Wednesday, April 20, 2011

“The soundtrack to my life”

by Peter Langeness

                This seems to be the immortal question within the academic world. It is hard to say what songs would define my life. With every human having some sort of albatross to carry we can assume this list is going to go: angst, angst, Beatles, and latest pop song. Instead of connecting songs to events in my life or relate music to my psyche I simply want to point and say this has great artistic value and it doesn’t hurt that this song rocks. I feel more inclined to enjoy the game changers and pioneers in music but I have an unexplained loathing of today’s auto-tuned bimbos. First I will start at “Icky Thump” by The White Stripes. I enjoy this song because it has this unpolished dirty feel and suggests that this two person band has this feeling of a handful of artists throwing their ideas at each other and watching the carnage unfold. They have a feel of a big band and sound like they just woke up and threw this at you. To me they feel as a blank canvas framed in gold with the small words printed in 16pt Impact dead center in the frame: This is Art. I am going to hit the generic throwback right now, just as everyone else will, with The Beatles. But here is when I will be different, I am not pointing to any one song but rather them as a whole. They captivated the world, made great music, and lost their rights to Michael Jackson but despite their level of publicity they maintained a dedication to their art. I am going to reference one event of their career, their rooftop concert. Next I just want to lay this one on the table and see if anyone objects; “Island in the Sun” by Weezer is a timeless classic. It will be hard to find someone that hates Weezer. I think it is law to enjoy Weezer; that and Sublime. I do enjoy my concerts and so far there is only one band that I have seen more than once in concert which is Skillet. It’s likely you haven’t heard of them but in the Christen rock scene they are top dog. I enjoy how they have been able to maintain their heavy rock sound yet adapt some contemporary song styles and keeping it PG for God. I am going to cite one of their newer songs that does sound a little more modern and pop-ish but I still feel it’s a good place to start with them. I’m going to end with The Foo Fighters. There are so many great bands but I know they would be on any short list I make. They have proved to last the test of time by having this beautiful career play itself out just as you could say about U2 or Modanna but unlike those two I think they still have souls. To keep things angst and teenaged inspired I would use “Pretender” but I am going with one that has this weird train-wreck/awesome music video: “Learn to Fly.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


For my advertisement I went with a Coca-Cola ad that uses the cast of The Simpsons. It stars with Mr. Burns, a wealthy millionaire, becomes broke forcing him to sell all his belongings. The viewer whiteness people taking away all his cherished items as Mr. Burns’ heart breaks. After losing everything he goes for a walk. He stumbles upon a park filled with happy people. Everyone in the park appears to be happy while most are drinking Coca-Cola. The music changes to a somber song as we see Apu, a gas station employee, sees Mr. Burns sulking. As a gesture of friendship Apu offers Mr. Burns a Coka-Cola. When he accepts the drink the music becomes cheerful again and people from all over the park come and embrace Mr. Burns as a friend.                     

I believe this commercial adheres to the appeal of a need for affiliation. The main character becomes depressed due to economic hardship which automatically relates it to a vast majority of Americans. When we see the other people enjoying each other it becomes apparent that Mr. Burns feels alone. This portrays a strong feeling of loneliness. Because most people have experienced something to that extent, it appeals to a very large audience if not the entire planet. By having such a broad audience the advertisement is extremely effective. By having the commercial animated helps to pull younger viewers, who relate it to their kind of entertainment, into the ad. By using a television show that has lasted for over twenty years attracts older viewers because they are already familiar with the characters. Once Mr. Burns drinks the coke he is accepted by the people and is carried off on peoples’ shoulders. From losing everything to gaining friendship and admiration the viewer feels a greater feeling of affiliation. I believe this advertisement does a great job considering the product in no way could every produce a result like that.