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On this week's Musical Space, Mark Foley recognizes a movement that helped radio stations become a lot more creative.

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This week in the New American Songbook, KMUW's Zack Gingrich-Gaylord looks at how one building block of hip hop can reach a lot further than you might think.

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Human ears are most sensitive to frequencies around 2,000 to 5,000 cycles per second. That’s the most useful range for hearing human speech.

But music can encompass sounds down to about 20 cycles and up to 20,000. We just can’t hear the highs and lows as well as the middle. Strangely, the louder the music, the better we hear the lowest and highest sounds. In fact, we get the fullest spectrum of sound as close as possible to the threshold of pain.

The process of making a song radio-friendly seems pretty straightforward: Replace an offending word with either a euphemism or simply nothing at all.

But determining which words are offensive turns out to be more subjective than you might expect. Beyond the obvious words that we all know are impermissible on air, other occasional edits include references to sex, drugs, guns and even the verbs associated with these topics.

Frank Swider

OK, you all know by now how I feel about local music. Wichita is fully capable of making music just as well as anybody on either coast. The music of Kirk Rundstrom is a case in point and should not be forgotten.

Public Domain (Def Jam Recordings)

Dark and desperate, Summertime ‘06 is the new double-disc release from Compton rapper Vince Staples.

It’s a study in American dystopia. The tone of the record is steeped in classic gangsta rap tropes—street crime, drugs and bravado—but Staples manages to use these well worn ideas as a way to support an elegant narrative that avoids the typical cartoonish depiction of the gangsta rap artist. / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Film director Wes Anderson announced last year that he wants to create an amusement park. He says that it would have "hundreds of animatronic characters and creatures, rides through vast invented landscapes and buildings, extensive galleries of textiles and sculptures, plus an ongoing original music score piped in everywhere," and he wants the whole thing to be designed by a musician named Mark Mothersbaugh.

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A common critique of hip hop music is to point out the violence and vulgarity in the lyrics as a sign of its lack of quality. I’ve always found this puzzling. Americans are connoisseurs of violence. We are tastemakers in this aesthetic, and we know what and where we like each particular violence.

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Crowdfunding Music

Jul 21, 2015
Bizking2u / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

Selling records has historically been a capital-intensive undertaking. This has always been a problem for new music, and record companies are less likely than ever to risk money on new artists in the post-Napster era.