A Slice of Fried Gold

"Nickelback: Band of the Decade"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just typing that title made me feel sick inside. Sort of like I needed to shower immediately, except in my mind with good music. For edification, let me type that again...

Nickelback...band of the decade.


Billboard Magazine wrote that on December 11th, and it hasn't gotten any less ridiculous in the two days since then. Sure, I know Billboard is strictly speaking from a sales point of view as technically speaking (and I want to emphasize how much I mean technically speaking) they are the biggest band of the decade. They did sell more albums than any other band in the past ten years. They managed to deceive people into purchasing their albums 30 million times over, which earns them the esteem of their label and Billboard Magazine along with the astonishment and admonishment of the musical illuminati.

And, you know...me.

From the very first time I heard Nickelback I knew what I was listening to was some of the worst music I'd ever heard. That they ended up being the most popular band of this decade is not surprising and very indicative of the way popular music has turned over the last while. I mean come on, you have a band fronted by a man who looks eerily like a horse singing essentially the same song over four consecutive albums in the past decade. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and so casual fans of music encouraged them to neither improve nor even remotely alter their sound since their inception.

Much to my chagrin.

As Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic said about their album Dark Horse, "Nickelback are a gnarled, vulgar band reveling in their ignorance of the very notion of taste, lacking either the smarts or savvy to wallow in bad taste so they just get ugly, knocking out knuckle-dragging riffs that seem rarefied in comparison to their thick, boneheaded words."

Yeah, he writes better than I do, but that's pretty much how I feel about it. I love music. I love it to a disgusting degree. I just find it pretty special that this band can be so dominant in their popularity, earning Grammy nominations and Platinum records faster than I earn compliments for my blog (which is actually not that often). How America? How?!

Alas, I fail at mainstream music. Nothing could be more perplexing than the continued massive success of Canada's favorite sons.

Join me in washing the thought out of your mind with some sweet, sweet grooves from Yo La Tengo. Their song "Periodically Double or Triple" is one of my favorite songs of the year and a funky blast of pure goodness.


Troy Olson said...

Wow, they released four albums this decade? Yeah, this is sad, but it's what we should come to expect -- moms love this stuff and they tend to be the big purchasers of CDs. I actually would have guessed U2 would have beat them out saleswise.

Thanks for the salve that is Yo La Tengo.

David Harper said...

At this point I hardly even prefer U2, sadly. U2 hasn't been good for a long time in my opinion.

It's like they say in the article, it's typically casual music fans and radio music fans who have most of the CD buying power, which leads to bands like Nickelback and U2 being highly successful. I suppose it's my fault as much as anyone based off how much actual music I purchse. Sigh...

Yo La Tengo fixes everything.

Troy Olson said...

Oh, I would hardly prefer U2 -- it's really the same crowd of people who prefer Nickelback (boy does THAT sound elitist). I didn't read the article, so your point on "casual music fans and radio music fans" makes sense.

My wife is one of those people -- she simply doesn't have time to listen and try out a lot of music, so it's either what she hears on the radio, what she hears at the gym, or (if I do my job well) what I get her to listen to. Sadly, I'm positive she has a Nickelback song on her Ipod and I continuously make fun of her for it and she simply doesn't care. And yet we remain married -- Ah, the power of love.

nicki said...

Please do not associate all of us Canadians with Nickleback. I, as a proud Canadian, do not support bad music, be that Nickleback, U2, or any of the other bands that make it big but it seems like no one actually likes (sounds like George Dubya).

Yaknow.. maybe we can tell people that they're from the States...I think more people would believe that.. I kid!

Anonymous said...

go to can this pickle get more fans than nickleback on bookface

Anonymous said...

Opinions are like Asses everyone has one.

jared said...

Please. Do not even compare U2 and Nickelback. They barely belong in the same category. Bono is a genius. If Nickelback is still existing and thriving 30 years after their beginning, perhaps you can correct me. Good music lasts for a reason. U2 has stood the test of time, and will always be (one of the) best rock group(s) ever.

Anonymous said...

Fuck the illuminati I've Ben doing some resurch on this stuff and it scares me that even my fav 80s rock bands have this shit in there music have u heard megadeths recent album endgame and have u listened to endgame its very creepy or how about micheals song caint think of the name but the corus is saying all I'm Realy sayin is they don't Realy care about us then he goes on saying beat me kick me u can never hurt me and another verse he says black me white me??? Hmm why would he say that in a song and why would megadeth come out with a song blatently saying that our government and the NWO is gona put us in camps and all this crazy shit so all I'm saying is find me one band that doesn't have something to do with illuminati weather for it or against it

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