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August 4, 2013 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, Will Forte & Ed Helms made the new Mumford & Sons video. The results are.....amazing.
posted by lazaruslong (171 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like their music a lot (I am soon turning 40) and I have never seen one of their videos, but this is exactly what I imagine their videos to be like and I like it and I am soon turning 40.

Are they even called videos anymore?
posted by mudpuppie at 8:49 PM on August 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


That's pretty great, and I'm not particularly a Mumford & Sons fan. Have to respect anyone who can do self-parody confidently. The actors are terrific, too.

Posted today, over 75,000 views already...I expect this one will be successful for them.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:49 PM on August 4, 2013


The bit at 3:40 or so, with everyone dressed up like a hollywood version of a barbershop quartet mugging for the camera as they jam out on period accurate banjos is the most apt visual metaphor I've seen for Mumford and Sons.
posted by codacorolla at 8:52 PM on August 4, 2013 [27 favorites]


what is this i don't even
posted by restless_nomad at 8:57 PM on August 4, 2013


what is this i don't even

oh i do
posted by komara at 8:58 PM on August 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Holy shit, that made my day. Like for reals.
posted by guster4lovers at 8:59 PM on August 4, 2013


I've been sort of classifying Mumford and Sons as "Dave Matthews Band for the next generation" but I do not remember DMB ever having this sort of self-deprecating sense of humor. It's kind of great, even if I am a wee bit sick of their (fairly monotonous) sound.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:00 PM on August 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


This is one of those Poe's law things, right? Cause this is ...barely a parody.

Like I'm sure I saw this group (sans piano) busking in New Orleans last year.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on August 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I love this video so much. On the one hand, it's Mumford and Sons - they are the inevitable extension of the Frontier Rock world of stuff that includes people like Langhorne Slim, The Avett Brothers, Hoots & Hellmouth. So the willingness to self-parody so incisively here - carrying a madno, banjo, and steel string, giant fuckin' marching band bass drum on the back...it's brilliant. Just totally nails the parody aspect while making the video hilarious. And the song is actually pretty good for Mumford - interesting dynamic changes at the least, though the lyrics and harmonies are typical for them.

The subtle little choices the comedians make combined with the chance to see someone smash a damn upright just made it worth it.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:01 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dave Matthews does totally have the antique-things-old-time-y organic butter aesthetic however. It's all harpsichords crashing into toy carousels.

(quick, unearth Natalie Merchant from her undead slumber.)
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on August 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do, uh, Mumford and Sons know that these guys are totally doing their shtick better than they do? They're cool with that?
posted by elmer benson at 9:10 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been sort of classifying Mumford and Sons as "Dave Matthews Band for the next generation" but I do not remember DMB ever having this sort of self-deprecating sense of humor. It's kind of great, even if I am a wee bit sick of their (fairly monotonous) sound.

Funny you should say this. I heartily recommend you watch the Adam Sandler / Jennifer Aniston / Dave Matthews crossover 'Just Go With It'. You'll have a very different take on Dave Matthews - if for no other reason than Dave Matthews.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:15 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Loved this. Ed Helms pushing that piano down the road was just perfect and hilarious. Thanks for posting.
posted by entropyiswinning at 9:19 PM on August 4, 2013


There was one point involving the bearded 19th century preacher lookin' guy that really surprised me.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:21 PM on August 4, 2013


I'm still befuddled by how many times I just had to hear the phrase, "hold me farst." I know they're Brits doing a bluegrass shtick, but are they getting their pronunciation cues from Walter Brennan?
posted by thecjm at 9:22 PM on August 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


I didn't know bands today could show this level of self-awareness.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:22 PM on August 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I heartily recommend you watch the Adam Sandler / Jennifer Aniston / Dave Matthews crossover 'Just Go With It'.

Oh, I'm sure he's a perfectly down-to-earth guy, I'm just talking about the band's general shtick. (And no, there is no way in hell I am watching an Adam Sandler romcom under any circumstances, sorry.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:23 PM on August 4, 2013


> I've been sort of classifying Mumford and Sons as "Dave Matthews Band for the next generation"

I just had this exact conversation this morning.

Except my classification for this genre is "heartfelt songs for frat boys."
posted by mrzarquon at 9:29 PM on August 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


I would have a beer with Jason Bateman and any of the other guys and mumford and sons... But not david matthews...
posted by mrgroweler at 9:31 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I only now realized that Ed Helms and Jason Sudeikis are separate people.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:33 PM on August 4, 2013 [18 favorites]


This had a certain "Peter Serafinowicz" vibe to it, albeit with much less subtlety.

It's also interesting that a British band would make a video with 4 very distinctively American comedians. Helms, Forte, and the rest of the bunch don't quite seem like the type who would be able to bridge the cultural gap successfully.
posted by schmod at 9:36 PM on August 4, 2013


This is awesome. Everyone here is right-it shows a surprising level of self awareness. The part that really gets me, though, is that this is not a happy song. I've seen bands make "gag" videos for a happy song, where it's funny and silly and they're making fun of themselves. This is a fairly serious song, and this video is just not, and I love it. It's like they realized if they tried to make a video to fit the song it would be absurd. So they decided to make it absurd in a delightful way.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:39 PM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dave Matthews has been a very decent guy to everyone I've known who has interacted with him professionally.

End tangent.
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 PM on August 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Location: Schrute's Beet Farm.
posted by NakedShorted at 9:41 PM on August 4, 2013 [15 favorites]


Gaging the room, I'm hesitant to talk about the band/video with any sort of earnestness, or really anything other than snark or mocking approval, which is a bit bummy.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:46 PM on August 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Gaging the room, I'm hesitant to talk about the band/video with any sort of earnestness, or really anything other than snark or mocking approval, which is a bit bummy.

Perhaps I should clarify that I own every single DMB album. The comparison is not intended to be negative, at all.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:47 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looks like SOMEBODY beat me to my plan to give Jason Bateman a banjo just so I could watch him play it in the dusty sunlight.
posted by argonauta at 9:48 PM on August 4, 2013 [13 favorites]


I have to give Mumford & Sons credit for this. Because while i sometimes enjoy their earnest folksiness, they do in fact look exactly this stupid.
posted by dry white toast at 9:58 PM on August 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm not being snarky or mocking. I genuinely enjoy Mumford and Sons and I more-genuinely enjoy them knowing that they have the self-awareness to teasingly mock their occasionally goofy earnest folksiness.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:13 PM on August 4, 2013


I just sent this to every single accordion player I know. Holy shit that was funny.
posted by fshgrl at 10:13 PM on August 4, 2013


No snark intended, it's cool they took a non-jokey song and made a video where it's all their goofy folksy mannerisms pushed to parody, it's what I meant in the Poe's law comment, this skirts the edge of things so well.
posted by The Whelk at 10:16 PM on August 4, 2013


Looks like SOMEBODY beat me to my plan to give Jason Bateman a banjo just so I could watch him play it in the dusty sunlight.
posted by argonauta at 9:48 PM on August 4 [+] [!]


I made these for you.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:19 PM on August 4, 2013 [23 favorites]


hold me FAUST
hold me FAUST
cuz im a hooooobleeeeees
Warrrrrblerrrrr

Right?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:27 PM on August 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


Does Faust have an R in it? 'Cause whatever they're saying has an R in it.

(Are they just doing that thing Brits do where they think they're doing an American accent but they're just doing a really shit West Country?)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:35 PM on August 4, 2013


FirstMateKate, I want to be a Son to your Mumford. That's the most perfect thing anyone has made for me since I got my last mixtape in, like, 1995. Thank you!!
posted by argonauta at 10:37 PM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whatever, I really dig the earnestness thing, especially in the face of so much cynicism and "irony" I see from a lot of my generation. I like 'em.

And I also like this video.
posted by dogheart at 10:39 PM on August 4, 2013


(I think it might be RP fast--"hold me fast"--which is like farst with a non-rhotic R, and then they've gone and rhoticised it.)

(P.S. Oh, look, SNL guys kissing, because two guys kissing is hilarious! Gosh, that gag just never gets old, does it?)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:40 PM on August 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah haha its a really dumb old gag, I agree with you. I... I... *closes eyes*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:43 PM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


You think any of them like Mumford & Sons?
posted by ReeMonster at 10:48 PM on August 4, 2013


Reminds me (only just a little) of the pretty awesome Ed Sheeran video Lego House starring Ron Weasley. It's a damn great idea for a video - make sure to watch all the way through.
posted by ORthey at 10:52 PM on August 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I actually, non-ironically, love Mumford and Sons. I also, non-ironically, loathe Dave Matthews.

I also didn't realise just how much I needed Jason Bateman in tall boots, jeans and suspenders playing a banjo.

(I love that they got the weird hip rolling thrust thing with the banjos since it's always bothered me in the Little Lion Man film clip since it doesn't even seem to be in time...)
posted by geek anachronism at 10:59 PM on August 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


This is one of those Poe's law things, right? Cause this is ...barely a parody.

Like I'm sure I saw this group (sans piano) busking in New Orleans last year.


I think I have seen this group maybe three times a year every time I go to Winnipeg.


This is so, so perfectly spot on.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:01 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not such a fan of Mumford and Sons.

They strike me as a somewhat detumescent version of the Pogues, so to speak.

Great video though.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 11:07 PM on August 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


So, the amazing part is that M&S can allow themselves to be mocked by 4 really funny guys who made it really easy on a video production crew by just doing their shtick and playing air-guitar (banjo, upright, piano, etc) for a couple of days? Is that it? Is this because all their fans thought, before seeing this, that M&S was too serious to ever do something like this? Because the video is just cute. Nothing more. Those guys would do pretty much the same gestures & shtick for any band's video, just in different costumes & settings.
posted by Lukenlogs at 11:08 PM on August 4, 2013


Ok, I feel like I've joked enough about this to balance out the amount of real feels I'm about to lay down.

I agree with the comments before about how they're the new DMB, or "earnest songs for frat boys", and while that's perfectly ok, I'm peeved because they didn't have to be. Maybe I'm just bitter because they went and changed my favorite song (Nothing is Written) into I Will Wait and it sounds a lot more formulaic. (And that's not the first time they've reworked and song and given it a new name) Not that any of their songs are great examples of progressive music structure, but at least it wasn't this "Hold me farst" semi-distorted nonsense. It sounds way overproduced, compared to some of their older songs which I like quite a bit. Not to say that back then they didn't rely on a shtick. But I'd take the acoustic instruments, overly wrought lyrics, and gospel earnestness shtick over the overdone accent, 4 guitars, and NOW WE NEED A LOUD BANJO BREAKDOWN EVERYBODY shtick. Also they don't use horns nearly as much anymore. Boo on that. (Even Banjolin Song, as twee as it may be, doesn't sound like a record company's idea of what new folk music should be.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I feel this video is great because the actual band is kind of becoming a parody of its self. The music doesn't feel like what they would put out, it feels like what someone would think they would put out. (This sentiment is also backed by the existence of The Wedding Band, which is a side project done so they could put out music without the burden of Mumford & Sons attached as a name. That last link is especially stompy and clappy and fun)

Many, many apologies for the most ham fisted comment in metafilter history.
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:15 PM on August 4, 2013 [21 favorites]


Earnest Songs for Fratboys is cracking me up.


I will confess that I actually really truly love "Little Lion Man" in no small part because it would come on the loudspeakers at the gym and it was so not overprocessed and autotuned and Katy Perry it's like they came to rescue me from the shittiest music ever on a flying banjo.

So thanks dudes for being fratsy enough that you slipped one by 'em and folksy enough to give my ears a break.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:34 PM on August 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


As someone who had never heard of Mumford and Sons and never heard a single one of their songs, this left me awfully confused. I wasn't even aware it was a parody until about halfway through.
The lattice was a bit weak for this FPP.
posted by GoingToShopping at 11:39 PM on August 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was running a tutorial in the spring for a student of mine. Smart girl. Really hardworking and very, very earnest. She came into the office one day and caught the tail end of a Del McCoury Band bootleg I was listening to. She cocked and eyebrow and looked at me like we shared something, which warmed my heart a little bit.

The next week, she ended our meeting by telling me she how excited she was to be going to see Mumford and Sons that night.

A tighter smile you never saw, my friends.

Also, I can't take this band seriously because every time I hear their name, I think of this.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:40 PM on August 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


i did find it both unfunny and sort of homophobic, but then, you know--as a music critic, i kind of hate the consensus on mumford, they are goodish at what they do, and solidly down the middle.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:44 PM on August 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know the guys personally (and couldn't listen to their first record after a particularly bad breakup...), but their manager knows that my shop exists... so I dropped off a ton of incense and other stuff for an ailing Marcus Mumford before the Grammys this year. Long story short: Mumford and Sons and their team are awesome because they're funny, they're good tippers and they snuck me into the Grammys. \o/

This video's funny, too. :)
posted by raihan_ at 12:05 AM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


it's somewhat eerie that a camera crew just stumbled upon them doing this out in the country. it's like being outed as a furry, only you're a mumfy

I only now realized that Ed Helms and Jason Sudeikis are separate people.
i had to google them and look at their photos side by side to confirm this
posted by camdan at 12:07 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I find myself super irritated at the 'hold me farst' comments because it sounds perfectly normal to this Aussie lass. How else do people sing the word 'fast'?

And yeah, I liked the nod to the whole homoeroticism of the homosocial bond inherent in a lot of this fannish folksy hipsterness except suddenly AWKWARD KISSING because that's lolarious, right? It's that line where fans sexualise an emotional relationship for their own gratification without seeming to realise just how objectifying and fetishising and othering it is. And then I go into a rant about how men are forced further and further from emotional displays be sexualising those displays and then someone throws something at me.
posted by geek anachronism at 12:08 AM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


When did folk music get so neutered and mainstream, turned from something in coffee shops to vaguely inspirational, earnest, festival chantalongs? I know there's a need for authenticity in popular music, but why do Mumford & Fleet Foxes and Of Monsters and Men feel so inauthentic?

And yeah, I liked the nod to the whole homoeroticism of the homosocial bond inherent in a lot of this fannish folksy hipsterness except suddenly AWKWARD KISSING because that's lolarious, right?

Its not a good show without bro-hugs.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:10 AM on August 5, 2013


[A couple of comments deleted; Charlemagne In Sweatpants, this isn't your personal review site. If you don't like the band and won't watch the video, move on.]
posted by taz at 12:20 AM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Alright, watched the video. Minus the kiss, it just looked like a normal Mumford & Sons video, with the big-name comedians tacked on for instant virality but without much comedy (unless you count the 'hope on fire' line) Kinda reminds me of a big-budget version of Tom Scharpling's videos for Ted Leo and The New Pornographers , but not as funny.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:26 AM on August 5, 2013


I always call the band 'Sandford and Son' to get a rise out of my teenage kid.

GET OFF OF MY LAWN!
posted by mazola at 12:38 AM on August 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


I liked this song a lot, never registered them before. I like the prog-folk, a power-metal version of handsome man folk pop.

Anyway, all I knew about M&S before is MES throwing a bottle at them...
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:39 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


This was amazing.

Also: Mumford and Sons Can't Believe They All Got Each Other Mandolins For Christmas
posted by teraflop at 12:46 AM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


because every time I hear their name, I think of this

I dunno, I think you've got it better than me -- I think of this.
posted by dhartung at 12:46 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am going absolutely spare. I don't know what Youtube's done, recently, but suddenly I can't buffer more than about 30s ahead in the video or somewhere around there... and my speeds have dropped to next to nothing. No problem with other website speeds, nothing. And all of this is denying me my banjo fix! Woe. I'd blame my ISP, but the refusal to let me buffer anything seems unlikely to be their fault. If anybody knows of somewhere else hosting a copy of this video, I would much appreciate it.
posted by Sequence at 1:01 AM on August 5, 2013


I like the prog-folk, a power-metal version of handsome man folk pop.

I like bluegrass too!
posted by mannequito at 1:18 AM on August 5, 2013


Well, over produced bluegrass w/ choir vocals and lazer banjo.
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:24 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


I mean we can just put on Rhapsody, which has about as much to do with rock and roll as this does with bluegrass.
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:26 AM on August 5, 2013


Fans of comedians making music videos will probably aprreciate Zach Galifianakis' Not About Love and Can't Tell Me Nothing.
posted by edeezy at 1:29 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thecjm: I'm still befuddled by how many times I just had to hear the phrase, "hold me farst." I know they're Brits doing a bluegrass shtick, but are they getting their pronunciation cues from Walter Brennan?

While I was watching this, mr. hgg said from across the room, "What on earth are they singing? It sounds exactly like 'homey farts' but it can't possibly be."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:29 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Covering songs like pirates is a pretty cute idea and those dudes from the office and arrested development really are pretty good. They should cover that Ho Hey song by The Linoliums next.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:20 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Only in today's hyper meta and ironic culture could a chart-topping, folky artist simultaneously take inspiration from the traditional music of another continent and have the self awareness to let the hottest contemporary comic talent impersonate them in the video.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:31 AM on August 5, 2013 [19 favorites]


She came into the office one day and caught the tail end of a Del McCoury Band bootleg I was listening to.

Good God, man, that's some pharmeceutical grade shit right there. You could have killed her.


(Seriously Del McCoury has ten fingers on each hand I swear it. I saw him play with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and I'm pretty sure it's not even legal to be that good at music. He's like the end boss of bluegrass.)
posted by louche mustachio at 2:31 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hold me farts,
Hold me farts,
Cause I'm a homeless farter.
posted by orme at 2:34 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Now I can't unhear it. This song will from now on and forever be Hold Me Farts.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:38 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, Homeboy Trouble, thank you for that link.
posted by willF at 3:45 AM on August 5, 2013


Came for the sixteenth-note-banjo-breakdown. Leaving disappointed that their banjo player still hasn't learned there are other rhythms to play than sixteenth notes on the banjo. (He would do well to take lessons from Sufjan Stevens, who performs beautiful banjo work in, say, For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsiltanti or All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands.

Instead, it's rote sixteenth note breakdowns and extremely formulaic. I liked the first Mumford & Sons tracks. Then they were overplayed into oblivion. Then I realized that they weren't as overplayed as I thought, but that I couldn't tell the three or four that were in rotation apart.

It's just frustrating that they could be so much more, is all.
posted by disillusioned at 3:50 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fans of comedians making music videos will probably aprreciate Zach Galifianakis' Not About Love and Can't Tell Me Nothing.

Totally awesome. Too bad mefites don't really appreciate this, as Mr. Galifianakis is covering the stylings of the African American Kanye West.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:12 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


(P.S. Oh, look, SNL guys kissing, because two guys kissing is hilarious! Gosh, that gag just never gets old, does it?)

Yeah that bugged me too. Look at all the ridiculous things they're doing! Smashing drums in a barn! Wearing boater hats and suspenders! KISSING DUDES!
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:44 AM on August 5, 2013


Adam Curtis on Mumford & Sons: “They are like 18th century squires who ride out on the estate and go on the hovels where their fans live and tell them everything must stay the same. Mumford and Sons are the modern version of “you should know your place”. They’ve gone back to an old cultural folk music – some of which was very radical and a way of challenging power in the world – stripped it of any meaning, and reworked it into this nostalgic thing and put it together with stadium amplification. I can’t bear it, it makes me cry.”
posted by Shatner's Bassoon at 4:52 AM on August 5, 2013 [11 favorites]


> When did folk music get so neutered and mainstream, turned from something in coffee shops to vaguely inspirational, earnest, festival chantalongs?

When did folk music get so treacly earnest, turned from uplifting expressions of unity in struggle to wheedling introspective twaddle?

When did folk music get so political, turned from singsong workers' chants to union ballads?

Twas ever thus, dude.

This is the first time I've knowingly heard Mumford & Sons... count me among the people who thought the song was deliberate self-parody or something.
posted by ardgedee at 4:52 AM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


period accurate banjos
<pedant>Depends on the period, those were arguably a little modern for the boater hat and footlights era. I'm pretty sure one of them was a Fender. (Don't mind me, I complain about mandolins and fretted steel string banjos in old west movies too.)</pedant>

Am I allowed to casually like Mumford and Sons? They definitely have an "all of their songs sound pretty much the same" thing going on, but it's a good sound. Their Sigh no More album is audio comfort food when I'm in the right mood.
posted by usonian at 5:13 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


There were a couple interesting pieces on Mumford and Sons at Stereogum earlier this year...

Deconstructing: Phillip Phillips, The Lumineers, And The Mumford-ization Of Pop

In Defense of Mumford & Sons

The first compares them to DMB, and the second to AC/DC (?!)

This video is pretty hilarious, the Call Me Al video is awesome.
posted by papayaninja at 5:35 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


When did folk music get so neutered and mainstream, turned from something in coffee shops to vaguely inspirational, earnest, festival chantalongs?

This is pop music. That it borrows instrumentation from traditional and roots music is just a reflection of the zeitgeist - it happens every 35 years or so.
posted by Miko at 5:41 AM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


> Adam Curtis on Mumford & Sons:

Can you provide a link to what you're quoting from? I'd be interested in reading it.
posted by ardgedee at 5:42 AM on August 5, 2013


. . . well I liked the video, and I don't mind the few songs of this band that I've heard.

heartfelt songs for frat boys

Good god, are we still in college? Anyone want to go smoke natty spirits on the quad?
posted by Think_Long at 5:53 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I posted this last night, I knew I'd wake up to some snark, but GOOD LORD. For the record, I like the band, though they have a pretty homogenized sound, it's a pleasing one. I wish the horns would come back, though.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:59 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't mind the few songs of this band that I've heard. Good god, are we still in college?

I think most of the people in this thread who dislike them are people who are already familiar with the genre and object to a certain laziness of trope-adoption in their music. If you're kinda new to folky music then they're gonna sound fresh because you don't know what they're riffing on. I think every genre probably has this though- a cross-genre breakout which is liked more by former non-fans of the genre than by devotees of it.

Which, yeah, I can see why it annoys people. But that's how people discover new musical styles! If Mumford is a gateway drug that it results in higher levels of banjo appreciation, I'm for it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:00 AM on August 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's like me daddy always said:

It's better to hold me farts than to let them rip.

Great video, btw.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:01 AM on August 5, 2013


My wife is a huge Mumford and Sons fan, she plays them all the time. Next month she's dragging me out to some sort of festival that's taking place in my hometown that MaS is organizing. I had kind of feared that they'd look like this video.

Of course I listen to Abney Park so I'm speaking ill of anyone's music choices.
posted by charred husk at 6:20 AM on August 5, 2013


"...a Del McCoury Band bootleg I was listening to"

That is a Seymour level cultural signifier.
posted by jeffen at 6:25 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because most of popular culture these days is a closed book to me, I've heard of Mumford & Sons, but that's about it. So seeing the video and listening to some of the links posted has been an education, in a good way.

And thanks especially for the link to the Call Me Al video. I'm the right age have the cultural context to appreciate that one.
posted by Archer25 at 6:52 AM on August 5, 2013


Shatner's Bassoon: " They’ve gone back to an old cultural folk music – some of which was very radical and a way of challenging power in the world – stripped it of any meaning, and reworked it into this nostalgic thing and put it together with stadium amplification. I can’t bear it, it makes me cry.”"

Jesus Christ. I didn't like the new album either, but it's not like they're performing in blackface.

And, seriously. Why are Mumford & Sons being singled out for being too derivative? 99.999% of all music is extremely derivative. Mumford's tropes are a bit more of a throwback than most (and as a result, you could make the accusation that the band "appropriated" the sounds of another generation), but it's not like the band appeared out of a vacuum. London's folk scene has been churning out this stuff for years and years. Mumford added some extra bombast, wrote some catchy lyrics, ended up on the radio, and got famous.

I really don't think that the band had stadiums in mind back when they were touring with Laura Marling. Yes, the band's fandom has become...extremely obnoxious, but I'm not enough of a snob to hate their music on principle.
posted by schmod at 6:55 AM on August 5, 2013 [19 favorites]


A-la peanut butter sandwiches!
posted by Wild_Eep at 6:56 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


i was hoping that at some point in the video they would turn the mumford soundtrack off, and instead have audio of them actually playing the instruments in the moment. i imagine a cacophony and it would be awesome.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 7:04 AM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's not just self parody, it's like self-genre parody. Like, the lightbulb stuff (from about 1:45 to 2:20) made me think of the Lumineers' video for "Ho Hey".
posted by secretseasons at 7:11 AM on August 5, 2013


I was hoping that at some point in the video they would turn the mumford soundtrack off, and instead have audio of them actually playing the instruments in the moment. i imagine a cacophony and it would be awesome.posted by fuzzypantalones at 7:04 AM on 8/5 [1 favorite +] [!]

Ed helms literally punching the piano around 4:30 would be particularly amazing
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:22 AM on August 5, 2013


I didn't find the kissing problematic--in fact, I enjoyed it--mainly since I interpreted it as Our Earnestness Is Overwhelmingly Romantic And We Have No Boundaries (I mean, Jason Bateman tasted Will Forte's tears), not Guys Kissing Is Silly. But I'm Mumford-agnostic and thought this was cute, so it's all a wash.

Also, Ed Helms is in real life a banjo nut and claimed when interviewed on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me that whenever his character was sitting at his desk in the background on The Office, he was "reading banjo blogs." TMYK.
posted by psoas at 7:28 AM on August 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


I don't...I don't understand how you can arrive at this Hootie-with-banjos stuff when you've been a part of this (warning: amazingness). Talk about a downward slide.
posted by threeants at 7:30 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


There was one point involving the bearded 19th century preacher lookin' guy that really surprised me.

I wanted either more kissing dudes or no kissing dudes. This was the wrong amount of kissing dudes. Did that song even have an accordion in it?

I like the folky music that their stuff plays off of and while I agree with the general "this is pop appropriating folk elements" I guess that's okay with me.
posted by jessamyn at 7:34 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's OK with me too. I like the Mumfordeer Brothers and that whole trendy sound. I just mentioned it because, even as a big folk/traditional aficionado, I don't really buy into arguments about purism/authenticity because that's an imaginary thing. A lot of what people think of as "folk" is really, and always was, pop[ular] music, composed in a commercial relationship with its audience. Nothing wrong with any of it at all.
posted by Miko at 7:55 AM on August 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't get it. The video.

As for the music, it's like 90s grunge. It will play itself out.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:19 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does Faust have an R in it? 'Cause whatever they're saying has an R in it.

I assumed it was "hold me fast", actually. Hold me faahhhhhhst, and it comes out sounding like there's an r in.
posted by kenko at 8:26 AM on August 5, 2013


To be clear (w/r/t my previous somewhat snarky comment) I thought the music was good, the lyrics a little cringeworthy, the combination sounded over-the-top to me in a particular way that, in combination with the video struck me as being a deliberate parody of the current genre of folk-pop.

The "farst" thing, yeah... that added to the "is this parody?" line of thought. "Oh, okay, they're really reaching for some kind of constructed rural enunciation, that's pretty fakey fake." I didn't know they were British.

It probably helps (or hurts) that I'm totally celebrity-blind and thought that whoever-it-was in the video were the actual musicians until they started kissing each other and smashing shit up.

ps. Your favorite band doesn't suck. You're all beautiful people. Rock on, Newark. Rock on, Chicago.
posted by ardgedee at 8:32 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Lumineers are cool because they wear tiny fedoras and suspenders. It is like some sort of alternate reality where everyone takes fasion cues from Stranger Than Paradise.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:57 AM on August 5, 2013


That put a smile on my face that'll last all day.

And to those making comparisons to Dave Matthews Band: DMB is a product of 90s irony -- the calliope-crashing is all wink-wink, nudge-nudge isn't-this-so-shabby-and-fun. Mumford and Sons is so shamelessly, nakedly sincere it really doesn't belong anywhere near put-a-bird-on-it, fake-vintage irony.

I'm tired of pretending to like things I don't like. Irony's for chumps.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 9:05 AM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Scruffy Jason Bateman gets me hot and bothered.
posted by Strass at 9:10 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, I need gifs from this.
posted by Strass at 9:12 AM on August 5, 2013


DMB is a product of 90s irony -- the calliope-crashing is all wink-wink, nudge-nudge isn't-this-so-shabby-and-fun.

Interesting. I have heard LOTS of complaints against DMB. (I have made LOTS of complaints about DMB.) But I've never heard them described as a "product of '90s irony." Please expand. I'm lost.

I thought DMB was more about bro dudes showing their sensitive sides to score weed, hack a sack, and get laid. But I admit their 90s appeal was massive, so perhaps there are many explanations.

Disclaimer: My wife was (is) a big Dave Matthews Band fan. Quite fortunately (knock on wood), I've never had to attend a show. Not a snob (I ♥ Cinderella), it's just not my thing. Dead/Further, Panic, String Cheese Whatever -- same thing. I simply cannot dig the jams.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:28 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Am I allowed to casually like Mumford and Sons? They definitely have an "all of their songs sound pretty much the same" thing going on, but it's a good sound.

Frank Zappa never heard Mumford or his sons, but of Elmore James he said:
Even though Elmore tended to play the same famous lick on every record [deedelee deedelee deedelee deedle deet dow], I got the feeling that he meant it.
posted by Herodios at 9:46 AM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


They’ve gone back to an old cultural folk music – some of which was very radical and a way of challenging power in the world – stripped it of any meaning, and reworked it into this nostalgic thing and put it together with stadium amplification

Whatever Mumford & Sons' sins, the Byrds recorded "The Bells of Rhymney" 48 years ago, so this is like blaming Katy Perry for instigating the appropriation of R&B or something.

The music of Mumford & Sons is anthemic pop before it is anything else. They have a formula that steals at least as much from U2 and Coldplay as from Pete Seeger or Woody Guthrie or anything recorded in Appalachia prior to 1960. Sometimes that formula creates crazy infectious pop songs ("I Will Wait"), sometimes it leads to cloying bombastic junk ("Lover of the Light") that obliges me to change stations.

Like it or don't like it, but charging these guys with the crime of diluting a pure and unadulterated strain of authentic regional musical agitprop is grossly ahistorical. That poison apple got plucked a long time ago.
posted by gompa at 9:50 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I actually like Lover of the Light quite a bit because I can pretend it's a song written for an epic fantasy novel. (See also: Muse.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:51 AM on August 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Also, wow, that video is pure Idris Elba porn, isn't it?)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2013


Am I allowed to casually like Mumford and Sons?

DUDE.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2013


I once scored free tickets to a DMB show. This was just a couple of years ago, so a bit past their major career high. Still, it was a sell-out show at a big arena and it was awesome. A great, great show. I am not a get out of my chair and dance sort of girl, but I barely sat down all night. I imagine the energy at a Mumford and Sons show would be different. It's weird, because I am so much more likely to fire up folky stuff on Pandora than anything else, but something about this band rubs me the wrong way.

Part of it is probably the fact that "I will wait for you" came on the radio every single night while my sons were washing dishes last winter. It, that one Phillip Phillips song and "little talks" kind of became the soundtrack to 2 teenagers arguing about who was supposed to wipe up the counters and where the salad tongs were supposed to go. Sometimes while we are out in a store a song will come on and my husband will say "hey! It's a dishwashing song!"
posted by Biblio at 9:53 AM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


See also: Muse.

I have. Been trying to develop an "unsee" skill ever since.
posted by gompa at 10:00 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


kittensofthenight: "I mean we can just put on Rhapsody, which has about as much to do with rock and roll as this does with bluegrass."

I have spent literally hours of my life rocking out to Emerald Sword and sometimes Dark Tower of the Abyss, both for ironic enjoyment and because they're so blisteringly good at what they do. They bring me joy.

I'm sure other people can enjoy Mumford and Sons the same way. Or either way. Or whatever way!

Not quite sure what point I'm really making other than it's a waste of time to rag on music.

P.S. A friend once said Muse were my generation's Queen and woah shit I think I agree!
posted by Drexen at 10:21 AM on August 5, 2013


I just feel like this whole generation needs to eat a steak. Alice Cooper on the Lumineers and/or Mumford. While I don't agree with everything he says, he does have a point. I don't mind the occasional new folk song but it's all so earnest and white bread it makes me think of The New Main Street Singers.
posted by Ber at 10:32 AM on August 5, 2013


"I just mentioned it because, even as a big folk/traditional aficionado, I don't really buy into arguments about purism/authenticity because that's an imaginary thing. A lot of what people think of as "folk" is really, and always was, pop[ular] music, composed in a commercial relationship with its audience. Nothing wrong with any of it at all."

Yeah, "authentic" is pretty much always a trap, especially for folk music (authentic to what? to where? why?), but Christ if this isn't boring-ass music with terrible lyrics, a problem bigger than folk but one folk falls into too often (see: coffeehouse folk).

"I'm tired of pretending to like things I don't like. Irony's for chumps."

Err. You know that the video is, like, ironic, right? It's a distanced parody, a kidding-on-the-square about these dishwater arena-folkers? And (different) irony is what keeps us from wholeheartedly being suckered by this anodyne, vague glurge sentimentality.

I kinda wish that people who like Mumford and Sons would just commit to listening to radio country, since it's pretty much the same touchstones only generally underrated versus overrated.
posted by klangklangston at 10:38 AM on August 5, 2013


ardgedee: Can you provide a link to what you're quoting from? I'd be interested in reading it.

The quote is at the end of this article (but don't think the site is very tablet/phone friendly)

schmod: Why are Mumford & Sons being singled out for being too derivative?

I heard the quote the other day and thought it was pretty funny/vitriolic so thought I would share. I can't claim to speak for Adam Curtis but I imagine them being one of the biggest bands in the country right now is a reason they draw particular attention...and the fact that they're very upper class guys (one of them is the son of one the richest men in Britain) and playing the traditional music of the downtrodden masses might come across a little bit irksome to some, especially now that the country finds itself once again being run by the old Etonian elite.

It reminds me a little of that great scene in Ghost World with the band Blues Hammer.
posted by Shatner's Bassoon at 10:44 AM on August 5, 2013


The temerity of that man to have been born into wealth and desirous of pursuing music as a career! What a choice!
posted by lazaruslong at 10:56 AM on August 5, 2013


I kinda wish that people who like Mumford and Sons would just commit to listening to radio country, since it's pretty much the same touchstones only generally underrated versus overrated.
posted by klangklangston at 10:38 AM on August 5 [+] [!]


Thats right, people. Don't listen to what you like. It sucks.Listen to this other sucky thing I want you to because it all sucks and is practically the same thing anyway.
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:04 AM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Actually, radio country has a lot of the same things that people like about Mumford and Sons (anthemic music plus roots instrumentation), just done better and generally disparaged because of weird classist hangups.

But thanks for playing, Kate!
posted by klangklangston at 11:11 AM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


the chance to see someone smash a damn upright just made it worth it.

That really took me out of it for a moment at the end there, which is interesting to me because I am totally blase about rock musician smashing up their Fenders and Gibsons at this point. But you swing an upright around like that, and into several banjos, and I'm just immediately clutching at shit like THAT AIN'T RIGHT, YOU CAN'T DO THAT SORT OF THING, WORLD'S GOING TO HELL THESE DAYS in a way that I didn't see coming.

I kinda wish that people who like Mumford and Sons would just commit to listening to radio country, since it's pretty much the same touchstones only generally underrated versus overrated.

There's significant structural differences in rock vs country radio writing, though; M&S are decidedly on the rock side of that, with far less focus on wordplay and conspicuous metric structure in the lyrics vs. what I hear from pop country.
posted by cortex at 11:30 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Who needs radio country when we have Jason Isbell tearing things up right now?
posted by R. Schlock at 11:30 AM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


(Of what of theirs I've heard, I should say. Casually, radio-familiar with the band, maybe they've got a whole bunch of tightly wound All My Exes Live In Texas cornpoems on B-sides I don't know about.)
posted by cortex at 11:32 AM on August 5, 2013


*Shrugs* I liked their first album. The second album is alright, but the radio singles off of it are among the worst songs that the band has ever done. ('I Will Wait' being the chief offender)

And, yeah... Don't confuse folk and country.
posted by schmod at 12:34 PM on August 5, 2013


I'm not sure I'd say that there's all that much wordplay or conscious metric structure in this recent Rascall Flatts tune (though it's neither one of my favorites, nor one that I'd put out as a Mumford analogue, but I think does show that you don't have to have either to be a country hit).

Maybe the real problem is that most of the affective, rootsy radio stuff is fronted by women.
posted by klangklangston at 12:36 PM on August 5, 2013


Sure, but the existence of songs on country radio that don't hew to one of the more typifying elements of the genre as a whole doesn't make those elements not typifying. So a "M&S folks should just switch to country radio already" argument that hangs on that exception isn't a particularly robust one, basically.
posted by cortex at 12:47 PM on August 5, 2013


maybe they've got a whole bunch of tightly wound All My Exes Live In Texas cornpoems on B-sides

All My Ex-Lover Live in Leicestershire
posted by Think_Long at 12:52 PM on August 5, 2013


Well, except that country radio has gotten to the point that a good half of the songs don't necessarily hew to those markers — the current doyen of radio country is Taylor Swift.

Supporting that is that Mumford and Sons actually do pretty well on the country charts themselves; it's hard to argue that M&S is outside the genre markers of radio country when they're on radio country already.
posted by klangklangston at 12:53 PM on August 5, 2013


I'm not saying there's anything inappropriate about associating M&S with country music; the trouble's not with the idea of flexibility of borders of genre (and of Swift, "Trouble" et al certainly got plenty airplay on pop stations outside of the country purview, so we're muddling things from both directions on that front I guess) but with your implication that being a fan of M&S was some sort of purgatorial denial-state of nascent country radio conversion.

I suspect we are just arguing with each other because we like arguing with each other at this point, though.
posted by cortex at 1:05 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The music of Mumford & Sons is anthemic pop before it is anything else.

*lightbulb* While I love a lot of folk / country / roots / blues / whatever music, and I fully support earnestness in all its flavours, I never cared much for U2 or Coldplay or the like, which does a lot to explain my general distaste for Mumford and the Lumineers.
posted by maudlin at 1:53 PM on August 5, 2013


Mumford-agnostic

Perfect! Perfect phrase alert!
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:02 PM on August 5, 2013


This is pop music. That it borrows instrumentation from traditional and roots music is just a reflection of the zeitgeist - it happens every 35 years or so.

The fact that they're pop is damning enough. But yes, Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, and dozens of folk-punk bands do this hybridization so much better. Gogol Bordello have a new album out. Even locally guys like the Crooked Fiddle Band play fun festival folk.

Mumford annoy me because I LOVE the styles they're ripping off.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:04 PM on August 5, 2013


And to those making comparisons to Dave Matthews Band: DMB is a product of 90s irony -- the calliope-crashing is all wink-wink, nudge-nudge isn't-this-so-shabby-and-fun. Mumford and Sons is so shamelessly, nakedly sincere it really doesn't belong anywhere near put-a-bird-on-it, fake-vintage irony.

I grew up with DMB fans in Connecticut. It's frat boy music.
And Mumford don't seem earnest ENOUGH. Come have a shout-along at a Defiance Ohio or Ghost Mice or Frank Turner or Wil Wagner or Lucero or Flogging Molly or Revival Tour show. THERE's some earnest bro singalongs and heart on your sleeve passion. Mumford just seems anemic.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:10 PM on August 5, 2013


When Jason Bateman swings his banjo into the piano at 4:38, I thought to myself is that guy left-handed? which of course led me to islefthanded.com.

This site answers the question with photographic evidence, and also adds a little bit of biographical spice. Tina Fey (lefty) was born "in a replica Shire from Lord of the Rings just outside of Philadelphia" and Kate Upton (righty) "grew up in Brighton and had a jolly good time riding the tube, eating fish and chips and drinking tea in bikinis."

Turns out Jason Bateman is, in fact, left-handed. Fun!
posted by porubcansky at 5:34 PM on August 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Mumford annoy me because I LOVE the styles they're ripping off.

It's a beautiful thing, though - no one can own a musical style.
posted by Miko at 5:41 PM on August 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


I wanted either more kissing dudes or no kissing dudes. This was the wrong amount of kissing dudes.

The answer is "more kissing dudes."

The answer is always "more kissing dudes."



I am a vocal proponent of More Dude Affection in general. More huggin', more kissin'. It would be good for the world.


Also, it's not like anyone would turn down an opportunity to kiss Jason Bateman right on the mouth, especially playing a banjo in the dusty sunlight like that. Damn.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:48 PM on August 5, 2013 [5 favorites]



When Jason Bateman swings his banjo into the piano at 4:38, I thought to myself is that guy left-handed?


I thought to myself NOT THE BANJO NOOOO

and then i looked deep into my soul to re-examine my priorities
posted by louche mustachio at 5:50 PM on August 5, 2013


AND THEN i went shopping for a mandolin.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:54 PM on August 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought the kiss was kinda hot.
posted by capricorn at 6:09 PM on August 5, 2013


I didn't find the kissing problematic--in fact, I enjoyed it--mainly since I interpreted it as Our Earnestness Is Overwhelmingly Romantic And We Have No Boundaries (I mean, Jason Bateman tasted Will Forte's tears), not Guys Kissing Is Silly.

In the context of this video it's not so bad, no. It's only in the context of a decade of sketches where two guys kissing is the punchline that it becomes a bit tiresome.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:18 PM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


They remind me of the white bread folk bands from the early sixties like these folks.
posted by octothorpe at 7:59 PM on August 5, 2013


Or perhaps even these folks.
posted by dhartung at 4:45 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The best part is the brief glimpse of Ed Helms beating the keys with his fists.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:38 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Article on MTV's site detailing how the video came about.
posted by komara at 11:10 AM on August 6, 2013


Actually the best part might be Jason Bateman licking tears of his fingers.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:55 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


They remind me of the white bread folk bands from the early sixties like these folks. yt
posted by octothorpe More than 18 hours ago [+]


that group is so bubbly, if i were seeing them live i'd be afraid of "audience participation" and quietly sneak out the back
posted by camdan at 3:13 PM on August 6, 2013


Don't Let Mumford & Sons Trick You Into Liking Them
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:25 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to see a thread like this that educates me on what it's okay to like. I had no idea how important it was to determine if, for example, frat boys like something before I decide to like it. Good thing I never knew that before, when I was a college student in the southeast in the early 90s, or I never would have been able to enjoy seeing DMB for $5 on a Tuesday in a nearly empty bar. No word of it a lie, I've seen few acts in 25 years of concert-going that were more reliably joyous than DMB at that time.

The other thing I need help with is when to stop liking something. Like, was it okay to like Mumford before the fratboys found it? Or do you need to keep a chapter of them around, just to test things with, to find out if a band or movie or TV show is aesthetically safe first?

Seriously, fuck every single bit of "that's fratboy music" pretension. Fuck the attitude that popular means bad. Fuck the idea that we should ignore Mumford because Isbell or whatever does it better, whatever "it" is. Guess what? You can own both records! I do! They're amazing!

For all the quality I find on the blue, Mefi can be relied upon to produce in profound quantity threads full of pronouncements that band X/movie X/TV show X isn't cool, with little backing it up beyond tired hipster pretension. HAW HAW HAW FRATBOYS LIKE THIS isn't much of a post. Or an aesthetic judgement.

I guess I just wish there were more threads about liking things, and fewer about why liking things is bad.
posted by uberchet at 6:33 PM on August 6, 2013 [5 favorites]



I guess I just wish there were more threads about liking things, and fewer about why liking things is bad.


I get that, I really do, and I won't shit on a thread about somebody's small favorite band that they're trying to post about to get more exposure. But this was the biggest band in Australia, and one of the biggest in America. This is a music video funded by their record label and starring some famous comedians. I think its a valid target.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:36 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh piss off already. We get it. You don't like the band. Keep it to yourself? And linking some random My Folk Is Better Than Yours op-Ed that extolls the virtues of Bob Dylan over everyone else and clearly wants to argue about what Dylan record is best doesn't help.

Take the cynicism and negativity elsewhere.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:18 PM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was just going to say:
Its okay to like Mumford & Sons.
Its okay to still ride a fixie.
Its okay to be a hipster.
Its okay to still drink PBR.
Its okay to still like grunge.
Its okay to like Aqua.
Its okay to like Evanescence.
Even Avril Lavigne's music is okay to like.

Hell, its even okay to be a hater.
Just don't spend your time shouting down anyone and everyone who actually likes something.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:29 PM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I won't shit on a thread about somebody's small favorite band that they're trying to post about to get more exposure. But

Please stop doing that thing you always do. It's super snooty and annoying and adds nothing to the discussion. There is no such thing as "a valid target" on MetaFilter for what you want to do.

I was talking to my sister about the movie Identity Thief today. She was telling me how she loves Bateman and McCarthy and so she'd probably like it and I said yeah. And then she started another sentence "Have you seen that video...?" and without even hearing another word I was like "Yeah, needed more guys kissing, don't you think?" and she laughed because OF COURSE she was talking about this one.
posted by jessamyn at 8:17 PM on August 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


Damn straight. Don't yuck my yum.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:18 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ed Helms' drop foot is my favorite thing. Also I love that I can tell what vocal part the comedians are fake singing. Props.
posted by rainbaby at 10:07 PM on August 6, 2013


"Please stop doing that thing you always do. It's super snooty and annoying and adds nothing to the discussion. There is no such thing as "a valid target" on MetaFilter for what you want to do."

EXACTLY.
posted by uberchet at 6:13 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is no such thing as "a valid target" on MetaFilter for what you want to do."

There's no such thing as a valid target of criticism?! Well, that's depressing. I think the video stinks too, for many reasons, but I'm not even gonna try because well, the response is "STFU, haters."

Personally, I enjoy reading someone tell me why I shouldn't like my favorite band. It takes guts to do so, and I usually at least learn or consider something new. My2c.

Take the cynicism and negativity elsewhere

Positivity is totally overrated; cynicism, totally underrated.

Just don't spend your time shouting down anyone and everyone who actually likes something.

Where is the shouting?

From CiS's link:

Will Forte's beard is just fake enough. Helms' tears are just real enough.

Back to the video, I disagree. I Helms oversells it too early and too often. Everyone else is fine, Bateman probably the best (except for that ridiculous banjo riff), but Helms looks too hammy most of the way through. Will Forte looks like he does it everyday ... which he does.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:02 AM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Take the cynicism and negativity elsewhere.

... like to the thread about how fucking stupid Under The Dome is?

I'm realizing the unspoken rule here is that it's OK to be a "hater" if you are in the majority.

Color me further depressed. Oh well. MovingOn.org ...
posted by mrgrimm at 8:19 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's no such thing as a valid target of criticism?

Saying "This sort of thing is worthy of scorn and derision and sneering because of $REASONS while this thing is not because of $OTHER_REASONS" is not a valid distinction. We don't draw the line between what sort of scorn is okay and what is threadshitting based on how good your reason is. Critique is always fine. Showing up in threads to lazily dump on the specific or general thing being talked about without engaging with the general discussion already in progress is less-fine. Doing it over and over again verges into "breaks the guidelines" If people need a fuller discussion about this, please hit us up on the Contact Form or open a MeTa thread, it's off-topic here.
posted by jessamyn at 8:20 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


""This sort of thing is worthy of scorn and derision and sneering because of $REASONS while this thing is not because of $OTHER_REASONS" is not a valid distinction."

I get what you're trying to do, but that actually is an entirely valid distinction. Republican war on women is worthy of scorn and derision because it's horrible etc.; Democrats trying to save food stamps is not because they're trying to help people.
posted by klangklangston at 8:38 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


+---------------+
|Listen to Music|
+-------+-------+
        |
        |
        |
        v
+----------------+        +--------------------+
|Did I like it?  +------->|Oh well, not for me.|
+-------+--------+   No   +--------------------+
        |
        | Yes
        v
+----------------+
|Cool! New Music!|
+----------------+

posted by usonian at 10:15 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm totally fine with valid criticism of a post or a band or what have you, but the image-conscious criticism has been pretty egregious in this thread. 'Image-conscious' meaning that most of it hasn't been an actual evaluation of the music (or the video), but rather judgment of who their fans are, and what they are not. As much as people use them, "frat" and "bro" are not adjectives, and especially are not critical terms.

*Klang I know you were not doing this, I'm referring to others in the thread.
posted by Think_Long at 10:55 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


In my dotage, I'm increasingly irritated by the tendency of some to dismiss aspects of popular culture not on the merits, but based largely or even solely on who else likes it.

The first time I really noticed it, it was with Dave Matthews. In the early 90s, when he was still just bar and party band selling their only CD at a merch table, I didn't see it happening. Then he blew up commercially, and all of a sudden it was uncool to like him. The music hadn't really changed (or, if anything, they got better).

But people who shat on them -- and I know a bunch -- never really knew anything about the band, or their music. They didn't listen to commercial radio, so they never heard them (and radio play was a pretty late phenomenon for DMB, anyway). This ignorance didn't stop them from snarking on the band, though, because, obviously, everyone knows only bros like that act! They must suck! You don't suck, do you?

Seriously. What the actual fuck? It's pop culture bullying, more or less. I guess it's just an evolution of the thing that happened in an earlier generation of "indie" music, when we sat around and debated when band X "sold out" and started to suck; with shocking regularity, the suck point would be tied to commercial success regardless of the quality of the musical output.

There have always been people who wanted to like something that nobody else liked, or that only people they approved of liked, as a weird sort of self-definition. This reaction seems to ALWAYS be paired with an aggressive disdain for things that fail to pass social muster, or that attract too many fans, or the wrong kinds of fans. And the actual quality of the music or books or movies or whatever was, at best, secondary to this social calculus in determining what was okay to like.

That's all kinds of fucked up and stupid. It was fucked and stupid up in the early 80s, and it's fucked up and stupid now. Like what you like. Own it. Sure, be critical if you find that rewarding, too, but there's absolutely a difference between a critical appraisal and shitting on something because you don't think it's cool enough. Mostly, in this thread, I've seen only the latter.

As for Mumford, I'm sure I'm not alone in being genuinely surprised they've gotten as commercially huge as they are. And I mean that in two ways: first, it's surprising that anything at all rootsy gets that kind of traction, and second I was literally unaware of how successful they'd become because I don't listen to commercial radio, I don't watch a lot of TV, and I don't read pop culture magazines. I knew they'd gotten reasonably big, mostly, because I started seeing snark about them -- but seeing their sales numbers was super shocking to me. Good for them!

But it's also irrelevant to my relationship with the band (or with any band, really). It's bizarre to me that other adults are apparently sifting their tastes through a filter that was bullshit in middle school.
posted by uberchet at 11:28 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


first, it's surprising that anything at all rootsy gets that kind of traction

Merely adding a banjo to Coldplay's pop formula doesn't make them "rootsy."
posted by Sys Rq at 12:39 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


HAW HAW HAW THEYRE JUST COLDPLAY WITH A BANJO AMIRITE?
posted by uberchet at 1:04 PM on August 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yes. Bland, commercial, radio-friendly lite-rock played by London toffs. With a banjo.

If that's your thing, that's fine. But let's not pretend it's "rootsy."
posted by Sys Rq at 1:10 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


(To say nothing of the nauseating cultural appropriation.)
posted by Sys Rq at 1:21 PM on August 7, 2013


there's absolutely a difference between a critical appraisal and shitting on something because you don't think it's cool enough. Mostly, in this thread, I've seen only the latter.

I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree. ;)

it's surprising that anything at all rootsy gets that kind of traction

Traveling Wilburys.

But people who shat on them [ed: DMB] -- and I know a bunch -- never really knew anything about the band, or their music. They didn't listen to commercial radio, so they never heard them

...

I don't listen to commercial radio

Then how did you hear DMB, and why do you assume its critics hadn't heard its music? I listen to a LOT of commercial radio, and I did not like DMB.

I actually like Lover of the Light quite a bit because I can pretend it's a song written for an epic fantasy novel.

For some (great) epic fantasy songs, check out the latest Thermals album Desperate Ground ... I was convinced the album was written with GoT specifically in mind ...

1. Born to Kill - The Unsullied
2. You Will Be Free - Bran & Rickon
3. The Sunset - Melisandre
4. I Go Alone - Sandor Clegane
5. The Sword by My Side - Jaime
6. You Will Find Me - Theon
7. Faces Stay With Me - Bronn
8. The Howl of the Winds - Davos
9. Where I Stand - Yoren
10. Our Love Survives - Rhaegar & Lyanna / Jon & Daenarys (or Robb & Talisa, or Cersei & Jaime ...)

... but I think the album has a mythology of its own.

posted by mrgrimm at 1:58 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]



Personally, I enjoy reading someone tell me why I shouldn't like my favorite band. It takes guts to do so, and I usually at least learn or consider something new. My2c.


Yes, this! I love reading essays attacking my favorite bands, because they either force me to reconsider why I like them or make me think of elements of those bands I hadn't considered - the main sticking point here is 'authenticity', so I like reading about how Springsteen isn't really authentic or whatever.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:58 PM on August 7, 2013


(To say nothing of the nauseating cultural appropriation.)
Yeah, Mumford and Sons have some nerve to steal the banjo from authentic folk musicians bluegrass musicians old-time musicians jazz orchestras classic banjoists minstrel troupes antebellum slaves Caribbean slaves West Africans!
posted by usonian at 7:18 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I loved this and want a version starring the Emmet Otter Jugband Christmas muppets.
posted by travertina at 4:40 AM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


SysRq:

See, though, music played predominately or entirely on instruments associated with the rootsy side of things can legitimately be referred to as "rootsy" regardless of how much it seems to offend your delicate sensibilities. Glancing at the Billboard Hot 100, I suspect you'd find Mumford significantly closer to whatever you think of as "legitimate" roots music than most entries. Hence my phrasing.

Also, if we are to avoid "nauseating cultural appropriation," then I suppose we'll have to avoid all popular music recorded since the 1940s, if not earlier. All of rock and roll is appropriation. All of modern folk is appropriation.

I suspect your use of the term here to dismiss a band you dislike hinges on your belief that "inspired by" and "appropriated from" are best differentiated by your keen critical eye, but that dog won't hunt.

MrGrimm:

The Traveling Wilburys records were released in 1988 and 1990. See above re: a survey of the current charts.

I think I've also covered how I came to know DMB: ie, live, well before any radio played them anywhere. Perhaps you should read more closely.

My experience predominately with people who disdain DMB for reasons other than their music does not mean that there do not exist people who actually listened and disliked. In my life, though, I have encountered far more people happy to dump on them despite admitting being utterly ignorant of the music than I have folks who just didn't care for the music. (It's also illustrative to note that people in the first group are generally happy to dismiss the band *and its fans* as unworthy, uncool, unhip, bro-culture, whatever, whereas folks in the second group felt no such compulsion.)

Your posts here paint a picture of someone defending the sort of cultural "analysis" -- or what passes for it -- that I find repugnant, juvenile, and shallow. You find cynicism underrated? You enjoy being told not to like bands for reasons external to the music? I find that bizarre, but no moreso than the fact that you've mistaken broad disdain for a certain kind of Mumford hate as a blanket dismissal of criticism itself.

I suspect you and I will never find common ground.

On anything. Ever.
posted by uberchet at 4:18 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never thought I'd be recommending a book about Celine Dion to anyone, ever, but Let's Talk About Love was fascinating as a discussion of both Dion specifically in her own cultural milieu and worldwide, and a survey of the way musical taste is formed and has changed in Western culture over the last century. (Self-link to my review of it, because it's only tangentially related to the topic.)

I would have loved to see DMB in their early jam-band days. I saw them live once, at an enormous arena, and they were a great act (if you like the jam-band aesthetic, which not everyone does and that's fine) but it was a seething ocean of people and the women in front of us sang every song at the top of their lungs and nowhere near the correct key. I got into them just about when they first started to get airplay, because my best friend's older sister had liked them before that (and was quite annoyed in a distinctly hipster way that they got so popular) and she was the one that took us to the show.

(I should clarify that I was definitely exaggerating when I said I have every DMB album. Checking, they not only have a shit-ton of live albums that I don't have and don't need, they have two (!) studio albums recently that I've somehow missed in my self-imposed music coma.)
posted by restless_nomad at 4:33 PM on August 8, 2013


I suspect you and I will never find common ground.

On anything. Ever.


The Biebs said it best: Never Say Never

Everyone loves Bieber, right?
posted by mrgrimm at 1:34 PM on August 9, 2013


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