I made a huge mistake yesterday: I visited a band message board I had previously fallen out of love with. Not the band — who shall remain nameless — the board. “The B. Board”. I got my money’s worth out of the relationship: I have Chicago and Detroit and Texas and Ohio friends now, who I’ll see at certain shows and they’re very nice people. Most of them fell out of love like I did, for several reasons (not a single one interesting enough to mention here).
Like most artist-based message boards, The B. Board features a section titled “Other Bands” for discussing and sharing music other than the hosting artist. And, like most artist-based message boards, no good comes of this. I wish I was exaggerating, maybe I am a bit; but I cannot remember being told of one single other band that I both hadn’t already heard of, and enjoyed so much they’ve become a band I listen to (This could be the nature of the B. Board fan however, not a representation of all “Other Bands” sections; if there is an “Other Bands” section out there that is open-minded and tasteful, I apologize.).
Yesterday I was browsing the main page for updates on an album and swung by “Other Bands”. It baffled me to read this statement:
“… among the best songs they’ve ever done. It’s rare for me to find a record where I don’t skip at least one track.“
Context here is important. This guy was arguing how said album (the thread topic) is the best this particular band has ever made based solely on the argument that he can listen to it straight through without skipping songs. HULKCONFUSED…
My response seemed, not only predictable, but plain to see (this is verbatim):
“Also, if it’s rare for you to find an album you can listen to straight through you’re either not finding the right music (maybe expand your horizons a little?), or you just don’t like music very much.”
He didn’t think so. He thought, “How dare someone even think I don’t like music as much as I do! I’m posting on [The B. Board] aren’t I?!!?” I wasn’t trying to be hyperbolic, or a dick. I was being serious. If it is honestly difficult, a challenge, to find an album you can throw in and listen to in its entirety, what other options are there? Especially, like in this case, if this applies even to one of purportedly “favorite” bands of yours??
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this. I compared the notion to other forms of media: “If I said I find it difficult to sit through an entire movie without skipping parts would I be considered a person who enjoys movies?”, I thought to myself. Especially if that was my “favorite” director?? Well… no. Maybe I should try some documentaries or some silents or some Kung-Fu? Surely, if I like movies the way I think I do, I could find something worth my two hours. Without skipping scenes, or fast forwarding at all. Then it hit me. This entire thing wasn’t about whether or not the guy actually enjoys music, it’s about the ALBUM. The movie is the album.
It’s isn’t because he’s not finding the right music, or he doesn’t like music at all… this relates more closely to what has happened to the notion of album. Can I blame him? What has happened to the album, anyways?
Sonny Wilkins is a dead jazz musician. Sonny Wilkins is a guy named Dan. He posts regularly at THE SONNY WILKINS CHRONICLE.