Which Musical Genre Was South Park Spoofing With "Tween Wave"?

southparkyouregettingold.jpg
Last night's South Park was in large part about the fad/scourge of Tween Wave, a new genre that horrified parents and mobilized kids all across the country. Dubbed as such because it would be the Next Big Thing from 2009 through 2012, it made the phrase "this sounds like shit" quite literal; it basically sounded like someone (or, shudder, multiple people) with really bad indigestion letting the world know about their digestive tract's problems over sorta-dubsteppish beats. But what musical subculture was the episode really making fun of? A clip, and some theories, below.

Chillwave. When the often-beleaguered father figure Randy Marsh becomes so stubborn about his love of Tween Wave that he starts his own band, he calls himself Steamy Ray Vaughn—and his eventual partner in musical crime is a lady who refers to herself as Steamy Nicks. Which, you have to admit, is a gross, yet giggle-worthy, spin on certain outfits' tendencies to say "look, ma, a reference!" and expect audiences to titter and nod along.

Crabcore. Look at the haircuts in the above picture. Also, have you heard brokeNCYDE?

Dubstep. Layered below the flatulence are some beats that could be described as "dubsteppish," and indeed, when this preview aired people were referring to the impending episode as the "dubstep South Park." It wasn't quite that, but it probably got a couple of Rinse FM listeners to tune in.

Odd Future. This was speculated before the episode aired, although I suspect that was a manifestation of Music Critic Stockholm Syndrome more than anything else. (And yes, Randy did force himself to like the genre after initially being repulsed by its gleeful marrying of beats and, uh, blaaats, and that forced liking turned into him getting super-stubborn about the for-real, man nature of his fandom. But it's not like Odd Future is the first group to have that effect on critics!)

Axl Rose. I'm only putting him here because of the second guy from the left in the above shot, who looks like a pockmarked, willing-to-wear-heart-tees William Bailey.

All of them—and all of us. The episode's central figure was Stan (son of Randy) Marsh, who upon turning 10 realized that all music sounded like shit to him—while he was trying to figure out what exactly was wrong with him, he visited a doctor who played him a Tween Wave track and a Bob Dylan song back-to-back. But in Stan's estimation, both of them sounded like shit (the Dylan impersonation was pretty dead-on until the flatulence started); this caused the doctor to diagnose him with "being a cynical asshole." Which is a common condition in cultural commentary these days, and not just because music's a bigger wider world these days—as anyone who's ever looked at a Google Analytics report knows, saying something sucks can get pageviews, laughter, and "right on, man"s more easily than honestly engaging with things and looking at them from a holistic, honest perspective. The twinning of Stan's attitude shift and his turning 10 (not to mention the episode's title, "You're Getting Old," and the family-related stuff going on at episode's end) seems to speak to the loss of innocence that inevitably happens when we all get older and start realizing that not everything around us is as great as it possibly seems. Saying "everything sucks" might be the easy way out when one doesn't have time to engage with cultural products or when one just can't deal anymore, and God knows South Park has been (unfairly!) dinged for having that world-view in the past; although if anything, the fact that this episode could have been taking aim at any number of musical genres speaks to the idea that subcultures are in their very nature polarizing, and that maybe even the stuff that sounds shitty on the surface might mean something to another person.

(And yes, I'm even including crabcore there.)

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75 comments
ChubDaddy
ChubDaddy

It's obvious.  Dub Step fits the time frame and is the only genre that literally sounds like someone shitting over beats.

And they are spoofing the generational gap and all of us.  But the music is definitely Dub Shit and all the electronic shit music (including old garage crap).  

But hey, you're not big until south Park spoofs you.  (Dub Step still literally sounds like someone shitting over disjointed beats though.)


Thelastataxian
Thelastataxian

I think parker and stone were listening to dubstep and said, wow this sounds like shit. We must be getting old. I could see that being the inspiration for the sode because I could totally see parallels between tween wave and this trendy dubstep nonsense.

CynicalCritic
CynicalCritic

I think people are reading way too much into this episode.

It's just a gag at the differences between generations, and the, in my opinion shitty music that's appearing and fouling the music world like a festering wound.

There are no subliminal messages in these episodes, maybe apart from the emphasis on the SP kids growing up. Cartman, like Stan, even has a whole episode practically dedicated to him for that very reason now in Season 15. I think they're simply advancing the characters to prepare for the show's finale (that I recall has been mentioned coming at the end of S16 or maybe S17, but don't quote me on that.)

Josemoto10
Josemoto10

I would like to know the names of the songs on stans ipod! they r tight!

Mark Handi
Mark Handi

When you say things like "chillwave" and "crabcore" and "dubstep" all i hear is phhhbbbtbttt.  It's obviously talking about this sewage flood of electronic music (or whatever retarded name you want to make up for the genre) that kids like today when they are referencing tween wave.

james
james

crabcore is retarded but it is NOT a musical genre

Darrenmalllard
Darrenmalllard

Most of u r tards southpark isnt hating on anything it uses uk garage style music as ana example of how cynics act and percieve things no its not dnb minimal or dubstep stans ipod music is uk garage from 12 years ago

Splendahearn
Splendahearn

It's simple, they're not spoofing any kind of music, they're spoofing people calling a different generation's music shit, crap, whatever.  They're just taking a literal take on it the same way they do with everything to drive the point home.

boybanned
boybanned

Skrillex sounds like tween wave

Me
Me

I think the music genre is Scene (Blood On The Dance floor is a scene band). I'm basing this 60% on the outfits of the above picture (especially the three kids in the front) and that in the episode its descried as vulgar. Go listen to a Blood On The Dance Floor song and then tell me its not vulgar. 

Sir Poopsalot
Sir Poopsalot

While I was watching, I was thinking Crunkcore. The minimal beats, the haircuts, the fact that what seemed to represent the vocals sounded -literally- like shit... it all makes sense.

Jondearest
Jondearest

South park uses humor to drive away demonic spirits. They are actually employed by the pope, and are tools of the global roman-catholic empire.

Easzaz
Easzaz

I think its Trey & Matts out-look on todays surroundings. I mean seroiusly the list goes on and on when it comes to shit being released in the charts or box office. If you haven't noticed the way people are these days its scary to realise it (i.e. stan) we all as the majoriety of human beings spend so much time infront of a computer screen and TV filling our brain with pointless 'shit' that when I walk around my hometown or talk to people, you can see all the 'blank expression'' .... thee 'I need to broadcast my life on facebook to keep with the times and stay cool' Tbh I think the world is emotionally crumbleing, I'll personally give it a few more years before the world becomes so bored of itself, it goes into self destruct mode.Overall I'd say Trey & Matt are expressing this matter and the more recent episodes have been the best in my opinion, more drama filled.

JIMBO
JIMBO

It parodies nothing in particular. It's just a generic placeholder device.

The point is that different generations don't understand each other's music/ culture. There's no dubstep joke in there.

Besides dubstep was passe 2 years ago.

People who think the it serves as a dubstep parody have really missed the point of a rather sweet and well put-together episode.

PoopNach
PoopNach

 It's dubstep.  It's just dubstep.  It's plain and simply dubstep.

Anyone saying otherwise likes dubstep.

Kkjjg
Kkjjg

stupid wolf gang asked you to leave them out of boxes, you just needed some filler body copy

fiftyshades
fiftyshades

Dubstep itself is a pretty contentious genre,  especially the current crop that is termed as dubstep in the US having virtually nothing in common with original dubstep and being closer thematically to genres like electro-house. Orginal dubstep is a lot more soulful with Afro-Carribean inflected rhythms to it, hence the inclusion of the word dub in the name. Checkout artists like Shackleton, Scuba and Digital Mystiks to see the difference. The version popular with the kids in the US today (brostep is the term original dubstep fans call it), does indeed sound like fart noises to me though.

Snickers
Snickers

It's dubsted for those of you wondering. It's the new genre that's been exploding among the youth and as kids turn 17-19 they realise what piece of shit it is. If anyone could ask Matt Stone and Trey Parker personally they'd tell you the same.

Melanie
Melanie

1. There is better music than dub-step, but it isn't shit.2. This episode is definitely about how south park is going stale. They are only doing the show because they have to complete this season and the next, and since it is a satirical show, I think they are tired of making fun of everything, since it always comes down to the one fact that everything is SHIT. 

karl
karl

after watching the episode, i thought it was dubstep

Jeer
Jeer

did you actualy searched for tween wave caus it really exist and it really is a buch of crap

Assholecynic
Assholecynic

the section at around 10min in randy's room seemed to make it pretty clear that it was just about shitty fad chart pop music in general. look carefully at the posters on his wall and there's references to everything from drag/witch house to bruno mars. a lot of the stuff on stans ipod sounded like the shitty electro grime thats infecting the UK charts at the moment to me too.

Declan Rodgers
Declan Rodgers

I'd say that it may 'possibly' be making fun of Dubstep, considering the heavy drum beats. You either get it or you don't.

Sarah Renee
Sarah Renee

Like a lot of South Park episodes, the commentary is in a way, layered. There's the literal meaning, basically what you see on the screen, then it really starts to sink in that maybe it's more. The show centers around Stan struggling with becoming cynical, possibly due to his home situation. Having an irresponsible father and an overbearing mother could have skewed his view. The whole "coming of age" and realizing your friends maybe aren't as cool as you thought they were. I've been there myself, and I've lost quite a few friends simply because I outgrew them.

Then when you think about it more, think about the last two seasons of south park. They rehashed A LOT of older stuff and made some pretty big ass pulls in character development. Cartman started out as just an annoying somewhat selfish kid in season 1 into a complete monster by season 14. His spoiled nature has gotten so out of hand in the past few seasons, and the whole getting a present at stan's party kind of illustrated it perfectly I think. None of the kids even acted surprised, usually at this point you'd hear a retort from Kyle about how ridiculous it is, but everyone acted like it was normal. Like it's almost expected that Cartman will inevitably pull some ridiculous stunt if he doesn't get his way.

Then of course there's the obvious references to the string of shit summer movies, and the general direction movie making has taken. Over the last 10 years, there's probably been more remakes, and book/comic/video game/cartoon adaptations than actual original stories. It's all the same shit spewed out again and again, each time getting more and more absurd. Correct me if I'm wrong, but, Alvin and the Chipmunks got a sequel? Really? The general quality of entertainment has taken a nosedive, to the point that people are willing to watch some illiterate fucks from Jersey scream at each other.

Then of course, maybe Matt and Trey are just sick of south park in general. This season has been rather sub par at best. I don't find myself laughing as heartily as I once did. I watch the older seasons and it's apparent that they're not as passionate about the show as they once were. Using "Landslide" was a pretty good way to describe it. "I've been afraid of changing 'cuz I built my life around you", and that's just it, they built their careers around South Park, they pretty much owe all their success to their first breakout series. Perhaps they want to give it up, but like a child with a security blanket, it's not an easy thing to just throw away.

youractualmom
youractualmom

Tween wave actually exists, but those of us for whom "chillwave," "dubstep," and "hipster-hop" are vernacular have been mostly segregated from this phenomenon. Only those of us who have had to work these all-ages pedo-fests  know that it exists. High schoolers are more familiar with it, and in the West Coast in bleeds into the adult scene, but it is unmistakably vulgar music targeted towards stupid.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

See also: frat rap

XDXDXD
XDXDXD

dub step seems pretty likely, since it has grown very popular in the past year

Jade King
Jade King

One of the posters in the room Randy is in while listening to his music looks like Tokio Hotel's album cover :L

And the blonde guys shirt on the right of the picture has it, too.

Jhs1902000
Jhs1902000

hell it seem like every decade has tween wave like new kids on the block their music sounded like shit as did the pop artist from the late 90 like britney jessica nsync bsb 98 degress and sorry to disapoint the fans of the bands mention above but there music was not better than the crap teens listen to these days  britney jessica nsync bsb 98 degress nkotb there music suckedbut it like they showed on south park your going to think the music you like when you were a teen is better and the next generaration music sucks 

Christopher R. Weingarten
Christopher R. Weingarten

I would say it's contemporary "festival dubstep" + "scene kid" electro-emo + a slight chillwave tinge. So, basically a weird amalgam of a Bamboozle undercard

pschase
pschase

I was no cynic at fucking 10 yrs old, and I don't think of myself as that even now - there is plenty of good music out in the world, including in the "dubstep" genre which is very broad and filled with spinoffs of it's own. South Park usually has a touch of reality that makes it so funny, but I really don't get the idea of all music sucking by the age of 10. That was when I really started sorting my own taste out

Johnny Hopkins
Johnny Hopkins

House Music/ DubstepI feel the same way as Stan about this music.

Jess
Jess

Brilliant episode for those of us that are just cynical assholes.

Kasper Arildskov
Kasper Arildskov

I don't think it's about any perticular genre, but more about overhyped music in general

russell
russell

its obviously making fun of dubstep cuz dub step literaly sounds like poop noises

LLLuke
LLLuke

You're right, bro.  Its definitely Garage or 2Step or Speed Garage or UK Garage or whatever you want to call it.  Almost every song that is played on Stan's Ipod is Garage.

Philip Arbon
Philip Arbon

They're spoofing the generation gap (on the surface).

Under the surface however, like a lot of south park episodes, its a whinge about how they're being treated/seen. "wah wah if you think south park is shit you must be a cynical asshole" 

They're not as clever as we all seem to think, its just a show, laugh at it, but don't take their view of the world as fact, cause their view is VERY small.

Also: Notice that Stan, the one individual who stands apart from his friends, is considered the cynical asshole, notice he is the one who suddenly hates everything.

South Park seems to be on a war against individuals and anything that stands on its own.

They don't take a "literal take to drive the point home" they pretend to take a neutral view because that way its easy to get across your real point, which happens to always be anti-individual.

ie: the guy that thinks for himself, is a cynical asshole, the guy that likes different music to everyone else: is a cynical asshole etc.

Sick of it, south park is hate filled crap, blah.

Mark Handi
Mark Handi

Goddammit I wish I never knew that existed.  Thanks a lot asshole.

Qwert
Qwert

One of the posters is "Bruno Saturn" which is clearly a spoof on Bruno Mars

Navy Squeal
Navy Squeal

Agreed--every generation has its mainstream bubblegum crap. But I didn't listen to Backstreet Boys as a kid, and by that logic that must mean there are kids out there now listening to something arguably "cooler" than Tokio Hotel. Or even Odd Future. Right? Or is everything so wide open now that nothing remains cool for very long, thus making us all cynical assholes?

Dannsprotocol
Dannsprotocol

Nonsense! I have TONS of dubstep singles and mixes. At no point in the episode did I ever think any of it sounded like dubstep. It sounded like random low par single-channel minimal selections from any random blurbs from any of the mulitple legitmate genres of what most people collectively refer to collectively as "techno". It wasn't until I went searching for what is this so-called "tween wave" did I see these dubstep referenced pages. 2 years ago people would have unequivically and ignorantly labelled this episode as "techno", which to me screams of dubsteps success. Regardless, I dont view this episode as an insult to dubstep.

On another note, SP being my favorite comedy show, this was a SHITTY episode, probably the shittiest of episodes, but not merely because thats what it was loaded with. The reason being I kept waiting for some really insightful while hilarious climatic ended that never came. It was just poop overdrive right on into the credits, far worse than the "Insheeption" espisode last season where they spoofed the most brilliant and masterfully executed film Inception with a lackluster episode that didnt even make the spoofing of the film funny let alone masterfully hilarious.

I normally like SP to the point where I wish there were a new episode EVERY WEEK, but some of these more recent toilet "humor" rampages now have me questioning that stance.

Sean
Sean

suck a fucking dick queerbait.

Eric
Eric

Nice and ignorant, bro.  "Cuz dat's so tru." I'm guessing you've never heard any original dubstep. 

Deeez
Deeez

so it's been shitty lately? sounds like you may want to go to the doctor, you may get diagnosed with a case of being a "Cynical Asshole"

Hahjdh
Hahjdh

Let's just keep it real here, dub step is shitty. Did you see this episode of south park? Well, it should be visible and clear to you that dub step is in fact dub-shit, i.e. shit music. Who listens to dub shit? The shit heads ages 13 to 25. Dub shit is gross. Clean the shit out of your ears and listen to Trance music instead. No shit music there, it's clean as fuck.

Philip Arbon
Philip Arbon

Funny how when south park gets dissed, suddenly an episode appears commenting on cynical assholes that hate everything. Notice the subliminal message? "if you dislike south park, or think we're getting shit, you're too old" 

Maybe south park really never was very good?

Laughing at Dannsprotocol
Laughing at Dannsprotocol

Someone claiming that Inception is "the most brilliant and masterfully executed film" is not so much a "cynical asshole" as an idiot.

Philip Arbon
Philip Arbon

Sorry but south park doesn't decide for me whats shit and whats not. If we were to see the world the way the South Park guys do its a pretty revolting and pathetic place to live. I'm over 25 and love dubstep, for what it is, just like all other electronic genres, it overlives its stay. 

"Clean the shit out of your ears and listen to Trance music instead"

To this I would say, stop listening to a repeating bass drum and listen to some real musicians instead.

Real musicians still exist, beyond genre.

Jkjj
Jkjj

listen to ghostlamp killer... live... ass

cynical douche
cynical douche

trance? trance!? hahahaha theres more to music than opening the filter slowly with a supersaw waveform on a roland jp 8000 synth backed by a house like beat. i actually like both genres in doses but you have to take them for what they are. neither genre has the right to dismiss each other, they are both easy to make. it's just for fun, not to be taken seriously, paul van dyk. 

people need to stop dedicating themselves to one style of music. listen to everything from rock, dance to classical and everything in between.

Player
Player

Right on brother godhelpusall!!

Godhelpusall
Godhelpusall

Yes please, let's "keep it real here". Real music takes years of learning and practice to create. Real musicians play an instrument which also takes talent and dedication. Real singers can sing without auto-tune,( i.e. see: kid rock, brittany spears, seether and every rapper that *tries* to sing)  Also real music doesn't sound like someone spent ten minutes shitting it out between internet jerk-off sessions.

electronic = no talent
electronic = no talent

they are both shit. try listening to music made by real musicians not pock-marked 13 years old computer geeks.

Khal
Khal

Trance is shit.

See how easy that was?

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