Thursday, March 13, 2008

More on Advancement

It should be noted that not just any musician can be Advanced, even if they were once great and then seemingly "lost it." There are prerequisites:

  • You must have been an innovator in your youth
  • You must have had a career longer than fifteen years
  • You must have alienated your original fans
  • You must be completely nonironic
  • You must be unpredictable

This last point deserves some extra attention.

Advanced Artists are unpredictable because they make decisions that are truly unexpected rather than simply the opposite of what is expected. For instance, if Bob Dylan says that he would never feature a sax solo in a song of his, it wouldn't be Advanced for him to change his mind and get David Sanborn to sit in on a session (though the Advanced do like David Sanborn). His doing a Victoria's Secret commercial, however, was Advanced. Extremely Advanced. This is true because in the first example, Dylan fans would be able to explain away the sax solo as just another example of his rebelliousness. But the commercial, as Dylan could have easily predicted, saddened his fans and gave his critics another excuse to mourn the further decline of the Voice of a Generation. In reality, this was not some sort of Galilean recanting, but another step in Dylan's own Advanced continuum. Of course being Advanced, Dylan was going to do the commercial regardless of how it would be perceived.


Anonymous said...

I agree with most points, but Dylan was hardly 15 years into his career when he went electric. Would this then simply be considered an Advanced act? Even Berlin and MMM were done within the first 15 years.

Unknown said...

Neither was an Advanced act, just a sign of things to come.