This is from the comment section of the last post. Not everyone reads the comments, so I'll share it with you here:
Question from Henry:
I really enjoy the theory, but this post made me wonder about a few things.
Metal Machine Music seems very overt to me in the same sense as the John Cage silence piece. Does it seem overt to me because it is overt (in the same sense of Radiohead putting a lot of junky robot noises in the background is overt) or is it just so advanced that I can't even begin to approach it for some period of time? (The Russian critic George Starostin, at the end of his review of Metal Machine Music*, says "As I finished this review and, morally exhausted by the effort, went to the fridge to grab a sandwich, I heard the fridge making the exact kind of noises as captured on some of the album's passages. I swear I'm not lying.")
What is the relationship between advancement and commercial success? Isn't the advanced theory predicated on the fact that the public won't accept advanced artists or art because they're not ready for it/them? 'Walk on the Wildside' was a popular song, but seems really overt compared to like Coney Island Baby, which seems to just drip with advancement (at least in my limited understanding, which at this point compares advancement to some sort of ether). I remember a post a few weeks ago about R. Kelly's new closet thing and his Advancement status. How can it be advanced if it sells well at the time of its release?
Side Side Question:
When do Artists become advanced? In the Velvets, Lou was Overt, and the same seems to hold for at least Transformer and Berlin, but I don't understand the theory enough to pinpoint a specific time of advancement. You write "In fact, I would say once you achieve Advancement, everything you do will be Advanced." Well, ok, but what does it take to achieve Advancement? One album, song, Mingus's cat training method? A lot of people in shitty punk bands wear black leather jackets, but I wouldn't say they have the smell of Advancement. Regression, maybe.
Answer from Jason:
"Metal Machine Music" was Overt (though it is sometimes called an Advanced Irritant because it was a response to Reed's popularity), and I don't think that Lou Reed was Advanced just yet. I think it is a gradual thing (to answer your last question first) because to be Advanced, you have to have the potential to be Advanced (be brilliant not just good, be innovative not derivative, change the world of music in the next generation) and also have a long track record of brilliant music. One thing you have to say about "Metal Machine Music" is that it was incredibly audacious and sure to please almost no one, which are signs of Advancement.
As far as commercial success, you can be Advanced and be wildly popular, too, but usually it's an accident. Also, for a "cult figure" like Lou Reed, for him to cultivate a larger audience would disappoint his fans, who in their narrow-mindedness feel like he somehow belongs to them or that it's cooler to like something no one else does. Disappointing your Overt fans is Advanced, so if that means being really commercially successful, then so be it. Usually it doesn't last because somehow disappointing the masses is probably the next step. R. Kelly can't be Advanced yet, but some people seem to be excited about the prospect. I don't know much about his music so I can't say, but I will say that his selling a lot of records doesn't preclude him from being Advanced.
Oh, and just because you wear black leather doesn't mean you're Advanced, but it's not a bad start.