media darling

a personal record of how different forms of media and their content affect me (a college student)

radio – vintage media October 16, 2008

Filed under: radio — katie @ 9:54 am
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I was lucky enough to get a private tour of NPR this weekend from Pam Fessler, a correspondent for the National Desk, currently doing research and pieces on the “voting process.” I must say, I was really surprised as to how interesting and stimulating the NPR atmosphere was, because most people my age would consider it to be a boring talk show on the radio.

Pam Fessler

Pam Fessler

Why does my age group refuse to examine the benefits of talk radio? It is one of the oldest forms of media where people used to only use it to to get any news. We probably underestimate it today because we are so used to multi-media forms, that we overlook the simple radio and think we can’t get as much out of it’s programs as opposed to a visual or interactive program.

There actually are many benefits of talk radio that I didn’t think about before this weekend. It is flexible so that it not only records commercials but also advertorials and live reads. Live reads are interpreted by listeners as endorsements of a product by a favorite radio personality to add weight to a campaign.

It is informative, as well as entertaining. NPR, and other shows, are not limited to filling gaps between music to convey news and messages. Their main goal is to keep the public informed with both serious and lighter, interesting news. Pam said the reporters try extremely hard to stay unbiased, particularly when it comes to politics, and sometimes bend too far over backwards giving the opposite view. Also, the amazing music library NPR has to fill gaps between news stories was quite impressive.

Talk radio attracts listener loyalty which leads to awareness and familiarity, and eventually trust. It is also considered is foreground radio. People listen to talk radio more attentively and don’t simply have it on as ‘background music’. It is also selective, which mean it has the ability to contact a mass audience or pinpoint a specific consumer group.

Talk radio is recognized as potentially the most powerful form of media currently in Australia, according to 6pr882 News Talk’s Web site. It offers incredible opportunities for businesses that have previously relied on either the press or TV to relay their message to potential customers.

I have a newfound respect for the “vintage” media form, and have a goal to start listening to it more often.


ben folds brings new music to UConn…Unfortunately September 29, 2008

Filed under: music — katie @ 11:56 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
Ben Folds

Ben Folds

I went with some friends to see Ben Folds play at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts this weekend. We were so excited to see him in concert and listened to his old albums non-stop for about a week. We found out a sad little detail Saturday afternoon, however, that put a slight damper on our concert experience. Folds came out with a new album, “Way to Normal,” very recently, which is only available to pre-order on iTunes as of now. We practically felt tricked into going to his concert!

We were pretty bummed when he informed the audience that he was going to play all of his new songs for the first hour of the concert, and save some of the oldies for the end. We made the most of our evening and enjoyed ourselves, however it really affected our experience because no one in the audience knew a single word to the first 12+ songs. Once he started up with his old stuff though, a wave of joy went through the audience.

I’m not a music critic, but as a huge Folds fan, I’ve got to say that he has failed to impress me with this new album. There are some great tracks, but for the most part, it sounds to me like it was hastily put together with only a goal of being witty and condescending in mind. Some songs are unique-sounding, one of which features one of my favorite singers, Regina Spektor.

Regina Spektor who sings with Folds in "You Don't Know Me" on his new album, "Way to Normal"

Regina Spektor sings on new album

Click here to listen to “You Don’t Know Me” By Folds feat. Spektor.

Folds has always been firmly tongue-in-cheek, but his humor felt a little bitter, almost a little mean when he played different versions of songs to “make a point.” We went to see Folds play, we didn’t go to hear his added complaints about the music industry or dry wit about rock concerts. He’s had a substantial influence in the music industry, and been a spokesperson for different messages in the media as a really low-key, unaffected celebrity.

When he plays, he plays so well, so it was a shame that it seems his fame may have gone to his head a bit. He didn’t seem particularly happy to be playing at UConn, and I definitely think many of his fans will be negatively affected by this new personality he is portraying.

Here are some interesting lyrics from one of the different versions of a new song called “The Frown Song (the fake version)”:

You look at the news
Always giving me the blues
War, death and chaos
All around me now

The media’s controlled
People do just what they’re told
Just wanna stand up
and yell “Is anybody out there?”

‘Cause it makes me frown
Yeah it makes me frown

It’s hard to find hope
But maybe we can learn to cope
By listening to one another
It’s a trust thing

‘Cause I know that you have fear
‘Cause you know the end is near
But just lend an ear
And we can make it happen

‘Cause it makes me frown
Makes everybody frown

I like this song and it’s message, but I think fellow old Folds’ fans will agree that his older, funny songs make for better listening and a better concert.


rock & roll still in style September 18, 2008

I went to a party last weekend at my friend Roger’s apartment in

View Larger Map“>Willy Oaks and was somewhat shocked at the music that was blasting from his awesome sound-system. He had chosen a satellite station that played oldies (but goodies) and I was astounded to find that everyone at the party was so excited by it. I’m talking old songs, that my dad made me listen to growing up. Surprisingly, it was such a refreshing change to go to a party and not find dirty rap booming and people rubbing up against each other just because the music called for such actions. Everyone was dancing, but in a completely carefree way, just for fun. Everyone knew every word to every song and just kept dancing, no matter how dumb we all looked.

I had more fun at Roger’s party than I have at other parties in a while, and literally the only thing different I can name about it is the music. To name a few of the unlikely party songs that were played were

“Twist and Shout” by

the beatles

the beatles

“Jack & Diane” by

john mellencamp

john mellencamp

and “The Loco-Motion” by

little eva

little eva

These are extremely different song choices than the usual tunes by

lil wayne

lil wayne






that we jam to at parties. I won’t deny that I like these artists and usually enjoy listening to them when I go out, but the music at this particular party was just so different from the norm, and the effects of it caught me by surprise.

The effects that music can have on people are profound but often go unnoticed. Witnessing and feeling those effects last weekend was really interesting, and my friends all agreed that the music made for a great party scene, but I don’t think they realize how much it affected their brains. Researchers have said that some types of music can even act as endorphins for the brain and really cause a person to calm down or enhance their mood.

Music is not often considered a type of media, but its remarkably unique effects and the fact that it can help people communicate with each other makes it one. Also, the effect that music has on other media forms is undeniably amazing.

Here’s an old video of “Twist and Shout” since I’m pretty sure the music files I tried to input did not work: