Maybe it was these tough economic times — the sinking music industry, everyone downloading shit for free, rising unemployment. Or perhaps
folks just are getting stir crazy from lack of fresh air, sitting in front of their laptops/4-tracks while their bodies slowly give way. Whatever the case, bands were super bitchy this year. Some fights went no further than name calling; in at least one case, though, punches were thrown. The messiest? Band-on-band urination. In honor of a contentious 12 months, we’ve cataloged over a dozen of the year’s most compelling static. And we’re not even gonna mention this guy.
01 FIERY FURNACES VS. RADIOHEAD & BECK
This “faux feud” started because FF Matt Friedberger mistakingly thought Radiohead had written a song about avant-garde American composer Harry Partch, not the longest surviving UK veteran of WWI, Harry Patch. A “faux feud” because Radiohead never responded, though Friedberger continued talking about it until Beck entered the fray with a 43-tone zing. This is the top-ranked because it resulted in art and not just hurt feelings.
02 WAYNE COYNE VS. ARCADE FIRE
When the main Flaming Lip called the Arcade Fire pompous pricks who treated people like shit it seemingly came out of nowhere. Even Win Butler responded with a wow of disbelief. Coyne then apologized. Then he took the apology back after deciding his initial dis was “absolutely the truth.” The result? A Colbert parody.
03 JAY REATARD VS. BROOKLYN/THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART/HIS BAND/AUSTIN
The Memphis garage-punk asked Brooklyn to “shut up” en route to telling Pains Of Being Pure At Heart “it must hurt being so bland.” Not content to let Tweets rest, he then used his account to graciously announce that his band had quit: “They are boring rich kids who can’t play for ahit anyways … Say hello to your ugly and boring wifes opps I mean lifes guys suck it…” Why’d they split? Only later did we learn he’d whipped out his junk and pissed on one them during their set at Goner Fest. Months later Reatard was attacked by fans in Austin. Sadly, the moment someone struck back, he hightailed it off-stage.
04 WAVVES VS. BLACK LIPS
We imagine the punches thrown between Nathan Williams and Black Lips’ Jared Swilley in a Brooklyn bar were as lo-fi as their music.
05 COURTNEY LOVE VS. RYAN ADAMS
Where to start? Maybe start with Love’s rant about Adams’s marriage to Mandy Moore and go backwards to Ryan’s claims that Courtney stole from France Bean’s trust fund. (More recently, Love lost legal control of her duaghter. So far no MySpace updates.)
06 ALICE COOPER VS. VAMPIRE WEEKEND
Cooper was disappointed to find the the dudes in “little Gap T-shirts” were “wimpy,” leading him to ask: “What happened to the balls in rock ‘n’ roll?” VW didn’t respond because he is a makeup-wearing senior citizen with a girl’s name.
07 TRENT REZNOR VS. CHRIS CORNELL
To quote newlywed ex-Tweeter Trent Reznor: “You know that feeling you get when somebody embarrasses themselves so badly YOU feel uncomfortable? Heard Chris Cornell’s record? Jesus.” Ouch. And to underscore his point, Trent dissed Chris again on April Fool’s.
09 PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT VS. WAVVES
To be fair, main Horseshittter Matt Whitehurst also dissed No Age and TV On The Radio during a ranting Washing Post Q&A, but Wavves were the only band who’d pose for a picture with him.
10 MILEY CYRUS VS. RADIOHEAD
In 2009 Miley Cyrus she left the Grammys early when Radiohead allegedly snubbed her backstage (a confused Yorke zinged back). This year her nomination was disqualified, so she won’t have to worry about leaving the ceremony early.
11 GET UP KIDS VS. WEEZER
The old-school Kansas emo crew claimed that when they toured with Weezer for a month in 2001 Rivers & Co, aka the “jackasses,” didn’t say a single word to them. Now it’s impossible to get them to shut up.
12 EVERYONE VS. COLDPLAY
In 2008 Joe Satrini filed a copyright infringement suit in Los Angeles federal court claiming “Viva La Vida” incorporates “substantial original portions”
of his 2004 instrumental “If I Could Fly.” Coldplay told him to take his whammy bar and go home, though an out-of-court settlement was reached. Possibly funding a Chickenfoot album. Fuck you, Coldplay. After Satriani told the world he wrote “Viva La Vida” first, Yusuf Islam stepped into the ring, noting he actually wrote the melody before Satriani via the 1973 song “Foreigner Suite.” Nothing came of that. (Just like nothing will come of Johnny Lydon’s comment that “Coldplay and Radiohead bug the hell out of me because it’s so soulless.” He hates everyone. This is not news.)
(Photo via dailymail)
13 EMINEM VS. MARIAH CAREY
Even though this one would have been more fun eight years ago, it did yield multiple dis-tracks and a video featuring Mariah Carey in goatee-face, so that’s gotta count for something. Backstory: Eminem says he and Mariah were dating for something like six months, Carey has denied it repeatedly. In the Relapse track “Bagpipes From Baghdad,” Marshall spat classy lines like “Nick Cannon better back the fuck up / I’m not playing, I want her back, you punk,” and “Nick Cannon, you prick, I wish you luck with that fuckin’ whore.” Cannon came to his bride’s defense via blogpost, calling “Bagpipes” a bunch of “racist bigotry“; Mathers replied by saying Nick was misinterpreting and that, really, he wished the couple all the best. Mariah weighed in with earworm “Obsessed” and its Em-taunting video, though, and Marshall’s never been one to let someone else have the last word. Cue up “The Warning,” a three-minute zinger in which the rapper claims to have compromising Carey photos, and offers choice couplets words about their sexcapades and about Nick Cannon in general. And that, thankfully, is where it ends. For now.
14 LILY ALLEN VS. ED O’BRIEN/NICK MASON
After RadioEd and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason argued that file-sharing was good for the music business at a roundtable discussion, Lily ranted on her MySpace that file-sharing was in fact “music piracy,” fine for Nick and Ed who were from “huge bands” and selling out arenas, but a disaster for emerging artists indebted to record labels and a UK music industry that was becoming “nothing but puppets paid for by Simon Cowell.” Two weeks later it was found that Allen was hosting illegal mixtapes on her own site. Her glass house has great views, at least.
Good luck with Santa, jackasses.