Saturday, December 09, 2006



I've got it! When I first posted about The Killers, I mentioned that they reminded me of some other band. Well, it's not ONE other band they remind me of, more like a cross between a couple of bands - Echo & the Bunnymen and The Cure. Somewhere on Hot Fuss, during some little phrase, Brandon Flowers also sounds like Freddy Mercury. You probably don't think so, and that's okay. In fact, you'll probably think that The Killers sound like someone else altogether.

Why is comparison of the unknown to something known such a human trait? I'm sure a scientist or psychologist could give me a good answer to this. Like our fear of the unknown, like our desire to figure things out & we have to do the comparison in order to understand new things. Blah, blah, blah.

The one place where comparisons drive me batty is when they are used to critique a creative artist. "That painting of a nude by Gesso McPainterly has the verve of a VanGogh with a splash of Renoir and a twist of O'Keefe." This practice of comparison during critique has become so commonplace that it's starting to smack of lazy writing. Maybe that's because the comparisons are made within the same field, i.e. new musicians are compared to older musicians, new writers are compared to older writers, etc. What if critics started comparing musicians to writers or sculptors or movie directors? What if they started comparing songs to books or paintings? You might end up with something like this: "The new album of Band X has overtones of a Coen brothers' movie, with the raw quirkiness of Christopher Moore's book "Coyote Blue" and the scattered notes of an Alexander Calder mobile."

People would have to think about comparisons like these, but they'd sure make the critiques more interesting.

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