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4: The Billboard Hot 100

“People in the art world, in general, are afraid of popular… it’s the fear that if you like what everyone else likes, then you’re no different than them, you might just be like them. And people are quite frightened of that.” – Brian Eno

This episode we had author, philosopher, and punk rock drummer Max Trembley tour us through hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100.

Show Notes

The Pernicious Rise of Poptimism – The New York Times – “Should gainfully employed adults whose job is to listen to music thoughtfully really agree so regularly with the taste of 13-year-olds?”

Icona Pop – I Love It – What Steve remembered as the “I don’t care” song.

How the Hot 100 works “This week’s most popular songs across all genres, ranked by radio airplay audience impressions as measured by Nielsen Music, sales data as compiled by Nielsen Music and streaming activity data provided by online music sources.””

Song 1 – Jon Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars Uptown Funk

Song 2 – Taylor Swift – Blank Space

Song 3 – Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud

Song 4 – Hozier – Take Me to Church

  • Take Me to Church – Chart Performance
  • It’s Hozier, not Hoosier
  • “The video… follows two men in a same-sex relationship and the violently homophobic backlash that ensues when the community learns of one of the men’s sexuality. Hozier himself does not appear in the video. The song went viral following its release.” – wikipedia

Song 5 – Maroon 5 – Sugar

  • Adam Levine – “Since 2011, Levine has served as a coach on NBC’s reality talent show The Voice… As an entrepreneur, Levine launched his own eponymous fragrance line in 2013. The same year, he collaborated with Kmart and to develop his menswear collection. He also owns a record label, 222 Records. In 2013, The Hollywood Reporter reported that “sources familiar with his many business dealings” estimated Levine would earn more than $35 million that year.”
  • Sugar (Maroon 5 song) – Charts
  • Video Staging Accusations “Several online magazines including Life & Style, Rolling Stone and Cosmopolitan reported that the video was allegedly staged and filmed over a course of three days on the same location. “
  • Maroon 5-Sugar 1 Hour Music
  • The Archies – Sugar, Sugar (Original 1969 Music Video)
  • Brian Eno Lecture on Pop Music (skip to about 37:15) “Gloss. Sheen. Finish… a lot of attention to a particular kind of sonic production. You know, the really perfect sounds on certain instruments… That’s one side.” He then goes on to compare the Velvet Underground with Abba.

Steve Lambert’s signs and graffiti that didn’t look like graffiti

Grand Fury

Grand Fury was the graphics wing of ACTUP and used advertising’s tropes and polish to communicate about the AIDS crisis.

James Brown – Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud

James Brown I’m Black and I’m Proud on Wikipedia – “In the song, Brown addresses the prejudice towards blacks in America, and the need for black empowerment. He proclaims that “we demands a chance to do things for ourself/we’re tired of beating our head against the wall/and workin’ for someone else”. The song’s call-and-response chorus is performed by a group of young children, who respond to Brown’s command of “Say it loud” with “I’m black and I’m proud!” The song was recorded in a Los Angeles area suburb with about 30 young people from the Watts and Compton areas.”

Maxwell Tremblay

Maxwell Tremblay

Max Tremblay

Max is a doctoral student in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He is the co-editor of White Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race and plays drums in the band Sleepies.

@maxwelltremblay on Twitter
@sleepiesbk on Twitter
Sleepies on Bandcamp

White Riot Punk Rock and RaceWhite Riot: Punk Rock and the Politics of Race – Edited by Stephen Duncombe and Maxwell Tremblay.Foreword by James Spooner

The ultimate collection on punk and race, from the Clash to Los Crudos.

From the Clash to Los Crudos, skinheads to afro-punks, the punk rock movement has been obsessed by race. And yet the connections have never been traced in a comprehensive way. White Riot is the definitive study of the subject, collecting first-person writing, lyrics, letters to zines, and analyses of punk history from across the globe.

Music: The Reigning Sound, “Stick Up for Me” courtesy of the Free Music Archive

The Pop Culture Salvage Expeditions on iTunes

More on the Center for Artistic Activism at, Stephen Duncombe at, Patricia Jerido on Twitter, and Steve Lambert at

Music is Math, 12″x12″, oil and ink on wood

Music is Math, 12″x12″, oil and ink on wood

Volunteer Profile: Kristianna Woods

Kristianna has been a Britt fan since moving to the Rogue Valley 14 years ago. She loves live music, especially in outdoor settings and enjoys the variety of music that Britt Festivals provide.

She’s been a volunteer for 4 seasons and held many positions on the hill: ticket taker, event staff, clean up, and usher. She prefers to “work the hill” as an usher because she can interact with patrons, addressing questions or concerns. She says that patrons are there to have a wonderful time and she enjoys helping them to have that experience.

Kristianna says, “Over the years it’s been fun working with the same volunteers and getting to meet new volunteer friends. Everyone has great attitudes and loves and respects Britt and enjoys the volunteer experience. Bow, Britt’s Director of House Operations, is a delight to work with …always has a ready smile and great attitude. He keeps it all happening smoothly for the volunteers.”

She believes that the new Performance Garden, showcasing regional musicians, has been a wonderful new addition to Britt because it provides a comfortable space for patrons to discover local artists while awaiting the main stage performance. Patrons can picnic on the grass or sit at tables.

Kristianna says: “Britt Festivals is one of the gems of the valley just as the Shakespeare Festival is. It is a unique music venue that offers world-class performances. Being able to picnic before or during the performances helps to create the magical Britt Experience.”


See What Happened at the Ukulele Getaway

Enjoy exploring the many faces of the recent Britt Ukulele Getaway, June 27-29, 2014, which was open to all ages.  Both children and adults had fun learning how to play the Ukulele from a group of spirited, experienced instructors. My dog has fleas!  Photos taken by Lisa La Pierre, Britt Intern, 2014.

See What Happened at Rock Camp


Enjoy exploring the many moments of Britt’s 2014 Rock Camp, a week-long workshop, designed to foster creativity, community, and collaboration while providing an entry point to the arts for middle and high school students. Rock on with your bad self!  Photos taken by Lisa La Pierre, Britt Intern, 2014.


Catching up with Cody Stover, Former Britt Intern


We encourage our former interns to share their discoveries as they venture forward, building interesting lives.

In these brief interviews, they explore how contributing as a Britt Intern has formed them as individuals.

Cody Stover was a Britt Intern during 2012, focusing on video marketing but let’s hear him speak in his own words:

“Two years following my internship, I look back and realize how incredibly valuable my summer on the Britt Hill was for my development. Starting my internship, I was not sure of my own career plans but after working for ten weeks in the Britt non-profit environment, I began to find my path.”

“Last winter, I traveled with Enactus, a non-profit organization, to Nicaragua to build houses, set-up a waste management system, and interview candidates for micro-loans. My experience with Britt led to my work with Enactus. I’ve discovered that I’d prefer working for a non-profit with humanistic goals and not just an interest in profit.”

“While at Britt, I produced the 50th Season Story Series, an interview series focused on telling the stories of long-time Britt patrons and musicians. This experience sparked my interest in journalistic documentary-style videography, and so this past summer I traveled to Alba, Italy where I lived with a host family and filmed a video documentary commemorating the cities’ 50-year sister city relationship. I was able to interview and network with people involved in the history of the sister city program, while gaining valuable global perspectives. I also became interested in the wine industry while in Italy.”

“Even though my internship was 2 years ago, Britt staff assisted me in securing a wine marketing internship with Kriselle Cellars. Britt Festivals does not simply make short-term investments but establishes long-term partnerships with their interns, helping them transition successfully from college to career. Britt Festivals has changed my life and better prepared me for my future, and hey….. working to the music of a starlit symphony on the Britt hill on a Southern Oregon summer night? That ain’t so bad either. “

Jacksonville Elementary performs The Jungle Book

On June 5, Jacksonville Elementary students presented their annual school musical on the Britt hill. This year’s production was Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids. The whole school is involved in the production, from performing to costumes to set design to running the box office. The students gave a matinee performance for students all over the valley, and an evening performance that was open to the public.

Take a look at these great performers, with their creative costumes and set design!









2014 Fine Arts Poster Reception


The new Britt Festivals’ Poster for the 2014 Season was unveiled on Monday, June 2 at a reception on the hill. Jerry Simon, the artist, described his inspiration for the design to an attentive audience. 

Simon explained: “It is a Festival of so many interesting kinds of music and is depicted through the musicians in the center of the poster and the musical instruments that break out at the edges. The color is rich and vibrant and the players are passionate about the performance. In the central focus is the banjo, an instrument strongly associated with America’s past through folklore and the rural working class. But everyone, in each style, in their own way, is making beautiful music.”

The poster is now on sale at the Britt offices in Medford: $35 for a signed poster and $20 for an unsigned version.

Donna-Giving-Awards-Out.jpgJacksonville Elementary students also designed posters promoting their production of Disney’s Jungle Book Kids, which performs at the Britt Pavilion on Thursday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m.  Donna Briggs, Britt’s President and CEO, distributed awards for the best posters. 


Then students acted out scenes from the upcoming musical to a delighted audience.  Wendy Stanek directs the play, and her students sang “Bare Necessities,” and “I Want to Be Like You.”  Tickets are still available at the door only at $3 per person or $8 per family.  

Ray Robison Recalls a Memorable Night at Britt

robison3.jpgRecently, we asked our Facebook friends to remember a special night at Britt, that might have included, for example, falling in love, dancing on stage, connecting with old friends, or something else.  We were moved in particular by Ray Robison’s answer and thought we’d post it here to honor his contribution.  What follows is in Ray’s own words and images.

“Proudly framed and hanging on our wall for 13 years are our ticket stubs from the Kenny Loggins concert, a photo of us taken beforehand and an autographed guitar pick. It was a fabulous concert! Kenny and his band were incredible! We were right up front standing less than 10 feet from Kenny. At the end of the final song he flicks his pick out into the crowd. My wife and I both see it fly and land close to us. Apparently no one else saw it. My wife slowly bends down and grabs it as the audience continues to applaud begging for more. After the concert we go to the backstage entrance. Kenny comes out and holding my wife’s hand as she holds the pick he autographs it. So gracious. A special night indeed.”

Catching Up with Teena Estep, Britt Volunteer

This is my second year volunteering at Britt and I love it. Interacting with people from our community is a highlight to my summer.  I enjoy assisting as a ticket taker, merchandiser, hill usher, and cushion renter.

My focus in life is helping other people.  I work  with wonderful individuals, some of whom are disabled or deaf.  Sign language is an amazing language and I find Deaf Culture fascinating. 

I love that Britt offers such an array of artists.  My favorite is country, but experiencing Britt has opened me up to all kinds of music.

Volunteers really complement patrons’ Britt experience. While we help others follow safety and other guidelines, we also enhance the evening with kindness, smiles, and servants’ hearts.

Being a volunteer is a privilege. We can effect the mood of the performance by smiling and assisting in kind courteous ways. We are there to prevent problems and our attitudes can change a bad situation to no problem at all. Our job is to help everyone enjoy Britt to the fullest.