Just a quick comparison for those of you who may have Christmas and New Years Eve parties to go to in the days to come, during which a conversation about popular music may come up:
IF YOU NAME-DROP ELVIS COSTELLO…
…you will get the respect of the average person, because most people have heard of Elvis Costello, but aren’t familiar with more than a handful of songs. Since Costello is almost universally praised by critics, though, you will earn instant cred.
However, should you encounter another Elvis Costello fan, you will likely make a bitter enemy, as the rest of the evening will be spent trying to top each other about who has listened to the most obscure, non-mainstream EC recording (theoretically, the guy who has a copy of the opera that he wrote in 2004 wins, but I am not sure that anyone has ever actually bought that CD).
BUT IF YOU NAME DROP XTC…
…you will get no cred at all from the average person, because unlike Costello, most people are too unfamiliar with XTC for the reference to mean anything. No one knows any of their songs, although they may have read that a bunch of bands that came out with CDs in the past decade are supposed to have been influenced by them.
However, should you encounter another XTC fan, you two will become new best friends, because XTC fans are always so psyched to meet someone else who’s even heard of them. A person can go from zero to awesome instantaneously with the revelation of XTC fandom, and if two XTC fans of the opposite sex meet at a party, they are obligated at some point in the evening to make out with each other. At least.
SO WEIGH YOUR OPTIONS AND CHOOSE WISELY.