Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Do You Fall in Love with Bands or Records?

In an episode of the show Vinyl Vision Travis Searle from Guestroom Records made a statement that he doesn’t love bands.
I have a weird policy about not falling in love with bands because I think ultimately bands will disappoint you.  So I love records.  Like, I love specific albums that document because that album is never going to disappoint you.  If you’re a fan of a specific band you know, that band is going to put out five or ten or 20 or two, whatever, number of records and one of them is the one that you fall in love with and then the next one “yeah it’s good, meh it’s ok.”  It’s hard to be in love with an artist over an extended period of time because the material changes as they evolve so I love albums and I love singles.  I love that specific document that I’m never gonna fall out of love with. 
Personally I’ve (nearly) always been a person who falls in love with bands.  And when I fall for a band, I fall hard and become an often obsessive fan.  What Travis said is true about bands disappointing you (as I discussed in the post Falling Out of Love with Your Favorite Band), but even with that being the case I still see myself as someone who loves bands and artists more so than just records.  Are there cases where I have fallen in love with a record but not the artists?  Absolutely, in fact Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque immediately comes to mind as a record that I love but a band that I don’t. 

Are there times when my favorite bands disappoint me?  Absolutely.  There are records by ALL and the Descendents that I think are mediocre at best but in both cases they came back with stellar releases.  With the exception of Achtung Baby, pretty much everything that U2 did in the 1990s was a disappointment.  The same can be said for R.E.M. in the post-Bill Berry years.  In the case of U2 and R.E.M., I love specific eras of the bands and in the case of ALL and the Descendents I just love the bands.  I also love Drag the River, Chuck Ragan, 7 Seconds, Dag Nasty, The Replacements, The GC5, and Swingin’ Utters (just to name a few).  In each of these cases there are releases that I prefer more than others, but none of them have disappointed me to the point of wanting to completely stop loving the artist.  Maybe I’m weird like that. 

What do you think?  Are you someone who falls in love with bands or albums or maybe just songs? 

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