Friday, May 19, 2006

Specialized Advancement: Royal Trux

A fellow blogger at The View From Mort Miley was good enough to write about the Advanced Theory. He wondered whether Royal Trux were Advanced even though they were never particularly successful or influential. This got me to thinking: How important do you have to be to be Advanced? Some people think that Advancement has no rules, and that I just say arbitrarily artists are or aren't Advanced. But that isn't true.

To be considered for Advanced status, you have to have achieved something remarkable and produced great work for an extended period of time. You can't have one great album and qualify for Advancement. It takes years of great, baffling, disappointing, and infuriating music to get there. But maybe there should be a special category for the not-so-well-known artists. I think I will call it Specialized Advancement.

The thing about the Advanced is that they have proven themselves to be geniuses, so it makes sense to trust their judgment, even if you don't understand it right away. Your Specialized Advanced Artists would be the ones that maybe convinced just you that anything they do is great, though they continue to confuse and anger you with their choices. And who knows, maybe they are so Advanced that they never were Overt, so no one got to know them, but eventually the world will catch up, and the band that you love, maybe even Royal Trux, will be remembered as the greatest, most influential band in the history of music. Kind of like the Wyld Stallyns.

But I think the key is that person who judges an artist worthy of Specialized Advancement has to be an Advanced fan in the traditional sense. Otherwise, you're just a guy with bad taste who loves a crummy band no one else cares about.

4 comments:

Gink said...

I just wanted to thank you guys for adding us as a link on your site. it seems pretty musically sound and interesting. I still haven't found out how to make links on the side of the page like that or i would have a link to this site. thanks again...keep up the advanced ginkfisting it gets all the two year olds out to the yard

Tom said...

I live every day convinced that Royal Trux will be 'discovered' by the world one day. I haven't read much of your Advanced Theory, but it seems to make sense. How does one become an Advanced fan? By witnessing and noting the Advancement of several artists?

Jason Hartley said...

That's how you do it. And reading the blog of course. Thanks for your input!

jaso said...

By Mike McGuirk

Yeah Yeah Yeahs may be critical faves, and they may have pretty much all the cool kids at their shows, and they may have created an unassailably cool image to boot, but their latest EP, Is Is (Fontana/Interscope), makes it very difficult for those diametrically opposed to such across-the-board-acceptance to write the band off as more empty product.

The first song, "Rockers to Swallow," shows what would have happened if Royal Trux got huge, with Karen O perfectly channeling Jennifer Herrema's rock chick stance without losing two-thirds of the audience in the process (which is why Trux never made it). From there, each of the five songs is stamped with Yeah Yeah Yeahs' now personal and highly identifiable style: midtempo sex music with rad guitar riffs. Sure, these guys came out of the new wave of post-punk NYC dickhead bands emerging during the early 2000s, but, well, even I like these songs - and I hate all new music, mostly.

The tunes were written and recorded during the band's Fever to Tell tour and reportedly amid some serious personal upheaval for all involved. That means maybe their next offering will be lame, or there will never be one. I don't think the former is possible because despite all the hype and exuberant critical acceptance, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have yet to trip over themselves or even make a misstep, whether it be stylistic or sonic. Cool band.

Comments (1)
daniel vincent:
I Like the Yeah,Yeah,Yeah's alright but they are a pop band...therefore by definition "making it" is defined by popularity. Royal Trux were a "very real" rock and roll band .....therefore by definition "making it" was never defined by popularity but by Money,QE2 voyages, Concord flights,expensive guitars and fast cars.....they totally made it and made out.
The thing about the Advanced is that they have proven themselves to be geniuses, so it makes sense to trust their judgment, even if you don't understand it right away. Your Specialized Advanced Artists would be the ones that maybe convinced just you that anything they do is great, though they continue to confuse and anger you with their choices. And who knows, maybe they are so Advanced that they never were Overt, so no one got to know them, but eventually the world will catch up, and the band that you love, maybe even hate... Royal Trux, will be remembered as the greatest, most influential band in the history of music.

Posted by daniel vincent | December 12, 2007 10:04 AM