Chomsky, Katy Perry, and the Algorithm God (w/ Adam Neely)

  
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YouTube music educator Adam Neely joins us for an oh so welcome respite from politics (sorta). We talk about the importance of storytelling (and click-bait) in YouTube creation; music theory's relationship to white supremacy; the relationship between music, language, and culture; and the absurdity of copyright. And make sure to listen to the end, when Adam takes us along on a mini journey of music creation.

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On the agenda:

  • Demystifying music — or what quantum theory and polyrhythms have in common [7:12]

  • On film scores and storytelling [13:00]

  • Live music lost [15:02]

  • Living the YouTube life (and serving the Algorithm God) [18:55]

  • “There’s always a patron” [32:22]

  • “Music Theory & White Supremacy,” the backlash, and the “critical mistake” [34:44]

  • Music as language, music as language-like — and a hat tip to Victor Wooten [47:14]

  • Chomsky chuntering [56:24]

  • The metaphor of pitch [58:13]

  • America’s obsession with copyright [1:08:50]

  • When labels attack [1:20:23]

  • Putting Adam on the spot [1:30:25]

You can follow Adam on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Vanessa M. Quirk and Adaam James Levin-Areddy. For more doomsday thoughts, subscribe to uncertain.substack.com