What, Like It's Hard?

What, Like It's Hard?

What, Like It’s Hard? is the digital initiative and podcast that celebrates and explores the academic study of popular music. Conferences can be expensive to attend, especially for students, so this platform allows for a digital space to be created for students to discuss and share their research topics and interests while building a digital network of like-minded people. The podcast opens with a keynote series from professors in different faculties, from different universities around the world. The podcast is available for streaming over Spotify, ApplePodcasts, Anchor, or wherever you listen to your podcasts!

Episodes

December 13, 2020 70 min

Emily McConkey is a graduate student in English at the University of Ottawa. Over the last two years, she has served as the student researcher for the Christina Rossetti in Music digital archive and runs the archive’s Twitter account @CGRossettiMusic. Her research interests have always had an interdisciplinary focus. Her MA thesis explores the figure of Medusa in Victorian women’s art and poetry, and she is more broadly interes...

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Kevin Farrell is Associate Professor of English at Radford University, where he teaches courses in both composition and literature. His research interests include popular music, modernism, postmodernism, and Irish literature, particularly the fiction of James Joyce. His work has appeared in the James Joyce Quarterly, The Journal of Popular Music Studies, and New Hibernia Review.

This study explores the political rhetoric of Rhiannon...

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Alan Parkes is a PhD student in US history at the University of Delaware. He studies the impact of neo-liberalization on late-twentieth-century youth cultures. He is a member of California’s hardcore punk band Empty Eyes.

In the early 1980s, Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye, two young Washington DC punks, heard a song that, as Rollins recalls, “was so good that we pulled over just so we could listen to it without having to deal with t...

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Manuel Garcia Orozco is a GRAMMY® and Latin GRAMMY®-award winner who has dedicated his career to producing musical documents that preserve cultures in resistance under his label Chaco World Music. As a composer/performer, he has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Cannes Film Festival, Lincoln Center, Blue Note, and major TV networks such as Sony Entertainment and MTV. He is the author of two books and a digital educatio...

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Dr Ben Screech is a Lecturer in English and Education at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham, UK. His research specializes primarily on YA fiction, as well as pop culture for young people more generally. Prior to his current role, Ben worked as a teacher and latterly, a community support liaison worker for young people with special needs and disabilities. Ben’s Recent publications include: ‘An Interview with Hayley Long...

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Glenn Fosbraey is the Head of English, Creative Writing, and American Studies at The University of Winchester where he specialises in the academic study of song lyrics. His publications include the book Writing Song Lyrics: Creative and Critical approaches (Palgrave MacMillan 2019), chapters 'Manipulation and truth in The Final Cut' in Pink Floyd. A Multi-disciplinary Understanding of a Global Music Brand. (Routledge 2020) ...

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September 20, 2020 62 min

Dr. Sophie Stévance (PhD) and Dr. Serge Lacasse (PhD) are full professors of musicology at Laval University (Quebec City). Dr. Stévance is an athlete, opera singer and violist who has practised professionally. She is also the Canada Research Chair in Research-Creation in Music. Dr. Lacasse is a national archery champion, music composer, director and producer. As researchers, both are interested in popular music and the relationship...

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With a wealth of knowledge in playing and teaching traditional accordion music, Karen Tweed shares her experience and thoughts on traditional music and it's performance and arrangement in rural communities. 

Karen Tweed started to play the piano accordion at the age of 11 under the guidance of Joe Coll, who came to Wellingborough, Northamptonshire to teach the accordion and also recruit players for his accordion band which was b...

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Barnabas Smith is an Australian musician, teacher, and independent researcher. He holds a PhD from the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide, with a thesis focusing on the construction and application of a research model to study the music of contemporary open-world video games. A recipient of the Naomi Cumming Prize, Barnabas is also the founder and President of the Ludomusicology Society of Australia. 

 

In his pape...

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July 26, 2020 66 min

Diego Pani is the manager of the musical patrimony of the Istituto Superiore Regionale Etnografico (ISRE) and a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research focuses on the dynamics of music performance of young generations of musicians in reference to the use of media as a learning device, as well as the construction of social meaning via audio and audiovisual materials in the vernacular t...

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Dr. Sadie Hochman-Ruiz holds a PhD from the University of California, San Diego in the Department of Music’s Integrative Studies program. Her dissertation, “The Social Politics of Queer Drag: A Study of San Diego’s Queer Community and Queercore Subculture,” foregrounds an intersectional approach to womanhood, addressing homeland narratives and diasporic identities within a multiracial drag scene. Researching the project, she perfor...

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Dr Chris Inglis talks about electro swing, an increasingly prominent genre which fuses the music of the swing era with that of the age of electronic dance music. Largely overlooked throughout the academic world so far, this research examines the genre’s place in today's popular music landscape, asking key questions about what the rise of this style may tell us about contemporary popular music, and society at large.

Support the s...
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Brendan Lamb is a musicology PhD candidate at the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Tasmania. Brendan notes in his thesis that the numerous folk music revivals of the twentieth century have been key turning points in popular music, grassroots phenomena that paradoxically drove the industry they often strove to defy. Whilst the North American and English folk revivals were highly popular and influential movements, neither...

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May 28, 2020 96 min

... with Laurence Tait, Tina Paterson,  Louise Bichan, Ivan Drever, and Ingirid Jolly.

What, Like It’s Hard? presents the special four-part series, Orkney Sessions. The Orkney Islands is an archipelago in the Northern Isles of Scotland that is rich with musical heritage. Each episode features a collection of Orcadian musicians who are from Orkney, some still here and others away, but undoubtedly Orkney has played a huge part, be it ...

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Dilshan Weerasinghe holds an MA in Musicology from Dalhousie University. His research examines popular music, jazz, and hip-hop in relation to social and political topics.

Dilshan’s paper “We Gon’ Be Alright”: Racial Politics and Kendrick Lamar explores the expression of the experience of poverty, anti-establishment politics, and the diverse, complex narratives of black identity in Kendrick  Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. Such topics...

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May 10, 2020 66 min

Sean Steele is a PhD Candidate in the Humanities at York University (Toronto). He holds a diploma in music from Vancouver Island University, a BA in Philosophy and History from Concordia University, and an MA in the Humanities from York. Sean explores intersections between music, religion and popular culture, with a focus on popular music subcultures as alternative spiritual communities.

Through interview material and personal refle...

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April 26, 2020 67 min

Calder Hannan from Columbia University in New York City shares his research on progressive metal and topic theory. ⁠

Hannan examines the ways of hearing genre borrowing in the music of the influential American progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me. This paper takes topic theory as a starting point, arguing that far from being an esoteric music theory tool useful only for expanding listening to the music of Mozart and his...

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April 12, 2020 53 min

Welcome back for Season 2 of WLIH! Dr James Deaville from Carleton University (Ontario, Canada) discusses some of his ideas based around the concept of the sound of quarantine based around the nature of lockdown and media coverage of life-altering circumstances like covid-19. 

For listeners who aren’t familiar with Dr Deaville’s work, he is a Musicologist specializing in music, composers and musical practices and institutions of the...

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December 2, 2019 71 min

Dr Theodore Trost's paper "When You're In Trouble I Just Turn Away":  The American Way and Randy Newman's Good Old Boys (1974) discusses the satire in Newman's songwriting while talking about satire in the 21st century. 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=21685169)
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November 25, 2019 45 min

Donna is the founder of Bruce Funds, an initiative that helps Springsteen fans get tickets to live performances, and she talks about the global Springsteen community and the importance of giving. 

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=21685169)
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