Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Rediscovering Your Favorite Artists

The real joy of the advanced theory is that it gives you back your favorite artists. You don't have to succumb to the belief that everybody declines and that eventually you have to say goodbye to your heroes. So here's what you do: Put on one of the "bad" records by one of your favorite artists or bands. But listen to it with the idea that everything that once made you cringe is actually good. Embrace all the things you hated. When I relearned how to listen to "Mistrial," I began by laughing at the fact that Lou Reed would make music like "Don't Hurt a Woman." I had to keep a bit of a distance because I hadn't fully understood its glory. Now I love "Don't Hurt a Woman" as much as "Pale Blue Eyes." True, I don't have the same emotional attachment, but that is because "Pale Blue Eyes" was a big part of my life as a younger man, when I was much more emotional. But that doesn't mean "Don't Hurt a Woman" is worse than "Pale Blue Eyes." So put on the record and laugh if you have to. But if you listen to it enough and the music is truly advanced (as opposed to bad), you'll find yourself loving music that you have deprived yourself of unnecessarily.


Charles said...

Tin Machine comes to mind. If I could find the tape...I think I get the Lou Reed thing. De Kooning might be another example.

Jason Hartley said...

I really don't know enough about painting to comment. I suspect that Andy Warhol fits into the theory, but I'd leave that to someone who knows more about that kind of art.

Anonymous said...

In your analyisation of lou reed, have you considered his pre velvet underground music? i think he played for a band called the primitives. also, how would you rate jackson browne, who apparently played with the vu in their very early days.