This week is my favorite artist, Christina Aguilera. When her new album Lotus came out my expectations were not too high because I definitely think she fell short of her potential on her previous album Bionic. I was SOOO wrong. This album is pretty good and has some amazing ballads. So far my favorite pick from this album is “Blank Page”.
So following my last post about today’s music I’ve decided to try something out. Since I can barely listen to the radio these days, I’ve recently reverted back to listening to different genres and artists online. Some of the music is stuff I used to listen to and fell out of touch with, and other music and artists are totally new to me. I ‘m going to be posting a favorite song of the week, hopefully every week. First up is Kate Voegele…
I’m a 90’s baby. I remember all the slow R&B jams on the radio and the Hip Hop tracks we’d hear on Jam’n 94.5 on the carpool to school, the Baltazar and Pebbles morning show never got old, lol. I can remember the music my Mom would play while she cleaned the house on Saturdays: Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder…. When I got older I got into more classic forms of music. I started listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and old Motown tracks on repeat. By the time I was knee-deep in my college career, I was all about opera; La Stupenda, Joan Sutherland, being a favorite…..
Flash Forward leaving the Classical era, speeding through the 30’s and 40’s, past the Motown phase and Cameo days, and even beyond Queen, Aerosmith, Biggie, and Destiny….what on earth is going on with music Today?!?!?!?!?!?!
I love music. I listen to all different genres and rarely discriminate. That being said, I don’t get where music is going these days. I
don’t mean to offend, but it seems to me that the popular music of this decade completely lacks any real artistry, originality, and emotion. I realize music changes as time goes on and often times people reject the unfamiliar. How many times have our parents complained about what we listen to? And how many times have we heard that our grandparents complained about what our parents listened to?…..But I’m not a parent and I’m not even close to middle-aged. I’m young and this music is still a part of my generation, unfortunately, but for some reason I just can’t connect with it. I turn on the radio in the morning and I hear what sounds like different versions of the same song over and over again; Rihanna or Jessie J’s vocals over a seizure inducing track of some kind of electronica mumbo jumbo with Nicki Minaj on the bridge. Now, I can get into those kinds of songs on a Friday night when I’m on the dance floor at a club with a few drinks in my system….but 24/7??
Thankfully it’s not all bad. When Kanye West came out with “Otis” it was a pleasant breath of fresh air for me. Adele has also been a Godsend during these troubling times. Her album was constantly booming through the earphones of my iPod. Luckily music goes through phases. It changes all the time. I’m just hoping (praying really) that this is a VERY short and regrettable phase in the history of music.
GOD, BRING BACK THE ARTISTS
- New Music: Anita Baker ‘Lately’ (fefesiriano.com)
So, I’ve heard a lot of comments about how kids these days are growing up way too fast. When I first heard complaints about this I didn’t think too much of it. Afterall, it’s the same thing our parents said to us, their parents said to them, and so on and so on. Nevertheless, I’ve recently come to believe there is a lot of truth to these accusations.
I have an eight year old niece who is more concerned with clothes and makeup than I ever was at that age. When I was eight years old I was into Barbies and the latest Fisher Price play set. My niece grew out of that stage two or three years ago. I’ve also noticed that children (girls) seem to dress far more sexually as time goes on. I work in retail and have seen 12 year olds walk into my store that imitate styles of girls in their late teens. Mini skirts, crop tops, and heels have become must have items for many young girls. These are much milder examples compared with other cases. Everyone hears horror stories about how kids are having sex at younger ages than ever before. The youngest I remember is a boy having sex at age 10 or 11. That completely baffles me.
One has to wonder why this is happening. Is the behavior of today’s juveniles really as extreme as people say? Or is it the typical opinion of the older population versus the up and coming youthful culture? Is our society becoming more corrupt and influencing kids? Or has this always been happening and now we just hear more about it?
In my opinion, it’s a combination of all these issues. Members of older generations will always find fault with younger generations. This has always been the nature of our community. Also, as our society becomes more open to discussion and technology encourages the spread of information, many aspects of our lives come to light that were not necessarily discussed or widely known before. I also think our world is slowly becoming a more dangerous and corrupt place, however, that is not entirely to blame for the behavior of the kids. Children have been shown to be more susceptible to outside influences (usually negative) depending on their background and home life. From what I’ve seen, some of the kids who dress and act far above their age group have parents that either support or show indifference to what their kids do.
I honestly think parents becoming more lax in discipline has a major impact on what these kids are doing. I wasnt allowed to wear lipstick on a semi-regular basis until I was around 13/14 years old. However, today I was just watching a fashion video about how Suri Cruise (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ daughter) was becoming a trendsetter, wearing gold heels on one day and a dark red lipstick on another. Suri is only five. That’s just a Hollywood example but I have seen children in that age group with similar style habits.
Then of course there’s the media. Television, music, and movies have always influenced society’s youth. My niece is obsessed with the Nickelodeon show Victorious. The girls often sport short dresses, skirts, and stilettos, as part of their wardrobes. In certain snapshots you could easily mistake some of the teens girls for grown women.
In short, I do think that kids today are growing up way too fast. However, this is not a new phenomenon. They are products of society. This has always been the case. I think all we can do is monitor what these kids see and hear as much as possible and refrain from encouraging them to grow up to quickly. There shouldnt be groups of 12-year-old kids roaming the town unsupervised, five-year-olds in eyeshadow and heels, and preteens dressed like they’re going to the club. Childhood is a very important stage of life and it only comes once. When its gone they can’t get it back so try not to let them take it for granted.
So I recently got into watching MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. I’m not big on MTV programming ever since the “music” television station ceased to have anything to do with music, but i digress… I started to watch mostly because there was nothing on tv one night, but also to see what all the former raucous was about. Even before I started watching the show I heard the bad rap about it promoting/glorifying teen pregnancy. People argued that by giving pregnant teens their own show MTV was making it seem “cool” to get knocked up. I pretty much agreed despite the fact I had never really watched the show in detail. However, after tuning in, I perceived the show very differently. Now I’m wondering if all the people who badmouth it ever watched it to begin with.
Most of the girls in the show (at least when I started watching it) deal with some real issues. Dating violence, verbal abuse, health issues and financial struggles are just a few of the obvious issues you will see in the show. All of the teens deal with different issues and have different outcomes and consequences for their actions. There are some couples like Teen Mom’s Leah and Corey who take the struggles head on and handle the stress fairly well for their age. Then there are others like Jenelle who need a reality check on what it means to be a parent. If anything the show emphasizes how teens are certainly not ready for pregnancy or parenthood.
If you want to complain about a show that glorifies teen pregnancy look no further than The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Now, let me say first off that I love the show. I’ve watched from the very beginning so I have that strange television addiction where you just have to see it out until the end. Nevertheless, there is no denying that the secret life world is majorly warped. When you watch you don’t feel bad for the actors. One girl on the show is pregnant and another is a mother. They don’t seem to have any major struggles or obstacles. They are still leading fairly normal teenage lives, and even talking about marriage constantly. It’s the furthest thing from reality.
As I said before, I like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. I also enjoy The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I’m also mature enough to know the difference between reality and television. I think the most important thing is to teach your kids what’s real and what’s not. After all, they see and hear plenty of things in the media that aren’t necessarily true.