Tuesday, May 8, 2012

6 presenters and 12 images from Over-It-All, May 4 2012

This was the last in a cycle of PyC themes. PitchYrCulture was started in August of 2011, and at first we thought we could do it every month! But we have done a PitchYrCulture four times, on September 16 and November 11 in 2011 and February 17, and May 4 in 2012.

Our three initial themes were supposed to represent three phases (or ages) in musical development. Each presenter had a relative easy or difficult time in adopting these themes and indeed, creatively adjusting to the PyC format.

It should be well known by now that fundamental format of PyC is that the presenter CANNOT SPEAK/PRESENT LONGER THAN THE SONG THEY PRESENT.  But there is another not as well noted aspect to PyC: each presenter should create a succinct and entertaining presentation that adapts and enhances the possibilities of the interaction between a live performer and a projected set of images (or texts).

Our three themes were: Before-It-All, where we did see the first wave of great creative outbursts, but presenters interpreted the theme via a wide range of ages, though we did have a few “children’s songs”. 

Into-It-All was easy enough for the presenter’s to locate, and we also had great and varied interpretations of the theme and the format. 

And finally Over-It-All (please note that we also collaborated with Social Media Week in HK for a one-off event). Over-It-All was perhaps the most difficult (and potentially sad) theme to interpret. Over-It-All was perhaps the most difficult (and potentially sad) theme to interpret. (Over-It-All theme explanation)

Paul DuPont, the out-of-the-crowd invitee (you say “hello” after a PyC and then “I want to do it”) presented a song/genre easily relevant to the Over-It-All theme - a Hip Hop song, a genre subject to endlessly contentious debates about when it died (or did it die?). And indeed one of the performers of this song, Notorious BIG, is somewhat famous for being dead (murdered).  Paul nicely encapsulated this song’s moment in Hip Hop, which some cite as part of the “the golden era”.

Paul explained this phase of Hip Hop by mentioning information about the lyrical shifts in Hip Hop, the East Coast / West Coast dichotomy, and the excess of certain players, most notably Puff Daddy and Mase’s role in the presented song, which when compared with Notorious BIG contribution is akin to Jim Carrey (Dumb and Dumber) appearing in The Godfather (with Marlon Brando).

Nadim Abbas practically went back to the first theme while bringing it up to the last. One gets over it all when we move from the head aching jingles of childhood, growing up and into the more complex musical structures of adulthood.

But part of Nadim’s disillusionment/ironic amusement with "Cha-La Head-Cha-La" was the globalization of the product realized through T-Shirt/logo merchandising and Spanish dubbed versions of the anime’s original theme song.


Joao Vasco Paiva flipped the jingle on its head while sticking with its terse length. Presenting a 45 song Brazilian hardcore song, he gave a brief history of the Punk sub-genre known as “Hardcore” while explaining the song’s political significance and context. Have we forgotten that in 1983 Brazil was living under a military dictatorship that was paranoid enough to suppress rock/pop culture/music?

Garotos Podres adapted to this by inserting homonyms into its fast and furious songs. “Maldita Policia (Damn Police) “ became “Maldita Preguiça (Damned Laziness) “. Even so, in sticking with the Over-It-All theme, Joao mentioned that he was over the political or cultural aspirations of Hardcore given in the limits of its aesthetic.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

Tilly hit on the Over-It-All theme in a few ways, one of which highlighted how music distribution and promotion was radically altered due to the internet, especially for a young person living in Perth, Australia, which pre-internet, had two broadcast TV stations making MTV a focal point for what was supposedly “cool” in music.

The second point to Tilly’s presentation was getting-over the glorious martyrdom of self-destructing rock stars, some of whom, in particular Mr. Kurt Cobain, were so heavily promoted by MTV as “hip and happening”. Tilly noted that once the internet loosened up what could be or should be focused on in music, in particular any force-fed idea of “cool” it became an almost overwhelming task for the individual’s search for “my music”.

Adam Lee, the second staff member of the online indie music magazine Mugazine.net to present at a PyC, picked the Brit-Pop band Suede as an example of music that fell out of his favor. Adam said (among other things) in Cantonese.

當時認識Suede,就多得他們的其中的一張專輯《Coming Up》,當時一聽就愛上之。破格的曲風,還有他們黑衣示人的形象已令我印象深刻,有很酷的感覺。而且當時的同學有些是喜愛他們的,因而成為同學間茶餘飯後的討論話題。當時在這專輯裡多的曲目當中,喜愛的除了有〈The Beautiful Ones〉,還有〈Saturday Night〉等,從那時起就成了他們的樂迷!

Over-It-All’s last presenter, Calvin Wong, appropriately picked a melancholic song (for the sad theme) which he also used to exemplify as an alternate song-writing method to “beat based” music. 

First giving us some background to the unidentified song that he first heard and then had to track down after hearing on British radio, Calvin reversed the Over-It-All theme and presented a song he identified as getting-over-the-usual.