Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

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Score: 20 | Nov 18th


Since this is where Tom Briehan’s “The Number Ones” catches up with Tom Ewing’s “Popular”, I thought I’d put together some stats to celebrate the occasion. 

This stat collection was made much easier with help from V-Dog’s spreadsheet and the Freaky Trigger website’s ‘Populist” page, which provides an easy reference point for all of Tom Ewing’s reviews and scores.

In total, Tom Briehan has reviewed 899 American #1s, while Tom Ewing has reviewed 968 British #1s. Out of all of these, 149 have been reviewed by both of them. 

26 of the songs got the same score from both Toms. They are:

  • The Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown” (7)

  • Elvis’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” (8)

  • Elvis’s “Good Luck Charm” (5)

  • The Tornadoes’ “Telstar” (9)

  • The Beatles’ “She Loves You” (8)

  • The Supremes’ “Baby Love” (8)

  • Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots…” (10)

  • George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” (7)

  • Nilsson’s “Without You” (6)

  • ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” (10)

  • David Soul’s “Don’t Give Up On Us” (4)

  • Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell” (8)

  • John Lennon’s “Just Like Starting Over” (6)

  • Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls” (9)

  • Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” (9)

  • Madonna’s “Who’s That Girl” (5)

  • Los Lobos’ “La Bamba” (8)

  • Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” (5)

  • Phil Collins’ “A Groovy Kind of Love” (4)

  • Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” (10)

  • Sinead O’Conner’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” (10)

  • Madonna’s “Vogue” (9)

  • Bryan Adams’ “Everything I Do…” (4)

  • Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” (9)

  • Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” (8)

  • Moulin Rogue’s “Lady Marmalade” (5)

And these songs had the biggest discrepancies between the Toms:

  • Manfred Mann’s “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (Ewing 2, Breihan 8)

  • George Michael and Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun…” (Ewing 3, Breihan 9)




  • Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” (Ewing 7, Breihan 2)

Here’s the spreadsheet I made. Let me know if I missed anything.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”
Score: 20 | Nov 18th

“Hey Ya” is a total 10, the tenniest of 10s. An earth-shattering, weird-as-fuck, supremely cool and fun song that deserved all of the airplay and critical acclaim it received. It was lightning in a bottle – a record that sounded like nothing else on the radio and a song that defied the odds (e.g. weird-as-fuck) to become the big hit that it did. And while Tom’s entitled to his opinion, however wrong it is, his review does bring up several of my pet peeves when it comes to music criticism:

(1) The Overplayed argument. “I might have liked it, but I can’t like it anymore because it’s so overplayed.” The overplayed argument is so annoying. Basically, a critic says a record is a great but somehow it loses its appeal because it became too popular. Honestly, this is ridiculous – the song is either great or it’s not. You may not want to hear it anymore, but it doesn’t mean it somehow is less of a song because of its ubiquity. Tom’s used this to knock points off of great songs before (see, e.g. “Kiss”).

(2) The Everyone Likes It argument. Basically, because everyone liked this song, including people who don’t like rap music, and critics who liked New Pornographers more than Usher, it can’t be great. This is rock critic snobbery at its worst, and it’s often disguised as legitimate social criticism (i.e., if these people really understood music or listened to music as much as I did, they would know this wasn’t any good). Sorry, it’s just snobbery.

(3) The “There are Much Better Songs By this Artist” argument. This one is pretty obvious – a song that becomes a big hit by an artist is somehow rated lower because the artist arguably has better songs that did not become hits. Again, is this really relevant when rating or reviewing a particular record? It’s either good or it’s not.

All that said, Tom’s column was as usual fun to read. I’m just sorry he doesn’t enjoy what I consider to be a classic.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”
Score: 22 | Nov 23rd

no one 👏 said 👏 vaccines 👏 stop 👏 transmission.

(and if they did, they were wrong and misinformed. the vaccines do and did reduce the severity of most COVID contractions, thereby lessening the cost to treat, the transmission—indirectly via less respiratory distress—and the ultimate fatality rate. the same applies to the annual flu shot. i’m sorry you willfully choose not to accept this extremely basic fact of medicine and established science.)

Posted in: Ice Cube Confirms He Lost $9M Acting Gig Because He Wouldn’t Get Vaccinated
you beautiful bastard.
Score: 23 | Nov 19th

I turned 40 on Monday. I changed my Facebook avatar for the day to a silhouette of Mike Gundy’s mullet and visor. It was a sweet, low-key day with the family, and that’s OK with me.

My 11y.o., who’s very much a TikTok Tween, reported this week that Vampire Weekend’s “Campus” has been stuck in her head for weeks. Perhaps my use of all four VW albums as staples of the rotation for pool parties has worked out after all!

8 days ’til Bill Callahan, moved from the Ace Hotel DTLA to the Lodge Room in Highland Park. Would it be too weird if I asked Bill to be my new dad? I don’t like my current one very much, and I swear he’s going to die any minute now. (My wife says that he’s looked like he’s about to die ever since she met him 14.5 years ago.)

Now playing: American Analog Set, Promise of Love. Minimalism goes in and out of fashion, but it always will be in style. (You hear that, Matty Healy? Probably not, nah.)

Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments
raptor jesus
Score: 23 | Nov 18th

“…a lot of them felt like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”

It was at this moment I realized I’ve underestimated Taylor’s skill as a writer.

Posted in: Taylor Swift Shares Statement On Concert Ticket Debacle: “It Really Pisses Me Off”
Score: 24 | Nov 20th

Jack White’s vitriol, when aimed appropriately, can be a beautiful thing.

Posted in: Jack White Slams Elon Musk For Reinstating Donald Trump On Twitter: “Absolutely Disgusting”
Score: 29 | Nov 18th

Here we are at arguably the best number one of the 2000’s and one of the best number ones of all time. I don’t know anyone who didn’t enjoy this song, even my at the time 60 plus year old father liked it, he even had the CD! This song is just pure unadulterated fun. The arrangement and production is amazing, all the elements are layered perfectly and work with each other: the rhythmic acoustic guitar, the quirky synth line, the stomping beat. Andre 3000’s vocal is brilliant especially singing the chorus in falsetto. This is a 10 all the way.

Posted in: The Number Ones: Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”
Score: 29 | Nov 18th

A couple of TNOCS decades ago, around the virtual late 70s or early 80s, I took it upon myself to share my favorite Hot 100 #1 from each decade of the chart’s existence. I don’t remember why I did that (maybe others were doing it too?), but I do remember how difficult it was to narrow things down. For the decade of the 2000s, I selected “Hey Ya” as my very favorite #1.


I see absolutely no reason to change my mind now. Extraordinarily entertaining song, with notably weighty lyrics. Here’s a 2000s song I like more than Tom does!

Posted in: The Number Ones: Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”
Score: 50 | Nov 19th

Just gonna have to watch Arcade Fire’s R. Kelly tribute instead, I guess.

Posted in: AMAs Reportedly Scrapping Chris Brown’s Michael Jackson Tribute At The Last Minute


raptor jesus
Nov 18th

I saw The 1975 at their very best this past Tuesday.

They’ve come a long way. Hell, WE’VE come a long way since this site gave their 2nd album (the sleep one) AOTW. 266 comments two YEARS before The Number Ones showed up! We were unified in our disgust of the 1975. Hell, even dansolo got in on the dogpile. It felt great.

It would be years until I actually listened to that album. I was disgusted by their SNL performance. I wouldn’t be surprised if that performance gave Måneskin the confidence to present themselves in a similar fashion years later on SNL. Needless to say, the 1975 have done a lot of growing up since then. But many of us on this site, myself included, held tight to our initial disgust.

Best way I can describe what happened next is: the 1975 have some sort of gravitational force. Later in 2016 I was listening to the Stereogum Weekend playlist and ended up loving “Somebody Else” without realizing it was them. I was somewhat conflicted, but couldn’t deny the song. In 2019, when I listened to the sleep album for the first time, I was taken aback by how much I loved all the instrumental songs. Long story short, I kept coming back to the 1975 and finding different songs I liked.

I think someone said it in the Discord that the main issue with 1975 discourse on Stereogum is that the band presents itself as the best band. This makes it difficult to simply dismiss them. Even if you can simply dismiss them, it feels like you have to make a thing out of simply dismissing them. Credit to bloc’s unwavering disgust since 2016. He’s not alone. Though over the years, my curiosity remained. More importantly, I fell in love with “Love It If We Made It” along the way.

So this summer I bought tickets to their show. I’m sure many rolled their eyes at “The 1975 At Their Very Best” for a tour title. I took it as, “OK, show me what you got.” I’ve always felt in order to fully appreciate a band, you have to see them live. At this point, especially in the 1975’s current career arc, I felt like they earned a shot to prove themselves on stage. Though  I did make damn sure not to come in snarky. That backfired in 2017 when coooolin and I went to see 311 in Denver. “Oh, this will be funny. Plus, free show!” Then the whole joke of the moment fell in on myself as I realized, “Oh shit, I’m at a 311 concert. Yikes.”

I made extra sure to embrace the moment. I went to Ross Dress For Less and bought an all black tie just so I could look like I was part of the band. I literally went undercover. Though I also went as if they were another band at a festival where you swing by the stage just to see that one song you like. The stakes were low. So to those that already saw the show, you know what happened next.

They’re really fucking good. I mean, the songs are still not exactly what I want when I’m listening to music. But good lord do they translate live. Ever wonder why they have so many songs with saxophone? Because the crowd LOVES IT when the sax guy plays his part. They go MENTAL. I do think it’s a bit excessive, but for a band that has copied M83 in more ways than once, they really went in on integrating the climax of “Midnight City” into a lot of their poppy adult contemporary songs.

I really liked the stage set-up of playing in a house. I see why Stop Making Sense comparisons have been made, but Matty wasn’t exactly singing into a lamp. It felt more like they wanted to welcome us into their house. I left thinking more bands should have comfy chairs on stage.

No need to rehash the whole show. It’s definitely worth seeing even if you only have a mild interest in this band. Mostly, I wanted to write about going to the show as a moment of site unity. I know bloc will call me a traitor again. That’s fine. He wears dumb shoes. But as someone who loved to hate this band for many years, I felt the need to be honest that I’ve come around to them. Reaching across the musical aisle in these tough times. Really would love it if…

Posted in: Shut Up, Dude: This Week’s Best Comments

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