Saturday, February 9, 2019

Approach to being a Fan (Competition and largely, but not JUST Music)

I have likely wrote about this mentality and approach maybe dozens of times to varying degrees in here. But it is something unavoidable for me to think about literally every day.

My and other approaches to being a Music fan, and it also applies to really anything entertainment-related (Movies, Television, Sports, Books, etc etc).

So I know and come across hundreds if not thousands of Music fans, who are HUGE, passionate, addictive, die-hard, hardcore, lifer, etc , etc pick your adjective, etc fans of 1 BAND or Artist.

And it can often become sadly about competition. Who is the BIGGEST fan. Who has seen them live in concert the most. Who has been a fan the longest. Who has the most items in their collection. Yada yada yada....

1 example is my wife. Her favorite band The Monkees, she naturally claims to have seniority on some fans, and a contemporary fan her same age who caught on when they were being run on MTV and/or Nick at Nite in the 80's she has remained friends with but also keeps tabs on his collection, who he has met, has what signed, etc.

It's not ever become bad or dark as they are friends, but they also do like to talk up their Monkees fandom accomplishments to eachother. It is for the most part, all in good fun still.

And the same for myself I guess ultimately, when I know other fans of my favorites: Marillion, Kevin Gilbert, The Dear Hunter.

But I guess I don't try to make it about being competitive, and even ENVY. I do or am Envious, but not in a negative way. Just like others might feel envious of me seeing Spock's Beard with Neal Morse live, or Fair to Midland as many times as I have, etc.

Or being a Lifetime Member fan of The Dear Hunter, etc.

But really, MY APPROACH has been for quite awhile, maybe even since I was a music fan to seeing music and entertainment largely as A LARGE BUFFET.

I want to take-in as much as I can and focus on the stuff I love most.

My goal isn't to be the #1 fan in the world of a band or artist. I would rather be a fan, or even a very knowledgeable fan who continues to love not only new artists I come across, but artists I have enjoyed for many years if not decades.

But it does get frustrating when I find people show their collections, or see X number of shows that I have not or don't own, and sort of feel like I should.

I guess I tell myself to be as much of a REALIST while still maintaining that PASSION.


So the other large part that almost daily feels like it can hit me in the gut, maybe due to me just letting it get to me a lot more than it should is this shit here in this blog and on YouTube and Social Media. Also relating to my contemporaries from High School, local Radio or just my age, SEEING THEIR SUCCESS WHILE I DON'T SEE ANY OF IT.


I am still a realist. I don't foresee/never would foresee making a 6-figure salary doing this. I wouldn't expect to become FAMOUS at least largely famous.

But you see others who sort of have, and many of them I like and support in the ways I do, but it goes back to what I said to myself about 10 years ago at my job. If they are, why can't I?

But I'm not going to come across as delusional as the way I do things in here and even on YouTube, it ain't gonna happen. It hasn't happened, and my current and maybe always my approach won't allow it really.

It is fair? maybe not totally.
Is it me? most definitely

So, what I do have I guess is I can attest, a quite small, mini following of people who are NICHE fans. Many of them musicians who I suppose can relate to that with the (lack of) following for their music (that it deserves). And I am grateful for those who do follow me and this blog and possibly on YouTube. Even if they don't read half of what I throw up in this space, they at least do pay attention once-in-a-blue-moon and knowing that at least it brings a smile to my face.

But coming to grips with this level of small/tiny following is all this blog may ever have is something I need to be okay and live with, and not worrying about others success. Good for them!, it's the way this world works (maybe in another parallel universe, this blog and my efforts are blown up a lot more. I at least like to believe that).

I guess though I would love to discover others who literally find a very similar approach to fandom:

They are not trying to be the biggest Rush or Dream Theater fan. But they are a fan of 100's of artists/bands who they know and own most if not their whole catalog.

Depth of musical knowledge (modern music, say from 1955 or 1965 on, and I'm guilty and still probably someday should try and become more versed in Pre-1965 Jazz and more Classical music especially).

I guess I hold on to feeling like I am 1 of the biggest fans though of the following obscure artists:
-Apes and Androids/Call Florence Pow
-The River Empires
-Brice Plays Drums

And of course among my all-time favorites:
-Kevin Gilbert/Toy Matinee/Giraffe/NRG/Kaviar
-Fates Warning/John Arch
-The Dear Hunter
-Bend Sinister

among many others I'm not remembering right now. But I don't know if I ever will see myself as their #1 Fan. That can be given to someone else.  But maybe I'm more of a Niche Gateway Music Fan for often obscure, independent progressive rock.

If you like this band, you might like this other band, etc.

But even at that, I wouldn't claim to be the #1 person for that, just a good source with a depth of knowledge for it (that consumes a boat-load of my free time). But I can't deny there are others out there that do know and do the same kind of thing.

But maybe not as largely focused on PCR (progressive college rock).

I would also say the same applies to movies and television. I'm a flag-waiver for niche shows and independent film (and even among that scene. I'm not the biggest Ghost World fan on the planet, but I can claim to love that movie more any other movie I've seen, sans for The Wizard of Oz).

But PCR, there is no focused Facebook Group or YouTube Channel for it (The Prog Report and maybe Notes Reviews may be the closest, but there's a ton of stuff on his channel that not, along with many PCR artists/albums that he doesn't cover still). This blog and those Social Media sites are them along with a few others like my friend Lorenzo at Altprogcore and Neesh who do talk about it very often. Or Jordan Blum who doesn't focus highly on it as he does cover a plethora of music within progressive rock and rock music in general, but he writes and promotes and does reviews for enough of it that he seems to be doing enough to have a good percentage of focus on it. I.e. if a new Coheed or The Dear Hunter album comes out, there's no question he'll write about it.