Hello-hello, guys. Welcome back to another episode of the Big Apple School podcast where the object of this show is to help you improve your listening skills. And we can also discuss interesting topics. So today we're going to discuss the topic of music. And we have three wonderful guests. Our first guest is...
Ken from the Philippines.
So welcome, welcome. So, music, guys. Are you guys music people?
Well, it depends on what we mean, but I guess so. Yeah. I mean, I like to listen to music. I can't perform music. I can't compose music, but I. I like listening to it.
But when I ask, 'are you a music person?' Do you regularly buy music, do you listen to music?
Buy music? Not the way we are.
Actually, for example, as for me, I don't really listen to music.
So how often do you listen to music?
I don't know. Like once every couple of weeks.
Okay. So once in a blue moon.
So is that an unspoken question? Like, what the hell are you doing here then?
Yeah, well, okay. It's not a problem. So, once every two weeks. And how do you listen to music usually?
Well, I do have some sort of a playlist with the songs from like years and years back, so I very rarely update it. So when I usually listen to it, when I have a walk, so I try to walk more now that it's summertime, you know? So and when I'm kind of tired of podcasts or something like that, I just listen to some music, so.
And do you listen to music with lyrics?
You mean I listen and read? No. Since I do it, you know, while I'm on the walk. So it's kind of hard to do, you know, unless you want to bump into somebody or.
Well, the reason why I'm asking you about lyrics is because some people like to use music with lyrics to improve their language skills. I mean, when you were learning English at your. Yeah. When you were learning English, did you use music to help you with your English?
As for me, probably I didn't. But I still remember some songs by heart because I tried to translate them. For example, I still remember the ' The Show Must Go On' by 'Queen' by heart because I once had an attempt to translate it.
But the music actually is fun because I don't listen to music much these days. But that's how I started learning English back in the day. So I really got into some music, like 'Three Days Grace', you know, all that pop punk of 2007 and everything. And that's how I got interested in English. I was like, I have no idea what they're singing about, so.
But it sounds good, right?
It does. It did. Yeah. So that's how I started my English journey. Who would have thought?
You know, it's interesting how they use music to learn a language, whereas in my case, well, I'm still trying to learn Russian my own way. I don't go to any, you know, Russian course. I even try to memorise some songs. I don't know exactly what they're about, but I know the lyrics, like 'Больно не будет, с неба вода, мы счастливы'. Wait-wait, one second: 'Мы счастливые люди под дождем без зонта'. I don't know if I'm even pronouncing the words correctly, but it's a song by Alekseev called 'Навсегда', which translates to English as 'Forever'. You see?
The thing that's interesting is that in English, a lot of songs do not make sense. And that's the problem. Was it difficult?
I guess it's any language.
Not necessarily, because I've heard, I don't study Japanese, I've never learnt Japanese. But there's a famous YouTuber who's called 'Matt versus Japan' and he discusses how he learnt Japanese a really high level. And he interviewed this American guy who also speaks excellent Japanese and he is a famous singer in Japan and he noted that in Japan, lyrics of songs make sense. They tend to have a linear storyline and you can follow along with the songs.
Maybe it depends on the genre because like if it is a pop song, it doesn't necessarily make any sense. It just should have a catchy rhythm, tune and simple rhyming.
Well, this guy he interviewed, well, he is kind of like a pop genre. He's like a Japanese celebrity. But most, I do agree, yeah, most pop songs make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
And also sometimes it can be dangerous to try to study a language by using songs, for example, in English, because they can have mistakes, maybe deliberate mistakes, maybe accidental mistakes. That's what I sometimes tell my students like to pay attention to this. For example, once I was teaching this second conditional and I said, like, you cannot use, what.
Uh, I don't remember how I put it. Like, you can't use 'would' after 'if'. Like, you can't say if I would, because it goes into two separate clauses. But then a student told me about a song by the group 'Alice in Chains', and he was like, 'Oh, it says this'.
Yeah. And I was like, 'Okay, it's for the sake of poetry'.
Well, it's like, you know, all those 'he don't' and so on.
But the rap genre really makes a lot of use of the Continuous and of other structures. For instance, 'I be like this' and it doesn't make sense.
I'mma be, I'mma be, I'mma be like this.
Well it'd be like that sometimes.
Or for example, state verbs. For example, love, it's supposed to be a state verb, you can't use it in continuous form, but a lot of singers sing like, I'm loving you, I'm still loving you, and so on. And I'm like, 'You can use it in songs, but not in an exam'.
Yeah. And the thing when teaching grammar, there's another thing to notice is that some rules are meant to be broken.
So yeah, that's kinda frustrating because I studied traditional grammar and sometimes whenever I explain a grammatical item, I really make that clear. Well, it used to be like this and it should be like this, that's my opinion. But well.
Before you break the rules, you should learn the rules.
Yeah, and music has evolved the way people speak in many ways. Modern English is basically just rap music, if you think about it. Yeah. So guys, enjoy your lyrics, enjoy listening to songs, but use it mainly for vocabulary. Maybe don't use it for for sentence structures or for other things.
Oh, that's a good tip, yeah.
Yeah. Especially 'The Beatles'. I mean, the stuff they, love their songs, but the stuff they sing about is absolutely crazy. If you think about.
The themes and it just everything is disjointed, meaning that things are not.
They were experiment in a lot.
Absolutely. For instance, 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer'. Like, do you know that song? 'Bang-bang, Maxwell's silver hammer is sure that he was dead'. I mean, most of these songs were I mean, maybe they were on drugs or something. And yeah. So use it for vocabulary, not for grammar. For grammar, necessarily. Um, okay. Well, did any of you learn to play an instrument as a child?
I did not. And I just I'm very surprised and I feel a true respect for people who can play who can make some sounds with the help of an instrument. So, for me, it's just wow.
When I was a kid, I said, okay, so me up, I'm going to go to classes and I'm going to play piano. And then, I actually I think I went to one single class and said, 'You know what, I'm not going to do that'. So we already have one person in my family.
So that's my sister. She's a pianist. So and back in the day, she was actually choosing what to major in music or maths and she was seriously contemplating that. So and she chose maths but she still plays, you know, she still knows a thing of piano.
And can she, do you know what it means 'to sitghtread'? Can she read a musical score and just play the piano just by reading the musical score? It sounds very strange 'to sightread' because obviously you read, using sights. Sounds funny, but that means you can play the piano if someone just gives you a musical score and you can just play the piano.
The score, it's like all those. Yeah, exactly. Sure.
Oh wow, so she can just play if you just put the score in front of her, she can just play.
I mean, 12 years of music school. A music college. Yeah, she can.
She has lost some of her skills. So, for example, she used to be able to play Rachmaninoff, which is one of the most difficult pieces to play in general, because he had incredibly long fingers. You knew, you know, that with one hand he could cover 11 keys on a piano. So she used to be able to play some of these pieces. And now since she hasn't practised as much as she used to, she can not. But still, yeah, you put that in front of her, she can play.
So if you have small hands, maybe you could just buy long fingernails or something to improve your piano finesse.
Have your piano customised for you.
Yeah. When I was a kid, my parents made me do piano lessons, and actually, it was the start I hated it. And then later, I quite enjoyed it. To start with, I had a teacher who was very strict and whenever I made a mistake on the piano, she would grab my finger and...
Yeah, break it and put it on the right key.
And that. Did it discourage you?
To be honest, I didn't really want to.
Well, in the first place.
Yeah, in the first place. And later on, I enjoyed it more and more. But do you feel it's useful to give children a education with musical instruments, or do you think it's just not particularly important?
I just believe that any education is useful and it develops your brain. So if a child or a person has an ear to music, then yeah. But if they don't. Mm hmm. Why? Why?
Yeah, that's. That's a good one. In general, you know, it should be voluntary if a kid wants to – let them do that. But if they don't, don't force them into doing anything. I was, when I was growing up, I didn't have any sort of hobbies. I didn't go to any sort of like art classes, music, sport, nothing like that. Well, I prefer to believe that I turned out fine, you know.
Yeah, you're cultural, yeah, you like arty stuff. Yeah. What are your favourite instruments?
I would say the piano. Um, the guitar. Um, oh, the violin. Yeah.
Mm hmm. See, do you know what the differences between a violin and a viola?
Viola is a bigger one, isn't it?
Think it's smaller, actually.
Let us know in the comments.
Cello is a big one. So cello you put. Okay.
So cello is the big one. Double bass is even bigger. And then I don't know the difference between the violin, the viola in terms of size. Well, guys, let us know in the comments. We need a music musician to let us know. So. Yeah. Well, my favourite instruments are the Spanish guitar.
The sound? Yeah, in terms of the sound.
Yeah, guitar sounds cool.
What is the difference between guitar and Spanish guitar?
Strings, yeah. I mean, it's strings?
Yeah, it's a type of strings, I believe.
Like Spanish guitar has seven strings, no?
I'm not too sure, actually, but I just love the sound of it.
I'm good at counting, so I.
And what's the difference between a accordion, well, bayan and accordion? What's the difference between those two?
I think the accordion has more buttons. Whatever you call them.
So do they have the circular buttons?
I think so. And bayan, I think it has the rectangular ones.
Yeah. So in English we just say an 'accordion'.
I guess accordion comes from, probably, France.
Yeah. So, like, I like the sound of the accordion. Sounds pretty nice. Also, do you know what the harpsichord is?
I'm trying to remember how it looks like.
So it's a piano. It's a piano. It's a type of piano. Has, like, a more stringy sound to it.
I was thinking of something else.
Very bad with names of music instruments, to be honest.
So it's because none of us here are experts. But, yeah, let us know if you've seen it.
Let's move on to the next.
What about the preferencies, the genres?
I can't talk something that we're not experts of or not knowledgeable.
Oh, maybe you're an expert on karaoke, are you a karaoke expert?
You know what's funny is, even though my voice is terrible and I admit that I sound like a dying cat when I sing, but I love singing. I love, I love going to karaoke. I used to have 100 as a score, but that was when when I was a kid. But I don't even believe in it. I mean, I don't know that it's really 100, but anyway.
Well, you have mentioned in many of our episodes that you are a fan of karaoke. So when was the last time you actually went to karaoke?
Well, I think that was before the pandemic, 2019. The 'Cacao Lounge' if you know this place.
But there's karaoke at home. I mean, you know, I sing every day, so.
Do you sing in the shower and?
Not in the shower, but. Well, in my living room while preparing for my lesson.
So why is karaoke so popular in Russia?
It is, yeah. There are many karaoke bars. I mean, outside my window from my apartment, there's a karaoke bar and... It's very popular here.
I think, I remember, it used to be really popular when they started to sell those. You know, you would buy a CD, you would buy, you know, this sort of a box, you know, with the numbers and codes and everything. And then you would just install everything in your own apartment and you would enjoy and your neighbours would totally hate it. I remember at least in Yakutia when I was a kid that was so popular when it just appeared.
I guess cause it's so cold outside and people need something to do.
I mean, you know, you gather, you have a gathering, you have a drink, and then you like, you know what can be a good idea? To sing.
Maybe a Russian people were at some point interested in the Japanese culture because we like sushi, we like karaoke. I don't know, maybe it is kind of interconnected.
Perhaps. Yeah. So, are you a good singer, Katya?
I actually used to go to singing classes for, like, a year.
But I wouldn't say I am. Like, I mean, I can, but I don't think I'm a good singer.
I'm thinking, ah, if it can help us as teachers, I just think that if we develop our voices, it can help us be better at. Well, holding classes, probably.
Because like you can do warm up before your lesson so you're singing and then you come to class and you perform in another way.
And believe it or not, I sometimes sing during the lesson. Whether my students like it or not. It's, you know, they have no choice. And sometimes I try to relate that to a certain song. So if there's a topic and then I remember a song and then I try to sing it to them, the others, they're kind of amused. They give me a smile. I don't know what the smile is about.
Oh, that's 'cool' smile. 'Oh, God, please stop' smile.
Have you, have they ever sung along?
Yes. Of four others who recognise the song. Because sometimes I sing a song, it's popular. But the others, like, what song is that? And then? And then I tell them, okay, because maybe I'm not singing it properly. Let me just play it to you. So I mean, then they recognise, 'ah, that song'.
It can be a really useful tool. I mean when I was learning very, very, very basic Russian, I came to Krasnodar and I did a little Russian course and the teacher was this older lady who sang little children's songs like 'Милый ты мой, возьми меня с собой'.
Oh, this is not a children's song.
It's not a children's song?
Well, okay. So she sang that to us. And that song got stuck in our heads.
You know, I actually have a story. So, you know how in American universities before the beginning of the semester, you have some sort of affair where, you know, the representatives of different departments stand and they answer questions of potential students and everything. And that was so, we were there with a professor of mine. So, you know, presenting the courses at the Russian department and there was a girl who came, you know, who to the stall.
And she's like, you know, 'I've always wanted to study Russian'. We like 'Oh, that's cool, well, coming in. If you if you actually get to Wellesley, please do. And we're like, 'Why?' She said, My mom used to sing this song to me. And she remembers the song. And she has no idea what it is, but she actually remembers the lyrics and everything and she sang it to us.
I'm like, Oh my God, how did you even learn that without having zero knowledge of a language? And then she enrolled into our Russian 1 to 1 course because of that. And once we were having a, you know, like a Russian dinner or something, and she's like, 'Katya, I need your help'. There is this song my mom used to sing to me as well. I don't remember the lyrics, but I do remember the tune.
And she started to sing it and it took about two days for me to understand what the song was because I couldn't remember, you know, it was kind of, you know, on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't remember what it was.
And then I remembered and I'm like, I think I know what song it is. And I turned it on. She was crying. Oh, she's like, 'Yes, that is it'. And in, well, in the beginning, you know, the songs that her mom used to sing to her were the reason she got enrolled in Russian in a Russian course. Oh.
So, but you said that songs can stick in people's heads.
And why do they stick in people's heads? It's because there's a big emotional connection. To songs. And if you can use the same approach with vocabulary, it can really help you remember more and more words.
And this is how I remembered the Japanese numbers from 1 to 10, because we were taught a song actually 'Happy Birthday' each 'nisan' like from the, you know, from the melody of 'Happy Birthday to You'. So it helps in remembering words.
Well, some songs stick, you know, because of the tune. It's just so, you know. So nice.
Yeah, yeah. They so catchy. I think there is even a word for that. Like an 'earworm'. When the word, when the song gets stuck in your head, you're like, Oh, you can't just stop singing or humming or whatever.
You can't get it out of your head.
Well, I mean, when you think about words that you just remember for some random reason, it's because there is some kind of emotional connection to it. I don't know if I've talked about this before, but I was thinking a while ago, 'Why do I remember the word огнетушитель?' And I never use this, but for some reason stick.
You are emotionally attached?
Must be some kind of emotional attachement.
Okay, firstly, what does that mean?
From a song or from something. But trying to relate, um, how music sticks in your head to remembering vocab and languages. And I just thought I'd never use this word. Why do I remember it?
For some reason, you just remember it.
And you must have been in a certain place at a certain time. There must have been a certain smell in the air or something that stimulates your emotions or brain waves or something. And that's. Yeah, that's why words stick in your head sometimes.
And if you can't remember a word, you have to find a way to give it some kind of emotional stimulation, whether it be through music or through other methods, like, I don't know, torturing yourself or something like that. Yeah. Moving on. So as a teenager, who were your favourite bands and artists?
Oh my God, 'Backstreet Boys', of course.
I love them. Oh, and this Danish band called 'Michael Learns to Rock'. They're only popular in Scandinavia and Asia, unfortunately, not all over the world. But they have soft rock, pop rock songs.
They're still active, yeah. But from 4 to 3, because one left the band as usual. Like the case in most bands.
It was when you were like, what, 13 or something?
Even earlier when I was 6-7.
How did you listen to them? Did you use CDs or tape cassettes or..?
And eventually when my mom got to Japan and, you know, we could afford to buy CDs, of course, through CDs and cassette tapes eventually.
But before, yeah, just the radio because we, we couldn't afford to buy cassette tapes or CDs.
Yeah, we remember all stages of music. Cassettes, CDs...
Yeah. I remember when I had my very, very first MP3 player. It was amazing. I was, what, 14- -13 and it was very basic. It had a AA battery that would go inside and it could only hold about, I think it was 256 megabytes, maybe even 64 megabytes.
Yeah. So, 'Backstreet Boys'.
'Everybody, yeah. Rock your body'. I'm so sorry for all the listeners, okay.
These songs are really popular again, you know, recently because of Instagram and TikTok, actually.
All right. So I'm looking at you, Katya, so what's your?
So when I was a teen, I was really into rock music, you know, like Tthree Days Grace', 'Billy Talent', oh my God, love all of that.
I still love 'Billy Talent'.
Oh, he's great. Yeah. And it was funny because when I was 13, I got into a new school, you know, away from my ghetto to a really nice school with nice people. And a classmate of mine, she kind of introduced some music to me, and that was Ska-P or rather a Ska-P. It's a Spanish band, you know, in the ska style. And it was kind of, you know.
So it was more of a ska than reggae. So and the thing is that when you listen to that, it was really energizing. So and we would just learn the lyrics having absolutely zero knowledge of Spanish whatsoever and we would, you know, walk around the school and just sing the songs. So and later when I actually started learning Spanish, I'm like, 'Wait a second, I used to listen to that'. OMG. So I felt, you know how you listen to a song, you have no idea what it's about. So, and then you actually find out what it's about and then it's.
Yeah, but in this case, I was kind of shocked because, you know, the music is so energising, but they sing about the inequality, the greedy politicians, the Holocaust and all that and all.
Actually, a lot of songs are misunderstood because of their catchy and energetic tune. A lot of songs are misunderstood.
And I was like, 'Damn, it's some serious music'. I still love them, though. Like they have really deep ideas, even though they haven't been performing for like years and years and years.
Yeah, yeah. Looking at you.
I guess when I was a teenager, I already liked rock music. I guess I took over my father because he used to listen to Russian rock like 'Nautilus', 'Kino'.
I saw posters for 'Nautilus'. I don't know if they, maybe they were coming to Novosibirsk. I can't remember.
They don't exist as this band anymore, I guess, because the frontman formed another group. Another band. Yeah and well, I listened to when I was a kid. I'll listen to what my parents is to listen because my father had this big, like, acoustic system and, well, I just couldn't escape.
Well, you know, there's not a bad music to listen to.
Is It is a good sort of music. Yes, I am. Yeah, I guess it kind of formed me. Yeah. Also Visotsky if you know who he was.
'The Beatles', 'Pink Floyd' that's what he liked and so I guess it's kind of formed me as a person who loves rock music in any subgenre of rock music, almost any subgenre.
I have a question. So we kind of have touched upon the genres and everything, and there is one genre which I don't know how to explain and how to translate that. So maybe you'll be able to help because in Russia we have the genre as 'chanson' but it's different from the French one where it's actually originated. So and usually I have no idea how to explain that. Like it's not really prison music, although.
It's a criminal subgenre. I mean, I was going to get on to talking about different genres in there.
You have a special section for this?
Yeah, but nonetheless we can talk about chanson. So chanson I would say it's like a criminal sub elements or has an element of criminality to it. It's something well it was one. When do they come about, in the nineties.
Eighties, nineties but not before the eighties.
And of course, most musicians were not really prisoners.
Yeah, like Michael Krug, I mean, absolutely amazing artists. I mean.
That's how Benjamin learns, some of his Russian.
Seriously, his songs are really good. And he never went to prison. I don't believe he ever went to prison.
The reason why I remembered about that is that my dad used to love well, my dad loved this music. And I remember once we had a road trip from Yakutia to Novosibirsk, six days in a car. And when you're travelling throughout Russia, you know, especially for 2011, you can't really listen to the radio because there is no reception.
Yeah, in the middle of nowhere.
We did have one or two CDs with chanson, so we had no choice but to listen to that for six days straight.
What the reason why I love his songs is because, well, the music, the instruments are really gaudy. Well, what I mean by gaudy, it's like they're really tacky. They're not very they just have this kind of synth sound, so they sound quite cheap. But I love it. And it's just. I love the sound of his lyrics are really intelligent.
I've always been interested how you were introduced to Michael Krug songs, who gave you this imprinting?
Good question, because obviously I did not having no Russian family, I never had a family member introduce Michael Krug to me. But I think I came across him when I went to Krasnodar back in 2013 and I saw, I think, I must have seen him on TV or something and definitely probably heard him on a bus journey or something. I don't know. But I love his songs. They're so intricate. There's so many words to learn from it.
I guess we have even special TV channels, radio channels which are specialising in chanson.
The broadcasting chanson.
And I bought some CDs of his and I brought them back to the UK and sometimes I would borrow my parents car to drive because I didn't have a car in the UK and I borrowed that car and I left his CDs in my parents car and they were driving one day and they I think they said, what is this crap? What are we listening to? But I think it's amazing. It's yeah, it's gold. Maybe if you just listen to it for the sound, maybe you might not enjoy it.
Maybe you just have good memories connected to his songs and that's why.
Yeah. I said I bought CDs, so I actually helped Mr. Michael Krug, even though he's unfortunately dead, he was killed by burglars, I think it was in 2000.
Probably you helped his widow.
So it probably helped his widow. But unfortunately and I definitely play a part in this, a lot of music is illegally downloaded.
So what are the effects on musicians of music piracy and downloading?
You know, I don't think they're actually affected that much because, you know, back in the day, they used to get a lot of their income from selling the CDs, the vinyl, whatever. Now it's the age of digital thing. So I still think they they get some sort of money from the streaming services. Like, you know, we have the SoundCloud, we have the Spotify and everything because people do not really buy anything these days.
They do pay for the subscriptions and I guess they get, you know, some sort of interest from that. But I remember reading an article about some music industry and some of the musicians claiming that we don't care if our music gets pirated because we get more from the concerts, from fans, from selling the merch.
Exactly. I was about to say that. There are other forms of earning money.
Exactly. So which means that the amount of money they will lose by people pirating is unnoticeable, it's insignificant.
And kind of compensated with other forms of income.
Probably major music labels lose more money when people download music illegally.
Yeah. I mean to be very honest, I don't feel guilty when I downloaded MP3 from YouTube.
Yeah. Well a lot of people say, not a lot of people, but some people say that it's irresponsible, it's rude. It's not supporting the music industry. What you're stealing.
Like you're stealing from someone's pocket. Oh, please.
It's like, you know, it's usually the conglomerates who say that, you know, like you have your billions. Relax.
Well there was this musician called Beck. I don't know if you've heard of Beck.
I have one of his songs. 'Loser'. I used to sing it. 'I'm a loser, babe. So why don't you kill me?'
Not exactly a great song, but, you know, I know Beck.
Recently, a few years ago he released not a song, but he released the musical score for a song so people can play his song. And he didn't even release his song himself. So it was like it was kind of almost like a pioneer almost. And in a way of distributing his music wasn't via his own. Yeah. So in recordings or via a record label, but via. Yeah. People being able to play it themselves. So. But people, I think, could buy that score. So, anyway.
Anyway, we. Illegally download. Something, sometimes. Guilty.
Like, are you an 'arr' pirate or your 'yo-ho-ho' pirate? I'm a 'I'm not paying for my music' pirate.
I remember I had a friend actually he back in the day of, do you know LimeWire? Yes, LimeWire. Okay. So it's not a torrents, it is a torrent platform. It this is popular back in the 2000s, at least in the UK and in the West. LimeWire was this platform where you could legally download torrents and music. And I had a friend who downloaded a lot of illegal music, and one day the police knocked on his door. I couldn't believe it.
This is only possible in the western world. Like I could imagine that happening in the US, in the UK.
Most people would not have the police knocking on the door for illegally downloading music, but I think he downloaded an extremely large quantity.
So they kind of saw that he might be redistributing it out, perhaps to somebody else.
Perhaps. I can't remember the fine details cause it was a while ago. But yeah, he his parents got like a fine of several thousand pounds.
I know it's still a case, you know, in the US if you download a lot of things like illegal or something. Well, at least when you're, let's say on your campus territory. So since all of that traffic goes through the campus and everything, so I know about some people who were downloading the films or something like that, and then they got a visit from the campus PO campus police saying, You know what, you can't really do that, so please stop unless we'll have to report that to the authorities.
Yeah. So way to the police had, I guess, access to their ISP, the Internet service provider.
Well, I mean, when you're on campus, you know, you all use one wi-fi, so. Yeah, I guess so. I guess they do have access to all that. Yeah. If you use VPN, then it's another story then.
Then you don't have to worry about that. All right, guys. Well, let us know if you like to download music illegally.
Yeah, it's okay. I don't think the Russian government prosecutes people for downloading music illegally. I mean, maybe they do, but I don't know. Um, so. Yeah, let's speak about concerts. Have you ever been to a rock concerts?
Or to any musical concert?
Yeah, couple of times, yeah.
Yeah. Go on, tell us which ones.
I was in BI-2 concert and 'Zveri' concert. Like it was recently before I had been to some other countries, but it's the most recent experience of mine.
So I guess I've heard 'Zveri', it means 'beasts', doesn't it?
Kind of or 'animals', I would say. But there is the group, 'The Animals', which dates back to maybe the 1970s and is maybe British. I'm not sure, maybe American. They like pop rock. Very, very, very light version of rock.
Yeah. So are they are they kind of wild rockers?
No, they are actually pretty intellectual and calm.
Oh, that's funny cause a lot of rockers were absolute animals, not just the name of their band.
I guess it depends on the subgenre of rock because rock is big, it's like an umbrella.
So are you familiar with Keith Moon? So there's this band called 'The Who'. I never really listened to them, but they were big, I think, in the sixties. And Keith Moon was like the epitome of a rock star. He was the drummer for this band, and he would get the band made a lot of money, very famous all over the West, and he would go absolutely wild at concerts and he was always like absolutely messed up with drugs and alcohol and he would do all sorts of things.
But even more notably was what he did is in his hotel rooms. He apparently, you can buy his biography ut's a really interesting, hilarious biography, but his hobby was buying dynamite and putting it in toilets in hotel rooms and exploding the toilets. And he was banned from a lot of hotels. Definitely read it up on his Wikipedia page. Keith Moon.
Really interesting, really funny. And I would have loved to have gone to one of his concerts, but apparently one of his concerts, he was so drunk, so out of it on drugs that he couldn't play the drums. And the band invited a member of the audience to come on the stage and to finish the drum set for him.
I think it's such a lot of disrespect.
It is disrespect. It is, I mean, to be honest, it is funny, but it's a huge amount of disrespect.
It's funny when you read about it probably. But when you paid to and when you were waiting. Well, it depends on what you are waiting for, of course.
No, you're absolutely right. It is disrespectful. I guess in hindsight it's absolutely hilarious. But with you actually that s. Yeah, in hindsight. Yeah. So 'in hindsight' means when you looking back at the past. So yeah, um, so yeah. So tell me, what other concerts have you been to?
Pop concerts in the Philippines. Some pop bands. And I remember one when it was my birthday, so I paid for the tickets and my friends, we had a really good fun because back then I was that kind of person, although now I hardly ever go to concerts. I only go to free concerts unless it's Christina Aguilera. Then it's a different story. I'll definitely pay for that.
Yeah. Christina Aguilera. How much you think she charges for concert tickets?
I would imagine it really exorbitant. I mean, although she's not a big name, I guess anymore today, but.
I would expect, like, several hundred dollars.
Mm hmm. Yeah, several. Would you pay several hundread dollars to go to a concert?
I don't know, 50 Cent or..
Who would you pay for? Um, with that kind of amount?
Well, I mean, if I had a chance to go to 'Three Days Grace' 2007 edition - totally would pay for that. But those times are gone, so I don't know. I would kind of like to visit at least, you know, like any sort of any concert by this point of anyone famous.
I sometimes ask my my students what concerts they would like to visit if they could. No matter if the person is now dead or alive. For example, I would like to visit 'Queen' concert.
Yeah, that beat everything.
But it's not possible anymore.
Actually, no, they are still performing even though, you know, in a different.
It's not, it's not the same.
I have a friend who's a huge fan of 'Queen'. And they were recently performing in the UK and she flew all the way to from Canada to the UK and she visited 14 out of 15 gigs they were given in the UK. So 14 concerts.
Quite expensive, isn't it?
Well, what is the money to a fan? You know, and the thing is that they made it so she was not travelling alone. So she was with some friends and they were all wearing Argentina T-shirts. They were not from Argentina, they are from like Canada and other countries, and they were always coming first. So they were in the front row, you know, right there at the stage. So if you look at the photos from any of the gigs from the UK, she's there.
She's an Argentinian queen.
So really, she's a huge fan.
Yeah. My favourite concert I went to really lucky I got a ticket to, you know, Gorillaz.
Absolutely love them. Amazing.
They are cool. And Damon Albarn is cool.
There is also a couple voices. And 'Blur' is also a cool band.
Yeah, 'Blur'. Exactly. He was originally in 'Blur'. But it was quite interesting because I didn't actually see any of them. It was the electronic concert, so they were hiding behind the stage somewhere.
It's the concept, it is the concept of Damon Albarn was the first person who introduced such a band.
Yeah, it's like an electronic animation on the stage.
And it was amazing. Saw it in Camden Town, in London, as you know, Katya.
Oh, it's the Mecca of all the quirky people.
Yes, exactly. Camden Town, if you can describe it in one word, I'd say 'goth' because there's so many goths there.
I wouldn't, I'd say it's just quirky.
I mean, goth, it's limited too. And I mean all the all the punks, you know?
Yeah. Oh, punks, goths, yeah.
I don't know, Camden is just way more than that.
Obviously, it is more way more than just goths.
Every time I went to, so I've been to London three times, every time I spend most of my time in Camden, I just love the atmosphere and the vibe.
But you know, you kind of going there, you like I'm going to fit, no matter what.
Yeah, well, a lot of musicians play concerts around the area. So. Yeah. What about musicals? Have you guys ever. I hate musicals.
You know what, I do, I do not like musicals at all. So TV shows that are musicals. No, not my thing. Absolutely not. But I once visited 'The Phantom of the Opera'. And it is a musical.
It is Andrew Lloyd Webber.
I loved it. I absolutely love this.
Because I visited it in Russian in Moscow when it was first released, and I also loved it.
I don't know why. Maybe it was also, you know, the influence of the place I was at because it was in London as well, you know. But I just loved it.
I remember my school had a trip to 'The Phantom of the Opera', the musical, and in the theatre. I don't know if you have this in Russia, but in England, in some theatres you can find little binoculars. You have to put like 10 p or 50 p.
Or £1, probably more now. And there's these little binoculars that are stored under the seats and you put a coin into the receiver or whatever it is, and you can get the binoculars. And I was watching 'The Phantom of the Opera' with my schoolmates, and I was so bored and I had a pen with me and I was so impressed with what I did. I had the pen and I took the pen lid and I put it inside the coin slot for these binoculars. I got some free binoculars.
Yeah, I put the binoculars back. But yeah, that was the only thing I remember.
Ever since that time you hate musicals.
Yeah. So Ken, tell me about your favorite.
It's actually really interesting. I love 'The Sound of Music'. If I'm not mistaken, it's a movie musical from the 1960s with Julie Andrews. 'The Hills Are Alive' with 'The Sound of Music". And if you know, 'doe, a deer, a female deer', it's from that movie musical. They're very interesting. And also it comes with a story. So it's not just all about music.
Yeah, I'm not hate on people who, like musicals are just not my cup of tea.
Do people actually say that?
I say it. A lot of people I mean, a lot of people do say it.
You can say 'it's not my cup of tea'.
I guess you're asking that because it sounds a bit stereotypically English. Like there's some idioms that we do not use. For instance, 'it's raining cats and dogs'.
Because I recently heard somewhere that, you know, usually people would just, these days, rather say, 'oh, it's not my thing'.
You can say 'it's not my thing'.
You can say that as well. Yeah. You said of a British accent. I love it. Yeah. All right. Well, let's go into genres, individual genres. We talked about Russian chanson, um, classical music.
I actually remember. So I don't know. I don't know much about it, so. But I remember a couple of days ago, you know, before the pandemic, those pre-pandemic days. So I was working at Wellesley College, you know, at the Department of Russian language, so and we had a field trip to Boston Opera House and then, God, I had an amazing department. They paid for our tickets, you know.
And the man who was performing, his name was Daniil Trifonov. And he is a genius, no less. So and he's one of very few people who can actually perform Rachmaninoff's Concerto Number three with orchestra. And that's what he played that night.
And that was the first time in my entire life when I was listening to classical music and crying like I couldn't hold the tears and the way I was mesmerized. By the way his fingers were moving it. It was as if he didn't have any bones, you know.
Yeah. And again, this is Rachmaninov. Not many musicians in the world can play that so effortlessly. But he seemed to do. So, I was just. Oh, shocked.
Yeah. I don't frequently listen to classical music, but I love it.
I guess it's the basic, the basic thing. And, you know, a lot of, a lot of rock musicians incorporate classical music into their songs. For example, I adore 'Muse', I really do. I love them so much. And I guess that Matthew Bellamy's favourite composer is probably Rachmaninov. I'm not very good at names of classical composers, but I guess that it's Rachmaninov.
Well, Russia. Russia produced a lot of good composers.
Yeah, and he incorporates these elements into his rock songs, ballads and so on. And it sounds so good.
Oh, I love when people do that.
Yeah. Are you a classical guy?
I wouldn't say so, but I appreciate every time somebody plays it and then I just listen to it, although I wouldn't do it myself. Like, you know, they play it for me to listen to.
I would go to a classical music concert. Yeah, I've been a couple of times it was, it was okay. It was pleasant.
Mhm. For example, I have a friend and her husband is, well, he plays the violin, he is actually a programmer, but also he plays a violin which is interesting and he gives concerts sometimes and I have been too. Yeah. And another, I have another friend and her husband is a guitar player, professional. He earns money from, from playing the guitar and from teaching other people to do it. And I have been to his concert. They were doing Beatles covers and classical music as well.
My favourite classical musician has to be Beethoven for sure. What was so interesting is how Beethoven and Mozart knew each other. So interesting.
I'm really bad with the timeline, you know?
I do recognise the names, but the work, the specific work that they've done well or they did. No. Can't name any.
Well, 'Moonlight Sonata'. Yeah. That's the most famous one. Yeah.
Yeah. Different symphonies as well. Yeah. Um, let's move, we talked a lot about rock. Um, what about heavy metal? Are you a fan of heavy metal, Maria?
Um, I wouldn't say so. No, I wouldn't.
Correct me if I'm wrong. Is that the genre where there's a lot of screaming?
Well, heavy metal was probably derived from hardrock, which derived which had derived from rock. So it's like all their line.
I actually love heavy metal and all that. I don't really like the, you know, the songs where there's a lot of growling, as they call it.
Then you just like, 'I have no idea what is being said'.
Well, heavy metal is fine, but what, black metal. Speed metal. It's maybe too hard to my liking.
It's. I just don't see it as music.
I had some friends at school who loved. Well, actually, it was just really two friends at school who listened to deathcore music. And it was just every time they would have it in their headphones and you just hear all this growl.
I have been through a phase in my teenage years when I used to listen to that. Now just, you know, looking back, I'm like, 'Oh, how?' So, it was a phase.
It is quite funny. And the, the names of the bands are absolutely hilarious. There was this one band, my friend, listened to, it's called 'Dying Foetus'.
It was the absolute worst name for or best worst name for a band.
Yeah. What about hip hop and rap, are you aficionados of hip hop and rap?
Well, maybe not the purest genre, but a mixture, I guess. Yeah. For example, I like 'Twenty one pilots'. They are electronic hip hop, uh, soft rock, something. Well, a mixture. And let's say. Well, that's it. Maybe Eminem is good. It is really good.
You know, I think that these days is kind of hard to distinguish between the genres. Yeah, it is blurred. Yeah.
But there are many different subgenres of hip hop and rap and I'm no way an expert.
I think that, you know, musicians these days try not to limit themselves to one or two genres so they just create whatever the genre.
But then, there are some special people who... Categotise.
So you sing in this genre, you fall Into this category or you don't.
Well, yeah, that's how subgenres are formed. They organically shoot out of other genres like dubstep came from dub, which came from reggae, which came from ska.
A lot of musicians also experiment, they develop through throughout their career and they can start from let's say. Some hard genres and then they can become softer and some fans accuse them of doing this.
Others even jump from one genre to another, I mean sorry for mentioning Taylor Swift, but from country music to pop music. I don't know if that's, if you will.
But 'Gorillaz', 'Gorillaz' is like the epitome of that. They've mushed together so many different genres, from rap to reggae to pop to everything, really.
Even 'The Beatles' experimented a lot. Yeah, they can't be seen as just a rock and roll band.
They went to India and they played around with the sitar. Which is that Indian guitar.
So rappers, rappers and hip hop, they kind of inspire a lot of violence. And in modern society, I don't really I don't know if that should be censored or not. Do you guys think it should be censored?
Censorship in art is a very difficult question. But also, then again, what is art? And I think that art should not be censored. It's just wrong. It sounds wrong. Every person should judge for themselves. Should understand.
Well, in England, there's a lot of. And in America, there's a big problem with people stabbing each other and shooting each other.
I don't think that music is the problem.
Like we kind of blame video games for.
Or violent films, for instance.
This is not my opinion. I do not believe that we should blame violence, but a lot of people, or particularly when the Columbine shooting happened many years ago, a lot of people blamed Marilyn Manson for this kind of violence.
Instead of blaming neglect and everything, they just. When the easy way.
Yeah. Well, guys, let us know in the comments. If you feel that rap music should be censored, in some ways you feel it's responsible for a lot of. Decay and violence in society. I mean, there's a lot of fun rap out there, which is absolutely horrible. And they talk about absolutely deplorable subjects like, I'm not going to go into detail. I'm sure you guys can use your imagination.
There is also a lot of intellectual rap.
It's just kind of new poetry.
And socially relevant that discuss, you know, real issues in society.
Yeah. And some people say that it can help young, young troubled youth from it can distract them from facing crime.
It's not the genre that's the problem per se, but the content. What are they singing or rapping about? It's more about the topic, I mean, the theme of the song more than the genre itself.
Yeah. I mean, it can sometimes be used as propaganda to get people to do stuff. I still don't think it should be censored, but some people think it should be. So, yeah. What about other electronic genres? Do you guys ever listen to house music? To club music.
Sometimes. For example, 'Daft Punk'. I guess they are electronic and electronic some kind of electronic music. Guys from France, unfortunately they stopped existence year ago, I guess. Sometimes, yeah.
Yeah. I used to be a big fan of house music. I mean, there's so many subgenres of house as well.
And electronic music. I guess I might be wrong, but I guess it started in France. That's interesting, but I guess. Yes. Like Michelle Jarre probably was one of the first in this field.
Yeah. There's actually quite a lot of good music that comes out of France, electronic and not electronic.
Also a lot of good music comes from Scandinavian countries.
Either way, for example, 'A-HA' and they come from Norway or some rock bands like for example, do you guys know 'Nightwish'?
I loved in the previous, um, before the what's her name, before she left the...
Tarja Turunen. Yeah. I'm not sure how to pronounce this. Sorry, difficult scandinavian names.
I loved 'Nightwish' before she left.
What other genres? K-pop.
I'm not a fan of k-pop. I mean, I see that it's like a huge thing these days, you know.
It's funny because I used to be a big fan of it when I was in the Philippines. I thought that K-Pop was superior to American Pop because it just has this, you know, vibe. Like even the instruments that they probably use, they're of better quality. But right now, of course, I'm ageing.
So that's well, I will quote him. That's not my cup of tea anymore. That's not my thing anymore.
Well, I think K-Pop is really popular, you know, amongst. Well, like teenagers, late teens, early twenties. Like that, in my opinion.
But I actually I know a lady well, okay, a lady who is in her forties and she likes K-Pop and she also likes Korean soap operas or I don't know what you call them. Yeah. And I just asked her why, and she explained that when she feels down, when she feels very bad and miserable and so on, and nothing else can make her feel better. This is Korean pop and Korean TV series that help her. They are uplifting, she said. I don't know, I haven't checked it for myself.
Yeah. Well, my favourite genre as a kid. Well, not as a kid. As a 18 year old, I'd say 17, 18 year old was reggae dub, because in London there was this huge culture, subculture of reggae music. Do you know much about dub culture?
Well, reggae is Bob Marley.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Bob Marley is yeah, it's old school stuff. So in London, there are several clubs where you can go to with huge speakers, huge sound systems and, and you have dub music is all about the bass tracks that come from reggae. And it was so fun. These dub nights, they're called not dubstep, but dub nights.
They would go from midnight to six in the morning and it was really fun. You just spend the whole night allowing these big speakers to just vibrate you and it was really fun. So that was my favourite genre. Well. So let's let's wrap this up. So what would the world be like without music?
Yes, silent. And where do you think music is going to go in the future? What do you think our grandchildren are going to listen to?
You see, I'm worried about that because now I think I at a particular age when I start to hate, you know, modern music because I can't relate to it. And like the songs that I used to.
I think that's only natural, you know, for one generation to hate the music, of the next one. That's inevitable. They're just going to listen to their music, whatever that is, and that's it. But I'm pretty sure that no matter how many centuries later, 'Queen' is still going to be a thing.
'The Queen' is 'The Queen'. I mean, I feel that music might get so minimalist that people might just be listening to elastic bounds and metal clinking against metal.
Yeah. So it would become very primitive. Maybe it's a good thing. Maybe it's a bad thing. I don't know. Let us know in the comments, guys, what you think.
I mean, you can listen to a cat sounds and think it's music.
Well, another thing, a second conditional sentence that we need to finish off with. If you can listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It depends how long the rest is. I guess if it is like.
5 minutes, then it's one thing that if it is many years, I would probably choose something uplifting. And I once I asked my students this and if my life could go on for many years, I would probably listen to one of Robbie Williams songs, maybe 'The Road to Mandela', because it's really uplifting and the tunes catchy and he's nice. He's a good, has a good voice. So probably this. Not 'Radiohead' songs because if I chose 'Radiohead', I would...
Or I would commit suicide in 5 minutes. Something.
I mean, it's cliche for me to say. One of Christina Aguilera songs, but on top of my head, I would say 'Climb every mountain' from the movie musical 'The Sound of Music'. It's inspiring. It allows you to dream big and to try to reach for your dreams. I mean, as cliche as it sounds, but I'd rather go with something that is truly inspiring.
I would go with something uplifting and energising. So that's why I have no idea who sings that. But there is a song which is called 'Bevir Merida', which is a salsa song. So, you know, that's why you kind of want to dance when you listen to that. I love this song since the first day that I, you know, had my first salsa class.
So I know it's quite a strange choice, but I love the 'Grand Theft Auto' theme song with the theme melody to 'Vice City'. I don't know if you guys know this, but.
It's a game of my teenage years.
It's amazing. And the music they designed for this video game series was absolutely amazing.
It's just the music? No lyrics?
Just the melody. No lyrics. 'Grand Theft Auto 3' has an amazing melody as well.
I remember seeing a post that like, try do your ordinary things, you know, have a walk or something with a 'Sims' soundtrack. It kind of feels like you're living in some sort of, you know, utopia or something. So that reminded me of that.
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