Jeff Tweedy Explains How to Learn to Love Music You Hate: Watch a Video Animated by R. Sikoryak

Punk rock peer pres­sure forced Jeff Tweedy, founder of Wilco, to shun Neil Young and oth­er  “hippie“musical greats.

Ah, youth…

Were Tweedy, now a sea­soned 51-year-old, to deliv­er a com­mence­ment speech, he’d do well to coun­sel younger musi­cians to reject such knee jerk rejec­tion, as he does in the above ani­mat­ed inter­view for Top­ic mag­a­zine.

Not because he’s now one of those grey beards him­self, but rather because he’s come to view influ­ence and taste as liv­ing organ­isms, capa­ble of inter­act­ing in sur­pris­ing ways.

That’s not to say the young­sters are oblig­ed to declare an affin­i­ty for what they hear when ven­tur­ing into the past, just as Tweedy does­n’t fake a fond­ness for much of the new music he checks out on the reg­u­lar.

Think of this prac­tice as some­thing sim­i­lar to one mil­lions of child­ish picky eaters have endured. Eat your veg­eta­bles. Just a taste. You can’t say you don’t like them until you’ve active­ly tast­ed them. Who knows? You may find one you like. Or per­haps it’ll prove more of a slow burn, becom­ing an unfore­seen ingre­di­ent of your matu­ri­ty.

In oth­er words, bet­ter to sam­ple wide­ly from the unend­ing musi­cal buf­fet avail­able on the Inter­net than con­ceive of your­self as a whol­ly orig­i­nal rock god, sprung ful­ly formed from the head of Zeus, capiche?

The nar­ra­tion sug­gests that Tweedy’s got some prob­lems with online cul­ture, but he gives props to the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion for its soft­en­ing effect on the iron­clad cul­tur­al divide of his 70s and 80s youth.

Was it real­ly all just a mar­ket­ing scheme?

Unlike­ly, giv­en the Viet­nam War, but there’s no deny­ing that edu­cat­ing our­selves in our pas­sion includes approach­ing its his­to­ry with an at-least-par­tial­ly open mind.

If you want to snap it shut after you’ve had some time to con­sid­er, that’s your call, though Tweedy sug­gests he’s nev­er com­fort­able writ­ing some­thing off for­ev­er.

If noth­ing else, the stuff he dis­likes teach­es him more about the stuff he loves—including, pre­sum­ably, some of his own impres­sive cat­a­log.

Kudos to direc­tor Kei­th Stack and Augen­blick Stu­dios, ani­ma­tor of so many Top­ic inter­views, for match­ing Tweedy with car­toon­ist R. Siko­ryak, an artist who clear­ly shares Tweedy’s cre­ative phi­los­o­phy as evidenced by such works as Terms and Con­di­tions and Mas­ter­piece ComicsHere is anoth­er who clear­ly knows how to make a meal from mix­ing old and new, tra­di­tion­al and exper­i­men­tal, high and low. One of the bonus joys of this ani­mat­ed life les­son is catch­ing all of Siko­ryak’s musi­cal East­er eggs—includ­ing a cameo by Nip­per, the face of His Mas­ter’s Voice.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Kurt Cobain Lists His 50 Favorite Albums: Fea­tures LPs by David Bowie, Pub­lic Ene­my & More

The Out­siders: Lou Reed, Hunter S. Thomp­son, and Frank Zap­pa Reveal Them­selves in Cap­ti­vat­ing­ly Ani­mat­ed Inter­views

‘Beast­ie Boys on Being Stu­pid’: An Ani­mat­ed Inter­view From 1985

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist ofthe East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Join her in New York City June 17 for the next install­ment of her book-based vari­ety show, Necro­mancers of the Pub­lic Domain. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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