Internet Commenter

Today we’re gonna try something new. Welcome to Stereogum’s version of Monsters’ Ball, that long-running Videogum franchise highlighting the week’s highest and lowest ranked comments. Since we shut off anonymous hatespeech commenting last year, we don’t get as much feedback as we once did — apparently we should cover more Chili Peppers? — but Amrit, Brandon, and I are regularly impressed by the levelheaded discussions that take place in these threads. You guys are smarter than commenters on other music sites, yeah? That deserves acknowledgement. So after the jump, check out this week’s five highest rated comments (featuring a indie rock celebrity cameo), the lowest rated comment, and the editor’s choice.



Kip Berman | Jul 15th Score:7


We’ve never been shy about acknowledging the musical inspiration of MBV’s Sunny Sundae Smile EP, especially on our earliest recordings (our 2007 s/t EP, subsequent “Come Saturday” split 7″ on Slumberland). We mentioned it countless times in past interviews, listed “paint a rainbow” as an influence on our myspace (audacity!) and were always eager for people to discover some of the earlier, less famous recordings of that iconic band. We were extremely honored that MBV invited us to play the All Tomorrow’s Parties they curated in 2009 and getting to perform and then watch them immediately afterwards was a very once-in-a-lifetime kind of thrill.

On a more general note, all bands grow up emulating other bands and ideas. You can trace the routs of any artist (even the most “original”) to bands that came before them – insofar as that act of imitation fails, creativity is born. Music – or at least the last 50 years of western pop – is a great continuum where even the most iconoclastic, idiosyncratic and revolutionary bands are connected to that which comes before and that which will come after. I think that’s a really cool thing; that Animal Collective is part of the Beach Boys and the beginning of something totally different, that The Ramones were part The Stooges, the young adult classic, “The Outsiders,” and a Spector-esque vision of 60s rock and roll and yet such a thorough and arresting break from it as well. Nirvana somehow found inspiration in the immediacy of K Records cassette culture, as well as the ferocity of The Pixies and Melvins. To argue for any kind of “golden age” of absolute truth and absolute originality is a form of fundamentalism that is antithetical to our optimistic view of pop – that it can get better and more interesting over time, while acknowledging the brilliance of those visionaries who came before.

Posted in: Under The Influence: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Belong

Logen Franklin | Jul 19th Score:8

That’s cool. I think it’s mind blowing.

Posted in: M83 – “Midnight City”

Donovan Earl Herman | Jul 20th Score:8

After Album, the EP, and now this, I’m convinced this band was most definitely deserving of their hype.

Posted in: Girls – “Vomit”
#2 tim tuffle | Jul 16th Score:12

this would be a good song if it was completely different.

Posted in: Red Hot Chili Peppers – “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”

Nathan Kerce | Jul 19th Score:18

I think you guys may have ended that “song of the summer” contest a little too early. Woah!

Posted in: M83 – “Midnight City”


#1 woozefa | Jul 19th Score:-12
obnoxious song.
Posted in: M83 – “Midnight City”

[Editor's note: Huh?]


Harveyz01 | Jul 21st Score:5

It’s funny because the album is better than anything Diplo has, and ever will, produce.

Posted in: Diplo Disses Washed Out, Joins No Doubt


Do you guys like this idea of running a Best/Worst Comments every Friday? More importantly, WHAT SHOULD WE CALL IT?

Comments (58)
  1. Happy Bon Iver Day

  2. I think it’s a good idea. Hopefully it will promote some thoughtful comments, and more comments. The only problem I can see is that the lowest voted is an opinion which is kind of lame considering it’s a music site and music is subjective etc. It’s not like anything offensive was said.

  3. I don’t like this idea. Like, at all. Because (a) the commenting community here is nothing at all like that over at Videogum, where comments get 100+ votes, and (b) people here really don’t seem to have much to say other than these sorts of things.

    However, this is an opinion from someone who hardly ever posts a comment, so feel free to disregard this completely.

  4. Definitely a good idea. Call it “Say Whaaaaat?!?” ha ha. Naw, that’s too 90′s.

  5. I was disappointed that Stereogum didn’t cover the leaked Watch the Throne album cover.

  6. I’m looking forward to this. I think it has the potential to be really funny (and thought provoking, of course. But definitely funny).

  7. Hi Stereogum!

    Hope you’re all doing well!

    Videogum monsters

  8. Get ready for a world of mixed blessings! On the plus side, this will likely mean more comments overall, and maybe more activity in general in the comments, since there’s an incentive on the other end. On the minus side, people may “try too hard,” which I don’t necessarily think is a total minus on videogum, but some people get ornery if they think people are just commenting to get votes, rather than contributing to the conversation.

    So Stereogum, welcome to the world of commenting contests. It’s exciting! I hope you enjoy it!

  9. I’d rather see the weekly video best of again than those comments…

  10. I like it. You should call it “Arguing with White Dude’s on the Internet”

  11. As a longtime Videogum commentator (whenever I could think of something awesome to say), I am EXCITED about this and hope it brings a more active Stereogum comment community. I must say my music love slightly peaks above my TV/Movie love, so this could be interesting….

    Also, I GOTTA WIN!

  12. This could work, but the editors need to take charge, not the number of likes. The only intelligent “best” post was number 5. Numbers 4-1? Anyone could say that (not knocking the posters). Not sure you should include the “least best comment” part, because that will obviously be subjective. If I say “I hate Joanna Newsom and she should leave music,” well, then that would receive a lot of dislikes (I hope and assume). Again, editors discretion should be in charge when it comes to really asinine comments; choose something truly stupid and not just a matter of taste. For the title name? My suggestion is “Comment, all of you” (say it fast and think French).

  13. This motivates me to write better comments…call this Stereo Motivation!

  14. This could lead to a YouTube mentality. “Thumbs up if you think Kim Berman is a sexy beast.” But is has potential.

  15. OF COURSE a Videogum commenter would get the first LRCoW.

  16. I like the idea….just no Baba Booey-ing please

  17. this is too meta.

  18. Maybe ‘This Week’s Most Thoughtful Comments’? And instead of upvotes, it could just be 3 to 5 Editor’s Choices. That way, if someone has an unpopular but thought-out viewpoint it has the chance of being highlighted. For example, someone could make a eloquent argument against Bjork’s trajectory with the Biophilia tracks, but they would get downvoted so quickly by steadfast Bjork fans that it’d never see the light of day.

    (For the record, I really like the Biophilia tracks)

    • This is a good idea. It seems Stereogum’s topics are a touch more divisive than most blogs, so opinions can be upvoted or downvoted depending on how the wind blows.

  19. I don’t know if I like the idea. I feel like the monster’s ball over at Videogum makes it so there is no actual discussion of any topic, just a bunch of inside jokes and random stuff that has nothing to do with the actual story, everyone just wants the most laughs from everyone else. And I’m not knocking videogum, it’s great for them, and I admit I could never comment like them, BUT I come to stereogum because people do have thought provoking comments (sometimes not) and I would like the discussion to stay music centered.

    So, everybody make a conscious effort to not turn stereogum into videogum

    Guy who’s opinion matters to everyone

  20. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  21. I don’t like the idea. One of the things that I hate about internet -and the world- is that everything is turned into a competition, most often with dire results. There are some very interesting comments in the community as is and I don’t see that fostering competition will bring a positive change (just look at youtube). What I think will happen is that we’ll start seeing a lot more “try hard”, forced comments…
    But, who knows? maybe it’s a good idea. Why not trying it out and later ponder on the harm or utility of keeping it?

  22. I don’t read the comments on Stereogum. But nevertheless, no. Fuck everything about that.
    It’s a horrible and incredibly elitist feature at videogum and turned the whole comment section from a healthy organic place for people to humorously shoot the shit with each other, into a non stop one-liner/one-upper competition. But arguably, it at least has in its defence the fact that it tiers funny things so that in theory, the cream of the funny rises to the top.
    But what is the advantage at stereogum? Is somebody going to have a particularly insightful comment about St. Vincent having new tour dates? I mean, look at your top 5 this week! Look at how hum-drum those comments are (No offense meant to the commenters who are probably not hum-drum people.) 90% of the subject matter in posts don’t really invite too much in the way of discourse.
    After all that typing, it’s maybe not that huge of a deal. Unlike Videogum, Stereogum was never really a “community” in its true sense of the word, so it’s not like you’ll be ruining something beautiful. But the absolute WORST thing you can do if you want to foster a healthy commenting utopia is to assign tiers of quality. The +1s and -1s are discouraging enough but the whole BEST COMMENT OF THE WEEKKKK competition is flat-out insulting.

    • So true. everyone apes Gabe’s style too*. But it is a good way to get readership up and, let’s be honest here, that is the point of a site like this. Well that may be less than ideal, it is the reality of this capitalist society we live in. Pinko. We should all be so lucky*** as to have a site like this to even comment on.

      D. Tilla

      *not to say that’s a bad thing, but, at the risk of offending those who do so in the hopes of attaining such a sad honour as comment of the week**, people should try to be original!! I mean, come on guys!!

      **jk, fuck those guys***.

      ***see what I’m doing here?

  23. let’s call it ‘monsters ba’…wait. fuck.

  24. ITT: People trying to get into next weeks “best and worst comments” story.

  25. I’d rather you guys bring back top videos of the week.

  26. “music monsters’ ball”!!! becuz we’re “monsters” when it cums to music (we’re voracious with our consumption of it !!!) and because we are assholes without compassion for others’ soul-bearing creations!!!! teeheez!!

  27. Anything that motivates people to comment is good for Stereogum. Why not try and build a music-loving/hating community? Plus, the people on the Weezer message boards are all too young.

  28. I fully acknowledge that complaining about the commenters on a blog is one of the biggest first-world problems. I fully get that.

    The worst thing about videogum is their commenter community – smug, annoying, shitty people who think they’re funny or cool. And I think this portion of stereogum has the potential to turn into that. I don’t generally comment, nor do I read the comments (unless I feel very strongly about something), so it may not be a big deal to me either way. And if you need to get traffic or need to see that people are reading stereogum, then by all means – make the comment thing. But if it’s between this and the weekly music video round-up – please bring back the weekly music video round-up.

    It would just be nice to not turn this into the elitist-in-our-own-minds, alienating, “exclusive club”, group-thought bullshit that videogum has turned into.

    Can you tell I’ve been jilted by the monster community?

    • I get the complete opposite vibe from Videogum comments. Over there nobody would ever go as far as to call someone a “shitty person” based on internet comments. There’s an air of general respect for other people’s opinions–you don’t get down voted on videogum if someone disagrees with you, you get downvoted if you’re an asshole. Lighten up, man–It’s the internet. Nobody’s shitting on your pillow.

  29. Should I…give a speech or something?

  30. Personally, I think that it’s a great idea. I’ve been reading Stereogum for a loooooong time, and I’m sure that there are plenty others out there like me, and, perhaps due to my loyalty to the site, I just feel a little disappointed and let down when I see posts or articles or whatever that appear completely ignored (in the comments at least)*, and I think that something like this would help quite a bit to increase the user interaction with the site.

    As for the complaints about people pandering for upvotes and end of the week placement, I don’t think that that is something that the Stereogum community will really have to worry about. Sure, there’s bound to be a few people to whom it is important and that will think it’s a big deal, but I think that more than anything this feature will encourage people to join in the conversation and hopefully add more insightful comments than the typical “this song is lame” or “i can’t wait for the album!!!” sort of thing. People (myself included, to some extent) at Videogum find problems with the Monster’s Ball because over there it can become very competitive, but the thing is, over there, because Videogum is in essence a comedy site, upvotes are 90% based on the laffz the post elicited. Here, because the topic of conversation is music (though I will say many of the posts can be quite humorous), I highly doubt anyone (well, most of us, anyways) are going to be racking our brains for the funniest thing we can say. Someone who wants to pander for upvotes here will have a better chance at scoring them thru intelligent, thoughtful comments on the music being discussed. At least, that’s the way I see it playing out in my head.

    *Of course, what do i know? A lack of comments probably doesn’t necessarily mean no one is looking at the post, I’m sure plenty of the less commented on articles get decent views; it’s just that posts that DO get a lot of comments definitely DO get a lot of views (all relative of course) and I’d hate for the subjects of the less commented on articles to not get as much attention in the future just because no one is responding to them (the main artist that comes to mind, for me at least, is The-Dream; I’m always psyched when you guys cover him and I’d hate for what seems like a lack of interest in the community to have a negative effect on future coverage (though, I’m pretty sure that Amrit and Scott are fellow Dreamheads (right, guys?), so hopefully you’ll keep giving him some coverage).

    Anyways that’s just my two cents. I think it’s a great idea, guys, and I only want to see the best for Stereogum, because I think it’s the best site of it’s kind online.


  32. I’ll admit, when I first saw this column at the number 1 spot of the most commented, I got really excited.

    Monster’s Ball is one of my favorite parts of Videogum. I use it as a sort of week in review, click through and see what comment threads I missed or plain old threads I missed. I really hope Stereogum continues to do this and improve it.

    The reason I like the comments wrap-up over the videos of the week wrap up is because I CAN’T WATCH VIDEOS AT WORK. I can read comments and threads just fine, but videos can get me in trouble. Thus another reason I like Monster’s Ball.

    Also I think it will make a more forum-like community. Where people start figuring out who likes what and for you guys to better figure out what we like and want.

    OK Suggestions:

    First, I think there should be an editor’s choice for every editor. Like amrit, brandon & Scott all get to pick one. That was if one or two people comment on a really good thread but nobody else does, you could highlight that comment and thus the thread.

    As for names? Plus/Minus ? I like the Das Racist influenced name idea above. Bon Iver Day is pretty funny.

    I don’t know much more than that, but I like this idea and hope it stays around!

  33. How about “Stereothumbs!”? Because it’s a… er… thumb pointing up or down… when you vote.. ahm… Think about it, it’s snazzy. “Stereothumbs!” it is. You’re welcome.

  34. there should be a way for people to vote on a “best song of the week”. It’s hard to sift through all the songs posted everyday, and even harder to find songs I want to listen to more than once.

    I think it would be really great if every friday there was a round-up of the top-5 highest voted songs on stereogum with either mp3′s or embedded players so I don’t have to search them out.

    • or heck, we could be extravagant and make a top 10! (I don’t actually know if ten good song are released in a given week, but still…)

      Also, it would be great if it did happen, the voting system would have no connection to facebook or facebook “likes”

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