Tuesday, May 11, 2010
How would you sum up The Advanced Genius Theory for the uninitiated?
It started out with a simple observation. Lou Reed used to be really great, but then he got terrible. Rather than just assume that sucking was the inevitable conclusion to every artist's career, my friend Britt Bergman and I explored some alternative explanations. We seized upon one idea in particular: Maybe if Reed was ahead of his time when he was fronting the Velvet Underground, then isn't it possible that he would still be ahead of his time in the present day? And perhaps his evolution, or "advancement" as it came to be called, would be so much more pronounced that it would take longer and longer for us to understand his work.
Central to the theory is this, people were very comfortable in the 1980s saying that Bob Dylan had "lost it," that he had completely lost the sense of what is good. Our argument was that it is much more likely that you have lost it, not Dylan, based on not only his body of work, but his encyclopedic knowledge of American music. It just makes sense to me that he is on a different plane than most of us, but most people don't like it when someone is smarter than they are, so they find a reason to hate them.
Read the whole thing.