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Friday, January 30, 2009

Spare a thought for poor old Ryan Adams (and his underappreciated career)


As some of you might already know, prolific songwriter Ryan Adams recently announced he would be leaving the music business, explaining that he's sick of being taken for granted and is battered by the road. "i lost more than anyone will ever know (hearing, someone i loved, my sense of dignity, a never ending losing battle with stage fright and now my hearing and balance due to an inner ear issue."

Apparently a show at Atlanta's Fox Theater on March 20 will be his "last venture" with his group The Cardinals. "Maybe we will play again sometime and maybe i will work my way back into some kind of music situation," he writes, "but this is the time for me to step back now, to reel it in and i wish everyone peace and happiness." As for how he'll be remembered, Ryan writes the following: "i am a punch-line and a footnote"... ouch.
 
Now in all fairness, lately he's kind of lost my interest, and something tells me I'm not alone there. But for him to just slip out the back door like this, well, just seems a bit sad and unfair.
 
Here are a few of my own highlights of his career so far:
 
  (Heartbreaker, 2000)
  
  (Demolition, 2002)

 

 (Rock 'n Roll , 2003)
   
 (Love is Hell, 2003)
 
And finally, a few points of advice to musicians not wanting to end up like poor old Ryan Adams (and his underappreciated career):
 
-Don't release so damn much. If Ryan Adams' career isn't clear enough testament to that, just look at Robert Pollard, who single-handedly chased even his last few remaining fans away by releasing on average of an album per month for the past 20 odd years
 
-Don't blog. It just tends to make you look petty, narcissistic and touchy (Hey, Kanye). You may well be extremely pissed off at some c level celebrity you bumped into at a club on Wednesday night.  But chances are you won't even care about it anymore the next day. But if you blogged it, people will remember it (and Stereogum will likely have a feature on it).
-Stay away from Winona Ryder: Ok, the facts, well they kinda speak for themselves: Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst, Dave Pirner (Soul Asylum), Beck, Pete Yorn, etc. While there might not be any clear causal relationship that I can prove in these pages, they didn't exactly get better (after Winona) now did they?
 
-Don't announce your retirement from music when everyone knows you'll be back anyway. See ya around, Ryan!

6 comments:

liz said...

Loved this post. Especially the Winona bit.

Angst-filled mister adams will be back eventually... he does need a break though. I wasn't a fan of Cardinology & think he needs to go dream it up again. You are right, he should quit the blogging. He comes across as whiny & ridiculous & he fuels all of the critics that seem to get him so riled up. It sounds like he had a tough year - but hey, Ryan, we have all lost important things. This is why folks like your music - we relate.

(I do ♥ Kanye's blog though. A lot. It makes me laugh in the best of ways. He, and only he, can pull of the ALL-CAP O HELL NO RANT.)

liz said...

Oh, and FYI.

http://stereogum.com/archives/ryan-adams-will-be-your-valentine_050321.html

Steven B. said...

Thanks Liz!

He should just move somewhere else, maybe a small town or something, drink whiskey and write. He definitely also needs to stop being so aware of everything, letting everything affect him so damn much!

And yeah, Kanye's got style :-)

Sandy said...

I would like to smack all the people who suggest that an alcoholic should "just...drink whiskey and write--" I admire people like Ryan Adams
who are clearly survivors, who have wrested their sobriety back, at no doubt some cost. I find contemptible the ones who offhandedly suggest that his starting to drink again would cure whatever they think ails him.

Steven B. said...

Ryan Adams is an alcoholic?

In that case, no, of course he shouldn't 'drink whiskey and write'.

Though it wasn't actually meant literally. I meant Ryan should just ignore things (bad energy around him/people that enjoy bringing him down)and focus on what he's good at: writing songs.

Sorry if I offended you.

Do you honestly think I would suggest that an alcoholic should just keep drinking to solve his problems??

I occasionally wonder if some people just spend the whole day trawling the internet to find something that could in some way be construed as offensive...

Anonymous said...

I would like to smack all the people who get on their high horse and start huffing and puffing the minute anyone let's slip an off-the-cuff comment.

It's hardly like Steven B is Ryan Adams' AA counsellor is it? 'Whining Ryan' isn't popping round to LHNA HQ in his darkest, weakest moments only for Steve to casually slide a glass of Maker's Mark over the table with a nod and a wink.

Stopping being so dreadfully precious.