BlogDailyHeard: The 20/20 Experience, ‘The Speed of Things’, and BCA

BlogDailyHeard is a brief, periodic update on some things musical, with no pretentions of comprehensiveness; merely intended to give people something to sound knowledgeable about at dinner. Posts will typically include some combination of musical events too large to ignore, events that deserve some time in the spotlight, and/or happenings at Brown or in Providence.

We See You, JT:

Starting, inevitably, with the most blockbusting event of the past week or so, is Justin Timberlake’s latest outing, The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2. If you were to accuse me of writing about this album a little late in the game, I would redirect the blame unto Justin himself, citing the very length of the album itself as my cause for tardiness. This disc, which is only half of the entire “experience,” clocks in at an impressive 74:25 (most albums hover in the 40-minute range). To see out of both eyes (The 20/20 Experience – 1 of 2 was released this past March), you need to listen to over 144 minutes of music. Why so long, Justin? You’re talented, and you’re cool, you really are, and we know it. We want to hear you, but not four times as much of you as we hear of anybody else.

Dare we wonder what are you trying to compensate for, Justin? Wasn’t the size of your box proof enough?

Dare we wonder what are you trying to compensate for, Justin? Wasn’t the size of your box proof enough?

If we break the album down to its component parts, we find that the album’s length is a byproduct of each songs’ lengthiness. Only one song in the entire Experience is under 5:00, and many top 7:00 or 8:00. What’s wrong with that? Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is well over an hour, why shouldn’t Justin be allowed to follow suit?

I guess the problem here is that Justin isn’t redesigning the format of the pop/soul song, which is traditionally a dynamic burst of 3-4 minutes. Rather, he is slowing down the momentum, stretching thin a pop-song’s-worth of material, and fluffing up additional minutes with vacuous beats. The result is lethargy, and he just doesn’t infuse his voice with enough soul to make up for it.

Indie Spotlight:

The Speed of Things, to contrast with Justin's album which some call, The Length of Things.

The Speed of Things, to contrast with Justin’s album which some call, The Length of Things.

Here’s a great moment where something cool is about to happen, and that something is also on its way to Providence. On Tuesday, October 8, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are set to drop their new album, The Speed of Things, which will be their second. Till then, the album is available for pre-streaming here and only here. The album, like the band, is light-hearted, summer-y, and provides a nice counterpoint to the more recent somber electro albums.

Best of all, they’ll be hitting up Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel on November 13, opening up for a Young the Giant show, so plop that on your calendar if you like what you hear.

At Brown:

It’s the Brown Concert Agency series with the most student input: the Speakeasy concerts, one per semester, provide student musicians and groups with the opportunity to audition for a spot and perform at the Underground. They welcome all genres of music, and will be holding auditions this Sunday, October 6 in T. F. Green (the building on Young Orchard, not the airport in Warwick), from noon-5 p.m. If you are interested in auditioning—and we are told there are slots still available—email, and check out the Facebook page. The show will be on November 6  — more on that later.

And finally, check out the Brown Concert Agency open forum on Tuesday, October 8th at 6 p.m. in Salomon 101. They are going to explain how BCA works as an organization and all that goes into the Spring Weekend planning process, as well as take questions and get community feedback.

Images via, via.

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