be around/tour with bands that were. Which I find hilarious.

“Fans of rock think there’s so much better than fans of other things because they’re like ‘oh but this is like meaningful’… most of the time it’s just like vague negative bull, like they’re not even saying anything it’s just like – just like vague struggle fluff for the sake of like being relatable…”

Awsten Knight, 2019

Again, I only bring this up because you can’t justify your opinion on something that they’re not and I think it’s incredibly important to only go into their music with this information. You can’t go into a Waterparks album expecting pop punk – in fact you can’t go into a Waterparks album expecting anything.

Waterparks have four albums – minus their Fandom: Live In The UK – three EPs and, depending on who you ask if they consider it, the “unreleased non-official G album” demos on soundcloud that Awsten had to release because of a tweet. For the purposes of this blog post I’ll just be focusing on albums, but who knows in the future I might follow up with my opinions on everything else.

Fourth Place – Entertaiment

I feel like I might get some hate for this one, which is fine but I have my reasons. I have been listening to Waterparks since the EP days and have watched them steadily grow since and with the release of Entertainment brought in a number of new fans. This isn’t bad, I think this was an era where things started to happen within fans and it was honestly a moment. That being said, this is my least favourite album out of anything they’ve produced. It just doesn’t feel right for me, not at all. That doesn’t mean I hate it, for I enjoy a lot of the songs from Entertainment. But I think that’s just the point, it feels like some songs, not an album, not a piece of art. Maybe there’s something missing for me, maybe I just never connected to it the way I did with every other album? It just feels adolescent to me as well, I don’t know how to explain it.

It’s not a bad album, not really. I know a lot of people who adore it, the vibes of it. That’s just not me though.

Third Place – Greatest Hit’s

Here is where things get difficult. I love – and by god I mean love – this album. Waterparks have some of my favourite artistry out there in the music game right now for me. The contextual elements. The max amount of detail – like how Track 1: Greatest Hits has audio from the streets when their Fandom album was on a billboard in times square. Insane, I love it so much. Greatest Hits is amazing, it’s a piece of art.That being said, as much as this gets played nearly daily for me, I adore the other two albums even more. I don’t even know how it’s possible, but I do.

Second Place – Double Dare

For the longest time Double Dare was my favourite album – one of my favourite’s of all time actually. And it still very much is, but I think most of my love for it comes from my emotional connection to it and what it ‘means’ to me rather than think it’s their best collective piece of music. Of course it keep’s second place though. This album came out exactly when I needed it in 2016, it brought so much joy into my life and it still does every time I listen to it. It’s nostalgic in the best way, while still completely holding up in being good music. Nothing enacts the same feeling as when I hear the opening to Track 8: Powerless.

First Place – Fandom

For a while I sat here not knowing if Fandom or Double Dare would get first place and it took me a long time to decide. If that doesn’t prove just how top notch both of them are then well, I don’t know I just felt like saying that. Fandom was always second to me, for so long, but after thinking it out I actually listen to Fandom more. It only came out in 2019, yet I still listen to it – the songs separately and as a whole – so often that there is always one song in my top tracks. Like Greatest Hits, Fandom has so much contextual depth and artistry. It was the first record away from their first label and you could notice the shift in how they produced their art. It was a moment of growth, change and it was so authentically themself. I love it, I’m attached to it, and I really recommend you listen to it at least once in your life. 

“I have a theory that we could do almost any – where we can do close to anything sonically, not anything but like most things genre wise and as long as what I’m saying is very authentic and very, very real and you can tell I feel like we’ll be aright cuz like Turbulent sounds nothing like any of the older stuff but it’s like what I wanted to make…I like dark music, I like pop music, I fast, I was like that’s all of those things…I just, I like so many things and I just think it’s stupid that – alright I think it’d be dumb to only show like one dimension of yourself especially like today…”

Awsten Knight, 2019

The Network Society Paradigm & Liquid Life

WHAT IS THE NETWORK SOCIETY PARADIGM?

Firstly, I would like to introduce this blog post by breaking down what this module was focusing on before diving deeper into its aspects and the main focal example I will be using: Liquid Life. 

The idea of the network society paradigm is simply – “a society whose social structure is made up of networks powered by micro-electronics-based information and communications technologies.” Theorist of the concept, Manuel Castells (2004 p. 3). 

Communication was never always as electronic based as it is today. In fact, it was always at a distance in and not at all ‘constant’ until the 19th Century. Around this time came the invention of the telegraph (1837), and from this moment communication became ever so changing. Now, this is where the idea of the network society comes into play. “…absolutely annihilating space and running in advance of time…a net-work of nerves of iron wire…” (The New York Tribune, 1845). 

THE NETWORKS

Centralized – the idea of a centralized network is it being owned/run by one company/community. This allows for that one authority figure to gain control over content, servers, or source codes. This is the type of network which aligns with most contemporary applications around today. “Data resides on a centrally owned database controlled by a company.”

Decentralized – these types of networks are made up of more than one node unlike centralized networks. They are not run by authority, for each separate node acts as its own, however are all existing within the same space. 

Distributed –  these networks are the type. They are made up of multiple nodes like Decentralized, however what differs here is the way they interact. “Applications in which computation is distributed across components, communicate and coordinate their actions by passing messages. The components interact with each other in order to achieve a common goal.”

CYBERSPACE

Cyberspace is explained to be a graphic representation of data – a consensual hallucination. (William Gibson,1984). The idea of cyberspace is that it is the home of the mind, an existence within that of ourselves, but also an external factor. Think of this as the vast world of the internet and the way it exists within thought or, a hallucination if you will. “Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.” 

LIQUID LIFE?

Now that I have briefly discussed the idea of the network society paradigm, its networks and the identity of cyberspace in relation to the vast existence of the internet, I will be introducing Liquid Life. 

Going off how the telegraph changed communication, how the internet and mobile phones grew from the extensive technological advancements of time, it is only right to assume the way society as a whole changes. New ideas, new ways of communicating, creating and displaying yourself openly to the world through the web. 

I’m sure we can all think of plenty of changes to society based on these factors, however one that really stuck out to me is the ideas of Liquid Life, or Liquid Labour. Today, everyday life has become another way of working. Everything is about work, rather than about life-style. This has created the ideology of Liquid Life, which can also be referred to as Liquid Labour. 

This brings us to the New Capitalism. “The relationships of capital and labour, argues Manuel Castells, are increasingly individualized and organized around the network enterprise form of production, which integrates the work process globally through telecommunications, transportation and client-customer networks. Such worldwide integration introduces a fundamental aspect of unpredictability to the nature of work,” 

This is the age of working culture, of hustle culture, of being overworked and enjoying it. Or, rather, presenting yourself as if you enjoy it. “…Not only does never stop hustling – one never exists a kind of work rapture…In the new work culture, enduring or even merely liking one’s job is not enough. Workers should love what they do, and then promote that love on social media, thus fusing their identities to that of their employers.”

THE LOGIC OF FREE INFORMATION FLOWS DEMANDS LABOUR THAT IS UNRESTRAINED BY BOARDERS AND ALWAYS AVAILABLE FOR WORK.

All of this comes from, as explored through ‘Liquid Life, Convergence Culture, and Media work’, a lack of stability and security. We do not work for a career any more, not really, in contemporary times aligned with that of social media, and networking, we instead create for short term effects. What is going to get this result right now, for we do not know how long this opportunity will last. The new capitalism. This has become extremely prevalent in the way of working off social media platforms. Everything is based on current flows, trends and catching up. 

This idea of Liquid Life is not something majorly negative, though nor is it inherently positive. This type of ‘hustle culture’ has created mass amounts of opportunities for society. It’s this idea that “anyone can make it”, anyone can achieve big goals and aspirations. Especially from social media platforms like Instagram. Anyone can gain success, power and influence over networks. 

That being said, this type of work-style not life-style has enabled the lack of self-care. When everything becomes about work and not about life – about a healthy balance between the two – then you will often find yourself a victim of burn out, “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion…” This wave has moved forward the lack of care one has for themself, which is why the importance of self-care is so important within today’s society. For you will never be performing at your best when struggling in the overwhelming nature of hustle culture.

Liquid Life offers up both positives and negatives for the future in society, and like most things, it is incredibly important to structure a healthy balance between the two and to start living a style and work style. 

REFERENCES 

A declaration of the independence of Cyberspace (2016) Eff.org. Available at

A Global Nervous System [BCM206] (no date) Prezi.com. Available at

Ashby, J. (no date) 1.4 The network society, Soas.ac.uk. Available at

Centralized vs decentralized vs distributed (2019) Blockchainengineer.com. Available at

Civilization of the mind: understanding the network society paradigm (no date) Prezi.com. Available at

Griffith, E. (2019) “Why are young people pretending to love work?,” The New York times, 26 January. Available at

Mark Deuze (Indiana University) (2006) “Liquid Life, Convergence Culture, and Media Work.” Available at

Melinda (no date) “Burnout prevention and treatment – HelpGuide.Org.” Available at 

Simply Taylorlani The Musical Edition Pitch

Hey, hey.

If you remember my last Digital Artifact which was entirely art based, then I guess you might be surprised that this one is mostly not. Over the course of time my old Digital Artifact died and was reborn into Simply Taylorlani and this semester I’m focusing on my writing which just so happens to be on this blog.

Essentially my DA has the aim to produce more writing content and after taking a moment with my existing audience on Instagram, we narrowed that down to music. Which is great, I love writing about music whether it’s reviews, my opinions, ranking artist albums and breaking them down. This is something I do in my seperate time already.

I love engaging with artist content in a constructive way, especially when someone releases a new album or single. Personally, I found I know a lot of people that don’t really think of things that way when they listen to music. They just say if they like it or not without really going deeper. I want to go deeper with this. I enjoy going further into music than the surface.  

I also showcase a lot of this on my content based Instagram which goes in hand with this DA. For example, I’ve started sharing a weekly song and album’s which I’ve enjoyed or have been on repeat for myself. Along with this I have some of my Spotify playlists public for my audience while over the course of this semester I create and update one with my weekly music choices. Maybe even others depending on how the semester goes.

I hope that with this Digital Artifact I can introduce some of my audience who don’t engage with my personal taste to different music or even get them to think about it differently.