4 Common Music Arguments and What They Really Mean

#2. "I Liked Them Until They Got Popular"


Sure, that one band was great when they started out. You went to all of the shows, you followed them on Twitter, you wore the fucking T-shirts, all of that good stuff. But then something awful happened, a fate you could never see befalling your beloved band -- they got famous. Like, really famous. Green Day 2009 famous, not Green Day 2001 famous.

And with that last sentence, a lot of "true" Green Day fans just lost their collective mind, because comparing 2001 to 2009 in the Green Day catalog implies that everything up to 2001 never even happened. And that's some bullshit because, as everyone knows, Green Day was only a good band on those first two albums where all the songs sound exactly the same because they're all the same song. Those were the golden years. Then everyone heard "When I Come Around" and lost their shit and one thing led to another and now Green Day is the worst thing that ever happened to anyone.

Translation: "I only care about myself."

What people leave out when they start waxing poetic about the days when bands sold tapes out of a van after shows in dingy nightclubs is the part where their favorite musicians also keep a day job and die of a tooth infection because they can't afford health insurance.


Wanting to be part of your own little group is perfectly understandable; wanting the entity that brought you together to enjoy as little success as possible in life is not.

I get that some of it has to do with the timeless "indie label vs. major label" debate, but plenty of bands have made the leap to a major label with perfectly legitimate results. Some have spent their entire careers on major labels. It's one thing if the band of your early-days yearning just went on to make some shitty albums. That totally happens -- Google "The Replacements" for proof.

But hating a band just because they make a little more money than they used to doesn't mean you're a "real fan," it means you're a selfish prick.

#1. "American Idol Ruined Everything"


Nobody even has to try anymore. You just post a video on YouTube and you're the next Justin Bieber, simple as that. Once people decided that "talent" meant you were good enough to impress Simon Cowell, music was over. What happened to the days when a band had to pay their dues and stuff?

So goes the complaint, anyway. And it kind of makes sense if you think about it (and don't think about basic math).

Translation: "I misunderstand what the word 'success' means."

So, thanks to American Idol and the Internet, you personally feel like you have a better shot at being a successful recording artist than ever before? Just because you have the option of putting your stuff on the Internet or standing in front of a few television producers with a football stadium's worth of other people in line behind you, everything you need to conquer the rugged music business landscape is now at your disposal?

Of course not, because you're still a talentless dullard. People who become successful as a result of American Idol or YouTube do it because they're either moderately talented or so awful that it's kind of fun to watch. In either case, the most that happens is the record company parades them around to a few red carpets and stuff, maybe spends the cash to let them record an album and then unceremoniously dumps them by shooting them in the back of the head behind the Capitol Records building.

The back is super hard to find because the building is round, so it makes for an ideal killing field.

In the big scheme of things, reality show singing competitions and uploaded Internet videos have given us, maybe, two or three really huge stars. Easy access to a group of people willing to judge your abilities and promote them to others has not suddenly made the world more talented, it's just shed a light on the fact that there are a lot more delusional people out there than any of us likely ever believed.

And besides, it's not like getting that record deal that comes with placing near the top on one of those reality shows is a guaranteed ticket to success. If you think different ...


... Justin Guarini would like to have a talk with you. Probably about today's specials.

Adam hosts a podcast called Unpopular Opinion that you should check out right here. You should also be his friend on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

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