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Do you realize that you, too, are an anonymous poster on a music site? What gives you more authority to speak than anyone else? I don’t recall seeing any Foreign Policy articles published under the “drummer729″ byline.

Stephen — the majority of black metal bands aren’t trying to appeal to the “broadest possible audience” but they are trying to appeal to THEIR audience. Black metal is a market with very specific expectations and artists are under a lot of pressure to meet them. In fact, I’d say black metal is a more restrictive, conservative marketplace than pop music by a mile. At least pop music sounds different than it did 20 years ago.

Anyway, I think we’re maybe getting lost going down chutes and ladders here. I’m just saying that pop music can be as transcendent and wonderful as any other genre. If enormous (and weird) pop hits like “Somebody That I Used To Know”, “Single Ladies”, and “Hey Ya” are “pinning the tail on the donkey” then I’m on board. I didn’t mind suffering through a few hundred shitty, forgettable tunes to get to those, particularly since I’ve already forgotten them all.

I think pop music is at its worst when it strives for “legitimacy”. Personally, I find serious dudes like Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran completely fucking insufferable. Give me the unabashed goofiness of Katy Perry over those clowns any day of the week. Diff’rent strokes, I guess.

The majority of everything in every genre and every art form is bad. Most black metal bands are also doing what’s been done a million times before and pinning the tail on that donkey.

The key difference is that black metal isn’t being played on the radio, so people in general are less apt to be annoyed by the fact that most of it is garbage. I find the best solution to this is to never, ever listen to the radio. It’s mostly advertisements for insurance, anyway.

I never understand why the only two positions anyone ever takes on pop music are: (1) it’s all sugary trash, acceptable only for idiots or children except as an occasional diversion, or (2) the “poptimist” view that pop music is the beating pulse of our culture and must be treated with deep reverence and interest.

Pop music is not a monolith. They’re just songs — some are great, some are awful, some are timeless, some are forgettable. When people take a broad position one way or the other on “pop music”, I don’t see it as a cotton candy/foie gras conversation — it’s more like trying to have an argument about the merits of food *in general*.

in the *same art form

Right. Jay has never been the loudest dude in the room. That’s not his approach.

No matter how big Kanye’s personality is, it doesn’t change that Jay rhymes circles around him on every single Watch the Throne track. And as far as Beyonce is concerned, she’s a pop star… I don’t think Jay even thinks they’re in the art form.

And this image of an exhausted 44-year-old man who needs to slouch in his armchair to catch his breath between 3-minute rap songs is just a little bit insulting, don’t you think? I get that you’re pushing an angle here, but come on now. I don’t see you writing that kind of thing about David Byrne.

 0Posted on Jul 16th | re: 8th Grade Metal Band Scores $1.8M Record Deal (13 comments)

I’d say it’s a combination of them being young, black, successfully busking on the street in the biggest city on earth, and generally seeming like cool, smart kids (based on the one interview I saw). They are reasonably talented for their age but definitely not contract-worthy.

There’s no way Sony can possibly hope to sell 250,000 copies of this album unless there is also a reality TV show in the works, or something similar that specifically capitalizes on the viral video factor. None of this band’s songs are going to be played on the radio so we have to assume the label has a larger marketing plan in mind.

Either that, or they figure $60k is a very tiny investment, particularly if they plan to recoup it later.

 -7Posted on Jul 16th | re: "Weird Al" Yankovic - "Foil" Video (Lorde Parody) (14 comments)

I dunno… not every rhyme is the basis for a viable parody. This one feels like a stretch to me.

 0Posted on Jul 16th | re: Conor Oberst Rape Accuser Admits She Lied (73 comments)

Filing a false police report is already a crime.

Thing is, this woman didn’t file a false report. She said something false in public, which makes it a civil issue rather than a criminal one. Oberst has already filed a libel suit.

Not sure what else people expect to see done.

 +12Posted on Jul 14th | re: "Weird Al" Yankovic - "Tacky" Video (Pharrell Parody) (40 comments)

Forever crushing on Kristen Schaal.