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opinion

2000s Music: What Will It Be Remembered For?

By music, opinion, sarcasm

I’ve probably delved a little bit into this subject before, but I’ve actually done some deep thinking about it this time. Every decade since the 1950s has had a few things it’s remembered for musically. But what will people be thinking when they look back in ten or twenty years on the music of the 2000s? (As a side note, does that sound weird to anyone else, saying “2000s,” or is it just me?)

Here’s what I’ve been able to gather just by my own humble listening observations. In the early 2000s, you had post-grunge bands start to emerge, such as Three Days Grace and Nickelback. They’re doing well now, but manufactured pop (some of the stuff being played on Top 40 stations such as Richmond’s Q94 is getting almost unlistenable, cheesy and awful lately) has become more commonplace. I can think of two prime examples of annoying, manufactured pop becoming more center-stage.

The first example is Gwen Stefani. She used to be the lead singer of No Doubt in the 1990s and early 2000s. I really liked No Doubt. A few years ago when she started her solo career, she (in my opinion) regressed severely into the teen/bubblegum pop sinkhole (For a thorough definition of the word “sinkhole” in this context, try and force yourself to get through the duration of her song, “Hollaback Girl”).

Second example? Avril Lavigne. She made her debut in the early 2000s as a refreshing alternative pop rock artist with a unique sound. She, too, has now fallen into the hole (Compare her 2002 song “Complicated” with last year’s “Girlfriend” for clarification).

Punk pop groups (I like some, but others drive me up the wall) such as The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Quietdrive, and Simple Plan (Is it just me or do all the lead singers of these bands have the exact same high pitch, whiny voices?), also surfaced a lot more throughout the decade.

The urban scene has also seen unprecedented mainstream growth, and with more varieties. There is a clear difference between the urban sound of even the late 1990s and today. There’s a lot more electronic influence and instruments, as well as voice synthesizers  and a lot of resampling.

Singer-songwriters have made a big comeback, too. James Blunt, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer have seen great success in their careers. Their mellow, voice-driven tracks are refreshing in a sea of otherwise manufactured music. I’ll get to that in a minute. Other successful singer-songwriters like Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat have really brought us back to earth in the same respect, as well.

1990s favorites such as The Gin Blossoms, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Collective Soul have made attempts throughout the 2000s to put out new singles and have, for the most part, failed. They just don’t have the musical charisma they had in the late ’90s. Don’t get me wrong, these were some of my favorite artists in the mid 1990s, but they just don’t make the same kind of music anymore. I bet that will change throughout the next decade, because it seems as if trends skip a decade and come back.

Emo music (I’m cringing) will be another thing the decade is remembered for. Evanescence started the trend in the early 2000s, and the movement has grown in recent years. They’re not as bad as some other emo-type bands, but they’re still a little to dark and “I-hate-my-life” for my tastes.

So where do we stand? We’re in the midst of a small 1980s revival, strangely enough in urban music, with the use of ’80s sound effects and keyboards. What’s old is new again. It’s only natural. How much more can we really do technology-wise, without having them all sound manufactured and computer-generated, anyway? There’s been a trend of ’80s music being resampled and artists making successful comebacks, such as INXS, Duran Duran, and The Cars (reincarnated as The New Cars).

It will be really interesting to see where things go as we head into the next decade. It was even more interesting to see the musical soundscape evolve throughout this decade. I was so young in the 1990s that deciphering the music of that decade is more like just digging around in the past. This was right before my eyes, and I find it pretty fascinating.

Prom Night – Review

By movie reviews

On Saturday night, I checked out the movie Prom Night. Let me just cut to the chase here. It was bloody awful. And no, I’m not turning British. I say that because it was both bloody (albeit fake) and awful. Brittany Snow stars as Donna, a contender for Prom Queen. We learn in the beginning of the film that one of her high school teachers became obsessed with her. He was fired after acting inappropriately and subsequently subject to a restraining order from her family. As a result, he killed her entire family as Donna watched in horror.

Flashing back to the present, her and her boyfriend Bobby (played by Scott Porter) descend on their prom at a historic local hotel, just as her aunt and uncle, with whom she now lives, find out that the killer has escaped from prison and is on the loose. As predictability would have it, he shows up at the hotel and, through a series of poorly-orchestrated scenes and events, systematically kills her friends as they go back to their rooms one by one for different reasons.

The plot is boring, stagnant, extremely predictable, and just overall terrible. The supposed gory stabbing scenes reminds me of the blatantly fake and outdated shower stabbing scene in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho. I’m telling you, it couldn’t have been made much worse. Honestly, I’d go so far as to say I’d be embarrassed to have had any part in this film.

Oh, and tell me this: What’s up with having older actors play teenagers? It’s not just in this movie, but it’s so obvious in this one. Brittany Snow is 22 years old, which isn’t extremely noticable, but come on, Scott Porter is 29 and it shows! That’s just another thing to add to the list of things that were fake or not believable in this film.

I also saw editing flaws. For example, there’s a scene where the couple is talking on the side of the dance floor (Side note: What’s up with the dance floor? It looks like something out of a ridiculously-overdone bubblegum-pop music video. Completely unrealistic) and as they’re chatting, the music cuts out and you hear nothing. Then it starts again once they walk back on the floor. I thought it was some weird technique, but no, it’s not.

There’s no plot in this movie, just people dying (in as many phony ways as possible). And I was even more surprised to learn that this is a remake of the 1980 film by the same name? Apparently it starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Leslie Nielsen. Interesting. From reading about it, it seems like a typical ’80s slasher film, but I bet it was better than this.

I found myself (as well as my friends and the rest of the audience) laughing through many of the supposedly scary parts. It was one of the most poorly-made movies I’ve ever seen, period. I wish I could somehow give it negative stars.

Overall Rating: