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August 25, 2012 5:59 PM   Subscribe

LA Weekly decides the Twenty Worst Hipster Bands, to go along with their past Twenty Worst Bands of All Time.
posted by Isadorady (261 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
'Hipster' bands? Those bands are total mainstream sellouts!
posted by box at 6:00 PM on August 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


8 pages for 20 bands? Fuck you LA Weekly, you are scum.
posted by elizardbits at 6:01 PM on August 25, 2012 [88 favorites]


Whatever. I hate these 20 bands you've probably never heard of.
posted by gompa at 6:04 PM on August 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


It seems the LA Weekly editors will run anything to break up the endless parade of ads for pot dispensaries, escorts, and breast implants/lap bands. I know alt-weeklies have it rough, but LA Weekly is just a few steps away from LA Xpress at this point.
posted by jimvinson at 6:05 PM on August 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


OK. So. Who are the 5 best hipster bands?
posted by Ardiril at 6:08 PM on August 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


No. Really.
posted by Ardiril at 6:09 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Got to love that LA Weekly actually has an entire tag category "Haterade".

I think that pretty much says whatever needs to be said about lists like these.
posted by hippybear at 6:09 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Happy Your Favorite Band Sucks Day!
posted by not_on_display at 6:11 PM on August 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wow, I am so fucking tired of hearing people bitch about hipsters. Young people who like music, and coffee, and creativity, and sort of care about shit? Yes, please.

I hear this caricature of these people as obnoxious, smelly, arrogant trustafarians, and I've never met anyone like that, and I hang out in the right circles. You know who I've met? People who see someone who dresses differently and likes lesser-known bands, and makes a whole heap of negative assumptions about them and everything they like.

Also, regarding these bands: a) many of them are not hipster bands, they are far too well-known for that (Arcade Fire? Death Cab for Cutie?? Are you fucking kidding me?), b) the ones I know are pretty much all great.

But yeah, LA Times article guy, you're real fucking cultured, trashing music that sounds different than whatever trash they're playing on the radio.
posted by !Jim at 6:11 PM on August 25, 2012 [60 favorites]


I strongly suspect an accurate list of the 20 worst bands, either of all time or of a particular category, would include exactly zero bands anyone outside their hometowns had ever heard of.
posted by aaronetc at 6:12 PM on August 25, 2012 [20 favorites]


By the way, the one trustafarian guy I've met was this bro-y guy who borrowed my phone to call his fucking coke dealer, who called back a few months later angry about something (this is how I learned not to loan my phone out to people I don't know very well.) I'll tell you though, that guy knew where to get good hot wings in LA.
posted by !Jim at 6:13 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


ads for pot dispensaries, escorts, and breast implants/lap bands.

Lap band? They're pretty obscure; you've probably never heard of them.
posted by zippy at 6:13 PM on August 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I don't know much about any of the bands listed on the hipster page, but the 20 worst bands of all time is full of nothing but trolling statements.

Bravo, LA Weekly. You have trolls for writers. Just like most of the internet.
posted by hippybear at 6:13 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some of these are in the running for the 5 best hipster bands.
posted by vogon_poet at 6:15 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Who are the 20-worst-kittens? Come on LA Weekly, I know you can do it in over ten pages!
posted by munchingzombie at 6:15 PM on August 25, 2012 [26 favorites]


And honestly, looking at the accompanying photos for both lists, this is really just "we hate bands which have members with facial hair".
posted by hippybear at 6:16 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rush is not the 9th "Worst band of all time" and I'm forced to conclude that LA Weekly is trolling for pageviews, because that cannot be a genuine opinion.
posted by hellojed at 6:17 PM on August 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


PRBDrinkers? Sure.
posted by Ardiril at 6:18 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Twenty Worst Pages To Wring Ad Impressions Out Of

Spoiler Alert: They are all LA Weekly pages.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:18 PM on August 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


hipsters don't exist

there are only people who have similar tastes and know each other and do similar things in ways that have been labeled 'hipsterish'
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:18 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, I went to college with the dudes from White Rabbits! It was cool when they first started getting some national recognition, but now they're a bonafide clickbait keyword. Congrats, guys.
posted by joechip at 6:19 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


LA Weekly is trolling for pageviews

perhaps it's the only way they can get them! I know I certainly won't be giving them any more after this.
posted by hippybear at 6:20 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just say 'no' to posting 20 best/worst articles. This is the one straw too many.
posted by Ardiril at 6:21 PM on August 25, 2012


If someone could clue me in on whether the article, the bands, and/or the comment thread thus far are self-parody, I would appreciate it.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:24 PM on August 25, 2012


OK. So. Who are the 5 best hipster bands?

Alright, I'm just going to list off the ones from this list that I like, because fuck this guy.

I added links to videos for each of a song I like. I apologize if they're not available for all you lovely people.

1. The Black Keys--I don't actually like this band much anymore, but they have a great thing they do, and I think they do it well.
2. Death Cab for Cutie--kind emo-ish I guess? They have great little catchy/poppy tunes about girls and stuff.
3. Arcade Fire--actually, I'm not going to be able to describe the bands well, so I'm going to stop trying.
4. tUnE-yArDs--holy crap do I love this band.
5. Bon Iver--he certainly has his critics around these parts (and the criticisms aren't unfounded), but I find a lot of their music incredibly beautiful.

Finally, check out:

1. Nicolas Jaar (and attached acts)
2. Jacques Greene
3. Shlohmo
3. John Talabot
4. King Krule

That's a reasonable sampling of what my hipster-y friends (they might be offended if they read this...) are listening to.

The other thing I'd like to say is these people listen to a very broad set of music, and in general I'd say they're music fans first, and fans of novelty or whatever second.
posted by !Jim at 6:25 PM on August 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


Well, Westhoff was right about Pomplamoose…
posted by ob1quixote at 6:26 PM on August 25, 2012 [12 favorites]


On the Pistols

"Sloppy, derivative and obsessed with shock value for its own sake, the Pistols set the template for British punk rock bands trying too hard."

Well, yes that's the point. One could almost say it was a Rock and Roll Swindle.

Te be fair though - Matlock, Jones Cook and Lydon were a great band. They wrote some great pop songs. I wouldn't cast them in the same list as Perl Jam, Black Eyed Peas or Hootie and the Blowfish.
posted by mattoxic at 6:27 PM on August 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Thanks !Jim.

I.G: The hipster list reads like it was compiled by someone who spent too much money at the Whiskey during the mid-80s.
posted by Ardiril at 6:27 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Er. Seely I mean.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:27 PM on August 25, 2012


Well, yes that's the point. One could almost say it was a Rock and Roll Swindle

If I understand how this went down correctly, it's actually a really interesting bit of history. My understanding is that in the 60's and '70s I guess all these bands like Led Zeppelin were putting on these huge, excessive shows, and doing this like elaborate style of music, and then punk rockers came up and were like, man fuck that, we can do the same but with less, or at least we can disguise it better and get to what's real. I feel like this kind of happens in a lot of places where there's competition--you get these big bloated encumbents who end up getting taken down by people who figure out how to distill the same thing down to something a lot lighter that still has the essential bits.

That might be bullshit though, I don't really know anything about anything.
posted by !Jim at 6:31 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw, come on, guys! This is the right way to do irritating goddamn list posts: heavy on the irritating, heavy on the listing, and heavy on the god-damning. This wasn't a terrific article but lines like this are worth at least half a damn:

Conor Oberst has been straining to open an impossibly sealed mason jar for about 14 years now.

And in celebration of their #1 pick, a few anti-Bon Iver jokes I wrote last year for no reason at all:

— So Bon Iver walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender says, Why the long face? and Bon Iver says, Ooooooooooooaaaaaaaaooooo and the bartender says Shut the fuck up, Bon Iver

— Q: What's worse than finding a Bon Iver in your apple? A: Bon Iver's music.

— Bon Iver walks into a bar and says Got any grapes? The bartender says Fuck you Bon Iver you're not allowed in my bar anymore
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:31 PM on August 25, 2012 [50 favorites]


I don't listen to any of those bands, but they're fine, they deserve to exist. Except Oasis; Oasis is the 100 worst bands of all time. All of them.
posted by Huck500 at 6:32 PM on August 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


I like most of the hipster bands listed but I'm pushing fifty so the fact that I like them is probably a strike against them.
posted by octothorpe at 6:34 PM on August 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


LA Weekly lists are annoying.

People who take them seriously enough to suffer butthurt are annoyinger.
posted by bardic at 6:34 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


OK. So. Who are the 5 best hipster bands?

Robots in Disguise 5 times. There, sorted.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:36 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like most of the hipster bands listed but I'm pushing fifty so the fact that I like them is probably a strike against them.

Hey, they pissed the haterade in our direction when they talked about the Decemberists. Apparently there's something wrong with being a folk-rocking 40-something.
posted by immlass at 6:36 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mike Seely is awful. He is an editor at the Seattle Weekly. Defending their 'Backpage' sex work ads, he explained that the ads were performing a service, grouping all the sex traffic victims/child prostitutes in one place. But he is right about Pomplamoose- that's the definition of insufferable shit. Thing is, I doubt anyone really considers them hip. They're just selling shit for honda, right? Their definition of hipster is way off the mark.
posted by kittensofthenight at 6:36 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


This list does include a lot of bands/singers whose popularity baffles me. I'd say I agree with 15/20.
I'm surprised that Deerhoof was overlooked; I thought they'd be number one.
posted by Flashman at 6:40 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Again, Indie Rock Pete: "Nothing is any good if other people like it."
posted by bitterkitten at 6:40 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ah, the bands on the list that I recognize, I like. So I guess I should go check out some of the others. Thanks, LA Weekly. Plus, it'll be like being back in high school again, when the bands I liked were publicly despised too. Oh, Devo, weren't those the days?
posted by benito.strauss at 6:41 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually kinda shocked they didn't put She & Him on the list just to have any excuse to rant about Zoeey Deschanel. Plus it is a pretty shit band.
posted by vuron at 6:41 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


In Pomplamoose's defense, when they first made it big they were hip as shit. Their covers of Single Ladies and (especially) My Favorite Things were smart, fun, and the Pomplamoose aesthetic wasn't a "thing" yet so it was just two cool musicians doing a cool thing and they were very very likable.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:42 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ahhh vapid linkbait, it makes the Internet go round.
posted by Theta States at 6:42 PM on August 25, 2012


Holy link bait
posted by czytm at 6:42 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read their "Top Twenty Musicians of All Time" list, and it is so refreshing to finally see someone besides me place Notorious B.I.G. between Bach and Mozart.
posted by 4ster at 6:43 PM on August 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Pomplamoose is great. I think of it as music from a future where everyone wears the same unisex jumpsuits and we all eat nutritional pellets made out of processed krill. It seems lo-fi and "authentic" but it is obviously carefully engineered to cause the least rocking possible. It is more an institutional method of population control than music, ain't nobody getting it on when Pomplamoose is on.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:44 PM on August 25, 2012 [27 favorites]


I don't like this 'article', I don't like the author, and I don't like the publication it's in. I think I like myself less for actually reading some of it before going 'fuck this'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:46 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Bravo, LA Weekly. You have trolls for writers.

check out the 20 greatest musicians of all time - above bach, above the beatles and the stones, above miles davis and beethoven, they have listed as the world's best musician ever ...

william hung

how can i take anything they say seriously after this?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:46 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


In all fairness, the LA Weekly took a serious hit when Matt Groening ended his Life in Hell comic...
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:46 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's just a list of 20 bands. The worst hipster band is the one you haven't heard of yet.
posted by betweenthebars at 6:47 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


At least they got the No. 1 right on the twenty worst of all time.
posted by repoman at 6:47 PM on August 25, 2012


So in the 20 Worst of All-time, you consider Pussycat Dolls a band, but not other pop groups like Backstreet Boys and N'Sync? I probably wouldn't put them on the list either. And then proceed to hate on groups that are well-respected and well-liked.

Riiiiiggghhhttt.....
posted by XhaustedProphet at 6:48 PM on August 25, 2012


The first list was nothing more than another depressing example that I've moved from the "hipster" to "Get off my lawn and turn down that racket" stage of life as I could neither hate on or agree with the list since I hadn't heard of like 3/4 of the bands.

I thought most of the "Worst Bands of All-Time" list was kind of silly with some of the targets being too easy, but did like seeing my own passionate dislike of The Eagles validated by an official source.
posted by The Gooch at 6:48 PM on August 25, 2012


Wow. The LCD Soundsystem entry on the 20 Worst Bands page is a textbook example of WOOOSH re: "Losing My Edge".
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:48 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


No joke, I discovered a bunch of those great bands he name-drops thanks to Losing My Edge.
posted by !Jim at 6:51 PM on August 25, 2012


It seems like LA Weekly is trying to get all 20 slots on the "Most Obviously Link Bait Article - Music Edition" list.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:52 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I recently had this conversation with my husband about Conor Oberst. It's like, he likes a whole bunch of similar bands but whenever I talk about Bright Eyes he devolves into this whining falsetto. I get the distinct impression that Oberst is threatening to a lot of dudes because he was successful at like 14 (which is why he was into the Cure in 3rd grade, dude was pretty much a fetus when he first got successful) and all the ladies love him. Whatever, I think he's got a lot of great songs and he's a terrific lyricist. Ditto, Death Cab.

I'm glad that my favorite band isn't listed here, though I guess that Tullycraft isn't really "hipster."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:53 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is nothing more hipsterish than your favorite band sucks.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:54 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Re: Rush as one of the worst bands.

You realize that Jason Segel's character's obsession with Rush in I Love You Man is tongue in cheek, right?

Au Contraire!
posted by ShutterBun at 6:55 PM on August 25, 2012


so la weekly is an authority? huh

i learned something today
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:57 PM on August 25, 2012


The only thing hipsters do worse than music is bitch about other hipsters music.

And the Decemberists are fucking awesome and I'll fight you.

And I'm nearly 45 and I'll fucking win, too.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:58 PM on August 25, 2012 [16 favorites]


I need to compile my list of "100 Biggest Hate-ons By Music Critics".

Jebus, what a bunch of fucking self-righteous, talentless, lazy and classist hacks.

This is pop music, people. None of the bands have to be any "good" in an objective sense because there is no fucking "objective."

The real shame is spending that much time chasing down all these bands. Who fucking cares? Push yourself away from the computer and go see the real world.

If a band makes something that tweaks the current zeitgeist, you'll hear it eventually. You don't have to be the first to enjoy the band. You don't have to apologize for liking them, or getting in late. You don't have to obsess on getting every single, or making sure you buy the right media.

It's fucking pop music. It can be trash or sublime, and it can even be the two at the same time. My advice is stop reading about it, and certainly stop writing about it. Not until this current crop of hipster-hating hipster-seeming writers learns a little about this thing called "criticism."

Because it isn't what they are doing.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:59 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Holy fuck. What happened to the LA Weekly? I probably haven't picked one up this century. Now I'm glad I haven't bothered.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:59 PM on August 25, 2012


ShutterBun: linkfail
posted by hippybear at 7:00 PM on August 25, 2012


How did Sufjan not make this list? Seems like he should hit about all of the criteria they are using...
posted by MysticMCJ at 7:03 PM on August 25, 2012


fixed, thanks

Also folks, let's not forget that L.A. Weekly is a magazine, intended to entertain, inform, or otherwise do things that might cause people to want to read it.

Reading about hipster bands getting hated on is entertaining for some folks.
posted by ShutterBun at 7:05 PM on August 25, 2012


I didn't get the Dave Matthews Band (or the Spin Doctors) love back in the day, and revisiting it now doesn't make it better. So I kinda agree these are bands that definitely should make a "what were people thinking" short list.
posted by maxwelton at 7:07 PM on August 25, 2012


It looks like the LA Weekly is filled with self-projected hate because they all work for the LA Weekly. It's like instant karma: the crime and the punishment are one in the same.
posted by deanklear at 7:07 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The guitar-and-drums "blues" punk combo thing wasn't very good even when The White Stripes did it.

Stopped reading right about there.
posted by starman at 7:10 PM on August 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


At least they included Dave Matthews, Spin Docs, Foreigner, and the Eagles in their worst list. I concur.
posted by readyfreddy at 7:13 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Bon Iver...who needs em. They're a complete rip-of Iron and Wine, and Iron and Wine is a complete ripoff of LOW and LOW is a complete rip off of Codeine. And Codeine were a rip off of Slint.

And now I want my fucking coolness prize, RIGHT NOW LA WEEKLY!!
posted by Skygazer at 7:14 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok... what is the definition of a hipster? Like, to be a hipster only x amount of people can like a thing and once that x amount of people like that thing than it's too mainstream to be considered hipster? Or is it someone who likes non-mainstream things and then act like they are better and have disdain for those who follow mainstream things? Or something?

How about liking things just because you like them and they make you happy?

I seriously was called a hipster because I wear skinny jeans and happen to love some bands that are really not "mainstream" (honestly, I randomly found most of them on Youtube). I just like things because...I like them.
posted by littlesq at 7:18 PM on August 25, 2012


I'm so glad LA Weekly finally decided to take down all those hipsters. I was totally mad that no one else was ragging on hipsters so thank you LA Weekly.
posted by mcmile at 7:18 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


The best hipster band out there has to be the Swedish group Ghost (and you really need need need to see the same song performed live).

The only problem is that I'm not sure they're a hipster band. First of all, I think I heard about them from an interview with Metallica I accidentally read. Metallica's collaboration with Lou Reed last year did not increase their hipster cred one iota - it only brought Reed's down even lower than it was already. Second - and this is the important part - I have no idea what a hipster band is either. I just wanted people to hear Ghost because they've been cycling through my head for days and days now and it's really been a beautiful thing.
posted by item at 7:21 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Disclaimer: I used to work with Ben and Mike so I think of them as people, not just click-generators.

Ben wrote a very nice, long article on the history of legendary LA radio station KDAY last month. A piece of authentic music journalism. It didn't get posted to MetaFilter and probably didn't get a lot of pageviews. This did/will. People got to eat.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:23 PM on August 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


My personal list goes "any of those damn bands named 'word the noun'." It's getting so that I can't tell whether the local DJ here is naming a band or having a stroke.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:27 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


How old's Obama? I think I'm older. Anyway, what I definitely am is unclear on what a hipster is. Actually, there's even uncertainty there. Because I think that hipster list is exactly the kind of thing a hipster would throw together. Am I on to something here? The thing that throws me off is Bon Iver. Can't say anything by that guy (it's a guy, right? Not a band) has ever made any impression on me. Not awful -- just meh? (is that a hipster word?) Also, Pomplemoose (or however it's spelled). What an awful name for anything, except perhaps grapefruit ... if you're French.

In conclusion. I agree. This sucks balls. It's everything that's wrong with humanity.
posted by philip-random at 7:33 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, really? That song is great. I mean, that live version is kind of janky, but that's a really great song.

I think out of fairness, you have to tell me a song you like now so I can tell you how awful it is.
posted by !Jim at 7:37 PM on August 25, 2012


Ok, a few shots in there were kind of funny. "Bon Iver is the sonic equivalent of an empty canvas totebag."

And I agree with everything said about Pomplamoose, but I'm still infatuated with them. Nataly Dawn could stare at me without blinking for an hour and that's all I'd ever need.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:41 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, also? This is a really good time to set a new Bucket List item: NEVER EVER READ THE L.A. WEEKLY AGAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. What a rag.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:41 PM on August 25, 2012


Baroness has been getting a lot of shit as 'hipster metal' lately, but they fucking rule. I defy anyone to dislike this.
posted by Existential Dread at 7:41 PM on August 25, 2012


Man, I started with their 20 worst bands and thought "troll bait" two pages in. What a total waste of time. Didn't even get to the list of supposed hipster bands but if they really did include Arcade Fire and Black Keys, it's just a pathetic attempt trying to get some spin. I won't waste time there again.
posted by Ber at 7:42 PM on August 25, 2012


Conor Oberst has been straining to open an impossibly sealed mason jar for about 14 years now.

I don't what the fuck that means except that this person doesn't know shit about or like music.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:50 PM on August 25, 2012


I spent ten minutes Googling guitar-and-drums duos just to make a joke, then forgot the punchline.
posted by box at 7:50 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mmmmm. Just saying that I am willing to nominate myself for August Worst Post...
posted by Isadorady at 7:52 PM on August 25, 2012



Man, really? That song is great. I mean, that live version is kind of janky, but that's a really great song.

I think out of fairness, you have to tell me a song you like now so I can tell you how awful it is.


Sorry.
I was being ironic.
I love Intervention.
posted by philip-random at 7:52 PM on August 25, 2012


And yeah, L.A. Weekly has done some decent journalism in the past, even if it sometimes veers into the "the government invented AIDS, maannnn" territory.

But they're music coverage is intolerably awful. It's linkbait by and for people who don't like music.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:52 PM on August 25, 2012


On the plus side this article taught me about Simon Joyner (who sounds more like early Beck or Smog than Bright Eyes to me, but whatev).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:54 PM on August 25, 2012


Skipping over my usual bile towards Conor Orifice for a moment...

Do the Black Keys remind anyone else of Blueshammer? Just me? Okay.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:55 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also this list is incomplete without Amanda Palmer. THERE, I SAID IT.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:56 PM on August 25, 2012


You Flat Duo Jets stans are all haters.
posted by box at 7:57 PM on August 25, 2012


I recently had this conversation with my husband about Conor Oberst. It's like, he likes a whole bunch of similar bands but whenever I talk about Bright Eyes he devolves into this whining falsetto.

I actually refused to listen to Bright Eyes for a while because people told me he was "emo" (which was the trendy meaningless slur before "hipster" if you recall.) I actually thought I hated him, and I had never heard his music.

Now he's literally my favorite contemporary artist. Music can be pretty great if you throw away all the cultural baggage and just give it a chance. So many music writers seem to like sounding smart about music, as opposed to actually liking music.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:57 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Conor Orifice

AWESOME GOOD ONE BRO YOU CHANGED MY MIND HE SUXXOR LOL
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:58 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Amanda Palmer is a hipster darling? Not from my perspective.
posted by Ardiril at 7:59 PM on August 25, 2012


I've never been so pleased to see Bon Iver as #1 on a list before.
posted by thorny at 8:03 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I like Beirut. I'm not getting the comparison to Johnathan Richman, though, and I've listened to a lot of Jonathan Richman.

But I don't like or never heard any of the other bands mentioned on that list, so I can't muster up any kind of emotion over this list. What the fuck is a Bon Iver?
posted by Redfield at 8:04 PM on August 25, 2012


I actually refused to listen to Bright Eyes for a while because people told me he was "emo" (which was the trendy meaningless slur before "hipster" if you recall.) I actually thought I hated him, and I had never heard his music.

Well, he was in the Emo Game, which I think was a lot of it (but then, so was Atom from Atom and his Package which makes noooo sense to me.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:06 PM on August 25, 2012


I like Bright Eyes' recordings but we saw them live last year and Oberst really comes across as a smug little jerk in person.
posted by octothorpe at 8:07 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


They say Wings' "Band On the Run" "sounds like a forgotten White Album b-side." Ridiculous. It sounds like a B-side from Let It Be. (It could be a sequel to "Two of Us.")

Also, Paul McCartney looks really young in that picture. He was 32 when they made Band on the Run and it was (Paul McCartney and) Wings' third album.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:08 PM on August 25, 2012


Yes! Hootie and the Blowfish! Dave Matthews! They are the worst Finally someone who agrees with me.

*closes echo chamber for the night*
posted by hot_monster at 8:08 PM on August 25, 2012


Alt-weekly publishes lazy "X worst Y" listicle as clickbait. Film at 11.

These listicle things must be awesome clickbait, if they can even keep the animated corpse of Cracked Magazine chugging along 5 years after the print version went the way of the dodo. Cracked Magazine for Christ's sake.
posted by robla at 8:09 PM on August 25, 2012


Went to the "all-time" list hoping to find Wings on there, and wasn't disappointed, but if you're including Pearl Jam and LCD Soundsystem on your list and leaving off bands such as, I dunno, Nickleback and Creed, well I can't take you very seriously. (and I can't stand Rush, because Geddy Lee's voice will forever be that of a virginal high-schooler at a middle-school party trying to get everyone to pay attention to why he's smarter than they are, but I'd never think they were a bad band. Just not my thing.)

Anyway, Ardiril, I'm a guy who is lovingly/jokingly considered a "hipster" among all of my friends, though I'm over thirty now so I'm not sure it fits anymore. Anyway, I have no idea what a "hipster band" is, but here are bands that I like:

The New Pornographers
The Gaslight Anthem
Of Monsters and Men
The Naked and Famous
Passion Pit
Arcade Fire

All of these are pretty well-known acts by now. Gaslight Anthem would probably never be described as "hipster," so much as "next in line after Springstein and Social Distortion." My tastes are almost certainly lame and "too mainstream" by this point in life. Whatever.

(oh, and I'm calling some major bullshit on Pearl Jam being on the all-time worst list. Boring? Sure, for much of their career. To me, and maybe to you. I know that No Code and Yield are two of my girlfriend's favorite albums ever, though, even if I can't get into them myself yet. I know that when Pearl Jam brings it, they are riveting, though.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:13 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Conor Orifice

Please illuminate me. What's inconceivably awful about something like this? Or is your dismissal qualified?
posted by philip-random at 8:13 PM on August 25, 2012


Oh god, p-r, I love that song somuch.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:17 PM on August 25, 2012


"Those who came before us rocked, bumped and grinded. They exuded raw sexuality and riotous anger; sweaty human realism. They hoovered drugs or angrily rejected them, they humped strangers in club bathrooms in adolescent indiscretion; they broke shit, laughed, cried, partied on rooftops or in warehouses, exercised cultural demons and personal failures, made spectacles."

In other words, they were assholes.
posted by notsnot at 8:21 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, that Bright Eyes is a direct rip-off of Elliott Murphy's Rich Girls, except Murphy has a better voice.

Elliott Murphy? Oh, your 70s hipster equivalent.
posted by Ardiril at 8:28 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Those who came before us rocked, bumped and grinded. They exuded raw sexuality and riotous anger; sweaty human realism. They hoovered drugs or angrily rejected them, they humped strangers in club bathrooms in adolescent indiscretion; they broke shit, laughed, cried, partied on rooftops or in warehouses, exercised cultural demons and personal failures, made spectacles."

In other words, I WANT THINGS TO BE LIKE OLD TIMES AGAIN. OLD TIMES WERE THE BEST BECAUSE DRUGS AND SEX AND YOU KIDS DON'T UNDERSTNAD>
posted by mcmile at 8:30 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


At least they included Dave Matthews, Spin Docs, Foreigner, and the Eagles in their worst list.

Foreigner hate is idiotic. I'll list some Foreigner songs and if you actually hate them all, there is no hope for you:

Feels Like the First Time
Cold as Ice
Hot Blooded
Double Vision
Blue Morning, Blue Day
Urgent
Waiting for a Girl Like You
Juke Box Hero
I Want to Know What Love Is

There may be a few on there that you hate (in my case there are two I'd just as soon never hear again), but if there isn't at least one on that list you like, you should consider burning off your ears, because they're useless.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:31 PM on August 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


I get the distinct impression that Oberst is threatening to a lot of dudes because he was successful at like 14

"Threatening" is the wrong word. "Frustrating" is much closer – really anything that girls like that aren't dudes are frustrating to said dudes. Chuck Klosterman, who I maintain has some fantastic moments, has a bit in Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs where he devolves into hilarious rage about Coldplay, furious that some girl he knows could possibly find their music appealing, and this is in the same book that he spends a chapter writing about the Pamela Anderson sex tape like it reveals something significant about our culture.

But this isn't just a girl/guy thing, which is why "threatening" and its implications really bother me. "Frustrating" makes it less about competition and more about inhibition. We're frustrated by anything that excludes us, and – not by coincidence – there's something exclusionary about critical or popular acclaim, which gets to the heart of the whole hipster thing. When everybody in the world likes something you don't, it's isolating. Similarly, when somebody claims that their reason for liking a thing you don't is that somehow their taste in things is more "developed" or critically "justified". It's alienating; it gives you a sense of somehow being apart from other people. And you are apart, so it's not even untrue; that you're feeling somehow isolated gives truth to the isolation. And when the thing isolating you from other people is Conor fucking Oberst, well, you have every right to feel frustrated with the snotnosed twerp.

Bright Eyes hit the sweet spot of both being hugely popular and a critical darling, but at a young enough age that his music doesn't feel especially mature or impressive, even though it's technically well-done and certainly earnest. He had smart lyrics, but they sounded young, they sounded childish, they sounded like thoughts I'd had before and talked about with my friends. The art that clicks with us tends to be the art that gives us something we wanted but didn't already have; Bright Eyes felt (and still feels today) like it's giving me something I've already got plenty of. "When The President Talks To God" still strikes me as a really fucking smug-ass song that said nothing you couldn't have heard in your average high school poetry club on a given Wednesday. Combine that naivete with a voice that is not exactly inoffensive, and there's a high potential for somebody to listen to him, be turned off, and then develop a strong dislike based entirely on other people's likings.

It's not just Oberst, and it's not because he's a prodigy. Plenty of people dislike Jeff Mangum and Colin Meloy in a similar fashion (only Mangum and Meloy write songs that Oberst wishes he was capable of). A lot of these "hipster" bands get hated on similarly. The downside of sincerity in songwriting is that when you're writing exactly the kind of music you hear in your head, it's less overtly a "product" and therefore it's not going to immediately appeal to everybody, and all the people who aren't being appealed to will decide that your music is an impediment between them and the people who're fans of your music. Say what you will about oversexed, idiotic, factory-assembled music, but it hits a broader target than your average "sincere" songwriter, albeit less effectively. And people who hate a pop song will mock it just as much as your husband mocks Conor Oberst's douchey douche-douche douche voice.

I find that the fastest way to overcome this mockery is to insult every band your friends like and to insist that every song you listen to is the product of some lesser messiah. The quicker you can get the argument to dissolve into ridiculousness, the faster it's over. Like, say, insisting that if you have to write a shitty Best Twenty Musicians Ever list, William Hung gets to be your Number One Musician. I took this all as a big amusing joke on LA Weekly's part, and the fact that they're completely right about Oberst and Bun Lver is just awesome icing on the silly cake.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:39 PM on August 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


Please illuminate me. What's inconceivably awful about something like this? Or is your dismissal qualified?

So wait, you're allowed to hate on Arcade Fire without justification, yet somebody who mocks Bright Eyes has to defend their claim?

philip-random, you have been wrong about many things, but this might rank among your most blatantly wrong-est.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:42 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lists are boring. I want analysis. Yeah, you think the Eagles suck, but who are you comparing them to?

J. Eric Smith took this seriously and, while you may not agree with his conclusion, you have to admire his approach.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:43 PM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's hipster-backlash backlash!
posted by monkeymike at 8:43 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I say threatening because I spent much of 2002-2006 or so surrounded by guys who thought Oberst was "a pussy." The line in the article--Conor Oberst has been straining to open an impossibly sealed mason jar for about 14 years now--hints at the same idea. That he's not manly/strong or whatever.

Bright Eyes hit the sweet spot of both being hugely popular and a critical darling, but at a young enough age that his music doesn't feel especially mature or impressive, even though it's technically well-done and certainly earnest. He had smart lyrics, but they sounded young, they sounded childish, they sounded like thoughts I'd had before and talked about with my friends.

I think plenty of his songs have a level of mature self-awareness ("June on the West Coast," "You Will. You Will? You Will . . ."), but I don't see why maturity is required for rock songs to be good, either. Early Beatles songs were written by snot-nosed twenty year olds and had the lyrical complexity of, well, songs by snot-nosed twenty year olds. They were still good, so so is a lot of Oberst's work.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:46 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't ever tell me I never gave you nothing.

My All Time Top Five Hipster Band Tracks.
1. Wishbone Ash, Blowin Free.
2. Mojo Nixon, Elvis is Everywhere.
3. Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Suits are Picking Up the Bill.
4. Manhatten Transfer, Chanson d'amour.
5. Gogol Bordello, Start Wearing Purple.

Bonus Track
Sons of the Pioneers, Cool Water
posted by vozworth at 8:46 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


So wait, you're allowed to hate on Arcade Fire without justification, yet somebody who mocks Bright Eyes has to defend their claim?

Hey, I apologized already for the Arcade Fire thing. I love that song. It was offered up (lamely, obviously) as an example of how awful the list was.
posted by philip-random at 8:48 PM on August 25, 2012


Thanks for all the links, those who posted them.
posted by Ardiril at 8:56 PM on August 25, 2012


Rory Marinich hits it on the head with a lot of my issues with Bright Eyes/Coner Oberst, but there's also just the thing that when he was big (2004-2005?) he was such a darling and I just. couldn't. hear whatever everybody else was hearing in it. There was just nothing at all in there for me to grab a hold of and enjoy. I went into it with completely open arms and found nothing. And yeah, his voice is grating and insufferable and his lyrics aren't half as good as he seems to believe they are, but whatever, I've loved a lot of groups in the past (and present) about which the same could be said. Bright Eyes just never gave me a reason. I don't hate them, I just don't get it.

Contrast to a group like Cage the Elephant, who I well and truly loathe. The only way I can describe that lead singer is, "the words and sound of an affected fedora." Every single chorus is literally just a selection of shop-worn, fortune-cookie platitudes. It is awful. Oberst at least goes for something original. There are much worse things than that.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:58 PM on August 25, 2012


Robots in Disguise 5 times. There, sorted

The vapid Shoreditch fashionista version of Chicks On Speed? Surely you jest.
posted by acb at 9:03 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


his lyrics aren't half as good as he seems to believe they are

Nah, come on. These are great lyrics: "You say that I treat you like a book on a shelf/I don't take you out that often 'cause I know that I completed you." The song is brilliant because at first glance, it sounds like it's as romantic as shit ("We were just kids when I first kissed you in the attic of my parents house") but it's actually about a woman who sets herself up to be a doormat. "I completed you" isn't romantic. It means he's done with her and they both know it and yet she still waits around for him, convinced that he'll return. Brutal. He's really great with metaphoric language, in a way that honestly reminds me oddly of Bowie ("My brain hurt like a warehouse/It had no room to spare" being, probably, my favorite song lyric in my favorite ever song).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:07 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I feel like for these lists to have any use they need to be qualified with examples of what the writers consider good music. Saying "Don't listen to Arcade Fire" but not offering a "Because you should be listening to 1970's era Wire sniff" makes it hard to see this as anything more than a John Waters-esque attempt at click bait.

It is like they sat around and said "let's make a list of a bunch of bands with really loyal fanbases, like Pearl Jam and Phish, and call it the worst band list so all of the folks who love them will come here and post angry comments and we can then tell the L.A. Dildo Emporium people we are still generating half a million hits a month so they won't cancel their ads in our adult section."
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:08 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a bad list anyhow, but it's even worse because Animal Collective isn't on there. They're so easily hate-able! Plus, I myself have tried and tried to enjoy those guys, and my answer is still no.

It's funny about the Conor Oberst hate. I think a lot of dudes hated the fact that ladies were interested in this guy who would've been made fun of by other guys. Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, they were cool cat singer-songwriters that other dudes would be proud to know. But a seemingly-whiny teenager who didn't seem to have any game, who didn't seem the least bit "alpha"? Nah, couldn't be.

Also, thinking about prodigies reminds me of Yonlu, who was excellent.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:09 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


a John Waters-esque attempt at click bait

Wait. What? John Waters is known for click bait?
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:10 PM on August 25, 2012


Just to qualify my comment: I love Wire, Arcade Fire, Rush, Pearl Jam andfucking love beyond reason The Decemberists. In fact, there weren't really any bands on either list that I have a hate-on going for, though I confess I never want to see another Pompalouse commercial
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:11 PM on August 25, 2012


John Waters didn't write click bait, I was making an oblique reference to Hatchet Piece and Puff Piece as examples of how to do this right. In fact, my intent (which was badly executed) was to suggest that there was a way to do this right (John Waters' way) and they didn't live up to that. Yeah, what I wrote doesn't come across that way at all.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:14 PM on August 25, 2012


Animal Collective is on there. You failed to reward them with the correct number of hits, Stitcherbeast.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:16 PM on August 25, 2012


But the whole point of this kind of article, culturally, is to bully people into liking or disliking something through fear of being a hipster, of not being hip enough or of having their identity challenged in some way. Economically, it's link-bait; culturally, it's actually about sustaining a "hipster" mentality - the mentality that what's important in life is performing your identity correctly through the correct modes of consumption and rejection, and having your identity validated only by the correct people.

I mean fuck, one more "are you sophisticated enough to reject/accept this cultural item" article as the universe burns, right? It would never do for people to like what they like, dislike what they dislike and spend their emotional energy on something a bit better than pageviews, eh?

(Actually, I thought that 100 saddest songs list that got linked here the other day was awesome, because it was obviously fodder for discussion and sharing rather than about performing a particularly stupid kind of cultural identity.)
posted by Frowner at 9:16 PM on August 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Stitcherbeast, Animal Collective, a band I hated within ten seconds of hearing the beginning of My Girls, is on the list:
Animal Collective are a special kind of unlistenable; their albums don't reward active engagement, but they don't make good background music, either. Their brand of twee is cloying and grating like an attention-starved, sugar-crashing eight-year-old who wants you to admire his finger painting, while you're trying to wash the dishes.
posted by migurski at 9:16 PM on August 25, 2012


Their brand of twee is cloying and grating like an attention-starved, sugar-crashing eight-year-old who wants you to admire his finger painting, while you're trying to wash the dishes.

Man, the article-writers really hate "twee." Alls I can think is fuck me, I'm twee
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:23 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Listening to the links, I didn't hear anything memorable, but nothing horrible either. That is, not until I found "My Girls". After that, I'll need some "Metal Machine Music" to wash out my brain.
posted by Ardiril at 9:28 PM on August 25, 2012


Something I realized recently is that any media reference to "hipster"-anything in the last few years should be read as "the predominant youth culture". Kind of like Nixon-era bitching about "hippies".
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:30 PM on August 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oberst copied Joyner, but that was a good thing. It was only when he stopped copying Joyner that things started going wrong.
posted by deathpanels at 9:31 PM on August 25, 2012


"hipster"-anything in the last few years should be read as "the predominant youth culture"

I missed that part. Explains a lot.
posted by Ardiril at 9:32 PM on August 25, 2012


The predominant white, affluent youth culture, no?
posted by ShutterBun at 9:35 PM on August 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yep, among white youth (anyone under 25) there are only really Hipsters and Emos now. They are like mods and rockers. Emos are sort of affected, as far as I can tell they long to be Shinigami. Hipsters men have scruffy beards, unlike Emos some of them are balding. Some of them have rather elaborate costume like wardrobes but most simply wear the cheapest clothes they can find. Hipster women are mostly short, with pixie like haircuts and plastic rimmed glasses. Most of them have an MLS.

Damn guys I'm almost 40 and even I know this stuff.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:41 PM on August 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I know the term troll has morphed to include anyone who is just being an asshole and while I'm not happy about losing a perfectly good word I accept it.

However the original use of troll on the internet referred to the act of writing things with the sole intention of getting a negative reaction. The difference may seem subtle but it's important.

This, to me, is a clear example of the classic definition of a troll. William Huang? It couldn't be more obvious.

The first and only rule of trolls is: Don't Feed The Troll.
posted by Bonzai at 9:41 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that whenever the conversation turns to "the worst thing about hipsters" we end up in this pattern: If "hipster" is just youth culture, and we're just complaining about youth culture, and complaining about youth culture is passé, then why is there a certain era of youth culture – the music of the 1960s – that we've somehow collectively agreed is still valid as high art? Why are Elvis and The Beatles important cultural artifacts worthy of attention and critical note in the wider culture while Grizzly Bear is not?

I suspect that Boomer nostalgia has so thoroughly subsumed our cultural consciousness through the media and the endless rehashing of 1960s era recordings used to sell consumer goods, that we now feel as though these artifacts (from almost a half century ago!) are too steeped in history to be recognized for what they were: expendable creative products of a youth subculture.
posted by deathpanels at 9:46 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm 53, and I haven't followed popular music since the mid-70s.

[Hell, troll now includes anyone with a contrary opinion.]
posted by Ardiril at 9:46 PM on August 25, 2012


Time for some proper hipsterism! These two tracks represent my all time favorite bands nobody has ever heard of.

The Paper Chase - This is a Rape (The Flood).

Thee Maldoror Kollective - Zombie Children Do Synthetic Dreams

The Paper Chase has two bits of lyrics that basically represent my view of life:

"I want to be able to say
in a disassociated way
"What the fuck?" "What the fuck?"
and "Whatever."

...and all of Small of your back nape of your neck.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 9:47 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Elvis and the Beatles were hated by my generation, the next one following the 60s youth culture.
posted by Ardiril at 9:48 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The music section of LA Weekly has sadly turned into linkbait galore. If it's not "these things you like suck" it's "here are some 18 year old raver chicks with tape on their nipples!"
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:49 PM on August 25, 2012


Hell, troll now includes anyone with a contrary opinion.

No.

In relation to this specific two sets of 20 bands, "troll" refers specifically to someone who is writing a contrarian viewpoint framed explicitly to engage and enrage those who may think the opposite.

It's well and fine to hold a contrary opinion, but the examples presented aren't contrary opinions which have depth of knowledge and strong contextual backup to support the opinions. They are extremist-phrased all-or-nothing blanket statements which have no real grounding in fact: either the fact of the artist's actual output or the fact of historical opinion gathered across decades.

It's trolling pure and simple. Writing designed to raise ire and inspire vitriolic response with an eye for the lulz instead of any actual discussion. Nearly a textbook example of trolling, actually. If anyone wrote a similar paragraph in a MeFi FPP about any of the bands mentioned here, unless they were Faze, they'd either be deleted or shouted down for bad behavior. (And even if they were Faze this would likely happen.)
posted by hippybear at 9:59 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


"maybe youth culture sucks now because culture sucks now because things suck now" - someone who told me to post this

@Ad Hominem to be fair, who the fuck doesn't want to be a shinigami
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:59 PM on August 25, 2012


urahara, a little bit.
posted by elizardbits at 10:01 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


20 Worst Bands and no mention of Creed, Linkin Park, and Nickelback? FAIL.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:06 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, i guess being a Shinigami would be kind of cool. BTW, I forgot to mention bros but they are not particularly germane to this conversation, they are mostly known for wearing LiveStrong bracelets.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:08 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


the examples presented aren't contrary opinions which have depth of knowledge and strong contextual backup to support the opinions.


That's a good definition of trolling, but that's not what this article consisted of at all, in my opinion. Given the single paragraph reviews, there was plenty of context, comparisons to other artists, specific criticisms of songs, lyrics, behaviors. It was not simply a big list of "this band sucks because they dress stupid and they smell!" The authors had clearly listened to the bands enough to know what they disliked.

That being said, I welcome any and all hipster-bashing, but for my own purposes. Without name-dropping, I'll just say that my housemate works with some very well known "hipster" bands (if you'll pardon the oxymoron) and I love having ammunition with which to give him a hard time about it, (all in good fun.)
posted by ShutterBun at 10:09 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


20 Worst Bands and no mention of Creed, Linkin Park, and Nickelback?

They were referring specifically to musical acts, not natural disasters.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:10 PM on August 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


The authors had clearly listened to the bands enough to know what they disliked.

"what they disliked" != the worst bands of hipsterdom or of all time.

Seriously, if you're going to make grandiose claims about the content of your supposed article, you have to back it up with more than "this doesn't suit my taste". Especially if you're going to take on groups which have had successful careers from since before you were born, which is likely the case in the "of all time" list.
posted by hippybear at 10:16 PM on August 25, 2012


That LA Weekly is awful, just fucking awful.

One thing, though, about this list, it throws into sharp relief how embarrassingly bad most band pictures are. Some of that, of course, is just dopey haircuts and ill-advised clothing, but the bigger problem is this: people that are just too young to have any real gravitas yet, trying to look like they have real gravitas.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:21 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm all for a "worst" list that's done in good faith, like if you're a Star Trek fan and make a "10 worst Star Trek episodes" list. You know what you like about the thing and can illustrate when it succeeds and fails, etc. That's fun, informed criticism.

But this LA Weekly shit and using the word "hipster" and deriving pleasure from ridiculing some strawman's taste is TIRED
posted by palidor at 10:29 PM on August 25, 2012


I generally don't like haterade and the hipster bashing IS trolling ...

but this article was FANTASTIC. 15/20? More like 18.5/20. I quite enjoy MGMT's Congratulations and most of Funeral/Neon Bible, but everything else is SPOT ON.

I listen to a SHITLOAD of "indie rock", and these writers definitely know of what they write.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:29 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


hippybear: I was talking about the world outside of MeFi where 'troll' has become as meaningless as 'hate group'.
posted by Ardiril at 10:36 PM on August 25, 2012


mrgrimm, I believe that official makes you more hip than hipsters. I present you with the title Überhipster, which I hope you will enjoy because of the umlauted hipster and the hilarious irony of knowingly calling somebody who dislikes hipsters a hipster.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:36 PM on August 25, 2012


8 pages for 20 bands? Fuck you LA Weekly, you are scum.

I can't disagree. But they did get in a few good zingers, which is the only good reason to make a list like this in the first place.

"Death Cab sounds like what would happen if you stripped Weezer of their power chords and sense of humor."
posted by krinklyfig at 10:43 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


GUYS GUYS I know I'm late to the thread but I had to finish organizing my complete list of THE TOP 20 BANDS OF ALL TIME:

1. Hüsker Dü
2. Hüsker Dü LOUDER









,
posted by samofidelis at 10:44 PM on August 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


My ex used to work for the Weekly and at the time their music and culture editors were really on top of their game. I'm sad to see that they've turned into Cracked magazine.
posted by cazoo at 11:08 PM on August 25, 2012


Why are Elvis and The Beatles important cultural artifacts worthy of attention and critical note in the wider culture while Grizzly Bear is not?

Ok, I'll bite - because they did things that were new and interesting, and have had a huge influence on the musicians that came after them? Grizzly Bear would probably be impossible without Elvis and the Beatles.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:19 PM on August 25, 2012


Hipster women are mostly short, with pixie like haircuts and plastic rimmed glasses. Most of them have an MLS.

um ... Mango Lime Smoothie? Multi Level Sousaphone? Maroon Linen Suspenders?
posted by krinklyfig at 11:57 PM on August 25, 2012


Ah, OK, just figured it out.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:01 AM on August 26, 2012


I get the distinct impression that Oberst is threatening to a lot of dudes

That's because if we ever achieve our dreams of becoming Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, we are worried that Bright Eyes will break into our house and steal everything that isn't nailed down, like they did with In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 12:04 AM on August 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ah, OK, just figured it out

Yep. Masters of Library Science. It's funny cuz it's true.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:06 AM on August 26, 2012


1. Hüsker Dü

A most compelling argument, probably the most difficult to refute with any credence in this entire thread.
posted by Ardiril at 12:14 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mark "Shovel" Sovel , who has had involvement in LA music/radio and shows for a while, has a rebuttal on his site here.
posted by stuartmm at 12:34 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey... all of the bands I expected to be on this list were on there. So I'd say it's a good list. Unfortunately, the article is not intelligently written from a strictly musical perspective. It just trashes each band but honestly the language is quite interchangeable. I would love to do a musically theoretical take-down for each of these bands, but that would force me to be subjective, it would take a lot of time, I would actually have to listen to all of their respective outputs and it always boils down to personal taste anyway. I don't need to convince anyone that these bands suck. They suck in my mind and that's the only mind that matters ;)

But look how mind-numbingly similar their press photos look. No audio examples?
posted by ReeMonster at 12:40 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


And what a rebuttal it is.

This kind of bias and prejudice is best left in the past millennium. Do you understand that people die because of similar narrow-mindedness

Pure gold. Reminds me of the time someone called me a homophobe and anti-Semitic Because I object to 20 year olds treating Brooklyn as a bedsit.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:43 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


20 Worst Bands and no mention of Creed, Linkin Park, and Nickelback? FAIL.

This surprised me too. And not because I truly hate any of those bands but because they're such obvious targets for the lazy, shitbarn fucks who write for L.A. Weekly.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:32 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The following facts are enough to tell me that these people are clueless:

1. They included the rather wonderful Tune Yards on their stupid list.

2. They did not make the almost dazzlingly foul Decemberists number one on their stupid list.
posted by Decani at 1:59 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the basis of the definitive definition of a hipster, I'm rather confident that both of those deeply awful lists were written entirely by hipsters.
posted by belarius at 2:01 AM on August 26, 2012


Can we all just come together and acknowledge that fun. are indeed an abomination? Worse than LMFAO even?
posted by molecicco at 2:12 AM on August 26, 2012


Phew. At least Rex Manning isn't on this list.
posted by Mezentian at 2:47 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey... all of the bands I expected to be on this list were on there. So I'd say it's a good list. Unfortunately, the article is not intelligently written from a strictly musical perspective. It just trashes each band but honestly the language is quite interchangeable. I would love to do a musically theoretical take-down for each of these bands, but that would force me to be subjective, it would take a lot of time, I would actually have to listen to all of their respective outputs and it always boils down to personal taste anyway. I don't need to convince anyone that these bands suck. They suck in my mind and that's the only mind that matters ;)

This is either a marvellously subtle parodic takedown of the stupidity of this kind of stuff, or... well, I guess it isn't.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:09 AM on August 26, 2012


Yep, among white youth (anyone under 25) there are only really Hipsters and Emos now.

And “Emo” has devolved from its specific roots (“emotional hardcore punk”) to be merely the current form of the Darkling, i.e. the teen culture that wears a lot of black and defines itself through a stereotypical negativity, at its extreme including self-harm and playing a morbidly depressive identity. Today's “Emos” are basically Marilyn Manson-era “Goths” only with less Satanism and more hoodies.

I suspect there may have been a transition period during which the same group of black-clad mallrats could be referred to both as Goths and Emos in a mainstream youth-cultural context.
posted by acb at 3:22 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


That period was 2001-2004, from what I can tell.
posted by molecicco at 3:46 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is why I hate Bright Eyes with the fiery passion of 1000 suns:

- He's a terrible, terrible lyricist who gets praised to no end for writing things that would fail Creative Writing 101;
- He has no gift for melody, and lets his arranger friends slather his songs with strings and electronics to cover this up;
- Much of his work rips off other, better artists (and by "rips off" I mean "you can listen to one of his songs and start singing, say, 'O Comely' to the tune of one of his songs");
- He sings like a billy goat;
- And, hell, just to round this out with some pettiness: He's a terrible person (at least according to the female Merge interns I know), and he looks like a genetic mesh of Ethan Hawke and Pikachu.

Were he seen as some mildly talented also-ran who was Bringing Rock Back from the electronic hordes (which is one of the reasons why he was so wildly praised at the turn of the millennium), I could shrug and move on. The fact that he's seen as the next Dylan and so lavishly praised when plenty of other, more talented musicians are allowed to languish in obscurity just pisses me off no end.

Also, Dr. Jimmy, I really hope you didn't re-gender me in an attempt to make a point.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:18 AM on August 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


But I thought Hush was awarded the title "worst band ever"
posted by TedW at 4:24 AM on August 26, 2012


Seriously, if you're going to make grandiose claims about the content of your supposed article, you have to back it up with more than "this doesn't suit my taste".

Any chance that you took the article a LITTLE more seriously than the spirit in which it was intended?
posted by ShutterBun at 4:48 AM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm sad to see that they've turned into Cracked magazine.

It was enough to get them 800 or so pageviews from MeFis, but, of course "it will NEVER happen again."

I, for one, can't wait to read their next article, just to point out how wrong my mentors think they are.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:59 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rush is not the 9th "Worst band of all time"

I can never hear Rush without thinking of one of the Sam and Max games that Telltale Games put out. Long story short: In one of the games, one of the characters has somehow managed to become a monarch.

"We are the queen of Canada."

"I thought Rush was the Queen of Canada."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:26 AM on August 26, 2012


Simon Joyner is the most overrated musician no one's ever heard of. He first came to my attention in the mid 90s when some idiot in some mag said Will Oldham wasn't worthy to tune Joyner's guitar.

The man's been making albums for almost 20 years. He has one good song. Here it is.
posted by dobbs at 6:45 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't listen to any of those bands, but they're fine, they deserve to exist. Except Oasis; Oasis is the 100 worst bands of all time. All of them.

You must be one of the fortunate few who have never had to listen to a Nickelback song.
posted by juiceCake at 7:20 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


These people should be sent to a special circle of Hell where there is no music, only the sound of their own voice whining for all eternity.
posted by fungible at 7:22 AM on August 26, 2012


Were he seen as some mildly talented also-ran who was Bringing Rock Back from the electronic hordes (which is one of the reasons why he was so wildly praised at the turn of the millennium), I could shrug and move on. The fact that he's seen as the next Dylan and so lavishly praised when plenty of other, more talented musicians are allowed to languish in obscurity just pisses me off no end.

I have never, ever heard anyone call Oberst the next Dylan.

For what it's worth, I like Mangum lots, too--probably more than Bright Eyes (his revival tour featured the only concert I've bothered attending in the past five years). I still think Oberst has solid and heartfelt lyrics.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:25 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


where 'troll' has become as meaningless as 'hate group'

"Hate group" still has a meaning. I'm not even sure what you meant when you typed this comment. But if you think it doesn't, the Southern Poverty Law Center has plenty of information for you about exactly what a hate group is.
posted by hippybear at 7:25 AM on August 26, 2012


The number of comments here suggests there's more to be said about this than what they managed to say, whether incorrectly or inexpertly. So simply dismissing it may not be very honest.

Like others, I would forgive their formatting (business) and pranks (attitude) if they had bothered to make a single page list of the songs they are citing, on YouTube or Spotify, so that – as others have noted – they can help readers learn to love new bands the editors claim to be "over." That's too bad.

And that's just it: deriding something as hipster is saying it's out of fashion. It's over, done, passe. It was in fashion for a bit because a small group of fashionable people found something to like about a novel & odd product (of cultural production). When a larger group checked out that product, they may not have understood the perversity – flimsiness, capriciousness – of those first choices by a small group. But, thinking there must be something to it, the larger group endorsed the same product. That willingness to pick up on new art is what defines a hipster – but note that they are following, not leading.

Of course there's a huge overlap between young people and hipsters: young people are at an age where they are more likely to simultaneously want to try out new things, not know much about same and follow each other's cues for acceptance.

Finally, you don't have to like fashion (in art), fashionable people, or care a whit whether something is in or out of fashion. But it exists. It has its rules. They have implications (good or bad) for how art comes into greater society.
posted by noway at 7:40 AM on August 26, 2012


Early Beatles songs were written by snot-nosed twenty year olds and had the lyrical complexity of, well, songs by snot-nosed twenty year olds. They were still good, so so is a lot of Oberst's work.

And trust me, plenty of people hate the Beatles. At 22, I still have quite a few friends who're convinced the Beatles were just an irritating pop group with some pretensions of intelligence towards the end. It's like Don DeLillo's Most Photographed Barn: when something's too talked about, it's hard to see it for what it is. Would you really argue that you like things only for their objective merits, and that you dislike things only for purely rational reasons?

There is a difference between Oberst and the Beatles and it's that Oberst is whiny and annoying whereas the Beatles were silly and fun. Early Beatles pop, and the masterful film A Hard Day's Night, are freaking ebullient. They sizzle. Listen to the remastered version of Twist and Shout and John Lennon's voice still sounds like dangerous youth. It's silly to compare Bright Eyes to the Beatles, or anything to the Beatles really, because the Beatles were in a league of their own and it had nothing to do with the lyrics, which were excused in their corniness because of their happiness.

But the whole argument is silly, and it's much more fun to get emotional and heated over silly things than it is to pretend there's a rational argument to construct. Seriously it doesn't matter if I dislike Bright Eyes, or if you like him, and neither my dislike nor your like say a thing about his music. It doesn't say a thing about you or me. So why not read these stupid lists looking for the fun insults that you agree with and ignoring the ones you disagree? I'm not getting worked up explaining how the Decemberists were one of the best bands of the decade, how their debut album still feels strange and odd after six years of its being one of my favorites, how they completely deserve their newfound crossover success because The Tain is bitchin' and deserves fame and fortune. Because that's less fun than piling on Conor Oberst whose eyes are so sensitive and probably blue.

In a sense, I'd argue that negativity is MORE inclusive than positivity in pop discussions, because when negativity is the norm, people are free to disagree. When a conversation's all about how great XYZ pop star is, then the people who disagree just feel more and more and more and more alone, and bitter, and resentful. Playful disagreement makes for a competition where everybody wins and has fun, because I am right and you are stupid for every instance of "I". And again this gets back to one of the central faults with the "hipster" conceit, where radical inclusiveness and niceness becomes really exclusive and insidious and uncomfortable. And that takes us back to the insufferableness of Bright Eyes in a beautiful mandala of kindness and suffering, and the cycle is complete, and you are wrong.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:48 AM on August 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wait Cortex isn't in the list? How that happen.




//Kidding.
posted by humanfont at 8:05 AM on August 26, 2012


The thing that gets me about "worst music" lists is that there's so much fantastic music out there that it's impossible to listen to all of it. I can understand some grumpiness about overplayed cultural artifacts, but if you don't like it, you can always just go listen to something else.

Neither of the OP articles are about music other than in the most passing sense; they're about tribal identity and being better than other people. I snarked about the 40-something folk-rocking complaint upthread, but to me that was kind of the core of the hipster band list: $DEITY forbid you be mistaken for a hipster or an NPR listener if you're cool enough to read our paper. One joy of being 40-something, which I've been experiencing a lot lately, is the ability to develop to tell self-appointed cultural arbiters to fuck off.
posted by immlass at 8:08 AM on August 26, 2012


At 22, I still have quite a few friends who're convinced the Beatles were just an irritating pop group with some pretensions of intelligence towards the end.

I was actually going to mention how noxious I find pretentious anti-Beatles trolls (they're not overrated; they're perfectly rated) but thought it would be a derail.

(Hearing Twist and Shout for the first time pretty much heralded puberty for me, so I'm with you on their early work.)

So why not read these stupid lists looking for the fun insults that you agree with and ignoring the ones you disagree? I'm not getting worked up explaining how the Decemberists were one of the best bands of the decade, how their debut album still feels strange and odd after six years of its being one of my favorites, how they completely deserve their newfound crossover success because The Tain is bitchin' and deserves fame and fortune. Because that's less fun than piling on Conor Oberst whose eyes are so sensitive and probably blue.

Because sometimes people like to talk about things, including what they like, and your negativity doesn't make you enlightened, especially if you refuse to give props where they're due. Sure, Oberst is musically derivative. Okay, not all of his songs are brilliant. And he's probably a dick--lots of musicians are (I met NOFX once. Ho boy.) But he's turned quite a few apt phrases over the years; his writing is not "creative writing 101" (trust me, I've taught creative writing 101) and the ways his critics continually raise issue with his "sensitivity," or "kindness," or "suffering" and hint at his lack of manliness all reek of an underlying misogyny.

Anyway, top 5 some hipster tracks I like:

The Elected - Greetings in Braille
Mirah - Murphy Bed
Animal Collective - Peacebone
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - I Love Creedence
Tullycraft - Popsongs Your New Boyfriend's Too Stupid to Know About
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:25 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aw, you rang? To tell me you find me noxious and pretentious? Shucks. Too bad too, 'cause I enjoy Tullycraft as much as the next gal.
posted by ifjuly at 8:29 AM on August 26, 2012


the ways his critics continually raise issue with his "sensitivity," or "kindness," or "suffering" and hint at his lack of manliness all reek of an underlying misogyny.

I usually read this kind of thing as disguised homophobia, but that's probably closely related to misogyny now that I think about it.
posted by hippybear at 8:31 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Oh, and lots of early Beatles were woobie-ish and sensitive. "If I Fell" is a good example of a song that is neither highly poppy/upbeat. Hell, Till There was You was an early concert staple. "There was music and there were wonderful roses"? So emo. Paul McCartney also had a beautifully ethereal babyface. I'm just saying, pretty boys singing to girls about feelings in pop music isn't anything new.)

Aw, you rang? To tell me you find me noxious and pretentious? Shucks. Too bad too, 'cause I enjoy Tullycraft as much as the next gal.

If you find the Beatles overrated I find that attitude pretentious, because they're really good. They have skills and soul! Abbey Road is masterful! But what can you do? I'll still twist & shout w/ you.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:32 AM on August 26, 2012


Why is it pretentious though? What if there's no pretension, some people just don't like it? That's what gets me about these things. When people disagree and the first response to that is to be all "there's no way you could possibly feel that way in earnest, you're putting on airs" thing quibbled about in that AFI Best Films list thread. I mean, how is that much different from someone being all "well if you don't like This Heat you're just dumb"? Kinda silly. And yeah, sorry, don't mean to pick or anything, just feeling crabby right now about this. I need to go find a cup of coffee...

(Yes, we can still listen to Heavenly together and let the others keep the Lemonheads and Weezer he gave you...)

BTW, since I'm in here being crabby already: I must say I find the statement upthread that Codeine is a rip off of Slint puzzling indeed. There's definitely some overlap in fanbases for sure, but aside from that I don't really get that at all. Low to Codeine, yes (and even then, Low wound up developing their own sound very effectively once out the gate), but Codeine to Slint, what
posted by ifjuly at 8:39 AM on August 26, 2012


(and I say that as a big fan of both Codeine and Slint, saw both of them live, both were among my favorite shows I've attended, so it's not kneejerk defensiveness towards Codeine I don't reckon...I don't know jack about the underpinnings of making music at all though, so just to be safe I asked my husband if he could see that at all and he couldn't either)
posted by ifjuly at 8:42 AM on August 26, 2012


Why is it pretentious though? What if there's no pretension, some people just don't like it? That's what gets me about these things. When people disagree and the first response to that is to be all "there's no way you could possibly feel that way in earnest, you're putting on airs" thing quibbled about in that AFI Best Films list thread. I mean, how is that much different from someone being all "well if you don't like This Heat you're just dumb"? Kinda silly. And yeah, sorry, don't mean to pick or anything, just feeling crabby right now about this. I need to go find a cup of coffee...

Come sit beside me and we'll drink coffee together in cups with owls painted on them.

Quite a few of the very vocal anti-Beatles peeps I've encountered seemed to be big Clash fans who were aping Joe Strummer's attitudes toward them, an attitude which makes perfect sense to me as a counterculture reaction in England in the 70s but very little sense now. They also hadn't, you know, absorbed much more of the Beatles than what one does through pop culture. By most measures--lyrically, musically--the Beatles are very good. They were also experimental and heartfelt, and their music runs the gamut from woobie girlypop to proto-metal. There's something in their catalog that should move most anyone--it's very diverse--and so a blanket dismissal inevitably appears knee-jerk. Because the Beatles aren't "like" one thing and so it's hard to understand people who say they hate them than people who say they hate, say the Mountain Goats (also very good, musically and lyrically! But much of Darnielle's catalog is very similar and if you don't like that Thing I could understand it not working for you).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:51 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


How to read the list if you're so inclined:

1. Click link.
2. Find icon at bottom of first page that says "Print"
3. Enjoy the whole list on one page without ads.
posted by azpenguin at 8:53 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


> OK. So. Who are the 5 best hipster bands

I'm too old and out of the loop to be qualified to answer this for sure (and as mentioned always in these threads immediately "hipster" has become an absolutely useless term), but the only two newish bands that have pinged on my radar in the last few years where I thought "ah, there's maybe something there" have been Health (and shit, their last album was 3 years ago) and Yuck. And Yuck actually wound up kind of disappointing me; they have some strong fuzzed out moments and the mid-'90s-reminiscent Yo La Tengo-ish evocation was very welcome indeed, but still it falls flat for like half of the output I've heard.

Should warn that as I've gotten older I've moved away from poppy/pretty/fey to noisy/abstract. Probably my husband's doing. A good pop or singer-songwriter tune can still catch me, but doesn't as often as other stuff.
posted by ifjuly at 8:56 AM on August 26, 2012


You mean this page, AZ? (Hey, what ever happened to The Firm?)

Now, back to the Beatles: It is possible for someone or something to be very, very good, one of the best in their category, a towering influence, etc., etc., and still be overrated by critics or the audience or the general public or whatever.

Sometimes, at least, I think the anti-Beatles thing is as not so much a response to their work as it is to the stuff that surrounds their work and its place in the culture and whatnot.
posted by box at 8:59 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


(still thinking outloud, trying to figure out this Codeine ripping off Slint thing: ) is it the way both have elements of metal in an "indie"/playing-it-straight context? That's the only way I can see it sort of. I mean, Codeine's not mathy, and Slint wasn't often particularly slow (oh those glorious time signature changes!).
posted by ifjuly at 9:00 AM on August 26, 2012


> Now, back to the Beatles: It is possible for someone or something to be very, very good, one of the best in their category, a towering influence, etc., etc., and still be overrated by critics or the audience or the general public or whatever.

Sometimes, at least, I think the anti-Beatles thing is as not so much a response to their work as it is to the stuff that surrounds their work and its place in the culture and whatnot.


Yeah, this is definitely true for my read on it, but in my husband's case it really is just like nails on a chalkboard. I'm sorry if that's hard to imagine. But he's not lying about it, I know that much. When we hear "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" in stores on the overhead he feels the need to leave the store as quickly as possible because the sound drives him nuts.

Of course, all of our friends love to rag him mercilessly for this because he loves...you guessed it! Yoko Ono. Different strokes.
posted by ifjuly at 9:02 AM on August 26, 2012


I just got genuinely angry about some stupid article insulting a band I like. What's happened to me???
posted by orme at 9:05 AM on August 26, 2012


Yeah, this is definitely true for my read on it, but in my husband's case it really is just like nails on a chalkboard. I'm sorry if that's hard to imagine. But he's not lying about it, I know that much. When we hear "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" in stores on the overhead he feels the need to leave the store as quickly as possible because the sound drives him nuts.

Nah, I don't find that hard to imagine at all. I love the Beatles--they were my second-ever band, after Frente!--but even I found the whole Beatles Rockband/Across the Universe/Nike shoe commercials kind of off-putting in a way. (Even though I own both Beatles Rockband and Across the Universe.) Part of me can't help but wonder what John Lennon, the dude who wrote "A Spaniard in the Works" and whose personal life was a mess, would think of all this. (Probably "I am rolling in dough! Yay money!") Their music is still good, though.

Also this is going to sound unbelievably hipster but the sound difference between the original vinyl Beatles albums and all the remastered releases is insane but also maybe I was just twelve when I first listened to them and feeling the inevitable rush of puberty fueled by music, I don't know.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:10 AM on August 26, 2012


Oh my god, Across the Universe. That officially drove nails into the coffin for any chance of my husband ever coming around. A coworker gave us a copy and we watched it totally horrified. I know I'm being a shit right now, sorry to any fans of that movie, but wow it was not for us.

Which reminds me though...there are plenty of Beatles covers I like (Siouxsie's "Dear Prudence").

Had no idea about the Strummer thing, BTW. Interesting!
posted by ifjuly at 9:12 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have never, ever heard anyone call Oberst the next Dylan.
Oh, no. It happened. See, for example, this New York Times article from 2002. I just spent ten minutes googling and reading articles from 2002-2004, the last time I remember anyone taking Oberst seriously, and all of them seem to refer to various "critics" that consider him "the next Bob Dylan", although no single actual critic seems to have come right out and said "hey, this guy is the next Bob Dylan!"
Ok, I'll bite - because they did things that were new and interesting, and have had a huge influence on the musicians that came after them? Grizzly Bear would probably be impossible without Elvis and the Beatles.
And Elvis and the Beatles couldn't have done anything without Chuck Berry. What's your point? If we're going to use creative descent / influence as a metric for determining the value of popular music, why not take it one step further? But we don't. We stop at the 1960s-era bands and conclude that, while they borrowed from (read: ripped off) black music, they were doing so authentically because things were different back then, man. We didn't have iPods back then, man. It's also unfair to compare recent bands with classic influential bands because the newcomers simply haven't been around long enough to have influenced anybody, or to have seen that influence spread into the wider culture.
posted by deathpanels at 9:40 AM on August 26, 2012


I hear this caricature of these people as obnoxious, smelly, arrogant trustafarians, and I've never met anyone like that, and I hang out in the right circles.

1. Did you actually read the list? It doesn't go into any such "hipstereotypes." It focuses on the music.

2. When you say you "hang out in the right circles," are you saying you deliberately immerse yourself in social circles where there'd be a high likelihood of hipster douchery present? Odd, since I don't do that at all, yet I still know 4 or 5 people who fit this "caricature" you describe. Have you ever lived in Brooklyn?
posted by jeremy b at 9:43 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can we all just come together and acknowledge that fun. are indeed an abomination?

Nope
posted by philip-random at 10:17 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Part of me can't help but wonder what John Lennon, the dude who wrote "A Spaniard in the Works" and whose personal life was a mess, would think of all this."

John embodied contradictions. Part of him might say that, but I suspect a lot of it would have ranged from benign distaste to spittle-flecked rage (e.g., "How Do You Sleep" aimed at Paul M.,with lines like "Those freaks was right when they said you was dead.")

As for the lists, yah, they're link bait, and the "print" button can be your friend when it comes to multi-page thin-content articles like this one.

But I love the conversations that spun off this. It's part of a vital discussion among us about what is "hipster" and what is not (I would never thought of Amanda Palmer as hipster; she seems off in her own world, too much of an individual to be part of any movement that is not named AFP.)

The problem arises when a lot of the discussion comes from people who haven't paid much attention to the artists in question. I suspect that a lot of that happens in society as a whole. There's just so much media, so much information, so many arguments, that a lot of us are flying by the seat of our intellectual pants, expressing opinions that are not deeply held but more felt.

Take the 20-band list. Does anyone really thing the writer has listened to them all long enough to form a sure opinion of them? Or of the 100 bands, or 1,000 bands to be able to sort through them? Do that, plus work for a living, and see friends, and eat, and sleep and do other functions day by day?

The ones who do that and can write with authority are amazing. Side track: There was a Sacramento Bee movie reviewer, Joe Baltake, who has probably seen the majority of movies ever made. When I was reading his reviews in the 1990s, he'd see three movies a week, and his columns were full of erudite discussions -- not just name-dropping, but descriptions and analyses -- of all kinds of films sparked by the movie under discussion.

He was, far and away, one of the best movie reviewers I've ever read. That kind of writing carries authority and credibility, and that's hard to find online.

And now, with the firehose of content aimed at us, we're in the weird position that we have to consciously limit the amount of information available to us, and to find the communities (like Meta) where we can share what we've learned and expose ourselves to new, cool things.

Thus endth the sermon.
posted by Bill Peschel at 10:36 AM on August 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


BTW, since I'm in here being crabby already: I must say I find the statement upthread that Codeine is a rip off of Slint puzzling indeed. There's definitely some overlap in fanbases for sure, but aside from that I don't really get that at all. Low to Codeine, yes (and even then, Low wound up developing their own sound very effectively once out the gate), but Codeine to Slint, what
posted by ifjuly at 11:39 AM on August 26 [+] [!]


Oh dear. I've completely managed to get myself misunderstood. That whole comment I made about Low, Codeine, Slint etc..was just a snarky attempt at sounding like a music nerd, who's got to show off his knowledge to outrank the whole cooler-than-thou attitude that pervades the Indie rock critics culture. I love all of those bands and where there is truth to what I wrote, I'l fight anyone who tells me the first Codeine album "Frigid Stars" is a masterpeice. Or that Low isn't brilliant on it's very terms, or Iron & Wine for that matter, although I can't really speak for Bon Iver, other than to say, I've developed beardy-band fatigue and just don't feel a need to listen to them.

Slint of course, is genius and so much that happened musically in the 90s traces itself to that band in a seminal way....and it's hard to really put one's finger on why, I'd say it's the dynamics and the time changes, but more than that for me I think in Low, Codeine and Slint, I'd take a guess and say it has to do with the bass sounding really bright and being used as a lead instrument and being used very guitar'like.
posted by Skygazer at 10:40 AM on August 26, 2012


I'l fight anyone who tells me the first Codeine album "Frigid Stars" is isn't a masterpeice.
posted by Skygazer at 10:42 AM on August 26, 2012


I have never, ever heard anyone call Oberst the next Dylan.

Aside from the NYT article linked above, this is exactly how a college buddy pitched Oberst to me.
posted by mediated self at 11:05 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


But the whole argument is silly, and it's much more fun to get emotional and heated over silly things than it is to pretend there's a rational argument to construct.

the rational argument that I'd construct (and this isn't it, trust me) would have something to do with Thou Shalt Not Toss The Baby With The Bathwater. This is something that a few extra decades on the planet keeps on driving home. Conclusions like:

Actually, all Disco doesn't suck.
Actually, all Country + Western doesn't suck.
Actually, that first Oasis album is pretty damned strong.
Actually, the Eagles do have a few killer records.
Actually, there is a bit more to Sigur Ros than just some guy moaning about melting ice with a high voice.

Because I once fiercely believed the opposite of all these things. Hyperbole is the real issue here. Because MGMT just don't suck absolutely, nor FUN even (as I hope I just proved), and we all always lose when worthy cultural work gets tossed aside, which is why so-called hipsterism sucks so much, as it seems to be so much about defining one's self by what one isn't. Which tends to lead inevitably to a corner that can only be escaped by some absurd embrace of foul irony. Because here is one thing I am clear on.

That Journey song about keeping on believing. That's genuinely foul all the way, from the bullshit sheen of the production to the processed cheese of the sentiment. Those fuckers had given up believing long before they wrote or performed it. They hate you. The only thing they ever loved was themselves and cocaine.

And furthermore, Van Morrison just is

posted by philip-random at 11:07 AM on August 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Mmmmm. Just saying that I am willing to nominate myself for August Worst Post

lolz. I was gonna say this was my favorite post of the month so far.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:28 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


News flash! Bon Iver is a band, not a person! Carry on.
posted by pcrsweetness at 11:41 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm, I believe that official makes you more hip than hipsters. I present you with the title Überhipster, which I hope you will enjoy because of the umlauted hipster and the hilarious irony of knowingly calling somebody who dislikes hipsters a hipster.

I do love it, thx. I don't even use the H word, and you will all be wearing my fashions--muu muus and moon boots--in just a few years. By then, of course, I'll have moved on.

Also, for whomever mentioned Sufjan, the reason he's not on the list is that he's made some pretty good music.

I liked The Format a lot, but I'm split on fun. (yes, with a period and lower-case f) fucking waste of Janelle Monae.

Finally, the BEST hipster band ever is Archers of Loaf. No Age is second.

And of course The Beatles and Husker Du are overrated. How could they not be? Both are treated like gods, and quite frankly their catalog just does not stand up.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:45 AM on August 26, 2012


The problem with the Beatles is they can be highly overrated and still the best band ever. As for Husker Du, the first time I saw them (at their mid-80s peak) they weren't even the best band on the bill -- NoMeansNo destroyed them.

Also, in defense of MGMT -- this is one of the best vids I've ever seen.

Sorry, can't find an ad-free version.
posted by philip-random at 12:16 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The worst worst lists take swipes at easy targets (Oh, Hootie burn!), confuse contrarian posturing with real points (Sex Pistols, whatevs.), and invoke the mythical hipster to justify laziness.

This is just kinda hacky, and I feel embarrassed for the West Coast Sound guys for having to go through this. I did see the KDAY story the other day, and it was pretty awesome.

A lot of these bands are just kind of boring, and for all their opprobrium over "trying too hard," that's pretty much the leidmotiv of this list.

What's more, I don't really get the sense that any of these bands are the kinds of cultural monuments that need to be taken down — I can enjoy a scabrous take on U2 much more than Spin Doctors because there's much more a sense that U2 "matters." Same with Bruce Springsteen. But instead, we have a bunch of easy targets hit broadly and who gives a fuck?
posted by klangklangston at 1:56 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, gotcha Skygazer. Sorry for getting so wrapped up! It wasn't meant like a callout, more like a prompt that makes the golden retriever in me wanna go fetch the reasoning, ha. It def. had me thinking.
posted by ifjuly at 2:06 PM on August 26, 2012


(and high-five at loving their first record best, BTW--none of the dudes I know who love Codeine to death agree with me that Frigid Stars is the masterpiece, not The White Birch. woo hoo, commiseration!)
posted by ifjuly at 2:09 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This article was just silly. It's like they don't listen to music at all and just listed a bunch of bands they heard young people talking about. I'm 43 and so many years away from being in any sort of hive-mind scene where I am trying to be a hipster, and I think a lot of those bands are great. Tune-yards at the Cat's Cradle last year was one of the 10 best shows I remember seeing there, and I saw a lot of great bands there over the last 25 years. Black Keys rock but have a kind of limited range, but jeez ... can't they just rock out and enjoy it? Some of these bands are pretty big, but I guarantee you I could still walk into a variety of social situations and find people who haven't heard of any of them. It's a bit early to feel the need to lambast them like they are making millions of dollars and snorting coke out of each others' asses, which apparently is some sort of golden age the writers want us to return to.

Worst of the web.
posted by freecellwizard at 3:22 PM on August 26, 2012


I still know 4 or 5 people who fit this "caricature" you describe. Have you ever lived in Brooklyn?

I live in Brooklyn and don't know anyone like that. What's your point?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 3:43 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Any site that puts Avril Lavigne at #5 on the list of top 20 sexiest female musicians of all time

--

Let's all pause and think about that for a second: Avril Lavigne is the fifth sexiest female musician of all time. No, really! Hey, and guess what else? They also want you to know what bands are terrible...

Hey, where'd everyone go?
posted by adamp88 at 4:08 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


It kind of undermines your credibility when the same guy (Ben Gibbard) is behind both one of your worst indie bands (Death Cab) and one of your "best albums not in the canon" (Postal Service's Give Up).
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 5:08 PM on August 26, 2012


I live in Brooklyn and don't know anyone like that. What's your point?

My point's that such people exist. The guy I'm talking to was saying that they don't really exist since he doesn't know anyone who fits the description and is very well-connected. But if the guy lives in, say, Peoria, he can be the friggin' mayor and still have never come across anyone even vaguely resembling the cockspindle jizzmaturds of hipsterdom that inhabit the 'burg.
posted by jeremy b at 6:06 PM on August 26, 2012


> It kind of undermines your credibility when the same guy (Ben Gibbard) is behind both one of your worst indie bands (Death Cab) and one of your "best albums not in the canon" (Postal Service's Give Up)

To continue to be a hairsplitting jerk, I can see that. I, uh, hate DCFC but adore a lot of stuff Gibbard's otherwise been involved in mainly because he chooses great people to collaborate with (his stuff with Andrew Kenny from American Analog Set, for example, or Mia Doi Todd).
posted by ifjuly at 6:13 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ardiril: "OK. So. Who are the 5 best hipster bands?"

Not sure, but my sister's husband plays in all of them.

He's like this kickass musician and recently I asked him how many bands he played in and he could not come up with a numerical answer. Because he has basically lost track.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:03 PM on August 26, 2012


It kind of undermines your credibility when the same guy (Ben Gibbard) is behind both one of your worst indie bands (Death Cab) and one of your "best albums not in the canon" (Postal Service's Give Up).

But (as ifjuly said) that's b/c Give Up is far better than anything DCFC has ever done.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:27 PM on August 26, 2012


I've never been to Brooklyn but I did see French Connection in the theater, original run, 1972, when I was twelve. So I've been there. I was also around in the 80s when this fresh new take on hip was getting its first road tests. I remember Vancouver, metro population about 1.5 million. If there were thirty relevant nonFUCKINGCOMMERCIAL bands in town, there weren't thirty-three. But we still had our schisms, divides, CANYONS. I just envy you younger adults (etc) of now. You've got so much more to divide against. And so much of it is excellent.
posted by philip-random at 9:36 PM on August 26, 2012


Mirah - Murphy Bed

This. And all of You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This.
posted by acb at 3:50 AM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


NoMeansNo destroyed them

Well, that generally goes without saying. Let's face it: "Inferior to NoMeansNo in a live performance" would be accurate to MOST bands' bona fides.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:11 AM on August 27, 2012


Also: if anyone has some specific ammo against Arcade Fire or the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, I could use it, personally. (I'm a terrible roommate)
posted by ShutterBun at 4:13 AM on August 27, 2012


Can we just clear this up:

Bon Iver <- Low <- Red House Painters <- John Denver

Codeine is just part of that whole weird vortex of Slint/Tortoise/Rex/Papa M/Rodan that David Pajo somehow seems to be in the middle of.
posted by misterpatrick at 11:09 AM on August 27, 2012


In case you were wondering, here's the best definition for a hipster: a young, rich, reasonably fashionable person who's having more fun than I am and it's making me jealous. The terrific part about the word is that it's infinitely malleable to any other group that makes you feel bad about your own prole-ish life. The cry of 'hipster!' is the sort of reaction to consumer culture and global capital that most people enmeshed in the system usually have trouble mouthing.

How dare these people try to buy their culture? How dare they then be comfortable with the fact that they have purchased their culture? That is, of course, unlike myself who's culture, and fashion, and fun are authentic and untainted by the market. Those hipsters are enjoying their lives more than I am, and the obvious reason for that is that they're doing so inauthentically. They're trying too hard, evident by the fact that they are succeeding.

Hipsterdom (so far as it exists outside of the imagination of a malcontent neckbeard) is the ultimate expression of globalized culture. It's a 'scene' that's not tied to space, time, or history. It's carried along by the waves of the Internet, with entry in to the look and the sound being purchased if you have the money and the inclination to try.

Old people and unfashionable people (often metal-heads, in my experience, who prize the authenticity of music that takes 'real skill' to perform) are uncomfortable with this because it represents a decentered market based approach to culture that they like to think of themselves above (they are after all authentic) while not realizing the cognitive dissonance that they've purchased their own look as much as the hipsters have. Hipsterdom is a convenient other that they can point to and say, 'that's not me - that's what a poseur looks like,' while at the same time spending just as much time and money on their own personal look and brand.

The existence of the hipster disenchants every other carefully curated scene by providing evidence of how easy it is to fabricate culture in service of parting people from their money and keeping consumerist society chugging along. It's a meaningless term that savvy marketers can use to get people to do what they want - or a meaningless term that the discontents of global capital can use as a scapegoat to make themselves feel better about their lack by showing (by contrast) how real they are.

Anyway, this list is link-bait that's being used to sell you advertisements based on the fact that these bands are inauthentic compared to your own authenticity. Or it's being used to sell you on the idea that the LA Weekly is stupid and dated compared to your own detached coolness. Either way ad-views get served to grease the wheels and allow you to continue to consume authentically
posted by codacorolla at 11:24 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


this thread got me listening to "Good Morning, Captain" about 50 times in a row today. and Mia Doi Todd's "Digital 2.2" which I hadn't even thought about in something like 10 years. so yay mefi conversation.
posted by ifjuly at 12:09 PM on August 27, 2012


Red House Painters to LOW??

Nah...Low kicks RHP ass all over the place, although what's-his-faces name from RHP (who put on one of the crappest shows I've ever seen at the Bowery Ballroom x number of years ago..I mean he was hung over I guess and jet lagged and all that, but man, fuck you. Don't charge 45 bucks and suck that badly...it'd no wonder I've forgotten his name although his solo work is frequently brillant and he plays a 12 string guitar like a righteous mofo...) definitely could do a passable job being John Denver.

Look. There is one band that's been around for 17 years now that distinguishes the true music person from the hipster fake person scenester dweebster trust-funder motherfuckers that have caused my rent to triple. And I'm keeping that name a secret cos none a these scenesters are going to be Jacking my Ball again. You fucks. Get ooff my lawnsssn...
posted by Skygazer at 12:44 PM on August 27, 2012


The 'Worst Of All Time' list not only doesn't include Mindless Self Indulgence as #1, it fails to include these atonal prats at *all*. That makes LA Weekly's "Twenty Worst Bands of All Time" #1 on my "Twenty Worst Lists of Worst Things of All Time of All Time".
posted by FatherDagon at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2012


A "Worst of All Time" list that doesn't include Anal Cunt or Stormtroopers of Death, or even bands like Whitehouse — who are actively trying to be unlistenable (and thus should be chuffed to be "worst") — just makes me doubt that these guys listen to very much terrible music at all.
posted by klangklangston at 1:15 PM on August 27, 2012


Oh, I keep hitting the bingo spots. Husband also likes Whitehouse (their live show is not what he expected at all, BTW, but that's a different derail). I don't particularly; some of my friends find them "funny" I guess, or something, but I'll stick to Throbbing Gristle any day. There's no Chris Carter or Cosey Fanni Tutti to even it all out there. And "trying" to be "worst" automatically disqualifies you, doesn't it? Pretty sure.

I always did kind of wonder what TG makes of the majority of their fanbase being genuine fans, like "oh hey I love Skinny Puppy too" fans, when the whole trying-to-be-painful thing was the arty point or whatever. I know for said husband and his bandmates it's not some two-steps-back artistic detached/theoretical appreciation; they earnestly love the way it sounds and have been inspired by it.
posted by ifjuly at 2:29 PM on August 27, 2012


And I'm not of a mood to pit Low against RHP because I love both dearly, but Low does not kick their ass! Mark Kozelek when he's on is ON (for me that's mostly the NOT John Denver-ish stuff, more the "yes, very clearly on 4AD" super dark metal-and-shoegaze-influenced work, but rays of light come through too--here and there a Sun Kil Moon track or "Michigan" or his solo covers and whatnot). Both can be awesome, granted in similar ways.

And when they get together it's pretty beautiful too (wish dearly I could find a link to their live cover of Neil Young's "Albuquerque", so lovely).
posted by ifjuly at 2:34 PM on August 27, 2012


(Sorry he wasn't on when you saw him--saw him twice in intimate little bar settings, he was pretty great but I would've killed to see the original RHP line up with all of that drawn out noise. Richard Buckner opened, so I really shouldn't be complaining though.)
posted by ifjuly at 2:35 PM on August 27, 2012


The Black Keys are awesome, STFU.

TV On The Radio are awesome, STFU.

Sleigh Bells, only dimly familiar with them, but they seem OK, so whatever.

Fun. is new to me, going to check them out based only on the fact that LA Weekly hates them.

MGMT is fine, I guess.

Death Cab For Cutie are awesome, STFU. But they are also sooooooo 2005.

Wavves are fine, I guess.

The Decemberists are awesome, STFU.

Pomplamoose? Yeah, they do kinda suck.

Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes, I always forget that I like them and then I hear their
stuff and remember that I think they're pretty cool. So STFU, I guess.

White Rabbits, also going to have to check them out purely out of spite.

Beach House are awesome, STFU.

Airborne Toxic Event sounds like L.A. wankers trying to be hipsters, which is where my main problem with L.A. subcultures lies. But I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if
LA weekly hates them.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti actually sounds damn interesting.

Beirut is my husband, STFU.

Grizzly Bear is awesome, STFU.

Bright Eyes? What is this, 2002?

Arcade Fire are awesome, STFU.

tUnE-yArDs are awesome, STFU.

Bon Iver is awesome, STFU.
posted by Sara C. at 3:38 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never thought of TG as so intentionally painful, but maybe that's because I got into them from so far after their avant moment. TG, EN and NWW were all sort of foundational "noise" and I tended to approach them like Stockhausen or Varese or any other, uh, unmusical composers — I assumed something was there compositionally and gave them the benefit of the doubt and enjoyed it on its own terms, I thought.

But Whitehouse or a lot of the new noise bands, I've got mixed feelings on — I just don't find them listenable at all. Merzbow, I can put on and concentrate listening towards, but I don't feel like I get that reward from all of the noise bands.
posted by klangklangston at 3:47 PM on August 27, 2012


Heh. I did learn long ago that for me, bands tend to fall on a continuum of interesting to boring and that very few bands have absolutely zero going for them, but that I also think that quirkiness is an anodyne weird and that bands like Tuneyards (not gonna camel case it) just sound like they're 20 years late to the party, at best. So these "worst band lists" are like, well, but when the worst thing you can say about them is that they're kinda shruggo, what's the point in hating them? I mean, I can understand going after bands for shitty fans, kinda, but that doesn't really speak to the music, right?

There's just so goddamn much great music out there that I don't understand either investing enough in shitty music to be angry, or worrying about who likes what. I've argued before that critically lauding bullshit bands is detrimental because it's a bit of a zero-sum game on who gets noticed, but even then, the opposite of lauding should be ignoring, not hating. (And that doesn't mean that you can't be savage in giving bad reviews, just that the savagery should be fair.)
posted by klangklangston at 3:53 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


> So these "worst band lists" are like, well, but when the worst thing you can say about them is that they're kinda shruggo, what's the point in hating them?

This pretty much sums it up for me and has for the past 5 or so years--I can't be arsed to hate any newish bands; when I don't like them (and admittedly I usually don't; see the last sentence of this comment...) I just find them boring and yes, very shruggo. I assume it means I am Officially Getting Old, alas.
posted by ifjuly at 4:02 PM on August 27, 2012


...Grizzly Bear is awesome, STFU.

Bright Eyes? What is this, 2002?

Arcade Fire are awesome, STFU...


can't facepalm this comment enough...
posted by jeremy b at 5:00 PM on August 27, 2012


lol at Bon Iver being a hipster band when 15yr old girls are going top twenty with covers of his songs.

My SO loves The Decemberists and Bright Eyes. I do not.
posted by mippy at 1:58 AM on August 28, 2012


There are definitely some bands I can't get into on the hipster band list (Tuneyards is one I know a lot of people really love, and the singer in Bon Iver gives me the nails on chalkboard effect) but I can't get needing to hate music any more either. I suspect that's a getting older thing.

I suspect part of the reason I like the Decemberists so well is that I love some of the folk that their earlier albums are parodying. But their last album is straight up Americana, which I didn't think was hipster at all unless you're of the generation to whom Elvis Costello (who is also doing that style of music now) was a hipster. I guess that's the NPR mock, though.
posted by immlass at 6:23 AM on August 28, 2012


Oh, yes, Bright Eyes. I couldn't see it either. Back in '03 people were talking about Fevers and Mirrors as though it were the second coming of Drake and all I heard was the musical equivalent of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower- faux-tremulous and calculated.

The Decemberists I've just never got into, though something about them makes me think they are irritatingly rabid Anglophiles for some reason.
posted by mippy at 7:22 AM on August 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have never, ever heard anyone call Oberst the next Dylan.

The next or already Dylan is Spencer Krug.

And Sunset Rubdown was actually the best hipster band of all time.

Or Pavement.

Or Built to Spill.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:32 AM on August 28, 2012


Sources, dear.

The Black Keys are awesome STFU

Not really my thing, but I get it and it's not bad. For me, though, whenever I listen to it, I get a nagging, oh, this isn't so great vibe. Style > substance. Point for LA Weekly.

TV On The Radio are awesome STFU.

I'm still waiting for some awesomeness. Point for LA Weekly.

Sleigh Bells, only dimly familiar with them, but they seem OK, so whatever.

You know Sleigh Bells. They did a Windows Phone ad (which does take a bit of sack today, I suppose).

I still like Sleigh Bells, but they do feel like a "guilty pleasure" i.e. I won't be listening to it in 2015. An quietier, dancier analog I prefer better is Go Team, but they were pretty horrible live (as was MIA, surprised she's not on the list ...). This and MGMT (and maybe fun. too, didn't they have a super bowl ad ... yes.) seem like "we don't like your ad" payback. I think Sleigh Bells had an iTunes ad, too? Or sold only via iTunes? 1/2 a point.

Fun. is new to me, going to check them out based only on the fact that LA Weekly hates them.

I think you know fun. I enjoyed The Format as an uber-sincere neu-folk band; fun. has gone in a different direction, but I listened to Some Nights plenty. At the least, I think the production is unique. The vocoder, or autotune or whatever was a surprise in 2-3 songs. I'm split. 1/2 a point.

MGMT is fine, I guess.

I really enjoy MGMT, but then again, I also really enjoy LSD, so I'll leave it there. I also like dirty hippies. Oh, and I'm calling it now, Congratulations is the Pinkerton of the Oughts. No points.

Death Cab For Cutie are awesome, STFU. But they are also sooooooo 2005.

I'm not even going to link or even search for a link because I'm bored already. Point for LA Weekly.

Wavves are fine, I guess.

Undecided. 1/2 a point.

The Decemberists are awesome, STFU.

Point for LA Weekly.

Pomplamoose? Yeah, they do kinda suck.

I'm somewhat amazed they merit a mention, but let's agree: Point for LA Weekly.

Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes, I always forget that I like them and then I hear their stuff and remember that I think they're pretty cool. So STFU, I guess.

The whole thing always seemed like a huge inside joke to me, and I don't like being on the outside. ;p. Point for LA Weekly.

White Rabbits, also going to have to check them out purely out of spite.

File with TV, Ariel, and Wavves for me (or not for me). Point for LA Weekly.

Beach House are awesome, STFU.

Beach House, when sung by a choir of little kids signing the lyrics, are TOTALLY awesome. When the real band plays while driving, it endangers many because I soon be sleeping. 2 points for LA Weekly.

Airborne Toxic Event sounds like L.A. wankers trying to be hipsters, which is where my main problem with L.A. subcultures lies. But I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if LA weekly hates them.

A good band can always overcome a shitty name (the Mountain Goats, Sunset Rubdown, iqu), but hmm. I will admit to have not listened to much if any of the music, so I'll be fair and say no points.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti actually sounds damn interesting.

As a concept, sure. As music, not really. 2 points for LA Weekly.

Beirut is my husband, STFU.

As good as it gets there. ... 2 points for LA Weekly.

Grizzly Bear is awesome, STFU.

3 points for LA Weekly.

Bright Eyes? What is this, 2002?

Agreed. No points.

Arcade Fire are awesome, STFU.

Arcade Fire doesn't belong on this list. Like them or loathe them, they are no longer a hipster band. They are in the category of Mumford and Sons. They won a Grammy. I called it a few years ago. 70s country rock (cutural leader): 2000s indie rock (cultural leader) :: Fleetwood Mac : Arcade Fire.

But yeah, easy target, and not the "worst." No points.

tUnE-yArDs are awesome, STFU.

Agreed. A misstep here. "Annoying" maybe, but not "worst." I think they reached because of the name. No points.

Bon Iver is awesome, STFU.

Bon Iver is not awesome, but probably not #1 either. They deserve on the list, but not #1. 1/2 a point.

Full score (with weighted ratings for true insight): 18/20. I stand by my earlier assessment = A minus.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:39 AM on August 28, 2012


TV on the Radio has been awesome.

Wavves are crazy fun live when the main dude isn't too drunk to play (the ol' GBV/'Mats problem).

For the rest, mostly I think they're boring or have voices that I don't care for, but some (like Sleigh Bells) I just haven't looked into.
posted by klangklangston at 11:50 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I would never thought of Amanda Palmer as hipster; she seems off in her own world, too much of an individual to be part of any movement that is not named AFP.)

The Flaming Lips and Amanda Palmer - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (NSFW)

Previously.
posted by homunculus at 12:11 AM on August 29, 2012


Full score (with weighted ratings for true insight): 18/20. I stand by my earlier assessment = A minus.

Encouraging people to reject music because it isn't cool (according to hipster-hating hipsters): minus 18 points for LA Weekly.

Final score: 0/20. F.

Also, I'd disagree with many of the points you gave them, but that's neither here nor there.
posted by klausness at 10:52 AM on August 29, 2012


Tuneyards (not gonna camel case it) just sound like they're 20 years late to the party

What party is this, I would like to attend/look at the pictures on Facebook.
posted by !Jim at 10:19 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


But I'm serious about wanting to know what party (metaphorically) it is.
posted by !Jim at 10:19 PM on August 29, 2012


Solex would be one place to start. It sounds like a bunch of twee Matador also-rans that had a few good songs but never strung anything together mixed with a bunch of the DIY neo-folk/halfassery (I mean that in a backhanded compliment way) that was de mode in the early 2000s — people like Patrick Elkins, off the top of my head. Honestly, I've sold off most of the stuff I had like it, but it was around.

(I'll cop to that being ten years back rather than 20. For that, you'd find folks like Neneh Cherry, but that's a poor match.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:30 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Solex would be one place to start.

Solex, Jon Spencer, and Christina got together for an album in 2010 that wasn't so bad but maybe not so good either...
posted by mrgrimm at 11:54 AM on August 30, 2012


Encouraging people to reject music because it isn't cool (according to hipster-hating hipsters): minus 18 points for LA Weekly.

Actually, I think it's the opposite. By shooting down such "obviously" great acts like DCFC , Sleigh Bells, and the Decemberists, they're encouraging listeners to form their own opinions and not to choose their music based on other people's (bad) taste.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:56 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only thing I've ever heard that was remotely like tUnE-yArDs is Paul Simon's Graceland album.

And even so, tUnE-yArDs is more like "Graceland" fed through a shredder and pieced back together with a Learn To Play The Ukulele instructional record and samples of wild sound tracks taken from a playground.
posted by Sara C. at 11:57 AM on August 30, 2012


By shooting down such "obviously" great acts like DCFC , Sleigh Bells, and the Decemberists, they're encouraging listeners to form their own opinions and not to choose their music based on other people's (bad) taste.

Except the whole thing makes it very clear that this isn't about liking the music or not, it's presenting identity (or aspirational identity, or avoiding negative identification) through taste markers. Cf the comments in the Decemberists entry on being OMG 40-something folk-rocker who heard it on NPR. This is strictly high school bullshit. "OMG you like the DECEMBERISTS. SO uncool! You can't sit at our table at lunch!"
posted by immlass at 12:31 PM on August 30, 2012


they're encouraging listeners to form their own opinions and not to choose their music based on other people's (bad) taste

How are their scornful dismissals encouraging people to form their own opinions? The tone of the whole article is, "if you like this crap, you're just a stupid hipster." That's hardly an invitation to form your own opinions about these bands.
posted by klausness at 4:10 PM on August 30, 2012


You know, I'm an idiot for forgetting to mention Death Grips. They are amazing, some of the most relevant hip hop I've heard in a long time. And there's a lot of, as one This Is My Jammer put it, post-Congotronics/afrobeat stuff right now too. Hell, that last link is from Elijah Wood's TIMJ even...he kind of had the whole collegiate/hipster-y actor deal going on a few years back, no? I tended to think of him as the male counterpart to Kirsten Dunst.
posted by ifjuly at 3:45 PM on September 1, 2012


Ohohoh, and I'm kinda on the fence about Grimes--not sure the vocals do it for me--but when the music's really good (my favorite example is the awwwwesome bass-y gurgly synth and developing drumbeat on "Be a Body") I don't worry much about the vocals.
posted by ifjuly at 8:54 PM on September 8, 2012


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