Why Do People Love The Bands/Musicians We Hate?

Photo courtesy of  Rick Harris

Photo courtesy of Rick Harris

Matt DiVenere: What popular band do you hate that people get mad at you for?

Sean Tuohy: None. I may not be the best for this because there is no band or group that I dislike. I really enjoy all music. In the few hours I've been at work, I've listened to classical, an EDM mix, country, and now some Stevie Ray Vaughn. Even the bands I don’t enjoy as much normally have a single song I enjoy to listen to. I used to hate Jon Bon Jovi. Not the band, the person. I really hated him.

Gary Almeter: I loathe reggae. I said this at lunch with colleagues once and everyone was all incredulous and all, "Whaaaaaaaat?" More succinctly, it is a fucking waste of everyone's time. I loathe its laid back offbeat rhythms and its casual evocations of general positivity and folksy folks relaxing on rustic beaches. I loathe Bob Marley. Unrelated, but sort of related, is that I also loathe Bob Marley's fat Irish cousin, Van Morrison. Furthermore, I loathe Bob Marley's margarita-swilling, parrot-wearing brother-in-law Jimmy Buffett. I also loathe Bob Marley's illegitimate stepson, Jack Johnson.

Rob Bates: He's not a band, and not even popular anymore, but I hate Billy Joel. I had to limit my friend's access to my Facebook posts because she objected to one particular rant. I'm usually so vociferous about it, no one wants to argue.

Daniel Ford: I hate Vampire Weekend. Why does everyone under 35 love that band? They suck. I hate their pretentious instruments, their weepy lyrics, and their uninspired hipster garb. Add Band of Horses to that list for similar reasons. Has this generation been so inundated with pop-crap that they can't recognize shitty music when they hear it? "Those lyrics are deep and dope, man." No, they aren't, they're bullshit. And as someone who shovels it on a regular basis, I know of what I speak. 

Matt: I knew this would be a popular topic.

I'm going full heel here, to use a wrestling term. I hate The Beatles.

I hate them. The most overrated band of all time. They're iconic because they walked across some street? I just don't get it.

I'd rather listen to Britney Spears' first album (minus the "hits”). I'd rather use the Oxford comma. I'd rather...you get it. I told my father-in-law this, and I thought he was going to revoke his acceptance of my marriage to his daughter. Still a very touchy subject. He also is mad at me that I think “Jurassic Park” is overrated, but that's another story for another time.

Daniel: I was looking forward to you making a compelling argument about this, but you had to go ahead and insult the Oxford comma. How dare you?

The Beatles changed the face of music. It was more than just pop and lyrics, everything they did was iconic. And not iconic in the form of Instagram posts or sub-tweets. Not to mention, their music, for the most part, is fun. How do you not get fired up listening to "Drive My Car" or "Twist and Shout?”

You're a monster, Matt. Your father-in-law is playing the long game on this one.

Dave Pezza: Not many like Vampire Weekend. In fact I am one of like two people who own all three of their albums. They are a rare band that mixes African beats, crisp melodies, and a purposefully cheerful tone. And Ezra Koeing's voice is amazingly sharp, that shit doesn't even waiver in concert. Lastly, their lyrics are ridiculously good, hard to decipher but good none-the-less, like a good poem. Vampire Weekend is what you get when English majors make music. No one said you had to like them, but your nay-saying speaks more about you than it does about those of us who like them.

But on to the first point, Billy Joel! Come on. When did all of the joy in your life so totally disappear that now Joel's soulful piano and uncannily high voice doesn't pluck at your heartstrings? I once had a girlfriend who hated Billy Joel. I guess it turns out all Billy Joel haters have a bottomless pit of jet black where their hearts should be.

Matt, you need to stop viewing the world from you hyper technological 2016 point-of-view. Imagine listening to the radio in the 1960s and amongst all the dross that passed for pop music, and then "Twist and Shout,” "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," or "A Day in the Life" comes on. These songs were so good people went insane. Brian Wilson allegedly went crazy when he heard “Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band.” So please, for the love of god, use your writer powers to empathize with a people who don't live in our jaded, overanalyzed, hypersensitive contemporary world.

Daniel: I've seen Vampire Weekend’s "African beats" live. I had to be roused from a near-coma. So your argument for liking this band revolves around "English majors making music," "hard to decipher," and "like a poem?" Sounds like a real hoot! I'd rather listen to Death Cab for Cutie's wrist-slitting music fused with Celine Dion's shrieking. 

I was a huge Billy Joel fan in high school. And then I kind of grew out of him. I didn't start hating him or anything, I just found different musicians to like more. I saw him at Fenway last summer and he was great. I can't hate a bald, sweaty fat guy still grinding it out on the road (and by grinding it out I mean stay in five-star hotels and showing off his young wife).

Gary: I don't hate him but I'm sort of tired of Bruce Springsteen. We get it, you're tired of seeing the poor and downtrodden get poorer and downtroddener amidst the smoke stacks and railroad tracks of the Midwestern city. But it's time to move the fuck on. 

Once at a poker game, the fellas were talking about who was the best songwriter of all time—Dylan, Springsteen, and Neil Young. I said, "I think you need to add Billy Joel to the conversation," and you would've thought I had gouged out their pancreases they were so offended. But I think he is part of that conversation.  

Rob: Vampire Weekend is like a Paul Simon rip off band, but they have some decent stuff. It is pleasant to listen to like latter-day Paul.

What kind of monster doesn't like the man behind such gems as,

He's talking to Davy who is still in the navy/You are only human you are supposed to make mistakes.

He writes for three year olds!


I learned that a man isn't just being macho.

If there is a more horrible lyric in rock, I have yet to hear it.

Daniel: Stephanie Schaefer agrees with Gary's Springsteen comments. Engagement now in the balance. (Just kidding *prepares couch *.)

My reaction to starting this thread:


Lindsey Wojcik: I'm chiming in just to send love to the “Arrested Development”/Will Arnett gif.

Lisa Carroll: I am not going to tell my husband about the Springsteen comments but I have seen "The Boss" six or seven times and the man is amazing live. I'm not going to tell my 15-year-old daughter about The Beatles comments but I will tell you that she and I were belting some Beatles in the car today and I love that she knew that "Hey Jude" had 1:45 of additional "na na na nanananas" left when she forwarded to the next song.

I hate Frank Zappa. I hate Neil Young. I hate Bob Dylan.

I hate that I don't know who Vampire Weekend is but I just Googled them and I have "Oxford Comma" playing in the background as I write this...

I love how passionate you all are and I love reading these crazy threads.

Hassel Velasco: I absolutely despise The Eagles. Yeah, we get it. It's a hotel and we can never leave. For fucks sake! If I had a dollar for every time I've skipped that song since the time I first listened to it, I'd be able to retire comfortably by 70. (I need a new accountant.)

If you don't like The Beatles, you probably don't like anything in general #justkidding #butreally. The Beatles continued to push the boundaries of the recording process by practically leading the transition from two-, to four-, to eight-track recording.

Nickelback is also terrible.

Matt: I'm very aware of all that The Beatles accomplished. They were revolutionary. But that doesn't mean I have to like them. David Ortiz is a legendary figure for Boston, but you won't see me praising him ever.

I'm more of a Rolling Stones fan. And Billy Joel. But my parents never listened to The Beatles growing up so I never did either. It's just not for me. Nothing to do with my age or my view on the world. I'm also more of a Huey Lewis and the News guy too. Saw them a few years ago on the Boston Waterfront...they still got it.

Another band I hate that might turn down the scalding heat of hatred pointed at me from this group: Dave Matthews Band. I just don't get it. A few of his songs are tolerable, but c’mon. I'm not a fan of those "jam bands" at all.

Gary: I too hate Dave Matthews Band. And jam bands in general. Like when are the fucking words going to start you smelly hairy fucks?

I would see Springsteen in concert but for the same reason I would go see Mount Rushmore or the La Brea Tar Pits: the experience has just sort of wended its way into the American psyche and so we feel like we should do it as some sort of duty. The whole Springsteen thing seems to be just an extended skirmish based on hyper-compressed humility and backhanded boasts.  

I also hate Sting.

Stephanie Schaefer: I may risk Daniel taking my ring back, but I have to agree with Lisa. Neil Young sounds like a whining/dying animal. I also only like one U2 song (“With our Without You,” obviously). I was actually upset that iTunes automatically gave me their new album for free (and I initially blamed Daniel for putting it in my music library).

How hasn't anyone mentioned Taylor Swift? I have way more songs of hers on my iPod than I'd like to admit. I'll admit that her songs are super catchy, but the lyrics all seem like they could be written by a fourth grader.

"Today was a fairytale/I wore a dress/You wore a dark grey t-shirt/You told me I was pretty/When I looked like a mess/Today was a fairytale."


Adam Vitcavage: I don't hate them, but I've never gotten into Radiohead as much as my friends say I should. They're basically required listening to in my world, and I like them enough. But I never swam in the deep end of their discography. They're singles are catchy and I respect them. But there is so much out there to listen to. I'd rather give my heart completely to a small amount of bands than listen to everything out there for a few weeks until the next "must listen" to band comes out there.

I guess I don't really hate any bands. I just choose not to listen to a lot. Like reggae, metal, super twangy country, etc. The usual stuff pretentious and self-indulgent hipsters don't like. But don't worry, I'm seeking help and in a Hipsters Anonymous group.

Alex Tzelnic: I believe in the soul. I believe Adam Levine is a no-talent ass clown. I believe that Maroon 5 is one of the worst band names of all time, and that being a judge on “The Voice” so that you can engage in inane banter with Blake Shelton ruins any artistic "credibility" you have. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe that if I hear “Moves Like Jagger” one more time, I'll weep like Brian Wilson, but for the exact opposite reasons. I believe sleeve tattoos do not automatically make you a badass. And I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. Goodnight.


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