how fame changes things?

in cliche land--right up there with "can't we all just get along?"--is this one: "i like their old stuff better." i bring this up because alison and i took a friend to "little miss sunshine" the other night. yeah, we'd already seen it and have even blogged about it here, but catherine hadn't and it's a good movie, so we went again. i was glad: the first time i really enjoyed the soundtrack but then forgot the name of the band that did it. i remembered to write it down this time: DeVotchka.

Here's the deal, though: this morning i was thinking about itunes-ing them and seeing if i might want to buy some of their music. i found myself deciding against it even before i gave them a listen. The reason is that i have what i figure is a prety accurate fear that whatever DeVotchka was--whatever qualities they had that i liked in that soundtrack--are now destined to change (and most likely in a bad way) and i don't want to see them go downhill. It's the syndrome of "i like their old stuff better" without ever even hearing their old stuff.

I found this kind of an odd response in myself, so i sat back and thought about it: fame/success changes things. Or, to put it another way: (possibly) like a small variation on Schrodinger's cat, observation not only changes a thing, but changes what it can become and even what it once was.

The music DeVotchka chooses to make in the future--since it will come after the increased observation afforded them by being in a fairly successful movie, and will therefore be driven by increased pressure from higher powers to increase profits--will almost assuredly be different music, i.e. it will not be Devotchka, but some sort of DeVotchkaldanger. I will therefore probably not like it. In addition, since this new Devotchka will be a sad imitation of the old and better DeVotchka, my non-memory of what i think they probably sounded like will be forever sullied. In other words--because their new stuff isn't the same, or as good as the old stuff, i don't like the old stuff i never heard, either.



Anonymous said...

But what if you like their old stuff even more? What if the soundtrack is just an introduction to something even better? Or their website has links to their favorite band and you fall madly in love with something new? It's Girlyman Syndrome, and you must overcome it.


Anonymous said...

You don't have to go far to find links. The grapevine says that Tom Hagerman (violin, accordion, piano, etc. for Devotchka & the movie soundtrack) will have his own CD released by the end of this year.