The latest issue of Music Theory Online is out. Three of the four articles are part of the latest initiative to prove that theorists can be cool. Mark Spicer's review of The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men Through Rubber Soul is the lamest effort. While the Beatles can be cool, liking them is so universal among old people (over 25) that the book cannot be cool itself. Allan Moore has a better effort with his article on The Persona-Environment Relation in Recorded Song. Moore describes how the accompaniment of popular songs (guitars, drums, etc.) interact with the lyrics to flesh out the characters in the songs. Still somewhat geeky, but he does mention AC/DC, Laïs, Iggy Pop, and (as a negative) the Carpenters. However, Luis-Manuel Garcia has done the best job of proving how hip theorists are, with his article On and On: Repetition as Process and Pleasure in Electronic Dance Music. That's right, Dance Dance Revolution has made it to the academy. As it turns out, the highly repetitive nature of electronica is perfect to stimulate the experience of pleasure through process.
One guy apparently didn't get the memo, and had to write an article on key signatures. This is not helping the cause, Dmitri!
Warning: This post is highly sarcastic, with the tongue firmly pressed into the cheek. The author appreciates the fine efforts in all four articles, and encourages everyone to read all of them.