My favourite example of influence in music is Buck Owens on Merle Haggard. Not only was Merle very heavily influenced in his musical style (they had the two best bands of their eras in country music), he even married Bonnie, formerly Mrs Owens! That's what I call committing to your influences!
My favourite category error (obviously we all have long lists of these) is questioning the meaning of life.
― Martin Skidmore, Sunday, 21 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Nathalie, Sunday, 21 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― mark s, Sunday, 21 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
But I've never enjoyed the Clash and i can't see the influence of TMR
I think beefheart has been inspiring because his music is unique and
any band would I'm sure love to make music with that quality but
surely a band/individual will be influenced by everything that they
― Julio Desouza, Sunday, 21 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
I wondered how he could do that (shut it out, that is)?
cf: "i use the word 'red' to mean every colour, visible or invisible"
Derek bailey's guitar playing. Mark, don't you think his playing has
given players such as S. Jaworzyn, Masayuki Takayanagi, Chadbourne,
starting points when they tried to develop their own way of
improvising on the guitar.
''"influenced by everything that they hear" = the word is basically
cf: "i use the word 'red' to mean every colour, visible or
I take your point abt my previous post but there are certain things
you can trace.
― Josh, Sunday, 21 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Sterling Clover, Sunday, 21 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
a) Spicy Beef Jerky snacks
b) Cough Syrup
c) Airplane Glue
d) Other ____________
― Alex in SF, Tuesday, 23 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― mark s, Tuesday, 23 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
what i'm getting at here is that influence is far more a pre-
emptive declaration on the part of the artist, than an empirical
evaluation on the part of the listener (eg if we adopted el
presidente's distinction on the "is courtney mad?" thread, his
hard-and-fast distinction between the work and the media storm,
then "influence" belongs to the media-storm NOT the work)
for what it's worth, i don't believe MY position on "influence", but i
don't really understand everyone else's: what the word means
seems to slip around all over the place... it's way too big and
Part of my problem: If someone asked me who *I* was
"influenced" by I have no idea what I'm supposed to be saying.
Who do I think I read like? Who defines the area I think I'm
working in? Whose work am I continuing? Whose work am I
challenging? Whose little phrases do I like to steal? Who do I
want to fight? Who do I want to fuck? Who do I want to
schmooze? D'you mean conscious or unconscious influence?
I like the idea that it's a vector for a necessary argument with the
reader/listener: I say "I'm influenced by x", my reader says "No,
you're influenced by y" and out of that dissonance comes the
actual valuable bit of what I do. (=> any case where musician
and listener AGREE on influence = music of no worth...?)
I do think this critical complication applies to all art, or anything
which was created with an audience in mind, be it visual, aural,
sensual, whatever. Interesting question raised by Mark's post: Is
direct copying (or scanning) with a machine influence?
Similarity (however narrowly or broadly construed) is a necessary but
not sufficient condition of "influence". "Influence" can be defined
as relationship between two artists, X and Y, such that "X influenced
Y", if two conditions are satisfied: (1) Y is similar to X and vice
versa (similarity being commutative), and (2) X predates Y and some
plausible chain of events can be postulated such that Y was aware of
X (or of another artist, Z, who was aware of X, or of a chain leading
back to X). Without the second condition, "influence" cannot be said
to have occurred. For instance, let us say that anthropologists
discover a tribe of pygmies who have had no contact whatsoever with
any person outside of their tribe for the past 50 years, and let us
further say that in the culture of this tribe there is a form of
music which sounds practically identical to Barry Manilow's second
album. Would anyone dare to say that the pygmy music was "influenced"
by Barry Manilow? Of course not. Therefore, similarity is not
sufficient condition for "influence".
The preceding paragraph is only an attempt to define what critics
generally mean when they use the term "influence". It should not be
interpreted as a defense of the usefulness or meaningfulness of said
term. I think both conditions of the definition are vulnerable to
attack. Regarding condition 1: isn't it possible for X to be
influenced by Y, even if X and Y are not similar? For instance,
perhaps a leftist punk band could have been influenced by the
vapidity of Britney Spear's latest album to release something
diametrically opposed to it. Regarding condition 2: isn't this notion
of a "chain" of influencing events often unproveable, and therefore
problematic. Furthermore, since it is exterior to the content of the
music itself, shouldn't it be dismissed as the province of
psychologists or biographers, and not fit for the critic's attention?
― o. nate, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink