Archive for April, 2006

April 18, 2006

HYPE

I used to hate it when someone would say something like “Oh you’re into (insert band here)? You’ll definitely be way into (insert similar sounding band).” The person telling me this would be doing nothing wrong but ultimately I would discount their opinion immediately. Why? Well, music was something that I spent most of my childhood internalizing–it was my own private world and how dare someone think that they have any idea about me. I could tell someone what I liked about a band or a song but I couldn’t ever cross the line and tell them that they liked it as well. If my opinion was asked I would give it–otherwise I shut the fuck up about music because other people’s opinions had nothing to do with me. Through my college years this idea was reinforced as I met much resistance from my peers about what I listened to (Insert Steely Dan joke here). Once I started playing music with other people I found common ground and realized that it was ok to put my foot down about a band–but I still hesitated to say “Oh you’re going to love these guys” because that still carried a negative connotation.

Over the last 10 years I have taken more people up on their thoughts about who I might like. In some situations I did not get much out of what I heard (Husker Du anyone?) but in a few cases my life changed. I resisted listening to Ryan Adams precisely because so many folks told me he was so freakin’ great. When I finally heard him I dropped my grain of salt and became overwhelmed by his music. A few months ago I read an interview with John Doe of X (a band I do love) and he spent much it talking about how Ryan Adams was a poser and was doing nothing more than recycling what Bob Dylan and Neil Young had done years before. I laughed out loud because everyone does hear everything differently.

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