Carl Wilson has released a new edition of his book Let’s Talk About Love – Why other people have such bad taste. I, among others, contribute an essay to this edition. I was reading my contribution and want to expand on a point. I believe that one of the ways that Nirvana was successful is how Kurt Cobain connected with so many people on a personal level. I get approached so many times by people of all ages about how Nirvana changed their life. This is about countless individuals who are all on their own trip so I can’t expand on it except that it is very real.
I really like this book. Wilson is not a hipster music snob; you know, one those subversive types who in actuality are not subversive but cliché. If I sound judgmental about so-called hipsters, Wilson writes about judgments and comes out on the side of the notion of humanity. This book is not about scenesters or even Celine Dion – it’s about the connection between music and our humanity.
You’d think Wilson, who has served in the trenches of alternative news weekly writing, would come out gunning for Dion. Instead, he takes on the notion of subversion as an image or identity. He’s not a hater and in the process of trying to figure out why anybody in the world would listen to Dion, he becomes sympathetic to the singer and her league of followers.
Wilson knows his Indy rock. He's a believer, however, his apostasy is not about enchantment with a global pop singer. I’m not sure he even likes Dion’s music but he has utilized the phenomenon of her celebrity to make a point. He examines Dion’s appeal with the rigor of an academic, but this is not Social Psychology treatise. It is indeed a journey to the end of taste; reverse engineering of how certain music interacts with the individual in society.
Read this book!