Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm Not as Hip as You Think I Am, Part II

I like old things—aged liquors and crow's-footed dads, for instance—so why should my affinity for has-been musicians and reunion tours buck the trend?

Below I’ve plotted a single random sampling of Shows I’ve Seen (by year, indicated by the blue "^" line) alongside When the Band/Performer Had Their Breakthrough (by year, indicated by the purple "o" line). Pinpointing a band’s breakthrough is an inexact pseudoscience—especially when some of these bands haven’t hit a recognizable commercial stride. Here the term mostly applies to a band’s best selling album, best charting album or single, or the height of their critical acclaim, visibility or ubiquity. Don’t crucify me with your contentions, but respect that I finally made a graph that required some, uh, research.

(click to enlarge)

The main idea is that there’s a whack-ass disparity between when I pay to see my beloved geezers and when these geezers were first gaining relevancy. On average, I see an act 11 years after they matter. And this disease has only been getting worse—three of the four breakthrough nadirs occur on the right-hand side of the page.

Surprisingly, I’m most relevant with my hip-hop. Which is news to me? Of the five acts I’ve seen within three years of their breakthrough (yellow dotted lines), three are hip-hop acts. Insert Tracy Jordan comment on blackness here.

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