Season 2, Episode 7
Way back in 2011, Rebecca Black’s music video “Friday” went viral because it was widely considered to be one of the worst songs of all time. But what does that actually mean––for music to “go viral,” and for music to be so widely criticized as “bad”? A conversation about gender, genre, and musical virality in the 2010s with musicologist Paula Clare Harper.
Paula Clare Harper is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis; this fall, she will join the faculty of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as an assistant professor.
*Also* she made her own custom Sound Expertise t-shirt, and is thus a Pro Guest.
If you’re interested in learning more about Professor Harper’s work, you can follow her on Twitter at @pch9857 and check out:
- “Receiving, Remixing, Recuperating ‘Rebecca Black – Friday,’” a 2020 article in American Music
- “‘Unmute This’: Captioning an (audio)visual microgenre,” a 2017 article in The Soundtrack
- “BEYONCÉ: Viral Techniques and the Visual Album,” a 2019 article in Popular Music and Society
- “‘Sandcastles’ and Beyoncé’s Break,” in American Music Review (2018)
Sound Expertise is hosted by Will Robin (@seatedovation), and produced by D. Edward Davis (@warmsilence). Please subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and/or Spotify. Questions or comments? Email williamlrobin@ gmail
A written transcript of this episode is available here; many thanks to Andrew Dell’Antonio for volunteering to prepare transcripts for the show!