SIMPLY TAYLORLANI GOES MUSICAL
Contextual Report, BCM241, Media Ethnographies
Author – Taylor Housman, 2021
This semester Simply Taylorlani (ST) underwent further developmental changes in exploring the field of creating and producing written content, weekly stories and a playlist centered around one particular niche. For this venture the niche was decided and finalised by an Instagram poll, with the winning votes going towards music.
This blog and Simply Taylorlani have produced music related content before, allowing for the ideas to flow from the beginning. Too many ideas, and a broader open niche was inherently the first project struggle. As seen here in this post, this Digital Artifact started with multiple genres. After contemplation and time creating, the DA was narrowed down to just Pop Punk with slight touches on Emo/Midwest. This contributed to the further research that underwent through the course of this project, being able to connect articles, analytical sources and lecture content.
Pop Punk is a music genre, one that isn’t small and it’s history “cannot be neatly explained and packaged into a tight little box. It’s complicated, messy, and spills over into multiple genres among fusing with others.” It can be described as difficult to understand unless you have deep roots, ones that ST has and utilised within this DA. It can be argued when Pop Punk began, but the late 90s and 2000s saw it catapult headfirst into mainstream culture, before fizzling out of the spotlight.
One of the first points made was that “this isn’t just a hobby, but a lifestyle and identity.” ST engaged with this idea outside of personal experiences. YOUTH SUBCULTURE – “A subculture is a way of life. It isn’t a fan club, its a real life…So it’s a way of having something that they can say they belong to and that they are.”
This source aided in diving into aesthetics, something mentioned here that ST found was a large contributor to the personal identities/persona of the subculture, also deepening the idea that it is a larger concept than just music. Pop Punk style has developed with time, but much like the music, spills over and from “traditional” Punk. This source looks more into those aesthetics.
As mentioned before, Pop Punk fizzled out, and Loudwire here explores how this genre survived, especially with its multitude of issues. These issues are something this DA inspected. “Toxic masculinity had the 2000s in a chokehold…lyrics rife with misogyny…culture that would ridicule women…it was normalized at the time…some bands made a nasty habit of abusing their power and access to young girls on tour.”
One thing Simply Taylorlani set out with a goal to do was pull away from the mainstream artists who, once again are taking it to the spotlight. Alternative Press shared a list of “10 individuals supporting the genre while, mostly, staying out of the spotlight.” Music is much more than songs and artists, it is an industry full of teams and producers as well.
Genre blending as a concept is not strictly Pop Punk, it is a wave in the industry that just expands music. However, as ST explored the new era of Pop Punk that stepped away from the 2010’s sound of bands like The Story so Far and The Wonder Years, elements of this are more present. “I personally believe that the rise of the mixed genre is a testament to the creativity and talent of today’s music artists.”
Introducing the way 2010’s Emo Rap has influenced the stylistic evolution of Pop Punk and vice versa. Kerrang – “a constellation of genres with a hustle-hard, DIY ethos championed from different corners and dragged from the bedroom…“It’s like punk,” he [Scarlxrd] reckons…“Punk came on the scene with people playing in basements…We’re all inspired by what we’re inspired by.”…[Horse Head] taps more directly into his emo and pop-punk influences…riffing on bands like Rilo Kiley and Taking Back Sunday.”
“The thing is we have all the ingredients for a pop punk band, but it’s the last thing I want to be…it’s like – and it’s no disrespect…but it’s like I just like so much more, you know what I mean?” – Awsten Knight of Waterparks, Zach Sang Show
Autoethnography, the “approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience.” aided in this project from the start. I have grown up in this world and most of this is personal experience. This approach has allowed me to critically reflect on all those experiences and being able to transcribe my lively experience into formal work has given myself a whole new perspective. As someone who creates this type of content outside of University, I believe my work has developed stronger from it. ST is more professional – design changes, approach shifts and industry relationships. I have met new people, grown as a writer and have been able to articulate what my writing in life is. Frameworks such as Postmodernism aided in this project the same way. My work is centred around the modernity of the niche, the cultural shifts, which are still arguably “hot takes”. The gatekeepers who can’t let go of Blink-182’s sound being the default setting, those who think there aren’t any power abusers, are reluctant to transition into contemporary developments.
As stated before, Persona is a deeply important aspect of this niche. Authenticity is key, especially when building relationships with others. Pop Punk is a community, there are people who make up that community from bands, producers, writers, podcasts, fans etc. Knowing who you are within that, finding your “niche” in this world and being truthful to/in your content holds weight. I could have lied in all posts, but then the bands I’ve met from that would be fake relationships. The songs I shared I actually love, I could have lied about that too, but the connections and attraction achieved would be false. Subculture isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle, you don’t tap in and out, there is no room to not be your persona even online.
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