TikTok As A Music Discovery Vehicle For The Olds — Madcon’s ‘Beggin’

Me on TikTok.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Editors’s Note:

This is an example of how if I had been a bit more focused and stable (read: less drunk) when I was younger, I probably could be writing for Vox after having worked at Nick Denton’s Gawker Media for a few years. I could be a Blue Check Liberal on Twitter ranting about Brooklyn and smelling my own farts with The New York Times’ Trump Whisper Maggie Haberman.

Anyway, let’s get to the point.

So, I’m old. I’m a middle aged white dude who occasionally dips my mind into the TikTok universe. I’m also a former DJ at an expat bar in Seoul. So when a song of note I’ve not heard of pops up, my ears perk up. Right now, GenZ is obsessed with a song I’d never heard of.

It has a beat and you can dance to it. I really liked the sort of explosive bass line about 20% in. After hearing it on TikTok repeatedly, I finally grew curious. I was afraid it was going to be like that song “I’m Not An Addict” by K’s Choice that I thought was “I’m Automatic” and couldn’t find for 20 years. Thankfully, this was not the case. I found it almost immediately on YouTube. Here’s where things grow even more interesting. The song is actually pretty old. It’s from 2009-2010.

Ok, things are going well. It’s a great deep cut hip-hop song I didn’t know about. It’s a song I love right off the bat. I am likely to listen to it a zillian times over the next few days. Definitely has a poor man’s OutKast vibe to it. It could be a little better in some respects, but it’s a solid song as is.

I did a bit more investigation and lo and behold, it’s a cover.

The original is amazingly great. I hate that I hadn’t heard it yet. It’s a deep cut from the 1960s. It could have been updated either as hip-hop song or a just a general pop rock song with the right producer. It’s very dancable. It needs to have a little bit of a deeper bass for modern audiences, I feel, however. The Madcon cover popular on TikTok does, in fact, fix that problem.

Anyway, maybe I’m stating the obvious, but it seems as though TikTok is a pretty solid discovery tool for the audience. The only problem is, of course, it’s its entirely organic. You never know what song is going to catch the attention of GenZ.

Someone should hire me to start a neo-Gawker wanna be. Sigh.

In Defense Of MTV News (Sorta)

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

So, MTV News is the latest news organization to “pivot” to video as an excuse to, well, lay people off. While I do believe that video is the future of online news, I am doubtful that it will be as successful in the near term as maybe people would hope.

There is a real need for good text journalism online and no amount of pivoting to video is going to change that. I might suggest doing video journalism in conjunction with text, but not as a replacement for it. Regardless, I think in the end all of this will be quaint 20 years from now when we’re using our iVizors to interact with AR and VR newscasts.

So, in that respects, MTV News — and others — are ahead of the curve. Though it’s amusing that Nick Denton about five or so years ago was babbling about video journalism…and then never delivered. That’s just weird. Don’t know what’s up with that.

But we’ll see. We’ll see how things work out, I gues.

Trumplandia As The Ultimate Expression Of The Post-Gawker Era

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

Now, let me get some things out of the way. By the time Gawker.com closed its doors on August 22, 2016 because of the vengeful machinations of billionaire Peter Thiel, it wasn’t very good. In fact, I kind of hated it. I hated it because it committed that worst of media sins: being boring.

I could never quite tell the origin of this existential malaise. What it because its founder, Nick Denton, was married and wealthy now and did not want the trouble or was what? There just didn’t seem to be much vision as to what, exactly, Gawker was. And, it had gone from being snarky to just being nasty for no reason than it could be. It just wasn’t cool anymore.

Having said all that, all I can say is we sorely need Gawker now in this era of Trumplandia. We need a snarky Website that tears down the bizarre characters that Trumplandia seems to generate on a nearly daily basis.
The Gawker of, say, 2004 or 2005 would have really dug in deep into the glaring foibles of Eric Trump, for instance. I know I would have loved to have read some of the better writers of Gawker’s Gold Age mull what the significance of Trumplandia was. And given that it was felled by a member of Trumplandia itself is also interesting.

The fact that Trumplandia came into being just about the time Gawker folded is telling. We lost Gawker and now we have Axios, which is generally regarded by the media industry as the Trump Administration’s lap dog. They trade their self-worth for “access journalism” is the conventional wisdom as best I can ascertain.

The old Gawker, the Gawker of its prime when it was more snarky than nasty, would have had a filed day attacking the Trump Administration. It’s weird how not only did we lose Gawker right before Trumplandia, but we lost Jon Stewart’s version of the Daily Show as well. Maybe Bernie would have won the Democratic Primaries had there been Jon Stewart to egg on progressives.

Regardless, I really miss Gawker now as virtually ever day seems to bring with it new, insane revelations from Trumplandia. Gawker was well known for its investigative journalism, so maybe they would have managed to dig up the “pee tape” that everyone wants to see.

Instead of Gawker, now we have Fusion. Which I never read, but seems the bi-lingual corpse of Gawker in some respects, with many of Gawker’s old writers working there. It is telling that right now there is no go-to Website for Trumplandia coverage. Also there are any number of podcasts which are really interesting that cover Trumplandia, but that’s about it. Though there’s New York Magazine and The New Yorker, but really these days it seems TV — and Twitter itself — is where all the interesting Trumplandia coverage is to be had. I suspect if Nick Denton was actually engaged in the Gawker product, that maybe the hypothetical modern Gawker would really be an interesting read again.

There certainly is enough to write about when it comes to Trumplandia, no one wish the resources of Gawker exists right now that I find all that interesting. I wish someone would fill that void. I am doing my little part, but no one is reading this blog and generally no one cares what I have to say. But I find writing relaxing and I am writing this for no one but myself right now.

Having said all that, Gawker, I miss you. I really do. We need you right now.