Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Even Slate Is Defending "Party in the USA"

Nice take that Miley Cyrus is the great peace broker, according to Jonah Weiner. He even uses her famed TV show as evidence: "On the show, the irreconcilable forces in question are the contradictory demands of the public and private spheres, which coexist within a single, industrious girl", and that this tension is present in her music. I argue that this is present is most, if not all, female singers' work, especially in today's climate where everything is centered around an individual's definition of privacy. "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman", anyone? Weiner links to a crappy site that snarks on her recent Elle cover for sporting a "uniboob" and a push-up bra...well, isn't that what teenagers do? Geez.

However, I will grant him this:

The title "Party in the USA" makes explicit what the lyrics' Nashville-to-L.A. pilgrimage and Jay-Z and Britney name-drops suggest—this isn't a mere single so much as a red state/blue state, hick/elite, rural/urban dĂ©tente. Pop bliss eradicates regionalism.
Regionalism in music, with the exception of country and gospel, doesn't really exist anymore--at least not in the ways it used to. When DJs are syndicated to multiple cities and formats are rigid, mainstream radio largely plays the same songs over again, and it's only the small, college stations that play local bands. Television obviously supports homogenity, as MTV plays the same big songs; radio airplay and MTV feed off each other to a big extent. Jay-Z is available in West Virginia, after all, and Kenny Chesney is still loved in New York City.

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