Monday, November 16, 2009
"Try To See It My Way..."
"I always think it's amazing how two huge fans of the same artist could see the same show and have the opposite experience."
A friend, and Bruce Springsteen devotee said that to me during a discussion about the recent MSG stand. It amazes me as well, but I have always had a hard time understanding exactly why someone likes one thing and hates another. What's more difficult for me to understand is my need to understand. A particular instance where a family member had raved about Fountains Of Wayne's second album, "Utopia Parkway," but just about vomited his hatred for their debut in my face, led to a still ongoing moratorium on speaking to each other. (The records are not that dissimilar. I don't understand.)
As for the Bruce shows, my friend went on to explain how his friend didn't care for the live performance of "The River," which as you've read on these pages, I did. Here's what his friend said:
"...thought Bruce was holding back, some tempos were off, Bruce not giving his all. Thought Wreck On The Highway was the best. Thought Crush On You was a highlight."
Tempos were OFF? When has Max Weinberg's tempos ever been ON? "Wreck On The Highway?" It followed "Drive All Night." How could anything following "Drive All Night" be "the best?" "Crush On You?" What's wrong with this guy? Well...nothing. He also thought the final Giants Stadium show was the best in years. Might have been. I don't know, I wasn't there. (But I'm sure it wasn't.)
The discussion between me and my friend continued, now focusing on a mutual friend who, "loves Manilow and Manson, Neil Diamond and King Diamond, but just doesn't like Jimi Hendrix, Jazz, or Joni. He'd rather see John Mellencamp than Jimi Hendrix." Okay by me, and why shouldn't it be? There are people who aren't fans of the blues or reggae because they think it all sounds the same. It's not my place to inform them that they are wrong.
Speaking of wrong...
Has anyone heard Phish's recent Halloween performance of "Exile On Main Street?" It's the closest thing to sacrilege since Tony Curtis as Antoninus uttered "I soive da mastuh dat I look fuh." in Spartacus. Phish needs to be stopped. But that's just me.
I sent my friend a copy of the just released, Japanese only Jason Falkner album, which I like a lot. Her comment, "It sounds different than the stuff you've already sent me." Interesting to me since, a) I sent it to her because she loved what I had already sent her; a homemade compilation featuring the best (in my opinion) of his first 3 records and b) one of Jason's problems is that almost everything sounds the same. This new record is no different...at all. But that's not how she hears it. She also blew a gasket after I blew a gasket when she said she hated Hall & Oates. (She no longer does, but that's because she somehow managed to pull an "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" and got those MTV videos out of her head.)
Johnny Ramone once came into my store looking for a Canned Heat compilation. As it happened, I had two. One was priced at 7.99 and had ten songs. The other was priced at 6.99 and had 16 songs. He wanted the one for 7.99. "But Johnny," I exclaimed," this one is a remastered import with 6 extra songs for a dollar less." "Yeah," he honked, "but I only want these songs." I didn't see it then, but I do now. Does anyone prefer the "Director's Cut" of their favorite movie?
I've been a huge fan of David Bowie and Queen for as long as I can remember, and two people who I love & respect have a hatred for these artists that I find irrational and at times, lazy, though the person who hates Bowie has backed it up nicely with years of listening and fair and intelligent reasoning. I just don't agree. I wish I could say that about the other friend who hates Queen. Thankfully, he has plenty more going for him. (He's come around...a bit...to Hall & Oates.)
I'm accused, daily, of taking these musical opinions personally. (I admit to having a problem.) But...
Don't we all have friends who have expressed a dislike for say....sushi, then seconds later admitted they never tasted it? Can you honestly say you've never wanted the rational explanation whether discussing Eno or uni? It's not just me! (well...it is, a little) (OK, more than a little.) SHUT UP!
I was completely satisfied with my Bowie-hating friend's feelings. He explained it in gory detail. When discussing music, I need it explained to me in gory detail. I never tire of the discussion. Let's talk for as long as you want. Then, after a healthy chinwagging, if you still don't care for what you don't care for, we can move on. But until then, "I hate Queen!" is not good enough. As for my friend's friend who did not like "The River," I'm still on the fence about how I feel about his comments. He's a respected musician himself. He should know better. Then again, maybe I should know better. But honestly, what fun would that be?
One more thing--
I have a friend who has more Ben Folds in his iTunes library than Bob Dylan.