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Postmodernism Essay - Summer Camp

Postmodernism Essay - Summer Camp

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Published by: jessspardoe on Apr 01, 2012
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Jess PardoePostmodernism Essay:
Using Summer Camp and a band of your choice, explain how some artistscan be called postmodern
‘Summer Camp’ is the band I am going to talk about in this essay; Summer
Camp, the band, is postmodern in all of their work. Firstly, the sounds of Summer
Camp’s music closely relates to music of foreign pop bands from Sweden orelsewhere. The expectation of Summer Camp’s appearance is that both the man
and woman are foreign in appearance and they have a quirky style. In contrast tothis the real appearance of Summer Camp are two regular looking, British peoplewith dark hair and original clothes. This is postmodernism in itself as they break the rules of tying their appearance in with their music.Postmodernism is summed up in many different ways; two types of 
postmodernism are pastiche, and homage. A pastiche is a ‘micky take’ of 
something, for example Family Guy doing a Star Wars featured episode but making a joke of the original Star Wars plot. Homage is a respectful copy of someone e
lse’s work; many artists release cover albums, or singles, which are
potentially not their own work but they have put a twist on the original song andclaimed whom they have taken the song from. Postmodernism was recreated asa response to modernism, and breaks conventional and traditional rules of media.
Kirby Ferguson has a theory of postmodernism that ‘Everything is aRemix’, he created a series of videos expressing his theory, which explains hisway of thinking. Ferguson’s theory applies to the Rihanna –
Umbrella track, andthe fact that the backing track of that number 1 hit song was taken from GarageBand, an application for Mac computers.Another artist that is postmodern is, Eminem. The way in which Eminemuses postmodernism in his work is that he has a stage name within his regularmusic name, as well as characters in his videos
and performances, ‘Slim Shady’and ‘Marshall Mathers’
which is actually his birth name. Eminem useshyperreality by having characters and allowing the audience to interpret them intheir own way, this is a form of audience participation. Eminem often samplesmany different artists, for example he took Queen and Paul Rod
gers’ opening
from Reaching Out and changed the pitch and tempo to use it in his song,Beautiful. Summer Camp differs to this as within their work they often useregular instruments combined with computerized sounds. This is a combinationof modernist and postmodernist styles; the modernist being the traditionalinstruments such as guitars, or pianos; and the postmodern being computerizedsounds through keyboards.As for comparing the two artists styles, Eminem often uses his characterswithin his videos, showing different sides to his personality. One of thecharacters is Slim Shady, his alter ego; this album consisted of a style of music
called ‘horrorcore hip
hop’. Eminem changes genre according to each of his
characters, the main category he fits into is hip-hop, however he has producedrap, horrorcore, rap rock, and many more genres of music before. This is verydifferent to the style of Summer Camp; they fit into indie-pop, indie-rock, andalternative pop genres. Their sound often resembles that of 60s girl band groups,as well as 80s synth pop bands, this is because they use computerized sounds.Summer Camp
’s video to their single ‘Round the Moon’ is a shortened version of 
Jess Pardoe
a 1980’s Swedish film; they did not make the video themselves. Using old videos
is common with postmodern bands, they either use clips from old films or takebits from discarded videos that were never used. Summer Camp managed tocombine the old fashioned style of video, with a modern sound; this shows that there is no difference between the music style of the past and present withintheir music.Summer Camp and Eminem both write their own songs, which means
they are of a high style class of music. Within Eminem’s lyrics he often
contradicts himself, and even uses mockery against himself, society, and other
people. Summer Camp’s lyrics are merely conventional pop lyrics, such as thoseof ‘Better Off Without You’, for example: ‘stop calling me late at night… and Idon’t care anymore’. Summer Camp has not covered any controversial issues
within their music, however Eminem has such as: drugs, violence, sex, andalcoholism.Eminem has made it 
into the ‘Top 40’ charts multiple times, which is
opposite to Summer Camp as they have never been listed within these charts.
Eminem is still not considered a ‘mainstream’ act in terms of his choice of lyrics,
style, and different personalities or characters. He has performed at largefestivals in the UK but his music is certainly not appealing to every personinterested in hip-hop. Summer Camp at the present time are very elitist in theirpopularity, they formed in 2009 so have only been around for a few years; theyhave not released many songs at all and have not appeared on any famous chat shows or other TV programs as of yet. As Summer Camp become more famous,they will probably lose many of the fans that they have in the present time. Thisis because, as soon as something elitist becomes mainstream, the elitist fans willfind someone new who has not made it big yet.
Summer Camp’s songs all have a
similar tone to them, this could be why they have not made it in their careers yet;Eminem however has a broad enough range of genres within his music that hehas appealed to many different audiences, but not so many that he has destroyedhis elitist fans.Another factor that makes both these artists postmodern is the artwork they use within presenting their music. Eminem has released many albums, forexample: Infinite, The Eminem Show, Relapse, Recovery and others. All of hisalbums reflect a different style of music; this is similar to the album structure of David Bowie. The album covers Eminem has used for his albums are all plain andsimple; this is similar to his website as it has a plain colour scheme and is easy tonavigate. By Eminem using simple designs for his non-musical work, it contradicts his mix of genres when it comes to his musical work. Summer Camphowever give an opposite impression to this through their non-musical work, forexample their website is a combination of many different sound clips which thenavigator can click on different words of phrases to play the sounds and short videos. The web
site loads while a sentence is crossed out ‘Everything changeswhen you get older’. This contrasts their style of musical work as all of their
music sounds very similar; whereas all of the music and sound clips on theirwebsite is very different. The date on their website is also 1984, which reflects
the era their music is supposed to sound like it’s from; this ties in with their
online digipak as it is written in the style of a combination of a teenage boy, and
teenage girl’s diary. This links to the idea
of binary opposites, as the teenage
boy’s diary pages have pictures of girls on, and
the teenage girl diary pages have

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