The 20 Worst Hipster Bands

10 posts

niccolo and donkey Misologos O'Zebedee Kobresia

This one is a little more daring than other "worst bands ever" lists because the topic alone excludes lots of easy targets. Hipsters don't listen to The Eagles or numetal.

I agree that almost every band they listed sucks on some level, at least the ones I've heard. The Decemberists aren't awful, but they are dull. Arcade Fire are probably listed so high (or low, depending on how you look at it) because they are popular and the author wanted to be provocative, but again they're more overrated than outright awful. Death Cab for Cutie, Grizzly Bear, TV on the Radio, and Bright Eyes most certainly belong. I've actually never heard anything by their #1 and #2 choices.

My own version of this list would've included Modest Mouse and The Wrens. I've always found The Shins boring too, but not sure if they're bad enough to warrant inclusion. Hipsters really do listen to some lame music, all things considered.
Niccolo and Donkey

1. Sleigh Bells - yup, they're shit. A Wall of Sound massive enough to make even Phil Spector say: "Now that's too much!" Music for the ADD Generation.

2. Beach House - the reviewer nailed it: "Beach House lead singer Victoria Legrand has been compared to Nico, which makes sense in that Nico has an extremely vapid voice. A wash of down-tuned Baltimore neo-soul, it's trip-hop for people who never knew Massive Attack and post-rock for those who missed Stereolab; in other words, derivative electro mush. The band's moniker is also misleading."

3. Beirut - complete and total ripoff of Goran Bregovic. The music is far too deritivative and his additions/spin totally deflate what he's ripping off. Zach Condon has watched too many Emir Kusturica movies.

4. Grizzly Bear - BORING. I read many reviews praising Veckatimest and found it completely uninspiring.

5. Bon Iver - what am I supposed to like here? I tried.

I liked both Beirut and Bon Iver in their appearances on La Blogotheque, but their albums never did it for me. Beach House and Sleigh Bells, Decembrists, TV on the Radio and Grizzly Bear I found boring, most of the other bands I've never heard of (Fun) or haven't yet heard (Pomplamoose, Wavves.)

Hipster music doesn't resonate with me. It's actually the most boring music out there. I'm starting to think they're boring on purpose.
To be honest, I don't really understand the use of the word hipster - for most people it seems to be a way to identify others as "inauthentic." This is pop music - none of it is authentic . I remember people declaring Sparklehorse and The Replacements to be the equivalent of "hipster" music at the time; it really means nothing.

I mean, I agree with you that most of the bands listed are boring, but that's pretty much where I leave it. If some 19-year-old kid decides that Grizzly Bear is the music that speaks the most to him that just means I better find someone else to chat with.
See also: Cloud Nothings

Some people caricature indie singers as whiny trust fund kids who sing about haircuts and worship Velvet Underground -- actually by 'people' I mean me -- but sometimes it's not even a caricature. And I like indie music!
The Illuminati
The Rambler

I don't really get the appeal of any of these. I had to listen to a Bright Eyes album on a road trip recently and it was utter trash. I think they equate crappy with or "rawness" (a favorite term used by fans of this type of music) or something such that if a band is sufficiently crap (can't sing or play instruments or write melodies or harmonize) it is interpreted as more real or raw.

I can get punk or hardcore bands playing like crap because that music is more about an insistent rhythm and simple themes of discontent, but all these guys try to pass off their stuff as artsy or deep and the listeners take it as good music.