Thursday, July 01, 2004

Put STP in Your Engine

I wrote earlier about listening to albums by people that you loved in the past but stopped liking. Now I'd like to say a few things about music that you thought you never could like. I remember thinking when Stone Temple Pilots first appeared that they were the worst band in the world. They seemed embarrassingly derivative, and "Weiland" appeared to be a total fraud pretending to be weird—the worst kind of overtness. But when "Plush" came on the radio, I didn't change the station, and, in fact, I was secretly rocked by it. I realized one day that I had stopped listening to it to hate it and started genuinely enjoying it. After sheepishly admitting to a few friends that I liked the song, it turned out that they all liked it as well. I realize now that I was being an overt listener. Luckily for me, radio stations play popular songs twice an hour, so I got to a place where I enjoyed "Plush" (and a lot of other STP stuff, too).

The point is that being an advanced listener is about defying what you expect of yourself. You'd be surprised what you're capable of liking.

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