11 min read

Listen Up, Nerds Special Edition: Hating

Listen Up, Nerds Special Edition: Hating

I’ve seen a good amount of posts in the last few weeks promising the return of “hating” as a concept before rapidly devolving into “making up a guy to get mad at.” I get it. I do. It’s hard to find much to hate on these days. There’s always So Much happening and with the threat of Real Problems like a genocide in Palestine taking place in front of our eyes and global warming looming over every little complaint I have, it’s not easy to find stuff worth hating. The battles are too big, too real these days. Hating is a function of having less big stuff going on. We hate because it’s fun to talk shit but with real shit happening, you gotta dig. You gotta find something that’s relatively harmless to beat up on because that’s what’s fun. 

Over the weekend, I watched the Coachella livestream and I was reminded that there are a few bands I still very much hate and it’s not really a matter of a moral stance. I really hate this music and I’d love to do some good, old-fashioned HATING on them. Coachella seems like its own special little brand of hell, but adding these bands could only make it worse.

Let’s remind ourselves that the point of hating isn’t to be right or win, it’s about dragging someone better down to your level. Hating is not pointing out the fallacies in arguments against Victor Wembanyama’s much-deserved and inevitable Rookie Of The Year trophy. Hating is calling Grayson Allen a “Ted Cruz in the face looking motherfucker” and standing on the fact that his dirty play over his entire career makes him a “hoe.” With that being said, let’s hate:

Dawg, I Hate Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend Brought Paris Hilton Onstage To Play Cornhole At Coachella

Dawg, I hate Vampire Weekend. I hate Vampire Weekend. I haaaaaaate this band. I’ve been known to enjoy an episode or 10 of Time Crisis but there’s no worse band in my mind than Vampire Weekend. I’ve seen them live, I’ve been told 1000 times over that their music is great, I’ve listened to the arguments, and I can’t think of a worse indie rock band I’ve been conscious of for their entire career. I hate their faces. I hate their smug-ass indie rock. I hate their east coast smelly Sperry Topsiders-ass popped collar 2008 bullshit. I hate this band and I'm tired of pretending I don't.

I hate this band for releasing a debut single called “A-Punk” and then the shit wasn’t punk at all. Are you KIDDING me?! I was 16 when the single dropped and I was sitting in my room going, “‘A-Punk’? Well maybe this buzzworthy new band that everyone is talking about will kinda rock.” WRONG. Limp-ass clean guitar work and some guy plucking a bass while two other guys bang tom drums and wear sherpa hats. “Oh my god they’re SO cute, that’s SO quirky!” No it’s not! It’s fuckin’ Garden State! You stole the vibe from a 2004 coming of age movie about listening to THE SHINS? You’re stealing from ZACH BRAFF of all people???? Imagine going back to 2007 and thinking this band is genius when they’re ripping off Paul Simon and ZACH BRAFF. I cannot believe someone is ripping off ZACH BRAFF, maybe the only guy who isn’t in Vampire Weekend that has worse vibes than Vampire Weekend. It’s crazy that the guy from Scrubs somehow seems more genuine and feeling than guys who ostensibly make real art for a living. Speaking of which, I'd rather watch videos of woodworking accidents than another episode of Scrubs. I'd rather search for "Degloving" with Safesearch off than hear that theme song. "I'm no Superman" may be my CIA MKULTRA activation phase.

The debut Vampire Weekend album is a waste of time for anyone who likes to be enchanted by music or anyone who likes to have their ideas challenged. It's a boring-ass music for boring-ass people with more money than God. Old money-ass record. “We went to Kenya on safari this summer”-ass record. “Money talks, wealth whispers”-ass record. I’m supposed to respect this record more because you’re “adventurous?” Oh you use funky, weird percussion? So does Slipknot!! Kiss my ass!!!!! At least they don’t act like using an oil drum is some feat. Godsmack had bongo-type drums on “Voodoo” but THIS is what I’m supposed to think is a beautiful pop record. It doesn’t make these songs any better. It’s like putting hot sauce on unseasoned chicken. I know it’s old but I’m ripping the debut record to shreds because it’s the last one I’ve been able to stomach in full. The rest have held me for a total of 20 minutes collectively. I used to tell people I liked “Diplomat’s Son” in the service of being diplomatic in polite conversation but that’s a lie. It’s audio melatonin complete with the weird bad dream but that weird bad dream is listening to a Vampire Weekend record.

The Big Read – On the road with Vampire Weekend

The baffling part of Vampire Weekend’s work, to me, is that people have opinions on it. Like real opinions that are usually saved for real music! People really have investment here when it’s the least-challenging, Nick Jr. singalong material. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s not for babies. Maybe it’s actually for serious adults. I started the new record and the Vampire Weekend man whispered the “fuck” word in the first couple minutes of the first song and I was done. I knew I was getting into some dog-ass record where they were “more vulnerable” or “more mature” or “exploring new boundaries.” Please miss me with that PR writer garbage. If your assessment of the record includes these phrases, just let the publicist write the damn thing. I know they’re not exploring new boundaries because this band doesn’t do that. They write insipid, tepid pop songs that go on for too long. How about exploring a song with a riff? How about expanding your boundaries into good music?

Over the weekend, Vampire Weekend played Coachella and brought out Paris Hilton to play cornhole for some reason. How is this not widely considered to be the lamest shit in the world? How can anyone look at this and say, “That’s funny!” It’s not funny! What’s the joke? That it’s “ironic”? It’s the South Park rendition of a Family Guy joke. “Holy freaking crap, Lois! This is like when I saw Vampire Weekend play cornhole with Paris Hilton at Coachella!” Go to hell. I’d rather they bring out a war criminal. Bring out Joseph Kony to play bocce or something. At least that’s got a little bit of transgression to it. If I’m in the audience and Vampire Weekend plays a goofy, boilerplate country jam and spends 10 minutes playing yard games with Paris Hilton and an Abraham Lincoln impersonator, I need my money back. I need that cash, Ezra. Whatever they’re paying you, it’s too much.

How does this band get away with doing the corniest stuff at every turn? How does this band, out of all of the wack-ass bands who pull wack-ass stunts, get away with it? It's like their only aspirations are to hang out with other rich people. Do you think it’s ironic? Because part of me sees the argument that they’re “smarter” than these people but no, they’re all socialites in similar classes. Living off your family’s money isn’t enough for you people? You have to waste my time with bad music that everyone tells me is good? You feel the need to have your tepid-ass music blasting through boring college parties? You now know that I have to lie about your work in polite company? That’s what makes you feel good? 

Sometimes I understand when a band has built up a bunch of goodwill that they can cash in when they want to do something incredibly lame, but a bunch of prep school dorks with semi-hollowbody guitars and “multi-instrumentalists” in their bands aren’t going to sway me. That money is no good here. Go buy another J. Press sweater with it. Pretending that this type of music is brainier or more experimental than Mumford & Sons or the other Stomp-Clap shit people mock is the biggest act of self-delusion that indie rock has perpetrated. I’m not saying, “You can’t possibly enjoy this band,” I’m saying that if I know you do enjoy this band, I’m forming a harsh opinion on you based on this.

Blur: Are Shite

21 Mogwai: As the Love Continues – Necessary Evil

Blur sucks. I think Blur’s the one other band I hate with the same fervor that I hate Vampire Weekend with. I cannot stand Blur. When I hear the word “Wanker,” I think of Damon Albarn. I think about that one prick in the band who was mean to Nardwuar. When I need to tap into some hater-ass energy, I listen to “Song 2,” which isn’t even that bad of a song but because it’s by Blur, I hate to admit it’s even good in the first place.

Have you seen the “Nardwuar Vs. Blur” video? It’s one of the worst things I’ve seen in my life, in part because it is heartbreaking to see people be mean to Nardwuar, but also because it shows how wack Blur are. The drummer is confrontational and physically imposing to Nardwuar. In the fracas, Nardwuar implies that the drummer is mad because he thinks that the Human Serviette is wearing a “Blur: Are Shite” shirt, originally sold by the band Mogwai. Why would they make that shirt? Because Stuart Braithwaite thinks that Blur are shite, and he's right to say it. I’ve been looking for one for years and it’s not even because I love Mogwai so much (I do love Mogwai) but because I hate Blur. Nardwuar is not wearing one of those shirts, but the drummer keeps prodding him and throwing his hat/notecards on the ground. Oh yeah, big man? You’re gonna press Nardwuar?? How brave!

He’s being a jerk and takes it too far, which he’d later apologize for but that’s much too late now. The time to be nice to Nardwuar is when Nardwuar is talking to you. Albarn and the bassist laugh and laugh, egging the joke on, but when it’s clearly no longer a joke, they don’t step in to de-escalate. They stare. They fall back. They display cowardice of the highest order. After the drummer leaves, they pretend nothing happened. It’s one of the most depressing videos I’ve seen of a band. You can feel yourself losing respect for them in real time. It leaves your body and in the manner that matter cannot be created or destroyed, it’s allocated somewhere else but never returns to this band.

My hate of Blur goes back quite a bit but I’m justified at every new junction. Over the weekend, Blur frontman Damon Albarn got mad that a bunch of people who just wanted to see Tyler The Creator weren’t singing along with Blur’s songs. The only reason these people are watching you is because of who’s on next. This is something I think you’d know if you played as many festivals as Blur have, but apparently not. Albarn got all pissed off in his stupid white suit and said, “You won't see us again.” Finally! Only 27 years too late but at least you figured it out! It's not like anyone in the crowd could find it within them to care about this outburst. They didn't even know who you are, let alone why they should be upset that you're not getting in the way of Tyler's set next weekend. I can’t stand seeing anyone do this, let alone the frontman of my least-liked band. It’s annoying, yes, but it’s also just deeply sad.


weekend 2 better not dissapoint bro // #coachella #coachella2024 #blur #damonalbarn #grahamcoxon #gorillaz #gorillazedit #gorillazedits #2dgorillaz #2dgorillazedit #gorillaz2d #2dgorillazedits #noodlegorillaz #noodlegorillazedit #gorillaznoodle #murdocniccalsedit #murdocniccals #murdocgorillaz #gorillazmurdoc #murdocniccalsedit #russelhobbs #russelhobbsedit #variansvsp #jamiehewlett #damonalbarn

♬ original sound - mike ✧

Sorry, dude. We don’t really like Blur over here. We don’t get it. We don’t all have government-issued home copies of Parklife. We know your music from hockey games and from commercials on tv and we know one song. We do not care about “Boys & Girls,” save for the most anglophile among us. Here in America, we like “Wonderwall” by Oasis and that’s part of why we don’t like you. For one, you didn’t write “Wonderwall.” That’s strike one. Strike two was having beef with those nice young blokes who wrote “Wonderwall.” Strike three (these are baseball terms, unsure if you have that sport over there) was being British 220+ years after we beat you in a war. Get with the times. In a few years, we’ll have 250 years under our own rule and your little island still has a monarchy. A monarchy! In 2024! That’s so embarrassing, man.

It’s not as embarrassing as throwing a hissy fit over it on the main stage at Coachella. “Blur won’t play Coachella Weekend 2.” That’s really awful. I just feel bad for them at this point. This dude gets all the applause in the world for his lame-ass cartoon rock band and now he’s mad that audiences don’t acquiesce for his other work? Pick one, man. This is America. We’re gonna go with the project that has Del Tha Funkee Homosapien on it and you better be happy that we even accepted that. Do you know how big of an accomplishment it is that the entire nation knows a Trugoy verse? That’s major and you should be proud of it, but instead you’re mad that a bunch of people only know your “Woo-hoo!” song. Look at yourself, big dog. You've been replaced by a shopvac and that thing still sucks less than your band.


DAMON, IS THAT YOU?? #blur #damonalbarn #gorillaz #woohoo Credit - Unknown

♬ original sound - Coast Fest

Sometimes, I wish we had good rockstars again until one of these clowns does something totally unbecoming like having a really corny meltdown. It’s really something to think you should be bigger than you are. Blur’s audience in America has to be around at most but likely even less. According to this tweet, Blur has sold less in the US, in their lifetime, than Chocolate Starfish And The Hotdog Flavored Water sold in its first week.

That feels significant. I’m flipping through their releases on Wikipedia and I don’t recognize seeing half of these albums in person, and I feel like I’m pretty aware of what big bands have released. I’ve spent far more time in CD stores in middle America than you have and I recognize their greatest hits album and their s/t. If that’s what I know as a guy with a pretty good memory, imagine what someone who barely cares knows about you. We are decidedly a Gorillaz country. Could you imagine if Hugh Laurie got pissed off that people in America liked House more than Blackadder? What if John Cleese got mad that kids knew his voice from Shrek and not Fawlty Towers? The average American would rather see a cartoon on TV than a British man and I cannot blame them for that. 

So with that, I say to Blur, good luck with whatever you end up doing instead of playing Coachella Weekend 2. Personally, it’s nice to know I won’t have to see another video of Damon Albarn throwing a tantrum or sit through another weekend of people telling me that Blur is good on the internet. Chalk that up as a win for both of us. Maybe with all of this free time, you can go write something that Americans like even 1/10th as much as we like “Wonderwall.”