Three Takes on “All About That Bass”

For the week ending September 20, 2014, Meghan Trainor’s song “All About That Bass” hit number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The song was cited by the New York Times as one of several new hits that utilizes the theme of body image, and Trainor mentioned in an interview with Billboard that the song is “about loving your body…and your booty.” On the other hand, the song (and its music video) have been criticized for not actually being body positive; author and blogger Jenny Trout even cogently asked, “If this song is promoting body positivity, then why does it define a specific body type as being more desirable, and place all of a woman’s value on her fuckability to heterosexual men?”

Those criticisms aside, the song is quite catchy, and since its release back in June it has become a memorable hit of the summer (and a welcome change from last summer’s dance craze). However, what intrigued me about the song was not its body image theme, but rather how other performing artists appropriated Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish’s song, and covered it in different ways.

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Iron & Wine (et al.) at BAM

Last night I attended one of several Nonesuch Records 50th Anniversary concerts taking place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The featured artists were Devendra Banhart, Stephin Merritt, and Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine). The opportunity to see these three artists on a single concert is extremely rare, so I’m fortunate to live in New York City. I’m also thankful for the heads up about the concert from my good friend Matthew, who by the way, introduced me to all three of these performers.
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Blurred Lines, Again

A little over a year ago I wrote an article about Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams’ track “Blurred Lines,” and the allegations by the estate of Marvin Gaye that Thicke and Williams had copied Gaye’s 1977 hit, “Got to Give it Up.” The two songs have striking similarities, in particular the falsetto singing and percussion groove, but “Blurred Lines” is not plagiarism. In fact, if Thicke and Williams had truly copied “Got to Give it Up,” “Blurred Lines” would have been a much more interesting track.
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