Monday, October 10, 2005
It's been a while since I've written about my personal relationship with the Theory, so I thought I share this with you: In high school, Britt (the cofounder of the Theory) and I used to listen to "Rock and Roll Animal" for laughs. We could not believe how terrible it was. Not terrible, actually, just ridiculous. In particular, "White Light/White Heat," with its thumping bass and rocking solos, was over-the-top stupid. Or so I thought. I was conditioned to expect the Velvet Underground version of Lou Reed, so I couldn't relate at all to what he was trying to do in "Rock and Roll Animal" and rejected it as cheesy. Later, however, I absolutely loved it, but ironically. I thought that he knew how ridiculous it was to jazz it up with fancy musicians and Southern Rock riffs, and so he did it for laughs or just to make people mad. Now I understand that it isn't ridiculous at all, and that the "Rock and Roll Animal" version of "White Light/White Heat" is much more interesting than if he had tried to reproduce the Velvet Underground version. This is how it works with the music of Advanced musicians: You hate it and feel betrayed, you think it's a joke, then later (usually much later), you love it and wish the stuff the musician was doing today sounded more like the stuff that you originally hated.