There is a great, fantastically lazy tradition in recent music criticism whereby “NPR,” “fussed-over,” and “intimate” are terms that come to signify “white bands playing preciously dull and fragile songs that you in your callous, unthinking way would call ‘boring’ but are actually quiet masterpieces, you clod.” Over at BuzzFeed today, Matt Perpetua reaches the zenith of this non-observational style with little more than fifty words, six photos, and three YouTube embeds.
“Grizzly Bear Is The ‘Frasier’ Of Rock Music,” the headline declares, while the deck cautions, as if you are already winding up to punch through your computer monitor, “It’s kind of an intuitive thing, but yes, they are.” Great! An intuitive analogy comparing a “rock” band (no they aren’t) that enjoyed mild popularity from 2006-2009 and a television series that ended in 2004. The comparison is simultaneously so strained and so obvious and so half a decade late that it’s hard to tell if it’s less meaningful than it is amusing.
Do I even need to tell you that cashmere, lattes, ennui, and The New Yorker are mentioned? It’d be one thing if BuzzFeed were merely failing to be the “leading social news organization, intensely focused on delivering high-quality original reporting, insight, and viral content across a rapidly expanding array of subject areas” that it purports to be. But on top of that, do we really need a list of items once posted on Stuff White People Like? Oh, new BuzzFeed article idea: Stuff White People Like is just like The Strokes’ Is This It. Or maybe you could talk about how OutKast is the Chappelle’s Show of rap.
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