With regard to the last segment of Mike DeBonis’ “Washington’s Worst Career Moves” (4/8): Am I to construe that the measure of success of one’s musical career is heavy rotation on MTV2? Call me naive, but exposure for exposure’s sake isn’t synonymous with “good,” as anyone witnessing the Paris Hilton media juggernaut can attest. Not every artist equates success with fame. By DeBonis’ logic, should I confer fuckup status to, say, John Kennedy Toole or Emily Dickinson, both writers who did not pursue fame and whose works were not widely celebrated until after their deaths?
The art world is rife with artists who, for one reason or another, either opted to forgo the typical trappings of fame for artistic integrity or simply were not on the cultural radar during their lifetime. Some artists have the misfortune of simply being ahead of their time or perhaps favor their own artistic growth over mass recognition.
Ian Svenonius has undeniably been greatly influential to many, many musicians. And imitation, as they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. The fact that Svenonius has remained true to the integrity of his artistic vision should be viewed as success, in light of the current glut of overhyped, overexposed bands of the month. More power to him.