Shut Up, Mate

In case you missed the last five days: it was Britpop Week on Stereogum. We celebrated the 20th anniversaries of His ’N’ Hers and Parklife, released a week apart in the spring of ’94. We also recalled Britpop’s B-list, watched the Live Forever documentary, drew a Damon Albarn & Noel Gallagher Timeline, reminisced about Britpop Dance Nights, shared a Definitely Maybe 33⅓ excerpt, ranked the 10 best Verve songs, did a Where Are They Now?, and looked at the genre’s big comedown. We spoke with Albarn, too and while we didn’t speak with any Gallaghers, Liam tweeted “OASIS,” so that’s something. You can still enter our giveaways of Oasis’ Definitely Maybe Limited Edition Deluxe Box Set and the Official Blur Brittania Tea Set, but otherwise our special Britpop programming is over. Don’t be too upset, though — Spice World Week is next. Your best and worst comments from the past 7 days are below, but first are two amusing Britpop-related YouTubes I couldn’t otherwise find a place to post this week:

1. This Tube ticket barrier sounds like “Song 2″…

2. A young, witty, pre-Libertines Pete Doherty is interviewed by MTV while queuing to buy Be Here Now

THIS WEEK’S 10 HIGHEST RATED COMMENTS

#10 theimportance | Apr 23rd Score:20

Pretty sure he has a rather complicated set-up built around a midi synth.

it’s not like Win was like “yo, fuck electricity and all instruments that use it”

Posted in: Deadmau5 Takes Issue With Arcade Fire’s EDM Jabs, Fires Shots On Twitter
#9

Kenny Williams | Apr 18th Score:23

THIS is why I love you guys Stereogum.

A lot of blogs would overlook Throwing Copper 20 years later, but it meant A LOT to some of us kids in the 90′s. I’m not in any way defending Live any more than I would defend Green Day post Dookie, but it represents an interesting time in the mid 90′s that can’t be completely overlooked. Lightning Crashes was mesmerizing as a child.

Posted in: Throwing Copper Turns 20
#8

Ron Suazo | Apr 18th Score:23

While you’re at it, do a 20th anniversary piece on Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Cracked Rear View.”

Posted in: Throwing Copper Turns 20
#7

Jonathan Nasrallah | Apr 23rd Score:23

Whyyyyyy are Arcade Fire turning into dicks?

Posted in: Deadmau5 Takes Issue With Arcade Fire’s EDM Jabs, Fires Shots On Twitter
#6

Jorge Borrani | Apr 23rd Score:27

Arcade Fire should stop mocking other people, it’s unprofessional. They make good music using the medium they chose, why should they try to ridicule others that do differently? I’ve seen Arcade Fire and Daft Punk live and enjoyed both. Stop thinking about the instruments/tools and focus on the experience! Art is not a technique, it is a moment of communion and beauty, if some people feel that with cymbals, computes, guitars, theremins, moogs, etc, does it really matter?

Posted in: Deadmau5 Takes Issue With Arcade Fire’s EDM Jabs, Fires Shots On Twitter
#5 donnytilla | Apr 23rd Score:27

I want everyone to shut up and play, however at the same time I can understand where the backlash toward button-sample triggering and level adjusting “live” playing comes from. Watching a video of a DJ watching a turntable and intermittently looking like he’s curing cancer by twisting a knob is, granted, hilarious. But, it’s putting playlists on a pedestal and I could see how this is inferior to watching someone putting more effort into playing a traditional instrument and not having the obvious comfort/structure of a pre-recorded track.

THAT SAID, none of this is the DJ’s fault. At the risk of sounding old (I’m 40), the celebrity culture/emphasis on the individual has resulted in the camera being pointed on the DJ, rather than the crowd, despite the fact that the DJ isn’t scratching shit. Again, not the DJ’s fault.

In conclusion, Arcade Fire are misguided in their “prank” and come across like a assholes we’ve known them to be for some time. But I get where they’re coming from (empathy).

Fin.

Posted in: Deadmau5 Takes Issue With Arcade Fire’s EDM Jabs, Fires Shots On Twitter
#4 crania americana | Apr 23rd Score:28

What is going on with Canadian music? Its most popular indie band and DJ are feuding, its teen pop superstar is going through a rough patch to say the least, and its most notable rapper is accusing people of eating fondue and lint rolling his pants at NBA playoff games. Has Rob Ford contaminated Ontario’s water supply with crack? What would the Tragically Hip have to say about all of this? Dark times up north.

Posted in: Deadmau5 Takes Issue With Arcade Fire’s EDM Jabs, Fires Shots On Twitter
#2

Kenny Williams | Apr 23rd Score:37

So get this. True story.

At weekend 1 of Coachella…after Neutral Milk Hotel ended I had some extra time before Beck started. On stage before Beck…Calvin Harris. Playing to the biggest crowd of the weekend I believe.

Watching in amazement at the crowd, I looked next to me and see a huge guy that looked like Win Butler. He was wearing a mask and a hat trying to conceal his identity (but that dude is fucking tall). It was obviously him. But only my friends and I noticed since we weren’t on molly watching Calvin. We didn’t go up to him because it would’ve been messed up to blow his cover, but he watched all of Calvin Harris’ set, by himself, and throughout it he was just shaking his head with a pissed off glare. Pretty funny he would be on that exact same stage in 2 hours to headline and make the comment about real instruments.

Posted in: Deadmau5 Takes Issue With Arcade Fire’s EDM Jabs, Fires Shots On Twitter
#1

Ben Cornell | Apr 21st Score:45

“The 10 Best michael_ Rants, Emotional Breakdowns, Promises to Leave Stereogum, Beefs, Apologies, and Personal Attacks.”

I’d read it.

Posted in: The 10 Most Expensive Record Store Day ’14 Flips On Ebay

THIS WEEK’S 5 LOWEST RATED COMMENTS

#5 michael_ | Apr 21st Score:-11

Oh, to be so naive… Don’t you know that me just being here actually helps Stereogum make money because readers are going to return to this page to see where this conversation went, downvote away, see what their replies garnered in upvotes, see where it landed in the week’s Shut Up, Dude, etc.? I am every bit a part of Stereogum’s ad driving institution as that Foster the People ad to the left and right, and on my own worst behavior, I probably put a solid 100 bucks into every writers here pockets at the end of the year once those conversions are tallied up. That is a nice chunk of change for a night out on the town.

“Don’t worry, it’s on me, guys…”

Posted in: The 10 Most Expensive Record Store Day ’14 Flips On Ebay
#4 michael_ | Apr 21st Score:-11

Literally, right now, the powers that be are saying “I hate that guy, but man, I love the traffic he drives to the comment section and everything it brings with it.”

Posted in: The 10 Most Expensive Record Store Day ’14 Flips On Ebay
#3 michael_ | Apr 21st Score:-17

Oh, cool, another pointless listicle concept with a gallery aimed at driving ad revenue.

What else is on the docket this week?

“The 10 Most Surprising Vocal Annunciations of Win Butler’s Voice Between Songs Arcade Fire Played During Weekend 1 and Weekend 2 of Coachella”

“The 10 Best Musician Tinder Accounts”

“The 10 Best Monogenre Albums of the 2010s”

“The 10 Best Banner Ads Placed on Stereogum From Best to Worst” (where when you click through the gallery, it’s actually the ad itself and therefore counts as double for monetization

“The 10 Best Musicians Knighted by Queen Elizabeth”

“The 10 Best Music-related Things We Saw On Our Way to Work”

“The 10 Best Lists We Put Together Just So We Could Write About HAIM, Perfect Pussy and Other Obligatory Buzz Band Mentions”

Posted in: The 10 Most Expensive Record Store Day ’14 Flips On Ebay
#2 michael_ | Apr 21st Score:-19

“(Genre) Week”… Is this going to be the new traffic-driving scheme music sites pull on us now seeing that over-wrought poptimism think pieces, gallery- listicles and album anniversaries are pretty much the norm everywhere else these days?

I don’t even understand why we have music publications anymore since writing about new music and bands has come second (maybe even third or fourth to that matter) to linkbaing culture and getting you to to hit that Foster the People / Spotify ad on the left, top and right (which turns out to be incredibly difficult to avoid on a mobile device because it hijacks your screen as soon as the page loads.)

Posted in: It’s Britpop Week On Stereogum
#1 michael_ | Apr 21st Score:-21

Ever since I stopped writing my music blog, I’ve also stopped reading the actual words on every site out there as well because they are empty. Nobody is saying anything different or interesting about music anymore, nor are they focusing on it from the right angle of non-commercialized purity, which I guess we must all accept is a lost art form these days. In this social media-drive culture, everyone thinks that their opinions are important. They are not. The writer at Pitchfork or Stereogum has no more worthy of a value of an opinion than you and I, average readers and in my case, a faux amateur writer, because anybody with access to a computer connection can feasibly write a thousand word soliloquy that looks “important.” The writers who began doing this with purist intentions / passions a decade ago have shifted their priorities from being “the luckiest person in the world to have a job where they get paid to write about something they love” to “the luckiest person in the world they get aid to write about something they love that aligns perfectly with corporate America and advertiser’s exploitation of that exact thing they love and I’ll just turn a blind eye to how they’re using my talents and passion as their vessel to line their pockets with money because I’m well off for it, too, so fuck being punk or metal when you can still wear the clothes that fit the part and fool the world doing so.” Nothing is ever in earnest any more, and we are all their sheeps for the slaughter.

Indie rock is dead.
Indie rock is dead.
Indie rock is dead.
Indie rock is dead.
Indie rock is dead.

Posted in: It’s Britpop Week On Stereogum

THIS WEEK’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S CHOICE

topknot | Apr 24th Score:3

I think you are thinking of Everclear.

Posted in: Peter Buck Reveals How R.E.M. Once Sabotaged The Verve
 
Comments (36)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • You also make a habit of making personal attacks on people.

      Chin up though — people actually like reading your opinions on music which is much more than most people can say.

      • If you can’t articulate that music isn’t good, that we disagree with a reviewer or call out when a musician is behaving badly as much as we do say positive things, then what is this comment section even for, or thinking about music altogether? The main thing I notice about this social media age we live in is that everyone in the proper music community wants to have it both ways: When bands and writers make a witty stab at someone, it’s “funny,” but when mere readers or DIY bloggers like myself do it, we’re trollish jerks starting “drama.”

        • Not to turn this all about me, but I’ve been feeling rather cynical towards music writing lately as well. Now that my job has started up and I only have occasional internet access, it’s become clearer how ephemeral most of the music news stories and topics are. Another week goes by and I come back and read the latest Week in Pop segment, only to find little of value to me that I didn’t already know about. I consider myself a poptimist, so you’d think that piece would be right up my alley, but somehow the main focus at hand always seems too general to me.

          In this week’s edition, for instance, I’m introduced to Charli XCX–an unnecessary introduction, since she’s my favorite pop star, and I would think that most people who care about that sort of music on this site would already be familiar with her. I’m advised that “SuperLove” is a good starting point for anyone who hasn’t heard her yet, and I have to question who the intended audience even is for this segment. “SuperLove” is good, but it’s far from her best song, and the best starting point when approaching a new artist should always be their best work, because if you can’t get into their best then how could you like anything else that they’ve done? “SuperLove” is relatively tame, and I don’t think anyone on this site wants a tame introduction to an artist. If I wanted to introduce someone to Charli XCX, I’d play them “Grins” or “Nuclear Seasons,” and if they didn’t like those I’d consider it a lost cause. This segment seems geared more towards people who ONLY listen to Top 40, people who NEED the cautious foot-in-the-water accessibility of a song like “SuperLove,” lest Charli’s darker or edgier songs be too much of an immediate shock to their system.

          I still feel like the only really meaningful criticism regarding pop music was back when Maura Johnston wrote for Idolator and Tom Ewing was doing his Poptimist columns for Pitchfork. Those writers seemed to be spot-on in terms of understanding their audience, and employed a healthy mixture of inclusivity on one hand and a cynical/outsider perspective on the other. Ideally, poptimism isn’t about blind faith, nor is it about gazing dead-eyed into the disheartening broader trends of Top 40 music–it’s about sifting out the best pop songs, the ones that are worth being considered and valued right alongside the best indie songs. A matter of taste, yes, but Johnston and Ewing always managed to make such compelling and interesting arguments to back up their tastes.

          Now, I’m not saying Stereogum should give up on their weekly pop segment, but maybe just stop trying to draw in an audience that isn’t there and (probably) never will be. Focus more on the audience you have. And don’t try to introduce me to a bunch of artists I already know and like, without saying anything new or in-depth about them. Does anyone on this site really need to be introduced to Jessie Ware at this point? Does anyone here WANT to be introduced to Ed Sheeran? I’m all for a weekly pop column, but it seems too scattershot and diluted in its current form. The Chart Watch section rarely tells me anything I couldn’t have found out from Billboard themselves. The whole thing needs more of a spin, more of a clear authorial voice or distinct standpoint.

          I hope none of this comes across as mean, but again, I’m just in a bit of a cynical mood. I like the writers on this site, and mainly intend this as constructive criticism / advice to be heeded or scoffed at.

          • ” Focus more on the audience you have. And don’t try to introduce me to a bunch of artists I already know and like, without saying anything new or in-depth about them. Does anyone on this site really need to be introduced to Jessie Ware at this point? Does anyone here WANT to be introduced to Ed Sheeran?”

            Upvote x 100. I don’t think the Week In Pop is necessarily bad, but the other week when the main focus of it was on that Aussie pop punk boy band 5 Seconds of Summer, I, too, was scratching my head wondering why it even necessitated to be discussed at all, even if the reason was to deconstruct the phenomena and point out it’s flaws. This past week’s edition that included Katy B, Charli XCX, Aluna Francis, Jessie Ware and Ellie Goulding as a “New Wave” of British pop stars read like an insult to Stereogum’s regular readers by grossly underestimating our knowledge of current music with a list of artist we’re already well aware of and having been talking about for years now. It read like something that would be in the music section of a generic entertainment publication where they’re always two years behind on trend (or maybe it was just another ad-revenue driving listicle for the sake of, as per usual these days with these type of sites.)

            I also felt the same way about Britpop week. Many of the features read like glossed-up Wikipedia entries of band’s and member’s past and present day biographies, just compiled neatly into one on this site. The phrase “news you can use” comes to mind in the coverage, which it lacked. If I wanted to be schooled on Britpop history, I’d just brush up on it on my own during one of those boring late night’s where your wonderings about “Where are they now?” and Internet searches lead you down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia entries, YouTube videos, and so forth.

          • @bookworms I think you completely nailed it. And you made some pointed criticisms without being a total bitch about it so good for you. I hope the editors take your comment into account as they move forward with the column. As someone who likes a fair amount of mainstream pop music and primarily listens to alt/indie pop, I have found the Pop column a big disappointment.

    • the thing i love about “Hidden due to low comment rating” is that i can downvote these posts without actually having to read them

    • This article hits the nail on the head in regards to musicians throwing fits over seeing critical opinions about their music or actions. It’s comforting to see the problem extends all the way to the top of the crop: http://www.complex.com/music/2014/04/lorde-iggy-azalea-criticism-journalism

  2. For a moment I thought I read “Shut Up, Michael_” as the name of this feature.

  3. Dude.

    I know.

    DUDE.

    I know.

  4. fuckin SWEEP

  5. shut up m9, if u gettin cheky ill punch u in the gabba swer on me mums lyf

    -what i immediately thought of when I read the title

  6. I fuckin killed it this week. I think I deserved at least the top bottom 5 spots. You people wouldn’t know talent if it took a dump in your john and left it for you to look at.
    And yes that makes sense.

    Also I wrote a letter to Dr. Drew shaming him for his poor practice on teen mom 2 reunion shows. I’ve had a couple drinks, so waht? It’s a free country (for now, obama) and I deserve to celebrate. I work too hard not to enjoy my TOP SHELF BRETT HULL success of making the top 5 of this week – I could pretend like it doesn’t matter to ol’ papa don but I’d be a goddamn liar.

    I mean what are we talking about here? Listen, I ain’t some philosophy professor (i.e., academics) but I’ve been listenin to this everyday robots – not “listenin’” but REALLY LISTENIN’. And reading the article by the new kid on da block Ry Lea and I gotta say I’ve been thinking about this place and it’s like “whoa, don, you comment and the people say ‘oh don, u so sexy., me luv ur tilla 4 as long as your dong’” and i think to myself “don, like, you give the ppl your soul and what do you get in return?” and the answer ever time is “peanuts.” i get charlie fuckin brown. shit son.

    but you know what? shit, cest la vie (french). it’s about this digital life and we’re all wired in. I feel like I rellay get it. Is this the end of 2001 a space oodssey? I am the baby in the placenta staring at the earth, and I’ m staring at all of you and for that I thank you, because all of you put me in the position to kill HAL and to find the black rectangle and evolve. And that’s really what it’s all about, innit?

    global wrarming.

    D.

  7. Auto  |   Posted on Apr 26th +3

    I know it’s unlikely to happen, but I would love to see an Afrobeat/highlife week at some point. Or at least some other awesome genre which is relatively poorly covered.

  8. “Shut Up, Mate” is reasonably British, but I can’t help but feel like this was a missed opportunity to rechristen the column “Bugger Off, Wanker.”

  9. By the way, Stereogum, I’m sober now and practically livid that tune-yard’s new record is not in your heavy rotation, because it’s fantastic.

    • Doesn’t come out till May 6th but based on Scott’s (I think it was him?) dislike of art rock they may skip it like they did with St. Vincent.

      • True, but I swear they’ve put streaming albums in there before they were officially released.

        • Tom‘s dislike of art rock (though I don’t really believe he feels that way about all “art rock”). St. Vincent did end up in Heavy Rotation, btw. Sometimes things go in there slightly before their actual release, but largely we’re trying to time HR w/ the release schedule.

          I need to listen to tune-yards a little more, I was not as hot on the last one as everybody else. My daughter loves the “Water Fountain” video, though.

          Art rock 4eva.

          • Dammit I KNEW it was all Tom’s fault!

            Anyway, I think you should listen to more tune-yards. You have to admire how sincere Merrill Garbus is, which is ironic, because the most prevalent complaint I read about her music is that it’s pretentious or trying too hard. Maybe I’m just seeing something that isn’t there, but when you compare her and her music to other buzzing artists that are seen as canonically “cool”, it’s they who seem like they’re obviously trying to appeal to a subculture, even, dare I say it, a stereotype, with music an aesthetic that is very “of the time”, you know? Not throwing shade on folks like Perfect Pussy and Grimes and Blood Orange and HAIM and Future or whatever, but you just know every single move they make is calculated. That doesn’t make the music any better or worse, it’s just, I’m not a statistic, you know? Don’t insult me by thinking you can make music I’m just gonna like because it sounds like I’m supposed to. Am I articulating this correctly? I hope so. Because I can feel it in my synapses, but words, man. words.

            Garbus is just “I’m a weirdo puppeteer who loops drums and yells a bunch,” and I seriously have no idea how people can’t fall in love with it.

      • TOM’S DISLIKE OF ART ROCK******

    • But yes, both of those lead singles are FANTASTIC and I’m super psyched for it.

  10. and _ for the sweep!

  11. That comment on Canada was money. Things are bleak up here, when does the US invade?

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