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The Dartmouth
May 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

The Sonic Rage Cage: Introduction

Preface: I'm frankly still trying to figure out why exactly anyone ever gave us permission to write anything that will be read by more than a few people. However, that aside, I would first like to introduce my fellow scribes and myself, for we can only hope that through our intimate contact with you, the reader, our words will touch you in all the inappropriate places. Even the places covered by a bathing suit.

Who are we? Why, three humble musicians, minstrels in a way, here to discuss the wax and wane of popular music today. We are but three: DJ Untrustworthy Jon Simpson, DJ Blacked-Out Soil (that's me. Selfcall), and DJ Ben Nomo Davis On The Microphone. Our mission is as follows: we hope, through our own ranting and nonsensical dialogue, that we can introduce and discuss various types of music to those who are bored enough to read our column. We enjoy a wide variety of tunes, and really have no idea what we are doing, but we really want to have conversations about everything from popular music, to throat singing, to the record industry and music abroad. It will be fun, it will be taxing, it will be offensive and often times seemingly pointless. You're a douchebag. But that's the idea: to just talk about stuff, and see what we can do.

And the introductions commence. Because today my companions are in class and don't give a sh*t about leaving the new article for me to write by myself, I am going to pretend they were actually here and wrote all of this that you see in a dialog format. But don't be fooled. It's all about me.

(Cue Europe's "Final Countdown")


DJ UJS. Well folks, I am DJ Untrustworthy Jon Simpson. My personal tastes range from straight-up gangsta rap to good ol' classic rock. My heart is filled with bliss when my iTunes shuffle puts Notorious' "Big Poppa" with The Who's "We Won't Get Fooled Again" because then I get to bump with Mr. Smalls and rock out with Keith Moon. And that's really who I am, a laid-back gangsta who rocks pretty hard. My ADD has gone untreated for years. And I have a gigantic penis. Just blitz me at jon.simp ... .

DJ BNDOTM. Well. I am certainly not as gangsta as Simpson, who was raised on the streets of Brookline, MA, but I do come from nearby Boston. My nom de plume, Ben Nomo Davis On The Microphone, was given to me due to my propensity for freestyling, so I do know how to "get down," as they say. You could, in my weaker moments, find me listening to such commonplace artists as Biggie and The Who, but then again, you might find me listening to Sibelius' Second Symphony. That's how I roll. I listen to Brahms, the Beatles, and the Beastie Boys. And I love alliteration.

DJ BS. As I see it, I will bring the funk and jazz to the group because I dig anything from O.G. Ella to Roy Hargrove and Addison Groove Project. I also am the girly one, so I will try to represent Bjrk, Fiona, and all those other artists that make me want to put on high heels and serve somebody with a swift kick to the nuts (I mean ... I guess). I also jam to international tunes and indie. Respect.

So there's the team. Andiamo.

DJ BS. So today we are going to talk about something that I frequently think about in terms of music.

DJ UJS. What type will mask the sound of you beating off in your room?

DJ BS. Yes.

DJ BNDOTM. That's so unnecessary. Almost like that time you stole a box of whippits from me.

DJ BS. So I feel like there is a spectrum of ways to listen to music. Some people just like it in the background when they study, and some put it on with the specific intention of hearing every fine detail and fluctuation within the piece. I'm not sure if either is more "correct," or even if those who listen to it in the background like it any less.

DJ BNDOTM. Yeah. I think there is a wide variety of interest in music, but it's more about what you want the music to do for you. Like, if I want to get mackin' up in the Lion's Den, I'm not going to put on some really fast techno, drop some X, and start pretending I'm trying to control some wicked crazy ball. Minus the X dropping. Music sets a mood, and sometimes you don't want it to be the focus of attention, like farting, but the situation would be less without it.

DJ UJS. I know what you mean, but it sucks that so many people don't give a shit enough to ever really listen to songs.

DJ BS. I kind of agree. If I'm in the Co-op, and a good song comes on, I feel like I'm torn between something I have to do and listening to the song. But then again, I can't concentrate on more than one thing at a time because I'm an idiot.

DJ BNDOTM. Yeah, but wouldn't it be weird if everyone was walking around the market in silence and all you heard was creaking shopping carts, footsteps, and commerce?

DJ BS. I guess. But is it that people are just afraid of silence in general?

(Awkward pause)

DJ BNDOTM. What about dancing? People like dancing, right? Does that have anything to do with it? Like, is music with stupid lyrics but a hot beat worse than a song with a lame beat and great lyrics?

DJ UJS. I dunno man, it depends on the situation. When I'm dancing, all I care about is not getting a boner, keeping up some sort of synchronized movement, and trying to stop that Chi Gam from humping my leg. A hot beat helps me do this. I would never want to listen to a song for its artistic integrity, unless it was one of the few songs that combines good lyrics with a beat and can hold its own on the dance floor.

DJ BS. Well what about TV? There are so many shows now that have music in the background as a soundtrack. Or shows like "The O.C." that decide to promote lesser-known artists. One of my favorite songs is "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap, but when I recently found out it was on the show, I for some reason, started liking it less.

DJ BNDOTM. That's just because you're a huge snob and don't want anyone else to know what kind of weird music you listen to.

DJ BS. Very True. (Pause) But think about how many people wouldn't have heard the song had it not been on the show. Imogen Heap isn't very well known, and wouldn't be known really at all had it not been for Frou Frou being in "Garden State."

DJ UJS. I guess. But that song was so irritating.

DJ BS. "Let Go"? That song is great. Certainly overplayed, but it's a type of song unique to now. No one except for Radiohead has really had as much success as Frou Frou with the kind of sound they have. It doesn't fit into anything--it's electronica, pop, but it's still chill and has vocals.

DJ BNDOTM. I back that. I think the entire "Garden State" soundtrack is pretty sweet, but I don't think I would have liked that Frou Frou song had I not been into Radiohead beforehand. So much electronica is way too repetitive, and I really can't stand songs like "Call On Me" where the entire 20-minute song consists solely of a sub-par beat and someone singing "Call On Me!" over and over. Radiohead at least has variation and ambiance to it. Like I was saying, it sets a mood. All those hard beats thumping in my head just make me want to tie up my hands and feet with rope and cast myself into the Connecticut river with my mouth and nose plugged with the glowsticks from last night's rave.

DJ BS. Whatever, all of that aside, I see two points here. A: There are dope songs that a lot of people wouldn't have heard had they not been on soundtracks -- for either TV or movies. B: As long as people don't assume they won't like a certain genre, they will usually end up liking new stuff because almost all music reminds you of another band or another artist that you probably like.


Well, if you have managed to make it this far, my delicious reader, feel free to congratulate yourself. Touch yourself. Do it. Even if you're in Collis or the HOP, it's worth it. You'll be so happy. Really.

I don't know why this all became so sexual all of a sudden.

Nevertheless, if you all somehow like this enough to want more, we will be back next week with (hopefully) something a little more directed, eye-opening, and ridiculous. We will keep you posted. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions or specific songs or genres you would like us to discuss in the future. We are all here to help you. Help you soil. Rage.