Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Degrees of Fan-ness

It's easy to be a fan of a song.  Almost nothing is required.  All you have to do is recognize the song when it comes on and be inclined to say, "Ooo, turn it up, I love this song!" or, "Aw shit, that's my jam!!"  You know, something like that.  You can learn the words, or just the chorus, or just parts of the chorus, doesn't really matter.  It's not even really necessary to know who is singing it or who wrote it.  Just like it, that's all you have to do.  At least, in my opinion.  For example, I'm a fan of that song "Good" by Better Than Ezra.  As far as I know, I don't know any other songs by them and I have no idea which album that song was on, but I love it. 

But for me, being a fan of an artist or a band is something else altogether.  There are a shit ton of artists that I would consider myself a fan of.  You know, the ones that I own at least one of their albums (probably more), I know all the words to several songs.  When I hear them on the radio, I recognize them, even if it's a new song.  I know who the band members are (as in, if they got a new drummer or guitarist, I would realize it) and I know a little something about the band itself.  Like, where they're from or where they got started or why the band is named that, you know, that kind of thing.  I'm sure you can think of a bunch of artists that fit this description for you. 

Being a good fan, on the other hand, is yet another animal.  If an artist has released 12 albums and I own one or two of them, I don't consider myself a good fan of that person.  Here is a quick list of some things that I think constitute a good fan (these are independent of one another, just one of them is enough to be a good fan, but there are a few artists that fit this entire list for me):
  • Owning all of an artists albums...or at least a generous % of them if they are plentiful
  • Knowing all the words to an entire album - (being able to sing the whole thing in the shower is always a plus)
  • Hearing one of their songs out of context and not only knowing which album it came from, but which song is before and after it on the album
  • If I feel a twinge of guilt when I stop them mid-song or even mid-album to listen to somebody else
  • If I have more than one copy of a given album (on purpose)
  • If I have purchased at least one album (but probably more) without ever hearing anything on it solely on the merit of it being that person's/band's work
  • If I can tell a song is theirs just based on the lyrics or arrangement because it sounds like them
I'm sure there are other weird things that I do, but you get my point (and this wine I'm drinking has gotten rid of the list I was keeping in my head).  My major point here is this - it's really just the music.  Knowing their music, appreciating it, loving it.  It's about having an open mind about new things they put out - even if it is very different from previous works.  It's not about knowing every gory detail of their personal life, that shit doesn't matter.  Of course, to be honest, I'll google the hell out of somebody, but that's just because I'm nosey as all hell.

No comments:

Post a Comment