What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

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Sandry
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What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby Sandry » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:15 pm UTC

So I'm curious, because in talking with other folks about their favorite musicians, sometimes I think people have very different standards for what it means to love a band.

Ideas I've seen come up:
1) You love every track on most of their albums, rather than just hits
2) You follow the lives of the members specifically (on social media, or wherever)
3) You attend all the concerts of theirs in the area that you can see
4) You know all the lyrics to most of their songs
5) You own all of their albums
6) You buy band-related paraphernalia (t-shirts, posters, whatever)
7) You follow the band across regions to see multiple concerts when they go on tour

Other suggestions?

For me, I think 1, 3, 5 are the ones I most relate to, but I sometimes find myself wondering if it's weird to go to concerts for bands I just like, rather than love. I like going to concerts, and so have definitely seen bands where I'm like, "yeah, they're kind of cool, but not in my top ten," so to me that's an indicator, but isn't a requirement that shows I definitely love a band. Also, sometimes I just have to miss when a band I love is in town, due to scheduling.

For my top ten-ish groups/musicians I am likely to own all or almost all of their albums, be able to sing along to most of the lyrics, but not to own any band merch that isn't just music. I follow some musicians on Twitter, but that's more about how annoying or enjoyable I find their Twitter presence than my level of appreciation of their music.

I'm just curious what folks think makes someone a fan of a band, primarily, versus just liking them in an average way.
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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby Yablo » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:54 pm UTC

I've found that in most cases, if I like a few songs by a particular band, I usually like most (if not all) of them. Attending concerts isn't a good indicator for me since many awesome bands are no longer together, or they just don't play shows. For instance, I love the Beatles and the Doors, and I would punch my mother in the stomach to see either of them.

I love Pearl Jam, and here's how I know:
  • I've been a member of the 10 Club since almost the beginning.
  • I've bought every album the day they were released (with the exception of the first one which I bought two weeks later).
  • I've had tickets to see them 16 times, and I've actually seen them 14 times.
  • I've driven up to four hours to see them.
  • I still have t-shirts from 1991 and 1992. They're well-worn, but I refuse to let my wife throw them out.
  • I've covered many of their songs at frat parties with various bands I used to be part of, and by myself at open mic nights.
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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby Quercus » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:40 pm UTC

I can't really relate to fandom in terms of being interested in the lives of band members outside of their music (they tend to be as interesting/boring as anyone else in my experience), and I don't really buy paraphernalia, or follow bands around, so that's 2, 6 and 7 out. I can relate to 1, 3, 4 and 5 but I haven't always done all of any of those for musicians which I consider that I love.

In fact the most important criterion for me is how important their music is to me and my life. I love REM because they were the first band I ever got into and because their songs are hopelessly entangled with my emotions as a teenager and carry a lot of memories for me. I love Leonard Cohen, because his songs have helped me get through some quite dark places. Because of these emotional connections I have got pretty much all of their albums, love pretty much all of their songs and have gone to concerts when time/money has allowed (so yes for Leonard Cohen and no for REM), but I can be just as authentically in love with a band who I've never seen live, and where I only own a couple of their albums (normally because I listen to the rest on Spotify). An example is Tunng - I discovered them around the start of my PhD, so my memories of that major shift in my life are bound up with the sound of their music. I would love to go see them live, but it's never been convenient so I never have. I still love their music.

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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby Sandry » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:39 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:In fact the most important criterion for me is how important their music is to me and my life. I love REM because they were the first band I ever got into and because their songs are hopelessly entangled with my emotions as a teenager and carry a lot of memories for me. I love Leonard Cohen, because his songs have helped me get through some quite dark places. Because of these emotional connections I have got pretty much all of their albums, love pretty much all of their songs and have gone to concerts when time/money has allowed (so yes for Leonard Cohen and no for REM), but I can be just as authentically in love with a band who I've never seen live, and where I only own a couple of their albums (normally because I listen to the rest on Spotify). An example is Tunng - I discovered them around the start of my PhD, so my memories of that major shift in my life are bound up with the sound of their music. I would love to go see them live, but it's never been convenient so I never have. I still love their music.

I completely relate to this. It can be both good and bad. I don't always identify a time with a song, but often when I do, it's because that time was negative and the song helped me through it... so I love the heck out of Thea Gilmore and Assemblage 23, and they both have songs that fit in this category for me, but they're both associated with kind of a crap time in my life.

It's probably pretty clear what A23's Fallen Down (video with lyrics) meant to me - it was a time in my life where I felt like I wasn't living up to my potential in any way, and I felt sort of valueless. So the association is kind of negative, but I still love the song.
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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby poxic » Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:15 pm UTC

I think I'm closest to "loving" a band or musician when I am consistently fascinated by their music and the artistic choices they make.

I don't dig everything Bjork has ever done, for example, but I like to study her albums as though they were artistic essays of a sort. (And she puts enough thought and heart into them for that study to be fruitful.)

When a song of hers (or another artist I'm into) hits me square between the eyes, it's like there's a new part of myself being revealed. And it's awesome.
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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby serutan » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:50 am UTC

To me, if you can check off 1, 4, 5 you love the band. Depending on when you discover the band,
3 and 7 may not be possible so I wouldn't give them much weight.
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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby shieldforyoureyes » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

All of those except 2 & 4.

I used to travel for shows a lot, not really anymore. (I once took the bus from Rhode Island to Virginia to see a show.)

May I suggest: 8 - Do you edit their wikipedia page?

I've occasionally made flyers for shows for bands I like, without any approval from whoever was putting on the show.

At a job interview, told them: "When [some band] comes through town, I will be taking the day off."

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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby cphite » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:09 pm UTC

For me it isn't nearly as all or nothing as any of that; for example there are bands that I really, really like that have songs or even entire albums that I really don't care for at all. There are bands that I really like that, frankly, are kind of meh live; and there are others that I love to see live but don't really like their albums.

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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby Sandry » Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:02 pm UTC

cphite wrote:For me it isn't nearly as all or nothing as any of that; for example there are bands that I really, really like that have songs or even entire albums that I really don't care for at all. There are bands that I really like that, frankly, are kind of meh live; and there are others that I love to see live but don't really like their albums.

Awesome, I think I agree with this a lot, and find myself thinking I'm not a "true fan" when I'm of that opinion. But I think you're correct.

I think there are also different genres where it's more or less easy to do compelling concerts... certainly I think it's a lot harder for one of my favourite groups that's a one man operation using computers and keyboard to put something together that's engaging to watch than it is to have a group with guitar, bass, drums and vocals as a normal pop/rock setup to put on a good show.

Confession: this is sort of exactly what I was hoping to hear.
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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby PeteP » Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:11 pm UTC

1. is the strogenst statement that I could make over a band. But I'm just not the greatest fan of music in general. (Not that I don't like it, it just has a low priority.)

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Re: What does it mean to you to love a band/musician?

Postby muzikkid » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:12 am UTC

Yeah I don't really go for anything in that list, there isn't one musician/band on the planet that I can say I have done any of those points on. I consider myself a lover of music I suppose and I really like a lot of bands/music but I can't say there is any artist that I love 100% of their stuff


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