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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Inventory: The most annoying fans in music

Here is a Think Tank piece I wrote for Harp a while back that was never published. I think it's a'ight -- probably good that it wasn't published but certainly good enough for the blog. I thought of this story recently because in recent months I have started to not hate The Dead and Phish; I actually kinda enjoy them now. Does this mean I'm more open-minded or much lamer than I used to be? I'll let you know when I find out. Anyway, I still hate their fans, which kinda supports the point of this story: Stupid fans prevent a lot of great music from being heard.

"It not the band I hate/It’s their fans.” Sloan, a band I don’t hate, said that once in the song “Underwhelmed.” In two lines this criminally underrated Canadian power-pop band summed up a profound universal truth: Even a super group composed of John Lennon, John Bonham, John Entwistle and Jesus Christ will be unbearable if the fans make your skin crawl. It’s too bad, because fans can and do ruin a lot of great music. But annoying fans also can be a tip-off that your ears aren’t as sharp as you think. While annoying people can be found among any band’s legion of supporters, some bands seem to attract morons like emo kids to a trucker cap sale. Here are the top five most annoying fans in rock.


1. Deadheads/Phish phans
THE textbook case when it comes to annoying fans. The problem here is even if you can look past the patchouli, the stoned self-righteousness and the white guy dreadlocks, it's too late. Both bands are done. You will never see them 35 times in one summer or be able to claim you did on a fan message board. (Don’t lie, because there might be a setlist quiz.) Becoming a Deadhead and/or Phish phan at this point makes you low man on the Jerry/Trey totem pole, and the opportunity for advancement is zero. You will be stuck packing the bowl, taking the last toke and paying the pizza guy.


2. Dashboardheads
The single most disturbing event in popular music from the past 10 years is Woodstock ’99, which made you think nu-metal would burn down the world before something else came along. Coming in a close second is the Dashboard Confessional episode of “MTV Unplugged,” which made you wish nu-metal had burned down the world before this came along. Seeing throngs of red-cheeked teens belting out Dashboard’s sad bastard anthems is like watching a very special “Children of the Corn” inspired episode of “The O.C.,” only it is real and therefore 10 times creepier. I can’t name a single Dashboard Confessional song, and since I don’t want my head lopped up with a sickle, I don’t plan on learning.


3. Punks
Five reasons why punk rock fans are insufferable: (1) Punk is supposedly about being your own person, but if you go to a punk rock show everybody wears the same punk rock costume; (2) Moshing; (3) “Sell out!”; (4) Punk is supposedly about ignoring musical boundaries and being noncommercial, but any band that dares to expand its sound beyond three chords and “Rocket to Russia” is accused of not being punk, as if that means anything anymore, and ostracized; (5) I am no longer 16.


4. Cure fans
When I was in high school, Cure fans were the most annoying music fans because they dressed strange, they always looked at the ground while talking and they appeared to perpetually be on the verge of tears. You know, kind of like the Cure themselves. Looking back, I don’t find these kids to be nearly as irritating. And I like the Cure a lot more than I used to. But for a long time I didn’t bother listening to them because Cure fans were on a lower social strata than I was. I’m not proud of subscribing to this blatant brand of high school classism, but anybody who wore R.E.M. T-shirts as often as I did had to be cooler than somebody.

5. Belle and Sebastian fans
I include this only because I loved a girl in college who loved Belle and Sebastian, and she didn’t love me. For years I couldn’t hear “If You’re Feeling Sinister” without thinking about all the times I tried to make out with her in her dorm room. So, please, feel free to substitute this selection with a band you hate because some girl/guy you once loved didn’t love you back. If that’s not a good reason to despise a band, I don’t know what is.

That's my take. What do you guys think?

16 Comments:

Blogger Thomas Roz said...

While in high school, Dave Matthews Band fans irritated the crap out of me. I hate the band to this day because all my friends, at that time, refused to listen to anything else. "Hey, I have a band you might like to listen to." "Sorry, dude, I have to go pick up the 80th Dave Matthews Band live album released in two weeks."

Also, I went to a frat party while visiting a friend at the University of Minnesota when I was a sophomore, and not only did they play DMB on the stereo for the two hours I was there, some lame-ass Abercrombie reject turned the music off and started playing Dave songs on his guitar while everyone else joined in to sing along.

Oh, and I've experienced the Dashboard singalong. I reviewed their show in Green Bay four years ago. Painful.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Olson said...

I couldn't have said it any better than Mr. Roz.

DMB fans drive me up a wall and the band suffers because of it.

My favorite quote from a DMB fan acquaintance of mine: "I could just listen to Dave forever, wouldn't that be great if we could do that?" ugh.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous e4life said...

I'll agree with T-Roz and Olson. DMB fans are the worst. If the group was accepted for what it is -- a moderately talented, sometimes entertaining diversion from truly innovative music -- I'd have no issue. But DMB fans think the band is the most ground-breaking group of musicians ever. Why? Because there's a fiddle in the band? As Ozzie Guillen said, "Pshhhht ... PLEASE!"

1:45 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sick of people dissing Dashboard! It's like I read on a review for one of their albums, if you are over sophomore year in college you will probably hate DC. Personally I have been a huge fan of them for a long time, but I'm only a high school senior so it makes sense. I respect peoples opinion about the band, but pleeeeaaase don't diss them or especially the loyal fans.

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