Blog on hiatus

Posted: February 15, 2014 by Cynthia in Class info

I’m no longer teaching this class, so this blog is on hiatus.

Feel free to poke around.


Ronnie and Amy

Posted: September 29, 2011 by Cynthia McCune in music, Pop culture
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Thanks to Samantha for passing on a link to a Rolling Stone article where Ronnie Spector, former lead singer of The Ronettes, pays tribute to Amy Winehouse. She wrote the article shortly after Winehouse’s death.

In her article, Spector says,

“Every time I looked at her, it was like I was looking at myself. She had my beehive, my eyeliner, my attitude. She had such a great soul in her voice and her lyrics were so amazing that I couldn’t help but sing one of her songs. I was so happy to see an artist like Amy, because she reminded me of my youth. And she loved girl groups. Damn it! I thought she would carry on.”

The article includes a link to Spector’s recent cover of a Winehouse song, “Back to Black.”

Related links:

Visible women

Posted: September 27, 2011 by Cynthia McCune in fun stuff, Pop culture
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After our conversation in class yesterday about the visibility of women in television, I ran across an article by Marlo Thomas, one of the original “single women” on TV, and thought you might be interested.

The article is “That Girl” 45 Years Later — Who Are the Game Changers This TV Season?  The article is accompanied by a short slide show of women who made their mark in television, from Marlo Thomas in the mid-1960s to the women of today.

Yes, it wasn’t hard to find quite a few songs most of us hated … in fact, we even found consensus. By popular acclaim, the most hated song is … (drum roll, please) … Prom Night by Rebecca Black.

Tied for second worst place were: Dinosaur by Kesha and Jam (Turn It Up) by Kim Kardashian.

Other candidates for worst song included: Rico Suave by Gerado Mejia, Pretty Boy Swag by Soula Boy, Kim Uncensored by Eminem, and Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake.

Then came the ones we debated: Teardrops on My Guitar by Taylor Swift (deemed kinda lame, but not that bad by some) and Mr. Brightside by The Killers (wait a minute, some of us actually like the Killers!).

OK, so maybe we don’t agree on all of them, but we can agree that most of these are pretty bad. If you’d like to sample more bad songs, check out the student blog links in the sidebar of this blog.

Rap and Unrest

Posted: September 8, 2011 by Cynthia McCune in music, Pop culture
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In the revolutionary movements sweeping the Arab world, rap music has emerged as a soundtrack for youth rebellion. Rap songs protesting police violence and authority have spread from Tunisia to Egypt through YouTube, ringtones and MP3s.

That’s just one of the interesting observations you’ll find re: rap and hip hop in the HuffPost article Hip Hop and Global Unrest by Sujatha Fernandes, a sociology professor and author of Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation.


Posted: August 24, 2011 by cynmc in Class info, How to

Welcome to MCom 72 – Media & Society (the “Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll” edition). I’ve made a couple of needed corrections to the syllabus, so now it’s ready. You can click here to download it.

Please bring a laptop on Monday so you can set up your class blog during class. Make sure you have an active SJSUOne account for wireless access.

In the meantime, I’ll get the sound system problem sorted out by next week so we can start listening to some good old Rock ‘n’Roll.

Music can change the world because it can change people.
~ Bono

Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.
~ Jimi Hendrix

Music is very spiritual, it has the power to bring people together.
~ Edgar Winter

I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.
~ Billy JoelI’ve said that playing the blues is like having to be black twice. Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed.
~ B. B. King