Soviet iron balls exercise

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article about various forms of exercise “boot camps”. They rated one of them, which use “kettlebells”, cast-iron weights used by the training regimen used by the Soviet military, as being “surprisingly intense” because the revewier’s t-shirt was drenched after 40 minutes of exercise. Heh. You call that intense? I can get my t-shirt drenched after 30 minutes of Dance Dance Revolution, and if I go on for a full hour, I’m literally dripping onto the dance pad….

Which brings me to something which I’ve been wondering about for some time. Since I don’t frequent nightclubs where trance, hip hop, and other more modern forms of music are played, it’s made me wonder whether or not real examples of these genres really feature modulation (a musical technique where the composer shifts the music into a different key to add musical interest and variety). The music in a number of the DDR tracks do modulate, and so I’ve always assumed that it must not be very realistic, since I’ve always assumed that most of the modern hip hop, trance, etc. groups wouldn’t have had enough classical musical training to do that sort of thing.

I’m reminded of how I always tended to like Weird Al’s songs that weren’t parodies, such as Melanie, simply because they were much more musically interesting — not just one, five, one, five chords with really boring bass lines. So I guess I’ve always assumed that most popular music were always devoid of any kind of real, traditional, musical complexity. Or am I just being too snobish?