Tuesday, June 27, 2006
As I said earlier today, I've finally gotten around to the first part of Bob Dylan's autobiography. So far, I've been struck with how open-minded he was, even when he was at his most Overt (when he first arrived to New York). He talks about admiring boxers and military men, listening to Roy Orbison on the radio, not getting but liking Faulkner, and being comforted by an approving glance from Gorgeous George. He quotes "Candle in the Wind" without a whiff of irony. Best of all, he says that there are no bad songs. I think that is central to the Advanced state of mind. A lot of people think that the Advanced Theory is just an excuse to like crappy music. That may be so, but from my perspective, it is more fruitful and interesting to find a way to like everything than to dismiss music because it doesn't meet some arbitrary standard. What is the negative result of liking every song? It doesn't prevent good music from being written because the great musicians aren't really affected by what people want to hear. And it doesn't mean you have bad taste because liking everything means you like everything that someone with "good taste" likes. So even though you may be the world's greatest old-school hip-hop aficionado, the person who likes everything has you beat because he likes everything you like, plus Mississippi Fred MacDowell, Joy Division, Stravinsky, Lawrence Welk, Henry Mancini, C+C Music Factory, Swing Out Sister, Rites of Spring, Let's Active, George Jones, Nina Simone, Elis Regina, Rick Astley, Starship, and Vanilla Ice. Another point that I think is important is that Advanced Artists don't try to kill their idols, they try to carry on the spirit that made their idols worthy of being idolized. But I might have to get into that later.