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The 30 Harshest Musician-on-Musician Insults in History
September 15, 2011 10:13 AM   Subscribe

"..what musicians might lack in verbosity, they more than make up for with vitriol. And UK musicians are far bitchier than US ones (or, perhaps, the UK music press just delights in reporting on insults)."

#2, wow.
posted by foxhat10 (85 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
This list is incomplete without Pat Metheney's incredible take down of Kenny G. that was discussed recently on MeFi.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:20 AM on September 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Those are nowhere near the 30 harshest. A few good 'uns though. God knows I'm no fan of the Gallaghers but this was a total bullseye.

14. Noel Gallagher on Jack White
“He looks like Zorro on doughnuts.”

posted by Decani at 10:20 AM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


"In History?" Please.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:20 AM on September 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


19. Kurt Cobain on Guns N’ Roses
“They’re really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they’re the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can’t believe it.”


Well, I'm no fan of Cobain, but...dude's got a point there.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:21 AM on September 15, 2011


Sorry, this one is golden too:

16. Alan McGee on Coldplay
“Coldplay are the dictionary definition of corporate rock. The singer is about as weird as Phil Collins. They are career rock personified. EMI should’ve signed Otis The Aadvark instead. At least he only sucks his thumb rather than corporate cock.”


[emphasis added for lulz]
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:24 AM on September 15, 2011


Those are considered harsh insults? Amateurs...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:24 AM on September 15, 2011


allen.spaulding: This list is incomplete without Pat Metheney's incredible take down of Kenny G.

Richard Thompson Agrees with Pat Metheny
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:27 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


allen.spaulding: This list is incomplete without Pat Metheney's incredible take down of Kenny G.

Richard Thompson Agrees with Pat Metheny


Dude DID hold a note for 45 minutes.

which was probably more interesting to watch than his concerts
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:30 AM on September 15, 2011


You call those insults? One could probably think of a number of musician feuds over time that have better pullquotes than that. The Mr. Bungle/RHCP fued comes to mind as one such source:

"I watched [their] 'Epic' video, and I see him jumping up and down, rapping, and it looked like I was looking in a mirror." - Anthony Kiedis

I kid, I kid... And yeah, #2 on the list was just in bad taste.
posted by mysterpigg at 10:30 AM on September 15, 2011


And of course Clapton's done more than just that; there's his racist rants too.
posted by Abiezer at 10:31 AM on September 15, 2011


"In History?" Please.
posted by seanmpuckett


I agree. Like your list!
posted by foxhat10 at 10:38 AM on September 15, 2011


AKA: Elton John Hates Everyone
posted by The Whelk at 10:39 AM on September 15, 2011


This list is incomplete without Pat Metheney's incredible take down of Kenny G.

Well that was ridiculously pretentious. Glad I missed it the first time.

Anton Newcombe wins hands down.

What's Mark Everett's (is that the Eels guy?) claim against John Lennon based on?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:44 AM on September 15, 2011


Oh jeez. That ten-page web crap was like going to a concert where the performers spend more time blathering at the audience than they do playing music, and you just think to yourself "STFU and play" and then when they do STFU, you think "I hope it gets better than this." And then it never does.

I read the author-on-author insults, they were better, but still disappointing. I think maybe optimum results would come from a crossover of the two groups: music journalists. I still think perhaps the most intense insult I ever heard was from some NME writer, who responded to some bitcherel from his writer ex-girlfriend of 20 years ago, "Those who are fat and forty, wish they were thin and twenty."
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:55 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"You could go to any Levellers concert and stand in the middle and shout, ‘Jeremy!’, and 75% of the audience would turn round."

What does Richey Edwards mean here? Is 'Jeremy' a typically middle-class (in the British sense of the term) name?
posted by Kattullus at 10:57 AM on September 15, 2011


Yes, that'd be his point, Kattullus.
posted by Abiezer at 10:59 AM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hope that someday I'll be a successful enough musician for a famous superstar to say something mean about me.
posted by The World Famous at 11:07 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


“Music journalists like Elvis Costello because music journalists look like Elvis Costello.”

I like Elvis Costello, but damn that's funny.

Also, only one rap example (albeit at #1)? The Kool Moe Dee/LL Cool J feud alone could probably place a couple on this list.
posted by googly at 11:10 AM on September 15, 2011


Not only are most of these not terribly harsh, but most of these aren't even insults.

"They're dicks!"
OH BURN.

"Stupid bitch."
WOAH!

I mean, honestly. How is "I fucked your bitch" an insult?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:11 AM on September 15, 2011


David Lee Roth's takedown of music journalists made me laugh. Love him or hate him, the man's good for a quote.

"Money can't buy happiness, but it CAN buy a yacht you can pull up riiiiight beside it." -- DLR

And it figures Cobain would moan about Guns'n'Roses. God forbid anyone write popular uptempo rock songs that make people happy. How INAUTHENTIC. Yeah, GnR mostly sucked, but Appetite For Destruction was still ten times the album Nevermind was, though the two of them together were the final nails in the coffin of punk rock.

Sorry for the derail. I just hate everything Nirvana.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:17 AM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here is the list so you don't have to wade through 6 pages of advertisements to get about 60 lines of text:

30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire
“I get really tired of their pompousness [sic]… We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit. People treat Arcade Fire like they’re the greatest thing ever and they get away with it… They have good tunes, but they’re pricks, so fuck ‘em.”

29. Christina Aguilera on Lady Gaga
“I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman.”

28. David Lee Roth on Elvis Costello
“Music journalists like Elvis Costello because music journalists look like Elvis Costello.”

27. Lily Allen on Cheryl Cole
“Taking your clothes off, doing sexy dancing and marrying a rich footballer must be very gratifying. Your mother must be so proud. Stupid bitch.”

26. Trent Reznor on Marilyn Manson
“A malicious guy [who] will step on anybody’s face to succeed, and cross any line of decency.”

25. Mark E Smith on Mumford & Sons
“There was this other group warming up … and they were terrible. I said, ‘Shut them cunts up!’ And they were still warming up, so I threw a bottle at them … I just thought they were a load of retarded Irish folk singers.”

24. Courtney Love on Dave Grohl
“As for that drummer, well, he’s hit on me so many times. He’s just a very very conflicted guy about me, which is why he continually writes songs about me to hear he ‘hates’ me more than ‘anyone else.’ Kurt loathed HIM more than anyone else (except a journalist) … He’s just sub-mediocre kind of [guy] who does this ‘nice guy’ nonsense.”

23. Dave Grohl on Courtney Love
“She’s an ugly fucking bitch.”

22. Kathleen Hanna on Courtney Love
“Where’s the baby? In the closet with an IV?”

21. Paul Weller on Freddie Mercury
“He said he wanted to bring ballet to the working classes. What a cunt.”

20. Richey Edwards on The Levellers
“You could go to any Levellers concert and stand in the middle and shout, ‘Jeremy!’, and 75% of the audience would turn round.”

19. Kurt Cobain on Guns N’ Roses
“They’re really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they’re the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can’t believe it.”

18. Nick Cave on Red Hot Chili Peppers
“I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

17. Noel Gallagher on Kaiser Chiefs
“They play dress-up and sit on top of an apex of meaninglessness. They don’t mean anything to anybody apart from their fucking ugly girlfriends.”

16. Alan McGee on Coldplay
“Coldplay are the dictionary definition of corporate rock. The singer is about as weird as Phil Collins. They are career rock personified. EMI should’ve signed Otis The Aadvark instead. At least he only sucks his thumb rather than corporate cock.”

15. Elvis Costello on Morrissey
“Morrissey writes wonderful song titles, but sadly he often forgets to write the song.”

14. Noel Gallagher on Jack White
“He looks like Zorro on doughnuts.”

13. Rick James on Prince
“A little short ego-ed fucker who I had a feeling didn’t like people of his own race and wanted to be white and taller.”

12. Mark “E” Everett on The Beatles
“John Lennon sings about peace because he’s a woman-beater. Hippies are so full of shit.”

11. Richey Edwards on Slowdive
“We hate Slowdive more than we hate Hitler.”

10. Ian Brown on Bono
“He’s such a fake, isn’t he? When he did Live Aid, which made them a worldwide group … he looked out and [saw] that black girl in the middle of all them people, and she’s from Hackney or something, and he was like, ‘Here’s a great shot for me around the world to show I’m Mr Africa.’ It’s like colonialist times with a big white hat.”

9. Robert Smith on Morrissey
“If Morrissey says not to eat meat, then I’ll eat meat — that’s how much I hate Morrissey.”

8. Morrissey on Bob Geldof
“Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Band Aid was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.”

7. Elton John on Madonna
“Anyone who lip-synchs in public on stage when you pay £75 to see them should be shot.”

6. Boy George on Madonna
“A vile, hideous human being with no redeeming qualities.”

5. Boy George on Elton John
“All that money, and he’s still got hair like a fucking dinner lady.”

4. Elton John on Keith Richards
“It’s like a monkey with arthritis, trying to go onstage and look young.”

3. Morrissey on Brett Anderson
“He’ll never forgive God for not making him Angie Bowie.”

2. Anton Newcombe on Eric Clapton
“People talk about Eric Clapton. What has he ever done except throw his baby off a fuckin’ ledge and write a song about it?”

1. Tupac on The Notorious BIG
All of “Hit ‘Em Up,” really, but particularly this: “I fucked your bitch, you fat motherfucker.”
posted by Theta States at 11:18 AM on September 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Years ago Randy Newman was interviewed in Q magazine and the conversation turned to U2. He said something like, "I was against world peace until U2 came out for it. Then the scales just fell from my eyes." It still makes me laugh.
posted by Man-Thing at 11:31 AM on September 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


Nick Cave on RHCP - damn, that's 100% spot on.
posted by porn in the woods at 11:38 AM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


This list is incomplete without Pat Metheney's incredible take down of Kenny G.

Pat Metheny would prefer that rant stopped making the rounds.

It's probably fair game because of how widely it was passed when he first wrote it (a VERY long time ago), but I think fairness also requires some context. He wrote that for a message board on his website that was pretty insular and had taken on a very casual tone. This was back before everybody on the Internet learned the word "viral," and Metheny never expected the post would be passed outside his little forum, let alone become a worldwide jazz-news story. He apologized and expressed regret for writing it.

I think that backstory is especially relevant in the context of this FPP.
posted by cribcage at 11:43 AM on September 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, only one rap example (albeit at #1)? The Kool Moe Dee/LL Cool J feud alone could probably place a couple on this list.

Yeah, it was kind of weird that almost the whole list was Anglo-American indie/classic rock dudes, and then they just stick a hip hop track in at number one. And, I would argue, not even the most venomous diss track in hip hop history.
posted by Rangeboy at 11:51 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Richey Edwards on Slowdive:
“We hate Slowdive more than we hate Hitler.”


I love Slowdive, but damn Richey Edwards was a funny bastard.
posted by Skygazer at 11:55 AM on September 15, 2011


3. Morrissey on Brett Anderson
“He’ll never forgive God for not making him Angie Bowie.”


That is absolutely, completely sublime.

I liked Alan McGee calling Coldplay 'music for bedwetters' as well. Surprised they didn't work that into the article.

Henry Rollins on Morrissey: "he typifies how fucked up you Limeys are. Go for a walk, get some sunshine, get some vitamin C. Get a girlfriend, get a James Brown CD, GET OVER IT".

Henry Rollins on Bono: "he talks a good game but he can't walk it. If he tried that shit in my neighbourhood, the local crack dealers would have taken him out ages ago".

Mark E Smith "If he'd known about the way they burned witches and that, Jesus would have been mad. But if he Jesus had seen U2, he'd be very mad indeed. Jesus would throw bottles at U2"
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:09 PM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I once read an interview where Boy George said that Prince "looked like a dwarf who fell into a vat of pubic hair". I am strangely sad at that comment's absence from this list.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:22 PM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Comes off as weak ass, for bad article formatting (thanks theta states!), poor subjects, (for the most part) weak, bitchy insults and obligitory rap inclusion.
Where is Glenn Danzig getting punched out? Why is the tradition of disses in rap left out.

also: needs more Henry Rollins.
posted by djrock3k at 12:31 PM on September 15, 2011


You always hear musicians saying "The music doesn't come from me, man. I'm just a channel for it."

Well. Look what runs in the channel when the music dries up!
posted by Twang at 1:38 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


You always hear musicians saying "The music doesn't come from me, man. I'm just a channel for it."

What they mean is that the music was ghostwritten by a professional songwriter, played by studio musicians, and produced and engineered by hitmakers and that they, the "musician" are just the designated pretty face for the venture. When they say the music doesn't come from them and that they're just a channel for it, they are telling the literal truth.
posted by The World Famous at 2:01 PM on September 15, 2011


My votes:

30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire ... because it's like that moment in middle school when the two "good kids" end up pounding the shit out of each other. So satisfying to realize that even angels have got poison in them.

18. Nick Cave on Red Hot Chili Peppers ... because he's right and I've been there; that's what the early-mid 90s were like for a while, f***ing Chili Peppers everywhere, spraying their odious funk. They were way better before they had any hits and they just played bars up and down the west coast, naked, blitzed on strong drugs, wearing socks over their dongs.

2. Anton Newcombe on Eric Clapton ... because that shit really is vicious, and probably true. Clapton's career was nowhere so he tossed his kid off a balcony, wrote a song about it, slowed Layla down and made a killing ...and yet I still like what they guy did back in the 60s and early 70s.

Honorable Mention to Bono in general for inspiring so much bile. Must've been how Jesus felt.
posted by philip-random at 2:05 PM on September 15, 2011


What's the Clapton story? Was he ever suspected for having been involved?
posted by Theta States at 2:08 PM on September 15, 2011


What's the Clapton story? Was he ever suspected for having been involved?

Nope. He wasn't even in the apartment when it happened, according to the boy's mother. Sounds like a freak accident -- lively kid running around and playing inside + janitor in the middle of cleaning a huge window and leaving it open = accident. Clapton was actually probably in the lobby waiting for the elevator to take him up to the apartment at the exact second it happened.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:17 PM on September 15, 2011


Surprised no one has yet mentioned Elvis Costello's take on Morrissey.
It's precise and dead-on accurate.

I'm still amazed at how we've let the Moz get away with a quarter century of serviceable-to-shit quality songs just because The Smiths were brilliant. A track record like that should suggest that he didnt hold nearly all the magic in that band himself.

(cue someone to step up and defend one of Moz's awful and turgid solo records)
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:26 PM on September 15, 2011


cue someone to step up and defend one of Moz's awful and turgid solo records

Viva Hate has lot of great guitar played by Vini Reilly. And both Vauxhall and I and Your Arsenal took a while for me to get, but I really liked them once I did. I still do. They're not super brilliant albums or anything. But they're not awful and turgid. If you don't like Morrissey's style as a vocalist, though, I can see how you could hate them.

Does that count as a defense?
posted by The World Famous at 2:36 PM on September 15, 2011


I'm still amazed at how we've let the Moz get away with a quarter century of serviceable-to-shit quality songs just because The Smiths were brilliant.

Can we throw Meat Is Murder in with serviceable-to-shit stuff, please? All that song ever did for me was make me hungry for steak, which I think qualifies it as a complete failure.

As for the Clapton baby stuff, we really are just being pricks about it (self included). Which points to the inherent toxicity of fame. It infects everything it touches with unreality. So yes, you can take a man's unimaginable tragedy and casually flip it into imaginings of his psychopathology just because you happen to HATE a certain song (or other stuff his famous self has allegedly perpetrated.

But it is true, Clapton must have a little teflon in his soul, getting off as easy as he has for his transgressions of August 1976 ...

Rock Against Racism was founded in 1976 by Red Saunders, Roger Huddle and others. According to Huddle, "it remained just an idea until August 1976" when Eric Clapton made a drunken declaration of support for former Conservative minister Enoch Powell (known for his anti-immigration Rivers of Blood speech) at a concert in Birmingham.[2] Clapton told the crowd that England had "become overcrowded" and that they should vote for Powell to stop Britain from becoming "a black colony". He also told the audience that Britain should "get the foreigners out, get the wogs out, get the coons out", and then he repeatedly shouted the National Front slogan "Keep Britain White".[3][4]
posted by philip-random at 2:37 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can we throw Meat Is Murder in with serviceable-to-shit stuff, please?

Absolutely not. That album ruled for me:

1. "The Headmaster Ritual" 4:52
2. "Rusholme Ruffians" 4:20
3. "I Want the One I Can't Have" 3:14
4. "What She Said" 2:42
5. "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" 4:59
6. "How Soon Is Now?" (Originally not released on UK and European issues of the album) 6:46
7. "Nowhere Fast" 2:37
8. "Well I Wonder" 4:00
9. "Barbarism Begins at Home" 6:57
10. "Meat Is Murder" 6:06

Meat is Murder the song, yeah whatever, completely over top bullshit in retrospect, but the rest of that record was absolutely one of the best of the 80s.
posted by Skygazer at 2:44 PM on September 15, 2011


The Clapton thing sounds like a Chinese whispers version of the joke:

Q: What did Clapton do after he wrote Tears of Heaven?
A: Threw his kid out of an apartment window.
posted by dydecker at 2:45 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


If this is musicians insulting musicians, what's Christina Aguilera doing there?
posted by Splunge at 2:55 PM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am a HUGE Smiths fan. Excluding Kill Uncle (which is a weird fucking album), Morrissey's first 3 albums--Viva Hate, Bona Drag (singles), and Your Arsenal--compare very favorably to the Smiths catalog, IMO. I'd take any of those 3 over Meat is Murder or Strangeways.

Picadilly Palare, The Last of the Famous International Playboys, Hairdresser on Fire, Interesting Drug, Angel, Angel, Down We Go Together, National Front Disco, You're Gonna Need Someone on Your Side, and, of course, We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful ... all great songs.

I used to have a big rage-on against Morrissey for killing The Smiths. I got over it.

Henry Rollins on Morrissey: "he typifies how fucked up you Limeys are. Go for a walk, get some sunshine, get some vitamin C. Get a girlfriend, get a James Brown CD, GET OVER IT".

"Henry Rollins discusses Morrissey while introducing the video for 'November Spawned A Monster,' on the Australian music video program rage."

A lot of people don't like Morrissey because of his sexuality, his stance on animals, and the fact that he doesn't take any shit.

He reminds me of the last time I was almost assaulted for no reason--"what are you, gay, or are you just trying to be different?!"--more power to him.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:16 PM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


If this is musicians insulting musicians, what's Christina Aguilera doing there?

The same thing as David Lee Roth, only on pitch.
posted by The World Famous at 3:24 PM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


You sorta just proved Costello's point with your post. An armada of brilliant titles chained to the lead weight of tepid, flavorless songs that don't really go anywhere.

As for your second point, no one here is talking about his personality or public antics. This is strictly about his bland solo catalogue which we would never have endured had he not been in The Smiths.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:25 PM on September 15, 2011


30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire FTW. I really like Wayne.
posted by Sailormom at 3:27 PM on September 15, 2011


Also "Interesting Drug" may be the reason people started referring to things as "the worst"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:37 PM on September 15, 2011


"As for your second point, no one here is talking about his personality or public antics. This is strictly about his bland solo catalogue which we would never have endured had he not been in The Smiths."
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:25 PM

Morrisey: boring people to death since 198whenever.

Christ, turgid doesn't even begin to descibe his voice.
posted by marienbad at 3:44 PM on September 15, 2011


Yeah, GnR mostly sucked, but Appetite For Destruction was still ten times the album Nevermind

I agree about Appetite for Destruction, but Nevermind's contemporary GnR release was Use Your Illusion, with it's November Rains and Don't Crys and Knockin on Heaven's Doooooooo-uwoahwoahwoahyeahs.
posted by Hoopo at 3:51 PM on September 15, 2011


Is the Reznor quote about Marilyn Manson even meant to be an insult?
posted by mannequito at 4:07 PM on September 15, 2011


Is the Reznor quote about Marilyn Manson even meant to be an insult?

I have a hard time imagining someone describing another person as "malicious" and meaning it any other way.
posted by The World Famous at 4:17 PM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Nick Cave quote is perfect. Hate the Chilli Peppers.

Morrisey: boring people to death since 198whenever.

Christ, turgid doesn't even begin to descibe his voice.


WTF does that mean? You're worse than KFC.

Missing, oh, half the songs Dylan wrote.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:49 PM on September 15, 2011


So, this is basically "your favorite band sucks and someone else's favorite band agrees with me."
posted by The World Famous at 4:57 PM on September 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, this is basically "your favorite band sucks and someone else's favorite band agrees with me."

Indeed. Most, if not all of these quotes tie into the high school level mentality that the bands you like and the people in them, whom you don't know, say something about your personality and identity (sadly we see the same thing with Operating Systems, Phones, and Digital Watches) I remember being told I thought certain people were idiots because I didn't share their musical taste. Absolute nonsense. I thought nothing of the sort. Of course once you get past that bull shit it's just you like this or that or you don't, for the most part. But comments like that sell records to teenagers and keep you in the NME.

A lot of people don't like Morrissey because of his sexuality, his stance on animals, and the fact that he doesn't take any shit.

For me, the Smiths highlight was the music of Marr, but Morrisey with Marr was spectacular and unique. I don't think his solo work holds a candle to it musically, in fact I find it quite awful, personally, and if Morrissey was going in that direction lyrically, I understand, if one can understand from such a distance, why Marr could no longer work with him (though Strangeways showed a direction that I quite liked both lyrically and musically and remains my favourite Smiths disc, as it is for Marr and Morrissey). As for not liking him, I don't think many people know him, but from what I've heard, and his conduct in court (if he doesn't take shit he sure as hell can dish it out), I wouldn't want to hang with him personally, though there are few musicians I would quite frankly, if any.

That Rollins piece was hilarious. Was he still in high school then? Was he serious or was that utter genius comedy, sort of like an Ali G character?
posted by juiceCake at 5:48 PM on September 15, 2011


A lot of people don't like Morrissey because of his sexuality, his stance on animals, and the fact that he doesn't take any shit.

Morrissey would probably beat me to death because of my views on animal rights, but I still admire his music.

Indeed. Most, if not all of these quotes tie into the high school level mentality that the bands you like and the people in them, whom you don't know, say something about your personality and identity

It doesn't? You can listen to the Chilli Peppers and not be a bland, chilled out surfie bro?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:07 PM on September 15, 2011


Yes. Just as an example, Breaking the Girl is a great song by any standard. I like a lot of Blood Sugar Sex Magick because it reminds me of high school, and while it wasn't my fave and Kiedis sort of rubs me the wrong way there are some really good songs on there.
posted by Hoopo at 6:22 PM on September 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


#30 isn't so much an insult as an accusation. If the Arcade Fire really do treat people like shit, then they are indeed pricks.

I thought Wayne Coyne was great until the Flaming Lips show at Bonnaroo 2010. That was so, so boring. Even though the band came onstage out of a 4-storey vagina. Wayne couldn't sing, and couldn't interact with the crowd beyond a few monotonous phrases. It's like he was expecting the highness of the crowd to make up for it. Thankyou

#25... you don't like the music so you thought they were "retarted". Why is that even worth printing.

#14 is genius, but a little over-the-top mean-spirited considering how irrelevant Noel Gallagher is.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 7:15 PM on September 15, 2011


Oh damn, I put "retarted" in quotes when I meant "retarded". I am ashamed
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 7:16 PM on September 15, 2011


I am truly baffled as to how anyone could refer to Slash as talentless. I mean, feel free to not like what he does, but clearly he can play guitar.
posted by Put the kettle on at 8:27 PM on September 15, 2011


30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire FTW. I really like Wayne.

I don't really get that quote. Everything else I've read has implied Arcade Fire are pretty chill, and that Coyne is a pretentious stoner prick...
posted by Theta States at 9:05 PM on September 15, 2011


Henry Rollins on Morrissey: "he typifies how fucked up you Limeys are. Go for a walk, get some sunshine, get some vitamin C. Get a girlfriend, get a James Brown CD, GET OVER IT".

I know Rollins is no homophobe, but this really rubs the wrong way when you're talking about Morrissey. And I don't even care about his solo career.
posted by Adventurer at 12:48 AM on September 16, 2011


I thought Wayne Coyne was great until the Flaming Lips show at Bonnaroo 2010. That was so, so boring. Even though the band came onstage out of a 4-storey vagina.

They've been doing the same show for ten years, except every once in a while they add some new kind of balloon. It's kind of a problem.
posted by Adventurer at 12:51 AM on September 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks for that. I saw The Flaming Lips recently and didn't enjoy them. I've just assumed that was another manifestation of my depression.

Seeing then again at a festival in a few months. I'll see if I enjoy them more.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:08 AM on September 16, 2011


"retarted"

I had a tart, but I ate it, so then I had no tart. But someone brought me another tart! So now I am retarted.
posted by Grangousier at 2:33 AM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


tl;dr as in too lame,...
posted by nicolin at 3:00 AM on September 16, 2011


A lot of people don't like Morrissey because of his sexuality, his stance on animals, and the fact that he doesn't take any shit.

Personally, I'm a huge Smiths fan. I did think the Rollins quote I posted was pretty funny, and quite accurate though. With the following exception...

I know Rollins is no homophobe, but this really rubs the wrong way when you're talking about Morrissey.

Good point; I must admit I hadn't read it in a homophobic way, but it's certainly poor wording at best when referring to the Moz.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:18 AM on September 16, 2011


I thought Wayne Coyne was great until the Flaming Lips show at Bonnaroo 2010. That was so, so boring. Even though the band came onstage out of a 4-storey vagina. Wayne couldn't sing, and couldn't interact with the crowd beyond a few monotonous phrases. It's like he was expecting the highness of the crowd to make up for it.

He's like that a lot. Saw them at Primavera and he'd stop-start every song and yell 'c'mon motherfuckers' trying to get everyone to cheer, then when we did the camera would go in close on his grinning face, then he'd play another chorus, then do it again. And again. And again. Again a few months later and it was a bit better, mainly because they were playing the Soft Bulletin and actually had to finish the thing before curfew.

The best Flaming Lips albums are great beyond belief, but I really have no desire to ever see them live again.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:20 AM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


They've been doing the same show for ten years,

Twelve years actually. But man but it was a motherf***er of a show twelve years ago! Or so I heard. I didn't get around to seeing Flaming Lips until about five years ago at which point the show was merely great (sort of -- the guy I saw them with was seeing them for the third time and he was less enthused). Now, to hear they're still doing the same thing, and crabbily (with occasional new balloons) is kinda sad, because even when I saw them, the vibe was resolutely positive, enthusiastic, fun. Reminds me of Robert Anton Wilson quote:

"A man can change from liberal to conservative in twenty years without changing a single idea."
posted by philip-random at 9:24 AM on September 16, 2011


30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire FTW.


I agree. I'm sure the Arcade Fire are a bunch of pretentious creeps. Wayne's the shit. He cut his teeth on slogging it out old school punk rock style over many years of obscurity and what, the Arcade Fire put one release on the internets and become the biggest thing since peanut butter?

I think they're a flash in the pan. Too much attention, too soon. When they've been at it 30 years like the Lips they can act like pricks.

My heart's with Wayne on this...

But damn, The Lips need to do something really great again. Something huge and great as The Soft Bulletin. And I think they will cos they're geniuses. Maybe a full length mindblowing aural concept Sci-Fi feature film.

Anyhow, check out The Fearless Freaks if you haven't yet, one and all.
posted by Skygazer at 9:38 AM on September 16, 2011


Also the idea that a band like the Flaming Lips would come out of a place like Oklahoma is something verging on an immaculate conception style miracle. They fact they still live there is another miracle.

Arcade Fire had an instant community who embraced them and now deify them, they have zero idea what it's like to work for something with little return on your ideas. Yeah, ARcade Fire are a bunch of spoiled pretentious jerks...no doubt about it.

posted by Skygazer at 9:43 AM on September 16, 2011


Fearless Freaks is great, agreed -- all the evidence anyone needs that Flaming Lips are the real thing, hardest working band in showbiz and all that. They've been at it so long I actually forgot (in my last comment) that when I saw them five years it wasn't the first time I'd seen them, but the third. The other two times were way back, late 80s, early 90s, when they were doing slash + burn psyche/punk and nobody would've bet they'd still be around putting on the "greatest show on earth" more than twenty years later. Inconceivable.

the Arcade Fire put one release on the internets and become the biggest thing since peanut butter?

I think they're a flash in the pan


Um, no. Hate 'em all you want but flash in a pan they're not. They have three strong, relevant albums, the most recent of which is anything but the sign of a band on the wane. It just isn't.
posted by philip-random at 9:49 AM on September 16, 2011


Yeah, Arcade Fire is so big at this point it feels like what's the point in getting into them, as these things go they'll probably break up in couple of years.
posted by Skygazer at 10:12 AM on September 16, 2011


Um, no. Hate 'em all you want but flash in a pan they're not. They have three strong, relevant albums, the most recent of which is anything but the sign of a band on the wane. It just isn't.

I could have sworn Skygazer was issuing pure parody, but maybe not. I still can't tell!

Arcade Fire is so big at this point it feels like what's the point in getting into them, as these things go they'll probably break up in couple of years.

You make them sound like Coldplay (who absolutely no one is worried about breaking up). Let's keep some perspective here. Take a look at the top 40 best-selling (U.S.) albums of 2010. No Arcade Fire Suburbs anywhere.

Mumford & Sons, Florence & the Machine, and Gorillaz (!) were all much bigger. Arcade Fire is no longer at the Bottom of the Hill, but they are still much more like Warfield (6,000) or Greek Theatre (8,000) than Sleeptrain Pavilion or Oakland Coliseum.

How Arcade Fire Conquered the Charts

"Indie rock is back atop the Billboard 200: Arcade Fire's third album, The Suburbs, debuted at Number One with 156,000 copies sold. That puts the Montreal collective on par with Vampire Weekend, whose indie-released Contra grabbed Number One in January of this year."

So Arcade Fire is about as big as Vampire Weekend. Despite the MP3blog hype, that's not that big, relatively speaking (i.e. nowhere near Taylor Swift or Rihanna).

Also, fwiw, Arcade Fire has been around for over 10 years now. The breakout album was in 2004, and they're released 2 albums since. I will disagree that their latest doesn't show them on the wane, but they are definitely not a flash in the pan.

I'm convinced they are the Fleetwood Mac of the 2000s, and I fully expect Regine to flame out and go solo, so you're probably right about the breakup. She is criminally underused on lead vocal.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:30 AM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


what, the Arcade Fire put one release on the internets and become the biggest thing since peanut butter?

Since you phrased that like a question, I can give you the answer: no. They became big because of fawning coverage in the indie music press, touring North America, and (here in Canada), the radio. They did it the old-school way.

I think they're a flash in the pan. Too much attention, too soon. When they've been at it 30 years like the Lips they can act like pricks.

Their debut album (which was more than just a single) came out 7 years ago. Teenagers and college students probably think they're irrelevant. Not an old band, but not new or young either.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:42 AM on September 16, 2011


Arcade Fire had an instant community who embraced them and now deify them, they have zero idea what it's like to work for something with little return on your ideas. Yeah, ARcade Fire are a bunch of spoiled pretentious jerks...no doubt about it.

Really? Are you being serious here?

If so, can you help me with something? I'm in a band and we're getting ready to release an album. We are in one of the biggest cities in the world - not Oklahoma. How can we get an instant community who embraces us and then deifies us? I would really like to get that set up before we release the album.

Unfortunately, I have been in lots of other bands before this one and worked on and released a lot of other music projects that have not made me an instant rock star. So I do understand what it's like to work for something with little return on my ideas. But now that I know there's some way to avoid all that and instantly be deified by an instant community, I'm sure this time will be different.

Thanks in advance!
posted by The World Famous at 10:45 AM on September 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


How Arcade Fire Conquered the Charts

That is really a frustrating article. It does not tell me how Arcade Fire conquered the charts at all. How can I conquer the charts?!?
posted by The World Famous at 10:54 AM on September 16, 2011


I may have linked the wrong article. It's mostly because they brokered a deal with Amazon to sell the digital album for $3.99. Apparently, Amazon often short-sells albums (I think they pay Merge $7 for each one) in order to establish itself as a major music player by affecting the Billboard charts.

It's kinda like HMV/Tower/SamGoody selling Mariah Carey cassingles for 50 cents in the '90s. Pretty much every big release for a while had a discounted cassingle to scam SoundScan.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:11 AM on September 16, 2011


If so, can you help me with something? I'm in a band and we're getting ready to release an album. We are in one of the biggest cities in the world - not Oklahoma. How can we get an instant community who embraces us and then deifies us? I would really like to get that set up before we release the album.

Well, first off, try not to suck. I think that's pretty important, and I'm sure you guys probably don't. How can I be so sure? Well, because with enough promotional muscle behind you ($$$), and enough Pitchforkian swooning ($$$. Find the best music writer you can offer him mega $$$ to write a swooning essay on how your band basically brings together heaven and earth and have him/her compare your band to every sacred cow, rock, punk, post-punk , indie whatever band you guys don't even have to like, but sorta sound like), and the right word of mouth ($$$) and the proper exposure in the proper web and print resources and web, and real radio (College and Alternative - $$$) and...and...proper little scams (think loss leading - $$$) as the one pointed out by Mr. Grimm, and enough good players of a classical nature who'll basically play on your songs and live for you for a minimal amount of $$, you too, can be the next Arcade Fire.

Also, t-shirts and stickers and posters, and vinyl (gives you cred), and parties and pay people (mostly chcks) to come to your shows and pay people to buy your CD's....

Eventually people will actually just buy them and come to your shows on their own dime, provided you....don't suck.

So...yeah: Try not to suck. Get a good business guy/manager who's onboard with really working it as outlined above, so you can just focus on the music and not suck.
posted by Skygazer at 11:26 AM on September 16, 2011


Well, first off, try not to suck. I think that's pretty important, and I'm sure you guys probably don't.

I'm pretty sure we don't suck. We work very hard not to suck.

Well, because with enough promotional muscle behind you ($$$) . . . ($$$) . . .($$$) . . .($$$) . . .($$$) . . . you too, can be the next Arcade Fire.

Hm. That might be a problem.

I might just have to settle for having what I consider to be a really, really good album.
posted by The World Famous at 11:39 AM on September 16, 2011


Could someone explain why it's apparently been decided that Arcade Fire are a bunch of creeps/jerks/pricks/phonies/whatever? I have liked their music since Funeral and have seen them live once, and as far as I can tell they seem like decent people, but I'm certainly open to hearing otherwise. I can accept that artists whose work I enjoy are shitty human beings; I just hadn't hear anything to suggest that this was the case for Arcade Fire.


I am truly baffled as to how anyone could refer to Slash as talentless.
Offhand, my suspicion is that if Kurt were put on the spot to defend that statement, he'd likely have to admit that it had a lot more to do specifically with Axl (with whom he had a longstanding feud) than with Slash's musical abilities.
posted by naoko at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2011


I might just have to settle for having what I consider to be a really, really good album.

Awesome plan. But do get it out there so people can buy it online quickly and easily and get some $$$ going for your next one.
posted by Skygazer at 11:48 AM on September 16, 2011


Awesome plan. But do get it out there so people can buy it online quickly and easily and get some $$$ going for your next one.


In all seriousness, we are developing a pretty solid distribution and PR plan for it and are working with some great people on video and web concepts. So who knows? Either way, though, we're really happy to have music we're proud of.

Could someone explain why it's apparently been decided that Arcade Fire are a bunch of creeps/jerks/pricks/phonies/whatever?

Maybe I can shed some light. I mean, I don't know precisely what Wayne Coyne's experience has been in his direct interactions with members of Arcade Fire, so maybe they were mean to him once or something. But generally, here's my own perspective as just a spectator:

The first time I saw Arcade Fire on TV, my initial, visceral reaction was "what a bunch of phonies." That came from a combination of things, including their clothing, apparent stage attitude, the fact that there are like ninety people in the band playing instruments that don't appear to actually be part of the musical arrangement, and things like that. Also, I'm just judgmental like that, apparently.

I stuck with it, though, and was eventually (and pretty quickly) converted to being a fan of theirs because I recognized some genuine brilliance in the music itself, the attempt to re-create tricky production in a live setting using unusual arrangements and instrumentation, and what appears to be some genuine quirkiness on the part of the performers. So I really like them now. But I did initially think they looked like a bunch of phonies. Also, I came to realize that they are basically The Tragically Hip trying to create an homage to Rush, and that's pretty cool.
posted by The World Famous at 11:52 AM on September 16, 2011


Also, I came to realize that they are basically The Tragically Hip trying to create an homage to Rush, and that's pretty cool.

In... that... all three bands are Canadian?

Sonically those bands are all so different I'm having trouble understanding the comparison. Or do you mean a popular rock band with a looser sound trying to create an homage to a nerdy prog band with a tight sound?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:47 PM on September 16, 2011


Then there's that whole Arcade Fire stealing that basketball (or basketball player Paul Davis) thing.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:57 PM on September 16, 2011


In... that... all three bands are Canadian?

In that the performance style and lyrical style (as well as a lot of the songwriting) of Arcade Fire is often a dead ringer for The Hip and Gord Downie, specifically, and in that The Suburbs seems like an overt homage (or maybe a response) to Rush's Signals album and the song "Subdivisions," specifically.

Here's one take on it.

I see so much Gord Downie in Win Butler that it's a little scary (and that's a good thing). Maybe it's just me, though.
posted by The World Famous at 1:07 PM on September 16, 2011


NSFW Ice Cube vs. NWA

Dr. Dre vs. Easy E and the NSFW version uncensored

NSFW Dre recants

The Tupac/Biggie stuff is legend...there's a lot of hip hop out there with quite a bit of vitriolic insults, many homophobic diatribes.
posted by Chuffy at 1:10 PM on September 16, 2011


Arcade Fire anger people because they're sincere, or at least pretend to be. Amazing live too.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:50 PM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


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