Music is not a definitive form of art. It is constantly changing and progressing as time moves forward. Different genres of music lyrically express moments in history.
For example, America in the 1960s saw a revival of folk rock as the mainstream popularity shifted toward a hippie lifestyle.
Musicians depict the opinion of Americans through song and give them music that they want to hear. It is those songs that will forever be remembered and associated with the time period’s generation.
The Woodie Awards
With the 2013 MTVU Woodie Awards taking place this Thursday, it’s as good a time as ever to take a closer look at the music that has been overtaking this generation.
MTVU established The Woodie Awards in 2004. Eric Conte, executive producer of the 2013 Woodie Awards, said the award show was created to celebrate the amazing artists and talent that deserve recognition in the music industry.
“[We are] shining the light on nominees who may not have had the spotlight on them just yet,” Conte said.
Conte said the nominees are artists who are on brink of fame. He called the Grammys this year “the who’s who of Woodies past.”
The nominations for the Woodies are well-deserved across the board.
Last year, rapper A$AP Rocky performed at the Woodies and this year he is nominated for “Woodie of the Year.”
“When I started to see strange people I didn’t even know come up and congratulate me on doing such a good job, that’s when I knew I was on the rise,” A$AP Rocky said Feb. 27 during a live teleconference with college journalists.
Machine Gun Kelly wowed audience members last year when he performed at the Woodies. The rapper climbed a three-story sound booth never missing a beat in the song, Conte said.
Last year, he won the “Breaking Woodie Award” and this year he is up for the top award of the night “Woodie of the Year.”
“I haven’t stopped bragging about it,” MGK said during the same teleconference. “It’s something that I am very proud of.”
College music culture
The show is geared toward the college demographic. The nominees are artists who have broken through into the music industry with the harshest and most unforgiving audience: college students.
“Bands can become huge from being a success among the college crowd,” Dan Balton , The Lion 90.7 vice president of operations, said.
Over the years, the college music scene has evolved into something entirely different. Rock n’ roll isn’t typically being heard at parties on a Saturday night. Instead it’s the deafening beat of electronic dance music paired with intense strobe lights dancing along the walls and dance floor.
It’s not a bad thing that music has changed; it’s bound to happen. Rather the difference of opinion is a prime example of how musical taste alters from generation to generation.
Today’s music is underrated. Our generation has repeatedly been criticized for its musical taste. Until recently, I was one of those people who couldn’t stand today’s music. My taste in music was completely consumed by what is considered indie. I thought everything else was over-hyped.
The problem was I just wasn’t looking in the right places — the judgment was only mainstream deep. People don’t realize how much time and effort is put into electronic music. It takes a highly-intelligent individual to mix a proper track.
Many of the Woodie nominees represent exactly what is infiltrating the music industry right now, including disc jockey Dillon Francis.
Francis is leading nominations for the Woodies alongside Jack White and is up for the “Breaking Woodie,” an award geared toward those artists who are newer to the industry, Conte said.
Francis said during the teleconference that he won’t release a single until he has listened to it in his car and there is nothing in it that annoys him.
Francis embodies the electronic dance craze that has taken over this generation. He was a pioneer in moombahton, a sub-genre of EDM that intertwines characteristics of house music and reggaeton.
State College sound
Electronic music has taken State College by storm because it pairs seamlessly with the “party culture” of town, Balton (sophomore-marketing) said.
I never thought of rap as a legitimate genre either and now I’m embarrassed that I ever believed that. To me, rap was all about sex, drugs and alcohol. It wasn’t until a friend introduced me to Kendrick Lamar that I started to see rap as an incredibly clever genre of music.
That being said, my first love will always be indie pop and rock music. In more recent years, indie and alternative music has become popular among the college crowds.
Music that was typically underground gained mainstream popularity with the help of the hipster movement.
Many of these bands have given this generation the “anthem songs” that will forever be associated with this time, like fun. ’s “We Are Young,” letting everyone embrace their inner hipster.
Just like the mainstream electronic and rap music, mainstream indie music does not define the genre.
Of course, the indie fan base gets annoying at points. We support our bands until death, but as soon as they hit the radio waves we call them “sell-outs.” We want to see them succeed but as soon as they do we don’t want anyone else to like them, but that’s like any fandom.
There are so many talented artists across genres that will never be recognized and some of them can be found right in Happy Valley.
State College may be considered a small town demographically, but its eclectic music scene can compete with any major city — if you’re looking in the right place.
“It always blows me away what our students are able to do,” Balton said.
State College, with its 40,000 strong student body, is a perfect guinea pig for any artist hoping to squeeze his or her way into the shark tank known as the music industry.
Not to mention, the diverse backgrounds of the student body allows for a mixing and matching of genres creating an individual’s own personal style.
“I think that’s what makes a college town like State College so fantastic,” Balton said. “[Students] can express themselves without feeling intimidating because they are surrounded by audiences who are going through a similar [college] experience.”
We should be encouraging and supporting our local artists. Who knows? One day they might be famous and wouldn’t it be cool to say you saw them first when they played free concerts at Chronic Town?
What’s great about the Woodie Awards is it embraces the college music scene. On Friday, MTV announced via press release The Lonely Biscuits , a band from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., will be performing at the Woodies this year.
The band was awarded the first ever Chevrolet Sonic College Artist Woodie Award , which honors emerging artists on campuses around the country.
Music is something that has always played a defining roll in college. A lyric or a tune can take a person back to this nostalgic time in his or her life.
“College is a time a lot of people are experiencing independence for the first time,” Balton said. “Music is like this guiding voice.”