Monday, August 17, 2009

Ironic Thai Hipster Music Experiment 2: The Bottom Three

You know the drill: I played 10 songs for two of my Thai English 203 (second year) classes and had them answer 2 questions about each song:

1. Did you like the song?
2. Why or why not?

They were to answer in either complete sentences or in phrases to be converted to an outline to organize their thoughts (to apply to the inflexible lesson plan about "academic English writing."). I was especially curious about their opinions because these songs represent ten of my favorite albums of 2009, a year which one colleague referred to by saying that "2009 is to American music what 2007 was to American film" (Tower members and/or Triangle writers can take a guess as to which friend of ours said that.

HINT: It wasn't Jackie Temkin).

Here is the list, in the order that I played them the songs:

1. Dan Deacon - Get Older
2. Animal Collective - Summertime Clothes
3. Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is the Move
4. Wavves - No Hope Kids
5. Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
6. Yo La Tengo - Periodically Triple or Double
7. jj - Are You Still in Vallda?
8. Fever Ray - I'm Not Done
9. Camera Obscura - French Navy
10. Phoenix - Lisztomania

And now, numbers 10 through 7, the four songs of the 10 that failed to receive over 50% approval ratings combined. Here they are; batten your egos:

10. Fever Ray - I'm Not Done

12 likes, 55 dislikes (17.90% success rate)

Did you like the song? Why or why not?


-Yes, I like because it good!
-Yes, feeling good and happy [Ethical dilemma: should I refer this kid to the school psychologist?]
-Yes, it have a good main idea
-Yes, vocal and instrument is quitely contrast, but it's make me feel good. I like it.

No [Here we go...]
-No because it look like some ancient tribes doing ritual more than singing the song
-No I don't like this song because the song same ghost song and very borring
-No song not fun and sound bad
-No, can't cash the meaning
-No, downhearted, make me sleepy
-no, fearing
-no, hell's song
-No, is joke
-no, it's like monk praying speech
-No, that's sound jungle. I think about Amazon.
-no (Is she a witches? Sound is freak me.)
-No the beats of music and voice of singer are totally different

9. Animal Collective - Summertime Clothes

13 Likes, 53 Dislikes (19.70% success rate)

[That sound you hear is the collective jaw of East Flatbush hitting the floor]

Did you like the song? Why or why not?

-Yes, an introduction is applied by train sound
-Yes, good bass
-Yes, good imagination
-Yes, I like the sound
-Yes, I love chorus!!! but all entire song is just only okay.
-Yes, I like this song because it rocks me.

-No, I don't like because it is terrible
-No because background music is noisy
-No it's very rock song which I hate
-No, disable listening song; too much of machine sound
-No, dizzy
No, irritating, rhythm not good
-No, I don't like this song (but sound of sea is look good)
-No, I don't like because not fun
-No, that's very boring. I don't like sound like this. But their detail is creative.
-No, boring/terrible.
-No, this song is boring.
-No, the sounds are not clear and difficult to hear the voice of singer

[Editorial: This was probably my favorite song of the bunch--but most of these points are readily taken]

8. Dan Deacon - Get Older

16 Likes, 50 Dislikes (24.20% success rate)

Did you like this song? Why or why not?

-Yes, fun and good melody
-Yes, I like because this music is good and funny
-Yes, I quitely like it, but it's too many tracks of sound and that made it weird.
-Yes, it like phone's sound
-Yes, look like Techno song style (that we call in Thailand) and I like it
-Yes techno and rock in one song, interesting sound effects along with electro percussion

-No, annoying
-No because it noisy it sounds like laptop was broken or something
-No I don't like because this song like internet connection sound
No it disturbs me
-No, bad melody, make me serious
-No, don't understand, don't enjoy
-no, i don't like it. That sound make me confusion.
-No, it's not beautiful song
-No I don't like because it make me confused, make me sleep
-No I don't like this song because listen to be boring
-No, I don't like it because it not have content and same beat

7. Wavves - No Hope Kids

30 Likes, 36 Dislikes (45.40% success rate)

Did you like this song? Why or why not?

-Yes, I like it because I like the rock of song, good song.
-Yes, I like it. This style is so cool. That make me wake up.
-Yes I like punk rock, good guitar.
-Yes, it like a "The Strokes" song
-Yes, interesting sound. I like rock music.
-Yes, I can't hear any word without "ha..." but it good
-Yes. Go crazy!

-No, because it make me dizzy
-No, I don't like because it too fast and not fun
-No I don't like the song very fast and not fun
-No, it is no clear. Is so bad.
-No, it is terrible.
-No, musical is loud more than sound of singer
-No because sound of singer is soft, melody is noising
-No don't like because it is noise, not listen to this style
-No it haven't special thing in the song
-No just like another many Rock Brit Rock songs, it's okay
-No boring imperfect music
-No I don't like Wavves (figuratively)

That last one cracks me up.

[Note: My students can be quitely vicious, can't they? I love it.

More importantly, though: they can be quite astute and they often match , in what is perhaps simpler grammar, the sentiments that many Westerners have about many of these songs--particularly, I think, complaining about Dan Deacon and Wavves.]

Anyway, maybe I'll get the rest up later tonight or, uh, later this morning for my West Coast readers. WHAT WILL THE NUMBER ONE SONG BE?!?!?

Only Thaime will tell.

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