Judging Music: Being there vs. historical perspective

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matedog
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Judging Music: Being there vs. historical perspective

Post by matedog » 17 Jun 2008, 12:35pm

I remember occasionally CK would frustratingly pull out the "you had to be there" card during musical debates. On one hand, the initial impact and scene "of the times" are very important, on the other hand being able to take a step back and analyze something's true essence and after shocks seems like a potentially less biased way of judging music. Any thoughts?
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Judging Music: Being there vs. historical perspective

Post by Wolter » 17 Jun 2008, 12:39pm

I think "you had to be there," works for understanding a scene and why a band seems important to people on an intangible level. But I also think distance and perspective are important if you want to judge long term potential. So I'm going to sit squarely in the middle and take no stand.[/Canada]
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Re: Judging Music: Being there vs. historical perspective

Post by Dr. Medulla » 17 Jun 2008, 1:06pm

I'll continue Bea Stanley's point with an analogy. There is a thick crowd of people on the street. You are in the middle of it. Someone is high on a rooftop and can see the full scope of the crowd's size—its periphery, its approximate size, etc. Who has the best claim to describing the nature of the crowd? You can better gauge the emotions of the people around you, but the other guy can provide descriptions that you can't. You each have valuable but incomplete information for a full description. So "you had to be there" is a valid point to make inasmuch as it adds to the understanding, but not as some kind of trump that invalidates the long term view.
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matedog
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Re: Judging Music: Being there vs. historical perspective

Post by matedog » 17 Jun 2008, 1:16pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:I'll continue Bea Stanley's point with an analogy. There is a thick crowd of people on the street. You are in the middle of it. Someone is high on a rooftop and can see the full scope of the crowd's size—its periphery, its approximate size, etc. Who has the best claim to describing the nature of the crowd? You can better gauge the emotions of the people around you, but the other guy can provide descriptions that you can't. You each have valuable but incomplete information for a full description. So "you had to be there" is a valid point to make inasmuch as it adds to the understanding, but not as some kind of trump that invalidates the long term view.
I guess there isn't much to debate.
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Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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