Monday, August 30, 2004

Advanced Overtness and Dime-Store Weirdos

According to this, the Cramps are going on tour. There are certain bands, like the Cramps, that are unflinchingly overt for so long that they become advanced in a way. They aren't fully advanced, of course, but they are not simply overt. That doesn't mean that staying overt for a long time makes you advanced overt. Patti Smith is still overt, for instance, but not advanced overt. This is tricky territory, and I'm trying to sort it out myself. It might just come down to the fact that the Cramps are fun, and Patti Smith is not so fun. Robert Pollard fits into the advanced-overt category, I think. I hear that he is quite the rocker onstage, complete with leg kicks. His music is pretty overt, but does he really belong in the same category as, say, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs?

This seems like a good time to introduce a new term into the advanced lexicon: the dime-store weirdo, also known as the put-on. The people in this category have nothing to offer at all. They are overt, but they are also untalented and unoriginal. Say what you will about the Cramps or Guided By Voices, but they are certainly not dime-store weridos.


Jim Donahue said...

Whoops--I originally posted this way back in a July post, so you probably won't see it. Here goes again:

OK, I'm just getting the hang of this Advanced business. Here's a paragraph from the Times that caught my eye over the weekend:

>>Cam'ron has not officially released an album since 2002 (his next is due out next year), yet his set still was not long enough to include all of his recent underground hits. (One song missing was the sublime "Get 'Em Girls," in which he rhymes, "Eight boom boom, my ace boon coon/Shake, bake, skate, vroom, broom/Seventh to eighth, zoom, zoom/Boom-boom tunes/'Fore I get locked, that Boom Boom Room.")

Forget sublime--are hip-hop lyrics that sound like Dr. Seuss Advanced or Overt?

Jason Hartley said...

I'm not really sure about hip-hop because I don't know enough about its history. It takes a pretty subtle understanding of a genre to declare what is advanced and what isn't. I think your instincts are right: It's pretty interesting not to make time for your hits. But is it advanced? For the last fifteen years, Lou Reed seemingly never fails to play "Take a Walk on the Wildside." So it's probably more advanced to play your hits than not to play them. As I say, though, I don't know a lot about hip-hop. There could be an entirely different set of rules for that.