turn [my vocal cords] to stone

I’m in the midst of visiting Penn for the first time in almost exactly a year, and as anyone who attended the school knows, one of the great pleasures of such a visit is surely reading The Daily Pennsylvanian – in the flesh. It is in this way that I came across this gem of an excerpt from Wednesday’s edition, ‘Operation Ivy League’ ends with Columbia student arrest (note: the headline is singular, but the url ends with an ‘s’. Get it together, DP):

“There is not even [a] kind of a drug ring at Penn. That would be ridiculous,” said a male student who sells marijuana. He wished to remain anonymous due to the legal implications of the act.

It is also in this way that I came across Tuesday’s opinion column by Robert Hsu, decrying the state of the music industry today: Why music has hit a low note: Artists today have forgotten the true meaning of music. The article itself does not strike any particularly original tropes (“Music today has reached an all-time low… Cliche lyrics glorifying sex, drugs and alcohol plague the work of many artists…” you get the idea), but it did leave out one of my favorite phenomena in ‘music today’: songs that their creators don’t even try to perform live.

To be fair, many artists create music with the aid of technology – but I’m not talking about Imogen Heap, who is fully capable of practicing her craft in real time (that link is worth checking out if you haven’t seen it done). Instead, consider my dear best cousin’s doppelgoyer, Ellie Goulding. More specifically, compare the radio version of Lights to its live counterpart:

This post is not intended as a commentary on the musical merit of the song in question, or even of the artist. But I do think it’s difficult to argue that those videos play the same song.

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