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On Favorite Bands and Moving On

As someone who has the complete commercially available works for a number of musical acts, It's funny to me that there are people who somehow feel obligated to maintain their fandom for or otherwise feel guilt for no longer paying attention to a much beloved artist whose new material they no longer enjoy. Yes, I can be an exceedingly loyal fan -- certainly to a fault. However, there are numerous performers over the years whom I've positively adored and then ultimately stopped paying any attention to. I would drop them in spite of the fact that I may have previously gone out of my way to track down obscure B-sides and other non-album tracks. I never felt guilty about it -- some sadness certainly, but that was more a response to the fact that I felt that these musicians were incapable of creating new music I would enjoy. I still occasionally listen to the material by Matthew Sweet, Faith No More, Bowling for Soup and Paula Cole (to name a few) that I fell in love with, but when I stopped paying attention it was a clean break.

Along the same lines, the fact I've stuck with certain acts throughout the entirety of their career (or least, I did so after finally discovering them for myself) does not imply I love everything they've ever done. I own every single studio album Bruce Springsteen has ever recorded and numerous live albums, but I will be the first to tell you that there are a number of his albums that I listened to a few times, at most, before completely giving up on them. Then there are The Foo Fighters -- a band who has never released what I would call a great album but manages to maintain my loyalty through somehow placing on each disc 3-4 songs I absolutely love. Even the band who is clearly the musical love of my life is not perfect in my eyes. Since their divorce with co-founder Steve Page, I've continued to enjoy the Barenaked Ladies' output, but it hasn't been the same; I admittedly long for the reunion that has been inevitable for most musical acts through the history of the pop/rock era.

Getting back to the original point of this commentary, I believe that like most people I seek out in music both stuff that appeals to my basic tastes and material that challenges me. I don't want my tastes to calcify and become one of those people who solely listens to nothing but the music of their youth (or music that sounds almost exactly the same). Although I clearly possess a "sweet spot" for a certain types of musical genres and types of songs, my tastes have evolved and will hopefully continue to do so. By the same token, I prefer that the artists I love find a way to evolve as well. If I'm lucky, those evolutions move along the same path or at the same speed. If not, then that's just a side effect of everyone attempting to grow and evolve.


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Feb. 23rd, 2014 12:02 am (UTC)
I saw Steve Page with the Art of Time Ensemble last November, and he was SO good. I adore his voice, and if he reunited with BNL I would absolutely lose my shit. How amazing would that be?
Feb. 23rd, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
Back when Page released Page One, he did a tour of the US, and it was the last one he did. I skipped his closest appearance because I had seen a few other concerts at roughly the same time and felt that I'd get another chance fairly soon. Clearly, I was wrong, and I will certainly be there the next time he has a concert within reasonable driving distance.

I think a reunion would be amazing. Unfortunately, I also think that realistically any reunion is a minimum of five years away, with ten being a more realistic estimate. I base this on the amount of time that usually passes before the original/classic lineup of a band reunites after a split.
Feb. 23rd, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
I totally stopped listening to BNL after Steven Page left. It's not that they aren't still good I just loved his sound and energy.
Feb. 24th, 2014 03:48 am (UTC)
This is going to sound so hipster, but after their first album, I kind of fell out of love with BNL. I liked them when they were scruffy I guess, back when they sang in the MuchMusic booth in 1992. Mind, I have liked many of their songs since, but never with as much glee as then.

For me, it's David Sylvian that I follow despite the vast changes in style and voice. The stuff he has put out in the last 10 years is so intellectual, it's good, but not, say, enjoyable. I don't listen to him like I used to, which was constantly.
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