CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Nuke Kids On the Block: Explosive Poppers Whose Songs Are Shockers!


                      THIS POST IS RATED
         TV-MA
             IT CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE
AND SITUATIONS AND SEXUAL REFERENCES.
IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 50 OR EASILY
OFFENDED, CLICK HERE TO LEAVE THIS PAGE.


I never thought it would happen.

It took decades for me to come around,

but now I am digging the sound.

It happened a few years ago with heavy metal
and it happened again at the start of this year.
I opened my ears and mind and developed an
appreciation of modern pop, pop rock and
pop rap. In this year long, 12-part series,
I am introducing the young divas who
perform this style of music. Some are
sweet. Some are sassy. Some will
delight you. Some, like the ones
you will meet in this post, are
likely to shock and disturb
you. Take a look and a
listen. How will you
react to these
controversial
artists, songs
and videos?


JANET LENNON

CUBBY O'BRIEN & BRIAN SIEBMAN


The world has changed, my friend.
(Ya think, Shady?)

When I was a kid in the 50s, boys and girls
looked, sounded and behaved like the
three you will see in the first video.

From The Lawrence Welk Show here are Janet Lennon, youngest of the singing Lennon Sisters, Cubby O'Brien, a Mousketeer from Walt Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club, and Brian Siebman, a junior cast member of the Welk show, performing a song on an episode of the series that aired circa 1958.


"That's How Much I Love You" - Janet Lennon
with Cubby O'Brien & Brian Siebman
(The Lawrence Welk Show)





jordyn jones

Now that you have watched Janet Lennon,
innocent pop princess of the 1950s,
FF 60 years and experience a
truly jarring juxtaposition.


Behold the look, sound, attitude
and demeanor of one of today's
up-and-comers - singer, dancer,
model and actress Jordyn Jones.
Jordyn's performances of new
songs and covers have drawn
nearly 100 million views on
YouTube. Keep Janet Lennon
and her friends in mind as
you watch the video and
behold this 5-foot, 3-inch
spark plug and her posse!

"Lip Gloss" - Lil Mama
cover by Jordyn Jones
December 2014





meghan trainor


There once was a girl from Nantucket -
her name - Meghan Trainor. Between
the ages of 15 and 17, the precocious
singer and songwriter wrote, recorded,
produced and released three albums.
Signed to a major label in 2011,
Meghan achieved a hit in 2014
with Title, an EP that expanded
into a studio album of the same
name in 2015 with most of the songs
co-written and composed by Meghan.


Title debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums
chart. "All About That Bass," the debut single
from the album, is a song intended to promote
positive body image, but some critics accused
Trainor of anti-feminism, claiming the song 
has the negative effect of promoting curvy,
plus size women as the ideal and shaming
thin women. In spite of the controversy,
"All About That Bass" was a monster hit.
It soared to #1 in the U.S., the UK and
17 other countries. "Bass" was called
a cultural phenomenon and turned
Meghan into one of the biggest
breakout singing stars of 2014.
What's your reaction?

"All About That Bass" - Meghan Trainor
(Aug. 2104, highest chart pos. #1
just about everyplace on earth)





hailee steinfeld


Teenage actress, model and singer Hailee Steinfeld
has appeared in a couple dozen TV shows and movies
including the Jeff Bridges film True Grit, a role that
earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best
Supporting Actress. In 2015 Hailee signed a record
deal and released her debut single "Love Myself."
The song raised a few eyebrows including mine.


In the music video Hailee wears a leotard bearing
the words "SELF SERVICE." The lyrics of the song
include "I'm gonna put my body first/And love
me so hard 'til it hurts" and "I'm gonna touch
the pain away/I know how to scream my own
name." It didn't take long for fans and the media
to call "Love Myself" an "ode to masturbation."
"Love Myself" was an international hit, reaching
the Top 30 on the Hot 100 and the Top 10 on
the Dance Club survey. Hailee's DIY video
has been viewed nearly 107 million times
on YouTube. What's your interpretation?

"Love Myself" - Hailee Steinfeld
(September. 2015, highest chart pos.
#30 Hot 100/#6 Dance Club Songs)





indiana


Perhaps Halee Steinfeld got her inspiration
from British singer/songwriter Lauren Henson,
stage name Indiana. In 2014 Indiana released
"Solo Dancing," a single and video from her
debut studio album No Romeo.


The song lyrics hint at the DIY theme and the video
erases all doubt. The clip is a montage of sight gags
depicting slang expressions and euphemisms that
refer to self pleasuring. Watch the video and
give me your reaction. Cute...or too much?

"Solo Dancing" - Indiana
(April 2014, highest chart pos. #14 UK
from Jan. 2015 album No Romeo)





tove lo


Swedish singer/songwriter Tove Lo
(Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson) takes it to
the next level with "Talking Body,"
a song with explicit language that's
all about sex. In the spring of 2015
"Talking Body" was a hit in Sweden,
in America and around the world!

"Talking Body" - Tove Lo
(March. 2015, highest chart pos.
#12 Hot 100/#1 US Dance Club Songs)





route 94

ft. jess glynne

Londoner Rowan Tyler Jones, stage name
Route 94, is a producer and DJ specializing
in deep house, a music genre influenced by
90s Eurodance. In 2014, Route 94 released
the debut single "My Love" featuring the
vocals of up-and-coming English singer
and songwriter Jess Glynne.


"My Love" topped the chart in the UK.
The video was shot using an infrared
"night vision" heat-seeking technique
that reveals the body heat generated
by young lovers at a dance club.

(Pick up the action at 2:00.)

"My Love" - Route 94 ft. Jess Glynne
(April 2014, highest chart pos. #1 UK
#23 US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs)





TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:

Now that you have experienced Jordyn Jones
and the other featured artists, I'd like your opinion.

*  Were you offended by any of the song lyrics
     or video images? If so, which ones and why?

* Are young pop-rappers like Jordyn Jones
   growing up too fast? Are they setting a bad
   example for preadolescent girls (and boys)?

* How much influence do songs and videos
   like these have on today's young pop fans?

* How did we get from point A,
the innocent Janet Lennon years,
to point B, where we are today?

As Madonna put it, "express yourself."

Have a Shady day!

58 comments:

  1. Kathryn AndersonMay 22, 2016 at 4:54 AM

    You are right--there are a few shocks here, Shady--and it would be naive to think that "mature adults" are the only ones buying this kind music, listening to it on the radio and the internet and watching videos like these on Youtube, on television and in the movies-- regardless of the rating.

    It was a jolt to go from Janet Lennon to Jordan Jones. I remember people commenting about that young Jade girl you introduced in part one of your series. Some were concerned that she was acting too grown up for her age. You told them you would introduce other young artists who are more extreme-- and Jordan seems to be one of them. How old is Jordan?

    I didn't mind All About That Bass. People need to lighten up-- take some teasing now and then-- and learn to laugh at themselves. Obese people have needed to do that much more often than slender people. I didn't have a problem with Love Myself or Solo Dancing. The message is empowering-- and I thought the Solo Dancing video was inventive and amusing. The last two songs, Talking Body and My Love, seem to deal with the subject of hooking up in a meat market for a one night stand. That's nothing new---people have been doing it for centuries-- but being able to see their body heat is something new.

    As you know pop is not my favorite style of music but I enjoyed what you presented. If you look away from the videos that offend you-- ignore the offensive lyrics-- and focus on the vocal quality and the music itself-- it is undeniable that these young women have talent and put out some great dance music.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thank you for weighing in. I'm happy to know that you appreciated the overall sound of these modern pop productions. I agree that there are some terrific dance numbers here. Chart stats indicate that most of these recordings were worldwide hits.

      It's fascinating to explore theories to explain how and why our culture has gone from point A - The Lennon Sisters and The Lawrence Welk Show - to point B - Jordyn Jones and modern child stars like her. Advanced technology enabling instant communication with masses of people around the world via social media must surely be a primary factor. In addition, there has never before been as much emphasis on youth, beauty and sex appeal as there now is, in my opinion - not just in America, but around the world, thanks to cultural "globalization."

      I remember stand-up comic George Carlin, I think it was, once observing that every third-grader on the playground "knows the score" these days. That was back in the 70s! It is much more evident today how hip and worldly wise our young people are. To answer your question, Jordyn Jones is actually older than she looks in that video. She looks 10 to 12 to me, but she was actually 14 at the time of production. Today's tweens listen to and are influenced by the music of artists their own age, but they also tune in to music produced by 20-somethings and 30-somethings who record material supposedly intended for mature adults.

      In the 50s, as I recall, it was common for girls to want to look older. In the mid 60s, singer Diane Renay released "Growing Up Too Fast." However, back in those days, girls wanted to grow up fast so that they could find a man, get married, settle down and start having babies. Those are not the immediate goals of many young women today. They value their freedom and independence and "just wanna have fun" and enjoy the single life for a longer period before settling down.

      As this post reveals, almost anything goes and few themes seem to be off limits in modern songs and videos. Look at the professional quality of these video productions, including the one starring Jordyn Jones. Dozens of extras were used in that shoot, including a baby! Think of all the parents who gave their consent to their child's participation in the making of "Lip Gloss." Think of the production crew involved and the money it cost to make the video. Bottom line - there is major commitment to producing this type of material for the consumption of young audiences and Jordyn Jones is considered a mainstream entertainer. She performed on Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards show. Like it or not, Jordyn and young artists like her are the new faces and attitudes of modern pop. Who knows where it will lead us in the coming years?

      Thanks again, Kathryn, for your visit and comment!

      Delete
  2. Dear Friend Shady,

    I find it hard nowadays to be offended by music. I guess I realized if they are not hurting people in real life, it's just entertainment and it's hard to get offended with an act. However, no, I don't think any of these songs are offensive.

    I love "All About That Bass," because I think it does send a positive message. I agree with Kathryn's stance on the song: "People need to lighten up-- take some teasing now and then-- and learn to laugh at themselves. Obese people have needed to do that much more often than slender people." People really do need to lighten up.

    I'm not really shocked about Jordyn. I remember this to an extent when I was in middle school and it seems like young girls are acting more adult nowadays. I think Jordyn's song and music video are a great cultural understanding tool and good to keep around for historical purposes. I would say she can't be older than 14.

    I liked "Talking Body" and "My Love," which the subjects aren't really new or shocking - it's been happening forever,it's just the way the concepts are presented that are new.

    Great selection, Shady! I look forward to your next post! Enjoy your Sunday, dear friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thank you very much for taking time to come over on a Sunday morning and to express your opinions about these artists, songs and videos.

      I agree that what was once considered offensive is today commonly seen and heard in mainstream media and taken in stride. I am reminded of the network censors of the 50s and 60s who enforced strict rules governing what audiences were allowed to see and hear. On TV a married man and woman were not allowed to be shown in bed together. Prior to the Rolling Stones' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, censors ordered Mick Jagger to change the words of his hit song from "Let's spend the night together" to the Pat Boonish "Let's spend some TIME together" to avoid offending Americans and losing sponsors. As this post proves, pop culture has come a long way since then.

      I tend to agree with you and Kathryn about "All About That Bass." The hit TV series All In The Family invited all of us to lighten up and laugh at ourselves, both the Archie Bunkers of the world and the Meatheads of the world. Maintaining a sense of humor about yourself and the group to which you belong is one of the keys to a happier life, in my opinion. Bullying is one thing, but people should be able to handle a little innocent teasing now and then.

      I also agree with you that the Jordyn Jones song and video serve as learning tools, giving us a glimpse of where we are at this point in our society's evolution (or devolution, some might say). Yessum, Jordyn was age 14 when she made that video, but appeared younger, at least to me. She turned 16 two months ago.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and astute remarks, dear friend Jessica. Enjoy your Sunday and the week ahead!

      Delete
  3. Sounds like they are making use of the shock factor.
    Have a great Sunday, Shady.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Sandra!

      Thank you very much for dropping by, dear friend! Yessum, we all know how popular radio "shock jocks" have become in recent years. Many of today's celebrities and up-and-coming entertainers seem to be in competition, constantly trying to "out-shock" one another. It has been proven that sex sells and it is especially true in today's permissive society.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Sandra. Have a great week!

      Delete
    2. I'm an oldies but goldies girl. When it comes to creativity, passion, causes, and trying to change the world with music, I don't think you can beat the sixties and early seventies.

      Delete
    3. Hi, Sandra!

      Thank you for coming by again to contribute to the discussion. As you know by now, I am an oldies but goodies guy. Nearly 8 years into my blogging journey, I have by now posted all of the songs I remember from the Shady Dell and almost all the other records that formed the soundtrack of my youth. To avoid having to go into "reruns," I like to introduce newly discovered artists and recordings as I am doing in this 12-part series. I guess you could call me an old dog learning new tricks.

      Thank you for accompanying me as I explore many different styles of music and make some new memories in the process.

      Enjoy your week, dear friend Sandra!

      Delete
    4. Letting folks know of new trends in music is important. Learning is good:)
      Kudos:)

      Delete
    5. Thank you very much, dear friend Sandra. That's very kind of you!

      Enjoy the rest of your week!

      Delete
  4. Is that what they call dancing in the Jones clip? No wonder I can't dance.
    I'm willing to check out new bands, but just not my genre I'm afraid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Alex!

      Yessir. The dances performed by these young poppers are high energy workouts for sure. I get winded just watching them. :)

      Modern pop wasn't my genre either until the bug bit me around the start of the year. Bear with me because this series runs through December.

      Thanks for your visit and comment, good buddy Alex, and have a great week ahead!

      Delete
  5. The innocence of the Welk show can never be found again. It was just a bit too sugary but the next video seemed to present very young girls in a rehearsal for the future prostitute roles. I did know Haylee Stafford made music. She is a talented girl and I don't see the hidden still dealing with sex. It seems more about loving who you are. I do like All about your Bass. These are not my favourites but I can see why some decide to take this route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, dear Birgit!

      Thank you very much for coming down, dear friend!

      In the 50s and early 60s, female pop singers were "packaged" as sugar and spice and everything nice. No doubt that was an exaggeration in many cases, but that was the standard of the time. It takes a lot to shock me, but some of the songs and vids released in recent years do shock me. For this post I hand picked some of the most controversial ones. It does seem like Jordyn Jones and her friends have enrolled in Future Hoochie Mamas of America. :) Keep in mind that most of the songs Jordyn and other YouTube sensations perform are covers of hits made famous by more established artists. Young people imitate their idols and many of today's singing idols are recording songs that shock polite society. When you stop and think about it, however, you realize that the younger generation has been shocking the old folks and rebelling against the accepted norm ever since I was a kid.

      Thank you very much for visiting and expressing your opinions about this post, dear friend BB. Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Delete
  6. Well, that line about "pick you up and stroke you, and listen to you purr" is a bit racy....

    Jordyn Jones: That I made it past the 37 second mark was a tesitimony to our friendship. At one minute, I decided to ff to see if anything changed... and then bailed. THAT was more than a juxtaposition for my ears...

    Traynor I knew that I wasn't a big fan of, but I liked it 100% better. That song actually ain't half bad which is more than I have said about the little bits of her stuff I have heard previously.

    Unrelated aside: WHY does vevo think you want to immediately jump from the first few seconds of the video you CHOSE to watch to watch some random crap they want you to watch? Just sayin'.

    Hailee: I don't think you HAVE to take this song in a bad way (unlike the Divinyls of yore) but she certainly spins it that way. Song itself? Take or leave.


    Tove Lo: I believe I've run across her before. Musically, the early leader.

    Another aside: I had a new one by Against The Current come across the new releases this week... I checked also to see if I could find any of the Eurovision stuff I liked but Viacom has the rights, and you got to sign up for their damn streaming service to ,here any of it- with the exception on Dami Im. A stupid way to assure oneself of NOT making money on something IMHO...


    Ive definitely brushed past Jess Glynne a couple of times, though not this one. The heat-view was okay on long shots and unnerving on close ups. Now, as to your questions:

    "Were you offended by any of the song lyrics
    or video images? If so, which ones and why?" Actually, the one that bothered me the most was the one I liked the best musically. But as I am a "hear the music first listen to the words later" type, it wasn't an awful big deal to me. In the long run, it might keep a song out of the M10- though not necessarily out of the shuffle thereof.

    "Are young pop-rappers like Jordyn Jones
    growing up too fast? Are they setting a bad
    example for preadolescent girls (and boys)?"

    I think without a doubt the answer is yes, with a caveat: I think this is a process that has been going on for decades. I remember a 1974 newspaper article that deplored the licentiousness of pop music using the line from Elton John's Someone Saved My Life Tonight: "It's all gone crazy lately/my friends downstairs, rolling 'round the basement floor." Is it causing real damage to these kids? Well, look at Miley Cyrus the human being rather than the artist and judge for yourself. But remember a Ruth B grew up in this same situation. Bad stuff will always be out there; YOU are the one who choses.

    Part two next...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. " How much influence do songs and videos
      like these have on today's young pop fans?"

      Like I said, there are Ruth B's out there too. So basically, I think I answered this one with the last one.


      " How did we get from point A,
      the innocent Janet Lennon years,
      to point B, where we are today?"

      I think I answered this with my first answer. A long gradual process, seen as a steeper fall by old birds like you and me. Every now and then we see a sharper slope (like Olivia Newton-John doing Physical, which I never forgave her for). But all in all, the slide is society's, not music's. Music's slide is a symptom of the whole. Honestly, I think we could do the same thing musically without the "explicit" stuff.... though once a song is done and accepted, time to move on. A local station plays Everlast's What It's Like, but censors out about a half dozen words that made the song what it was. Another one plays Billy Joel's Big Shot, but cuts out everything in the first verse from "Spoon up your nose"- leaving in the drug ref, but taking out the "far more offensive" word Bitchin'. IMHO, if you are going to play the song, PLAY THE SONG- if you have to cut out stuff that's central to the song, then DON'T PLAY THE SONG.

      So basically, on one hand, you can enjoy music, and make music, without having to be crude. On the other hand, it's not a condition of youth to be crude. Remember-

      "Don't forget folks,
      That's what you get folks,
      For makin' whoopie..."

      Delete
    2. Hi, Chris!

      What's wrong, good buddy... cat got your tongue? :) Your 2-part comment is so long, I thought for a minute it was written by Kathleen Mae Schneider... or perhaps by ME! :) Thanks a lot for taking so much time on a Sunday to follow Madonna's advice and "express yourself."

      You wrote:

      << Jordyn Jones: That I made it past the 37 second mark was a testimony to our friendship. >>

      Good one, Chris! :) I think you will agree that watching that video does strange things to one's mind. I for one couldn't get a handle on what I was actually seeing. I couldn't find anything in my mental files that I could relate to it. I kept wondering if I was simply watching an innocent cheerleader practice or pep rally, the kind of thing we have all seen many times before in our lives. Why did I get a creepy feeling? Why did it make me squirm? Was I reading too much into it (a victim of my own dirty mind perhaps)? Or did I have good reason to feel uncomfortable about what I was seeing and hearing? Is that slickly produced, big budget "Lip Gloss" video an oddity, a fluke, or the tip of a very large iceberg? I have watched the vid more than a dozen times and still can't wrap my head around it. Am I turning into my father, showing my old age, exhibiting hardening of the attitudes, unable or unwilling to accept that the times have changed so much? It's troubling, Chris, and I thank you for expressing yourself better than I have on the subject.

      I'm happy to know you are still checking out Chrissy Costanza and ATC. I have more of their stuff coming in future posts and won't be surprised if I see them over at your place or Chrissy in your B.C.

      If I understood you correctly, you like the Tove Lo number "Talking Body" best musically, but also found it to be the most offensive because of its explicit lyrics. You and I have similar filtering systems, Chris, and so does Arlee Bird, if I remember correctly. The three of us listen to the overall sound of the production. The lyrics are secondary. Musically, the recordings presented here are pleasing to my ears. That's why I picked them. There are others I could have chosen that have explicit themes and disturbing images, but I didn't enjoy them as much from a musical standpoint.

      I agree with you that the journey from point A, the Welk era, to point B, the wide-open, permissive post-millennial period we find ourselves in now, has been a gradual but steady process, a slippery slope.

      We must remember that there is nothing new about singers and musicians shaking up the establishment. In the mid 50s, a punk bad boy named Elvis Presley delighted the young and outraged the old. The following decade it was the Beatles who captured the ears, hearts and minds of the world's youth and had worried preachers burning their records. You mentioned O.N-J and her make-over from country pop balladeer to borderline bad girl. Bad boys and bad girls sell product. As Baretta used to say, "And that's the name of that tune!" I am also reminded of the documentary film trilogy of the 80s: The Decline of Western Civilization, Parts 1, 2 and 3, which examined the Los Angeles punk rock, heavy metal, glam and "gutter punk" scenes, the latter reporting on the desperate and dangerous lifestyle of homeless teenagers. That was 30 years ago!

      I deplore censorship and agree with you that recorded works should not be edited. Give it to us straight or don't give it to us at all.

      Thank you again for the ginormous comment tonight, good buddy Chris. Have a Scrappy week ahead!

      Delete
    3. Before I forget, Chris, I want to repeat what I mentioned in my reply to Kathryn. Jordyn Jones is not on the fringe by any means. She is right in the thick of it, very much mainstream. Nickelodeon invited her to perform on its annual Kids' Choice Awards program, which implies that Jordyn gets their stamp of approval as a representative of today's young people and their style of singing and dancing. Jordyn is also a sponsored spokesperson for various companies. Watch this video sponsored by Columbia TriStar Marketing Group in which Jordyn promotes one of its new movies:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9WXyasyOsM

      Jordyn was also involved in this promotion with Old Navy to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxjamTDOxTQ

      You can see that Jordyn comes across as a very sweet, normal, down to earth girl. Yet, when it comes to performing covers of edgy hip hop and rap songs, she's "14 going on 40." She can turn it on and off like a light switch. It simply doesn't compute in my mind. As Jessica Marie observed, Jordyn's performances serve as excellent learning tools, and perhaps her vids should be included in the next time capsule launched into space.

      Thanks again, good buddy!

      Delete
  7. Some of this music is interesting though not enough for me to listen to very often. Frankly I prefer Justin Bieber's music.

    The message is not one that I like seeing conveyed to young folks. Sure, there was suggestive content in the lyrics of the Lawrence Welk cut, but it was mild and relatively cute--I don't think kids back then would have even gotten it. I know I wouldn't have.

    Now kids see, hear and know too much. I'm saddened by the language I hear from kids these days and what they are emulating based on the entertainment to which they are exposed. They are growing up way to fast in my view--especially as a father of three daughters and 4 granddaughters I feel this way. Kids should retain some sense of innocence, but I'm afraid the Pandora's box has been opened in so many ways. I guess time will tell and maybe it will tell us something that we'll wish we didn't have to hear.

    The music is not so bad, but the lyrical content is not really necessary when it comes to what kids listen to and this is what this music is geared to.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Lee!

      Thanks for offering your opinions about what you saw and heard in this special post, good buddy!

      Originally I planned to point out the suggestive lyrics in that song performed in the 50s by the kids on The Lawrence Welk Show. (Our good buddy Chris Martin quoted the lyrics for us in his comment above.) I decided not to go there because lyrics like "pick you up and stroke you, and listen to you purr" only seem racy to our ears today because we possess "guilty knowledge" of how words like those are used today. Back then, they came across as intended - innocent as a kitten - but today we are bombarded with ubiquitous explicit words and images and we are well aware that the intended meaning of such euphemisms is far from innocent.

      I believe that many of today's kids take sexual lyrics and images in stride because they are in widespread use - the accepted norm - no big deal. I don't think exposure to this type of material necessarily programs them to act out any more than watching slasher horror movies prompts them to go on a killing spree.

      If you look at my second reply to Chris Martin and use those two links I posted for him, you will see that Jordyn Jones appears to be a sweet, normal, down to earth teenage girl. I keep coming back to my argument that precocious young people have the ability to "play a role" without necessarily turning into the character they play. You might recall me reminding readers about young actress Brooke Shields playing a child prostitute. That acting performance did not turn her into one. My favorite actress is Naomi Watts and the following quotes about her versatility might be useful in this discussion:

      << She could have been just another rom-com blonde - but the dark side has made Naomi Watts one of the world's top film actresses.>> - Sheila Johnston

      << "She has balls of fire handy in her pockets and they burn hot in any colour she wants." >> - Sean Penn

      Girls like Jordyn Jones have the ability to turn it on and off like a light switch, just like Naomi Watts did so convincingly in Mulholland Dr. and 21 Grams. They assume a particular role and live the part for the duration of the production. The question is, should girls Jordyn's age be portraying such characters in the first place. I agree that Pandora's Box has burst wide open and now we have to deal with the consequences. Who knows how Generation Z will handle the challenges of their lives as adults. I suppose older generations have been expressing the same apprehension over young people throughout history.

      It's interesting to note that many pop recordings hit the street with a "clean" version and an explicit version, implying that it is the job of parents to make sure their kids are listening to the clean versions of songs, but you and I both know that forbidden fruit is always sweeter to young people and they will invariably search for and find the explicit versions of the songs and the videos.

      Thanks again for offering such insightful remarks about the post, good buddy Lee. Have a great week!

      Delete
  8. Hey Shady. Wow, spicy post! As a baby-boomer, I see these young kids today and the first thing I think about is "Man, these kids are all growing up too fast!" Young girls look like young women...and act like young women. They mature so much faster today....though not necessarily are they in fact mature, if you know what I mean.
    But it's all a sign of the times. Remember back in the early 80s when Madonna first hit the scene? Some people were up in arms about how sexually explicit her lyrics were and how sexually charged her performances were. They were for the time, and she was groundbreaking.
    I'm sure we'll look back on these young girls' videos one of these days and consider them in the same vein.

    I wasn't necessarily offended by these videos or the songs but I did indeed think about how fast our young people are growing up. I'm not a mother and so I don't often think like a mother. If I was a mother of say, 10 to 14 year olds, I might feel differently and might be a bit concerned about these videos; I don't know.

    I really do like All About That Bass. That's a great positive message and I think the controversy is a joke. It's about time that the message gets across that we are all perfect the way we are and we should all love ourselves the way that God made us! It's been a long time coming...

    Definitely an eye-opening post here Shady!
    Hope you're having a good start to the week...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend. My week is off to a great start thanks to the "meaty" (as you would say) comments I have been getting on this post, including yours.

      Yessum, 14 seems to be the new 40 these days. More than ever, kids seem to be in a race with each other to see who can grow up fastest and dabble in experiences once strictly reserved for adults. I well remember the splash Madonna made when she burst onto the scene. I was watching American Bandstand the day Madonna told Dick Clark that her goal is to conquer the world. Soon after, girls all around the civilized world were buying her music, dressing like her and imitating her singing and dancing style. Every generation believes their music is THE music, the latest, the greatest, the coolest and most relevant. Throughout history the younger generation has been giving the older generation fits with its rebellious styles, music and attitudes. Boomers are no exception.

      Apparently you and I are in the same boat. You aren't a mother and I am not a biological father. It is not easy for us to think like parents. Maybe that allows us to see things more clearly, objectively and dispassionately than some parents who have knee-jerk reactions and make snap decisions regarding their children's welfare. I can't imagine myself being the parent in today's world and I also can't imagine being a kid in today's world. If by magic I was given the opportunity to start over again as a teenager today, I wouldn't want to do it.

      It looks like most of us agree on the Meghan Trainor megahit "All About That Bass." To me the song pokes fun at both thin women and plus size women and encourages people of all shapes and sizes to accept and love themselves. As I see it, the two recordings that follow, "Love Myself" and "Solo Dancing," also carry the positive message that you don't need to depend on somebody else to complete you, give your life meaning and purpose, and to satisfy your needs. Do it yourself!

      Thank you very much for expanding the discussion threads on this controversial post today, dear friend Michele. I hope you and your folks are doing well and I wish you a happy week ahead!

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  9. Hi Shadester!!! Wow you really are stretching out into new music waters!
    I feel like these days, not too much can shock me anymore. None of the lyrics or moves , etc bothered me at all. However, I have a 16 yr old niece and when I think of her singing along to some of these,i seriously cringe.
    I like Hailey's song and I can see how they can make it into a loving yourself mantra song ( wink wink) but I tried to listen to it as genuine as I think she meant it.
    Not a huge fan of Meagan Trainer mostly because I think most all her songs sound too similar and she talks her songs and not really sings them.
    The body heat video was cool!!
    Fun stuff my friend.

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    1. Hi, Holli!

      Thank you very much for swinging over and giving me your reaction to this material. Yessum, in the time you were away from blogging, I got interested in modern pop, so much so that I developed a year-long, 12-part series to showcase my favorite new to me artists and recordings.

      It is very interesting to read the different types of responses to this particular set of "stimuli" - the songs and videos in this post. No two people react exactly the same.

      In recent years I have come to believe that art is in the eye, ear and mind of the beholder. Some of us are able to see art where others do not or cannot. For example, I choose to experience Jordyn Jones' performance of "Lip Gloss" the same way I would evaluate an Olympic figure skater's short program or a gymnast's floor routine. The correct execution of that particular song requires a bold, sassy attitude and Jordyn achieves it. If you follow her dance moves and judge her performance on technical merit, she would receive a high score. The video is professionally shot and edited. The content of the video suits the style and attitude conveyed by the song. It isn't a whole lot different from Grease, Michael Jackson's Thriller or any other type of production that requires a certain specific style and attitude to be conveyed. Jordyn's acting skills come into play throughout the video and help to "sell the song." If she was singing "Moon River" I'm sure she would adopt the appropriate style and attitude for that mellow ballad.

      If you listen to Hailee's "Love Myself" without watching the video, it becomes easier to accept the broader interpretation of the song, urging young people to empower and love themselves. The video gives us only a few brief glimpses of Hailee wearing the "SELF SERVICE" leotard, but it is enough to change the meaning of the song and spark controversy. In today's world, getting noticed, being buzzworthy, even if cloaked in controversy, can actually help an artist's career. Controversy isn't the deal breaker it once was.

      You have a good point about Meghan Trainor. Some of her songs are derivative and she speaks them as much as she sings them. The Route 94 video is an eye-opener, isn't is? I think most of us have memories of moments like that in our lives when we threw caution to the wind, rode that wave of youthful excitement and took a walk on the wild side. If you thought that Route 94 vid was cool (hot), then I think you will enjoy another new series that I have in development, one that will be published late at night instead of first thing in the morning. Volume 1 is coming up a few weeks from now so please stay tuned.

      I'm delighted to know that you had fun with this post, dear friend Holli. Take good care of yourself and enjoy the rest of your week!

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  10. Tom,

    The age of innocence is definitely gone. I think Lee touched on some very good points. Lyrics were suggestive in the 50s, but young folks didn't get it. Sex was a more guarded, even protected topic. However the art of liberalism is to destroy a nation from the inside out and that's where are today in nearly ever aspect of our lives.

    It's hard for me to initially get offended by lyrics because I usually can't follow them closely. If I find I like a song, then I will look up the words and it may be at that point I discover while I liked the music, the lyrics are less than desirable, as with many of these songs you featured.

    Meghan Trainor's It's All About That Bass grew rapidly in popularity. It's a catchy tune that even I find that I like and while the words don't really offend me I worry about what they are saying to women. I think the lyrics are based on a lie, if you ask me. You don't have to be a size 2, but a person of influence shouldn't encourage others to accept being heavy. There is more to one's size than image. What about good health? You can be heavy,beautiful, but plagued with weight related medical problems (Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Thyroid Dysfunction, cancers, ... that shorten your life or you can be weight/height appropriate, beautiful, and no weight related health issues living a long life? I think I'll take the later.

    Tove Lo Talking Body is a danceable song, but I never picked upon the lyrics especially the use of the f-bomb. I hate that word's casual use in our society!

    I had a difficult time enjoying Jordyn Jones. I can only take Hip Hop style music in small measures. This song and video did nothing for me. I don't like the way young people are latching onto trends. What happened to being unique? It's hard to tell whether or not these young artists have talent and make them a dime a dozen with so many doing the same thing, you know? It would be super cool to see young singers taking a pro-active stand to separate themselves from the flock and to a leader in the industry.

    Hailee Seinfeld seems to have a nice voice. Her song makes me wanna dance, but I have no idea what she's saying, except Love Myself. This is one of those I'd have to go look up the words. I don't get why anyone has to sing about self pleasuring. I think this is one of those shock tactics for an artist to rise to instant fame. I'm not sure this is a song I'd want to own, but it does make me wanna dance and I like her voice, so I would definitely go see what else she has with the hopes of finding more suitable lyrics.

    The bottom line is we see more in your face attitude in the entertainment business, which goes hand-in-hand with the moral decline of our country. I don't think we'll ever see the innocence of another time again, but I hope someday people realize that innuendo spark the imagination a whole lot more than spelling out or displaying everything for viewer/listener.

    Interesting, thought-provoking musical post. Thanks for sharing it today!

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    1. Hi, dear Cathy!

      Thank you very much for coming by and expressing yourself so eloquently today. I deeply appreciate all the time and thought that went into your responses.

      A couple of years ago I posted about The Lawrence Welk Show and featured some of my favorite performances by The Lennon Sisters. That post included underage Janet Lennon performing adult love songs (standards) as duets with much older men. It was hard for me to watch those clips. They gave me a creepy, dirty feeling, but it was only because I am burdened with the "guilty knowledge" of sexual predators, teachers seducing students, and all the other related horrors and nightmares that have occurred in our society in the years since that innocent time. Back then, it seemed perfectly natural and normal for a man in his 30s, 40s or 50s to "serenade" a female child with a love song or vice versa. I suppose what I'm driving at is that every time period has its own accepted norms. Like it or not, the age of innocence ended a long time ago, and today there is a new normal in which mainstream artists, many of them underage, get right in your face and spell it all out for you with explicit language and images. That particular style shocks and disturbs many older folks but is considered the new standard, the accepted norm, by the younger generation.

      I agree that a lot of today's pop music sounds the same. Many hits use the same recording and mixing techniques and the songs and their messages are similar. Maybe someday the market for this style of music will dry up and the "in crowd" will move on to the next big thing.

      You made some valid points about "All About That Bass." I think the song employs tongue-in-cheek humor and actually promotes the stereotype that "boys" are more attracted to girls with "love handles" and "big booties." It seems to me that never before in our history has so much importance been placed on looking good - having the physical attributes considered "hot" in your particular culture. (As you know the concept of beauty varies sharply around the world.) If you are to believe the messages put forth in many of today's pop songs, we are becoming a culture of "Shallow Hals."

      Thank you again for devoting so much time and effort to expressing your opinions, dear friend Cathy. Have a pleasant evening and enjoy the rest of your week!

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    2. Tom, I worry about young people's vulnerability to predators. People's lack of judgement with this "in your face" attitude is the biggest problem. If these people used common sense or good judgement, then they would know that you don't have to spell everything out. A subtle message is far more effective and classier. Like you said, maybe the ones who survive this trend will move on to better music style. Thanks, dear friend!

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    3. Hi, again, dear Cathy!

      I think many of today's artists avoid using the subtle, understated approach because they and their handlers have come to believe that, if they do, their song or video won't stand out and get noticed. It's like an escalating arms race.

      Thank you again for expressing your opinion so eloquently, dear friend Cathy. Have a great weekend!

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  11. Not interested in any of dat ... sorry, friend Shady ... am on old hippie and always will be ... so come and follow me to Shambhala ... smiles ... https://www.youtube.com/embed/T1iV_Bj6rJs?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0 ... Love, cat.

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    1. Hi, cat!

      I am very happy to see you, dear friend. Thank you for coming!

      I remember you linking to the Shambala Music Festival the first week that we got acquainted with each other. At the time I looked up the festival on the internet, read about it and learned that it is an "electronic music" festival. Since electronic music encompasses Synthpop,
      Dance-pop, Electropop, EDM (Electronic dance music), Electro House, Techno, and Trance, I figured the modern pop dance music contained in this post would be to your liking. I'm sorry it wasn't, but again I thank you for your visit and comment, dear friend cat!

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  12. Well, this is an interesting post for sure! I listened to and enjoyed the Lawrence Welk video and then the Jordyn Jones played and I swear I heard Mr. Welk turn over in his grave!I listened to the other songs and hopped over them..not a fan of swear words, especially by kids. I'm shocked when I hear them in person in line at a checkout coming from a young person's mouth. In answer to your questions..1)Seems crude and lack of taste. 2) Yes & yes 3) I think it does influence kids 4) The problem to me seems to be society not having boundaries. What's right today? What's wrong today? What's "PC" today? Which bathroom do I use? Seriously, I'm confused and I'm sure kids are too. In the "old days" you knew how to act, what was expected. It came about slowly..like the frog in cold water..he was comfortable,slowly heating it up until by the time it was boiling hot, he was cooked. We let it into our homes slowly and allowed the media to get more crude as time went on..now, nobody cares. I'm grateful for a channel changer and an off button! Have a good week Shady! Love your posts! They make me think!

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    1. Hi, dear YaYa!

      Thank you very much for coming by and rendering your opinion about these provocative songs and videos.

      It certainly is jarring to go from watching Janet to watching Jordyn. I can only imagine what Lawrence Welk would have to say about today's wide-open, permissive, anything goes, no limits, no boundaries culture. Indeed, Welk's TV series was cancelled because he was reluctant to keep pace with the changing times by presenting rock 'n' roll and rock music. As a result, young people didn't consider Welk's show relevant and didn't watch it. Welk's audience was primarily made up of people over the age of 45 and sponsors wanted to invest in shows that delivered a younger demographic. His series got the ax in 1971 and he continued to produce episodes in first run syndication until 1982. That was 35 years ago. Just think how much the music landscape has continued to change in the years since then!

      I think you're right, YaYa. When controversial material like this comes into your home day after day, night after night over a period of years, in the form of the music you listen to, the videos, TV shows and movies you watch, and the content you read on the internet, eventually you and your family become desensitized to it and accept it as normal. The Law of Diminishing Return dictates that, over time, it takes more and more to shock or stimulate the audience. The mass media react to that principle by getting more and more extreme until, after a while, we hardly recognize the country in which we grew up. I don't! I wish we could turn back the hands of time and return to the age of innocence that was nearing its end when you and I were young. Mrs. Shady and I recently watched the miniseries The Astronaut Wives Club and 11-22-63. It was wonderful to return to the early 60s and remember how much slower the pace was and how people enjoyed life's simple pleasures in the years before the internet and electronic devices came along and enslaved us in the name of "progress."

      Thank you again for joining the discussion, dear friend YaYa. This post was intended to make all of us think and it looks like it succeeded. Have a wonderful week!

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  13. Explicit language or sexuality has never offended me, but it is worrisome that young girls such as Jordan act and appear much older than they are. Pedophiles delight in that stuff and I can only hope she's well-protected and has been properly educated in the ways of the world. Young fans are impressionable and likely to be influenced by such pop stars, but it's up to the parents to instill common sense. Easier said than done, I'm sure.

    As someone who has always struggled with weight issues (but don't have any related diseases - it is possible to be healthy even if you're overweight), I applaud Meghan Trainor's "All About the Base". She looks fine to me; unlike so many emaciated women in show business.

    There's nothing wrong with masturbation. Cindy Lauper had a similar song in the 80s, called "She Bop". Hailee Steinfeld is definitely talking about that, but I think there's also a broader message to love yourself as a person; it's an empowering message. From a musical standpoint, I prefer Indiana's song. It has a cool, haunting beat and I like her voice.

    Dance music doesn't do much for me, sorry. The visual effects in the last video were fun, though. Psychedelic!


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    1. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

      Thank you very much for coming down to participate in this lively discussion.

      It goes w/o saying that you might have been put off by a girly voice or two :) but, nevertheless, your reviews are surprisingly positive, open minded and well thought out.

      As I told Mrs. Shady, Jordyn Jones was older than she looked (14), or at least older than the director chose to depict her, when she sang and danced her way into our hearts in that "Lip Gloss" video. I agree that YouTube is a pedophile's paradise thanks to the abundance of videos uploaded by girls Jordyn's age and younger. From all appearances, Jordyn Jones is a branding campaign with plenty of backing. The girl isn't doing all this by herself in a vacuum. If she is streetwise enough to act the part and convincingly deliver the goods in her hip hop and rap videos, then I am sure she is also aware of the dangers of putting herself out there for all to see. As I told Chris and Arlee, Jordyn is well connected. She attracts offers from commercial sponsors and is popular enough to have been invited to perform at the Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards.

      Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" tells it like it is. The song sets the record straight about the kind of women most men find attractive. Ever since the 60s when emaciated, rail thin models like Twiggy became the "gold standard" of beauty in the western world, men have been complaining that the media shames women into an unhealthy state of thinness. Most men with whom I have discussed the matter over the years, in fact ALL of them, prefer a woman in a normal, healthy weight range. Indeed, a good percentage of men are attracted to BBWs - "big beautiful women."

      I learned something new from you today, dear Debbie. I am very familiar with Cyndi Lauper's hit "She Bop" - the MTV station where I worked played the video often - but I never realized it was about female masturbation. Thanks for adding that piece of info. I can think of one or two other popular hits that could be interpreted in the same way. One that comes to mind is "Imaginary Lover" by The Atlanta Rhythm Section:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIc8krqspIc

      Another is "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" by the Electric Prunes:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7KxShixE-A

      It's cool that you appreciate the empowering message of Hailee's song and like the sound groove of the Indiana recording. I certainly agree with you about both.

      Thank you again for taking time late at night to weigh in on these controversial songs and vids, dear friend Debbie. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    2. I missed that about Jordan's age. Thanks for setting the record straight. She looks about 10. Sounds like she has a good, solid team behind her. In Europe, nobody would blink an eye at any of those videos. Sexuality is not considered shameful or shocking there; just a normal part of life, which is where my sensibilities come from. I love that Electric Prunes song and did not know it was about masturbation. Now I have to listen to it again, more carefully. ☺ Don't know the other one, but I'll check it out. Thanks! You are a font of knowledge, my friend.

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    3. Hi again, dear Debbie!

      I am not stating for a fact that those other two songs are about masturbation, only that they could be interpreted that way (by dirty minded people like me :).

      You make a very good point, dear friend. For as long as I can remember, moral standards have been more relaxed in Europe. The recent phenomenon of "globalization" is opening up new markets for an uninhibited style of artistic expression. Globalization is the inspiration behind a new 6 part series that I am developing with night owls like you in mind. I am well aware that electronic dance music isn't your favorite genre but, if you're up late at night, feel like partying with me (and own a set of headphones so that you won't wake the neighbors) then you might enjoy some of it. My edgy new late night series makes it debut a few weeks from now so stay tuned! :)

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    4. I just watched the Electric Prunes video - love the psychedelic images! It helpfully scrolled the lyrics and I think you're right. Then again, everything is open to interpretation. ☺

      Personally, although I'm obviously biased, I think European attitudes towards the human body and sexuality are much healthier. Children receive sex education as a matter of course and the teenage pregnancy rate is much lower. You might find this map interesting.

      Your new series sounds fascinating, as they all are. Looking forward to it!

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    5. Thanks for the link to the birth rate stats, Debbie. Americans love to boast about being number one in the world, but the figures on things like education, healthcare and violent crime rates tell a different story.

      Thank you for your support, dear Debbie. At the start of this year I decided to adopt a "blog fearless - blog free" policy, and that's why I am taking more risks lately. I lost a follower immediately after publishing this post and I might lose more because of this series and my new late night series, but all that means is that friends like you who stick around will be cherished even more. :)

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    6. "Blog fearless - blog free". Right on! ☺ Seriously, somebody unfollowed you because of this post? Well, it's their loss! :P

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    7. I don't know who it was, but I breathed a big sigh of relief when I checked and saw that you are still following me. :)

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  14. I've read all the comments and do agree with the disappointment in what our countries have become through the media. For some reason, a lot of artists think we want to hear and see (Janet Jackson Super Bowl) anything and everything about sex. My husband went to a movie today with my cousin. He said the movie was funny and lots of action, but they had a part where people were making a porn movie and it was explicit. Also, he said there was constant swearing. He said the movie didn't need those things; it was a funny, fun show ("The Nice Guys.") but it was ruined for him.

    I thought back to when I was 15-16 yrs.old. Girls at school were having sex with their boyfriends. It was 1965-66. There were still censors in the movies and on the radio, yet 16 - 17 was the usual age to have sex with your steady boyfriend. At least it was in my school. So, did music influence us to do that? I don't think so.

    I don't know how it changed so drastically from the time my mother was a teen (1944) to my time. It kind of stumps me. Movies became a little racier, but nothing explicit. They called it the Sexual Revolution, and that's what it was. What made me think it was fine to go to bed with a boy? No idea. I didn't read bad books etc. From what I remember, it may have been other girls telling me they were doing it. I came to think of it as something everyone did.

    I feel sorry for parents these days. I feel sorry for teenagers too. I'd have to write a book to tell you why. It hurts my heart to see a young girl singing sexy songs and touching herself. Well, it has been a good discussion.

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    1. Hi, dear Belle!

      Thank you very much for taking part in this discussion and for reading the other comments and replies as well.

      I could have called this post "What's the World Coming To?" because songs and videos like these make me wonder. Clearly today's youth are under pressure (more so than ever before) to look "hot" and act bold, tough and "hip" in order to fit in. Maybe part of it is a defense against bullying which has become so widespread in modern times. They say the best defense is a good offense, and videos like "Lip Gloss" teach young people to adopt a tough, bold, confident attitude. They remind kids that, no matter what you do or how you look, "haters gonna hate" so you might as well do your thing and be proud of it. When I first started hanging out at the Shady Dell, I did the same kind of posturing and pretending. I tried to look and act tough to avoid being the target of bullies.

      It does seem like many modern recordings, videos, TV shows and movies adhere to a set formula. They go out of their way to include crude language, sex and violence. Just as we have come to expect a sugary or salty aftertaste in practically everything we eat or drink (to the detriment of our health), modern audiences have developed an appetite for (or at least a tolerance of) foul language, sex scenes and extreme graphic violence. If that type of material sells then you can bet that the studios will keep it coming.

      You made a good point about how it was for us in the mid 60s. The TV shows and movies we watched, the books we read and the music we listened to were subjected to censorship, but all those precautions and all the lectures of our strict parents and all the sermons preached at us in church could not prevent most of us from following our biological urges and having sex well before marriage. If you think about it that way, this new wave, these Generation Z artists, are simply telling it like it is - describing openly what young people have been doing secretly and discreetly for the last 60 years or more.

      Like you I feel sorry for parents these days. I also feel sorry for the kids. I have no idea how they can concentrate on getting a quality education with all the distractions and temptations that modern technology has brought into their lives.

      Thank you very very much for taking time to leave this wonderful series of comments, dear friend Belle. I hope you are having a great week and I invite you back here this Sunday for yet another special birthday celebration.

      God bless!

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  15. Life sure has changed a lot. It's all about sex and bodies now. I think that is a refection of today's media, and the fact that it is socially acceptable to be more promiscuous. Kind of sad.

    I am familiar with many of these artists that you featured today. I'd say Meghan Trainor is probably my favorite of all of them. She has a sound reminiscent of the 60s. Jordyn is certainly a flexibly young lady. I would probably end up in the hospital if I tried to bust a few of her moves. :)

    Have a wonderful week!

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    1. "flexible." There go my uncoordinated fingers, again.

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    2. Hi, dear Sherry!

      Thank you very much for coming over for a look and a listen as I feature music in the "shock pop" category.

      Yessum, the emphasis is on sex and bodies in today's culture. Seems like peer pressure and the media are shaming kids into becoming promiscuous at an earlier age, or at least implying that they are to be in with the "in crowd."

      You are one of my youngest followers and I am not surprised that you are familiar with most of these artists. Everybody seems to know Meghan Trainor thanks to "All About That Bass," the worldwide megahit that prompted Rolling Stone to name Meghan "Most Unlikely Pop Star" and the British newspaper The Guardian to call her "the poster girl for the larger woman" and "pop's emblem for self-acceptance." (Wiki gets attribution.) I noticed there was recently controversy over her new single "Me Too." The video was released May 9, 2016, but was removed by Meghan the same day due to unapproved manipulation of her image to make her waist appear slimmer.

      Jordyn Jones is quite a contortionist, isn't she? She has the ability to convincingly perform modern hip hop and rap covers, but she looks so young in her videos that's it's a bit disturbing to some of us.

      Thank you again for checking out the post, dear friend Sherry. I appreciate your input. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  16. Oh Man, those were the days and unfortunately, they are LONG gone! I must admit, I miss the sweet/innocent days. Especially now that I have a 9 year old granddaughter who listens to the radio and can recite lyrics word for word! It makes me cringe to think of her listening to this. I'm no prude but I think it's gone tooooo far. I think a lot of the smut on these recording is for "shock" value and because sex sells-- not just because the artist are "expressive themselves"!
    The first song that I remember (on this subject of todays post) was, "She Bop", by Cyndi Lauper. One thing about that song was it was disguised somewhat! Now they just put it all out there! Kids are growing up way too fast and songs, shows, internet don't help this matter! It's now considered the "norm"!!!REALLY!
    Teen mom is a huge hit show. The world is a changin! I wish it would slow down a bit. It seems there are no values , manners or class anymore. It's an "Anything goes" world!
    I do love Meghan Trainor! In her recent hit, "Me too", "they photo shopped the crap outta (me) her" (her words). So, she took down her video!
    So, Shady, What's your next genre of music gonna be? Maybe you should try a little County on for size!

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    1. Hi, Toni!

      Thank you very much for coming, dear friend, and for adding your two cents to the discussion. I know that you stay current, watch the singing and dancing competitions on television, and know the latest hits on the radio. I also know that you have a young granddaughter who might be exposed to or even be a fan of this type of material. That's why I was eager to hear from you and get your impression of these recordings. I am grateful that you made time to stop by.

      I agree with you that the use of the F-word and other crude, vulgar street slang goes beyond an artist's freedom of expression. It seems apparent that the practice is calculated - part of marketing strategy. Artists, in an effort to cut through the clutter and get their songs and videos noticed, deliberately add shocking words and images to spice up their productions, fearing that if they don't they will be perceived as tame, lame, old school and out of the loop.

      Maybe today's shock pop will die the same kind of death Disco did at the end of the 70s. Eventually everybody and his grandmother was recording and performing Disco and audiences and record buyers got sick and tired of it and went searching for the next big thing. Hence the New Wave 80s began.

      You are the second person to break the news to me that "She Bop" was about female self pleasuring. I was completely unaware of it. You're right. Today's songs and videos put it all right in your face, leaving little doubt about the message. I never heard of the show called Teen Mom. What's next - CHILD mom?

      I promise that I didn't "copy from your paper" when I replied to Sherry (above) about Meghan Trainor's new single "Me Too." Apparently you and I read the same news article about the photoshopped manipulation of Meghan's waistline in her video. It's a shame (and ironic) that somebody decided the poster girl for plus size woman needed to look more slender.

      I often wonder what category of music will interest me next. Typically, one style leads to another that is closely related. I do have some country music in the pipeline, but not an entire series about it. As I have been hinting to a few other readers, I have a new 6-part series closely related to this one. For the first time in the history of SDMM, I will be publishing late at night (midnight) instead of in the morning, hoping to entertain the night owls among us. I hope you like that new series which starts a few weeks from now.

      Thanks again for contributing to the lively discussion about this controversial post, dear friend Toni. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  17. Hi Shady! Sorry so late, too much to try to explain here - ha!
    Leapin' Lizards, my friend, you are a surprise! With the exception of Miss Trainor, I wish I could say I was more impressed with these girls. It's not as offensive as it is worrisome. Once you've tried everything except actually growing up, what's left? Could it be they are promoting abstinence? ;-) In a culture where PC overshadows decency and self-respect I often feel as if I've awakened on another planet. They are all lovey, talented girls if sadly, and wastefully misguided. I find 'All about that Bass' acceptable as it is a subject long overdue for discussion; it's not indecent to be heavy, cross-eyed, pigeon-toed - or even ugly. Eesh, I hope you're still speaking to me...

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    1. Hi, dear Diedre!

      "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" :) Remember that popular expression uttered by Snagglepuss, a character on the Yogi Bear Show? Of course I'm still speaking to you, dear friend. Don't worry about that. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and a wide range of opinions are being expressed on this particular topic. You need to remember that I had a career as a news reporter and I enjoy identifying and reporting phenomena, in this case the latest trends in pop music. I selected these recordings and videos, not because they happen to be favorites of mine, but because they raised my eyebrows and I hoped they would generate lively discussion. "Mission accomplished." Thank you for joining the conversation.

      I'm not sure what specifically you are referring to when you state that "PC overshadows decency and self respect" in our culture, but I agree with you that sometimes I feel like I have awakened on another planet. Can you imagine Connie Francis singing songs like these? What's troubling is the fact that what seems edgy and exciting and taboo today will someday be old hat - yesterday's news - and the younger generation will embrace a new trend. Who knows where it will lead? Perhaps we will all become overdosed on sleaze someday. Perhaps innocence, good manners and decency will make a comeback. It's a long shot, but it could happen.

      I agree that "All About That Bass" does more good than harm, even though it talks about girls using their big butts to attract boys.

      Yessum, these songs are ear-opening and these videos are eye-opening. No wonder so many boomers wax nostalgic and yearn for the gold old days when it was still "hip to be square."

      Thank you very much for expressing yourself here today, dear friend Diedre. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  18. Hah! I just posted on my personal IG screen shot of Hailee's song on Spotify. Loooove it.

    Meghan Trainor. Now, you're talking.

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    1. Hi, dear Luxie!

      It seems like I am posting more of your type of music lately. It makes me happy to know that you are tuned-in and listening and that you and I share similar tastes.

      Thank you very much for your kind visit and comment, dear friend Lux!

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  19. Kathleen Mae SchneiderMay 26, 2016 at 7:15 AM

    Part 1:
    I have a few thoughts about this extraordinarily provocative post,Tom.

    I agree with other readers that the videos are highly sexualized and that the women are very young. However, although we consider ourselves a "higher" animal, when it comes to reproduction, science tells us that we aren't that far removed from our "lower" cousins in the animal world.

    From a purely biological standpoint we are at our reproductive best when we are very young, insuring the continuation of our species. So it stands to reason that when we approach puberty, nature makes a very compelling case for seduction. It is no accident or sign of depravity that it is at the top of our thoughts starting then.

    Disturbing as it sometimes feels to watch them at my age, and additionally coming from the vantage point of a parent of a daughter, these young women are displaying healthy sexuality as far as I'm concerned. At the same time, as my husband told her about some of her outfits, "If you're going to advertise, be ready to fill the orders."

    I don't see anything in these videos that I haven't encountered in the history of art, or mankind for that matter. Prehistoric art or that portraying Egyptian, Greek and Roman mythology, wall paintings in Pompeii (that made my very worldly sister-in-law blush when she saw them), erotic Indian temple carvings from the 11th century - all show what most of us would consider shocking pornographic depictions and make these videos seem tame!

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  20. Kathleen Mae SchneiderMay 26, 2016 at 7:38 AM

    Part 2:
    From what I know about music and literature, the story's the same. D.H. Lawrence's "Lady Chatterly's Lover" was a novel ripe for burning if ever there was one, and Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" 'started with a bassoon and ended with a brawl'. The difference is the technology available to postmodern artists and the ease with which they can express themselves to a wider audience and quickly influence popular culture. I can only imagine Josephine Baker's 1920's "Banana Dance" (as seen on uTube) updated with even more twerking on Vimeo!

    Evidence of older generations criticizing the youth of their time is also as old as the Greek playwrights and philosophers of ancient Rome. Since most art trends are a reaction to, and repudiation of, earlier ones, the old guard will naturally react unfavorably to the avant-garde as it upsets the status quo.

    Ragtime and jazz were considered the devil's music by many people when they first emerged in our country, but today are accepted as the cultural landmarks that they most certainly were. Probably my grandmother had a hard time accepting my mother's flapper outfits and dances, thinking them too risqué. (I remember laughing hysterically at my seventy-something father demonstrating the Charleston!)

    I think the problem comes with aspects of our culture that still harbor a lot of puritanical ideas about sex. There's an aspect of "look but don't touch" all around us that is confusing. Revealing styles of clothing worn in the street let nothing to the imagination. However, if my happily-married husband turns to look at an outrageously-blinged and shapely young behind, he can be accused of leering.

    I'll need another post to comment about the music, but there's my take on some of your questions. I wouldn't want to disappoint with a too-short comment anyway :). Thanks for getting the little gray cells working this morning!

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    1. Hi, Kathleen!

      Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend! I hope you noticed the quip I included in my reply to my friend Chris Martin (above). His comment was so long that at first I thought it was YOU reporting in. :)

      Thank you very much for presenting myriad anecdotes and supporting references as your formulated your comment. Your extensive documentation makes a convincing case and I thank you for keeping an open mind about the material presented in this post. I think it is telling that the youngest readers who commented so far, Lux and Jessica Marie (along with a small handful of older readers) were most positive and enthusiastic about these artists, their songs and their videos. The comments from the youngest readers add fuel to the argument that members of Generation Y and Z take this form of expression in stride much more so than some of the baby boomers who commented.

      Mrs. Shady and I recently visited the Ringling Museum of Art. The collection of centuries old paintings by the great masters includes lots of female nudity. One painting in particular also caught my eye because it depicted a dog peeing on the column of a church. I got curious and did some reading about it and learned that there are several instances of artists, circa 17th century, including the element of a dog peeing or pooping in sacred spots, apparently to remind us that there is nothing inherently sacred about a building, that bodily functions are a natural part of the life of a man or beast, that these acts are not incompatible with spirituality or Godliness, and that they should not be regarded as disgusting. In this current post on SDMM, some people reacted to these examples of young people celebrating their youth and their developing libidos they same way they would react to a dog pissing in church. I for one don't think we should push the panic button. Throughout history the younger generation has exercised the right, some say the obligation, to shake up the establishment, rock the older generation back on its heels and disagree with, dispute and protest the way mainstream society thinks and conducts business. Remember Woodstock. Remember Kent State. (Those are admonitions, not questions.)

      Art is in the eye, ear and mind of the beholder. Some people experienced the songs and videos in this post as art and some recoiled in horror and wished this whole category of music would just go away. I love all of my friends and respect their opinions. I actually agree with every one of them to a certain extent because they all made valid points. I have learned to entertain different points of view before making up my mind and I was able to find areas of agreement and common ground with every person who commented. I thank them all, and you, for remaining respectful to me, the reporter/host, and to other readers as they rendered their opinions.

      Thank you again, Kathleen, for setting aside time in your busy day to make these extraordinary contributions to the discussion. I hope you and Mother are both well and I that you have a wonderful weekend. I'll have yet another birthday salute coming up this Sunday and I hope you will join me for that post as well.

      God bless, Kathleen!

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  21. Hi Shady,
    Does Meghan Trainor remind you of anyone?
    That first pic reminds me of Petula Clark.

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    1. Hi, Sandra!

      Thank you for returning to the obscene of the grime, dear friend! :)

      Yessum, I see a resemblance to Pet Clark. I think Meghan also looks a lot like another English singer and songwriter, one who co-wrote many of Pet Clark's hits: the late Jackie Trent:

      http://www.billboard.com/files/styles/article_main_image/public/media/jackie-trent-on-tv-1968-billboard-650.jpg

      Thanks again for poking me today, dear friend Sandra!

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  22. :)
    Have a great weekend, Shady. You and Mrs. Shady enjoy the bday party.

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    1. Thank you, dear friend Sandra!

      We just returned from seeing the little guy. He has a great smile and a pleasing personality.

      I hope you are enjoying your weekend as well, Sandra!

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