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Does Mainstream Success Ruin a Band for You?

I picked up the March edition of Spin Magazine only to find Vampire Weekend on the cover and immediately thought, "Wasn't it about a minute ago they were one of my bands to watch?" I was far from the first to write about them, but I still figured it would be a while before they were on newsstands everywhere.

Vampire Weekend didn't spend much time on anyone's "favorite little unknown band" list and sped straight to the bigtime. But that kind of sudden spotlight can shine even on established artists — take Feist, who released a couple of albums to a small but devoted fan base before an Apple ad made her a breakout star. When your favorite musicians go mainstream, does it ruin them for you? Or are you generally happy for good little bands that make it big?


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fakeplanettelex fakeplanettelex 9 years
wow, on the spin cover already?! backlash & hype happens all the time. the shins, arcade fire, arctic monkeys, etc. it does annoy me to a certain extent but bands who work hard and write good music deserve credit (i.e.: wilco in a vw commerical, i don't consider that "selling out") i don't need mtv to tell me what to listen to because that's corporate america pushing awful tunes down our throats. eh, no matter what there is always going to be backlash.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
oh, and i am kind of in a bubble in a sense - as i don't watch a lot of tv shows in their alloted times and almost never see the don't get sick of certain songs because they are in ads.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
strange - i am listening to a CBC radio 3 podcast with a segment about indie musicians' music for ads. :) some of the people say that it is so hard to sell indie records in Canada (?!) and some people have said that they don't feel like they own the song anymore and don't play them live because it feels like an ad. people are exposed to some great stuff that they wouldn't be normally when they hear it in ads. i guess there are so many ways to look at it. i mean, for the advertisers - it is so much cheaper to offer money to indie bands than mainstream songs, plus wouldn't they rather support a smaller band, seem young and youthful and have something fresh?! i think it is really lame to hear the older songs sung by new people in so many ads from yogurt to laundry soap and "imagine" is out there too much. as an aside - i was so happy to hear the Rilo Kiley song "portions for foxes" in the first scene/first episode of grey's anatomy!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i don't get the "deserve" thing - bands get popular partly because of who they know and yes, luck! i hate that ticket prices for concerts go up when bands get more popular. like the vampire weekend show was $18 or something not long ago (last month?) i wonder what it'll be the next time they're here! i don't like feist less because of her success. she still plays the smaller folk festivals and such, but her main concert is rediculous - $65!! there's no way i'm paying that to see her a 3rd time. i tend to not listen to bands that have stuff at Starbucks out of principle.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
I don't know, it depends. It really annoys me though when some people only like obscure bands and they get mad if they find out that you like them too or they think that you are a "poser." Good music isn't meant to be heard by just a few people.
fashion4ward fashion4ward 9 years
Sometimes it ruins it for me. But I LOVE Vampire Weekend!
anniemation anniemation 9 years
i can't but be put off by extreme buzz. i really don't like force-feeding myself music/movies just because they're 'in' at the moment. waiting means i get to like something on my own terms, rather than be influenced by those who love/hate it at the time.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 9 years
oh, and I had the same issues with The Decemberists. Back in the day, tickets and shows were nice. Now the shows are filled with frat kids who are really rude and only like the more recent tunes.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
My husband and I have been listening to Vampire Weekend for months, absolutely loving them. They came to do a show in DC about a month ago, and the tickets were sold out a week in advance!!! We were sure nobody else knew them until I saw your writeup of them, but even still we thought we could get tickets the night of. What a downer.
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
P.S. I think bands getting the success they deserve it great.
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
I think that it can. I personally feel mainstream success has kind of ruined the Heroes and they just aren't the same. I fear all the great indie bands that are truly blowing up, great for them, but I think people can let things go to their heads, in any genre of art (music or acting).
miss-britt miss-britt 9 years
oh i agree whiplash-it sucks when they move up to bigger venues. I really hope Kenna and Mark Ronson don't do that.
miss-britt miss-britt 9 years
the thing with commercials is the song become annoying and then you want to hurt that artist for agreeing to torture their fans like this. I use to really hate when a band i liked became mainstream but i guess you should be somewhat happen for them. Because they are now going to make decent amount of money and great exposure. Vampire Weekend i believe will be MTV's artist of the week. I went to MTV and there are tons of picture of them, so i guess in a few weeks they will be that.
bhilb bhilb 9 years
I don't understand why my opinion would change as long as the music stays the same--or equal quality.
Lorelei-Spirit Lorelei-Spirit 9 years
What Whip said.
hil34 hil34 9 years
I only like 1 song of vampire weekend's anyway...
KathleenxCouture KathleenxCouture 9 years
You know whats funny is I was a HUGE fan of Fall Out Boy before they became famous, and since they are from Chicago like me it wasnt hard to find a venue with them playing on the weekends. I saw probably 10 of their shows and then a few months later they were on the cover of Spin and i was like OMG I know those guys! Thats awesome! and now they are HUGE!
alexlove alexlove 9 years
I hate when people get annoyed when their favourite bands go mainstream! I would think that fans would be happy for them, it seems ridiculous to me to ditch them.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Also, I'm sorry, but Vampire Weekend is such a silly name.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
I feel like these guys are getting so much buzz, and when I finally listened to them, I was all, "Them?" in the same way that Michael Bluth says "Her?" about George Michael's girlfriend Anne.
Pistil Pistil 9 years
The only thing that really ruins a good song for me is hearing it over and over and over and over. I still like Feist, for example, but it's going to take some time before I can listen to 1,2,3,4... But actually, one thing that bothers me about more obscure bands is that their music is so hard to find in stores, and pricey if you can find it. Whereas, you can find any popular album on sale for $10... err, people still buy CDs, right?
lilchibi lilchibi 9 years
im with whiplashgirl on this one. mainstream success does not bother me...i want the bands i like to be known. but overexposure is when i stop liking them. for example, i was a huge fan of onerepublic before everyone else. apologize was my favorite song for a few months before it started playing on the radio. and when i did first hear it on the radio, i was so excited that i wouldnt be the only one who knows them. and then they started playing that song like 5 times in an hour and the music video plays nonstop on vh1. i'm still a fan, but not a big fan like i used to be.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 9 years
It's only annoying in some circumstances. Like I saw VW last December and got a ticket at the last minute. And now I can't see them against next March because they keep playing that one song on the radio. And everyone got tickets to it. It's also annoying when people only fall in love with the band after a song, and only listen to the album that song is on. A lot of times people refuse to listen to bands' back catalogs. I feel like that happened with The Shins, and Feist's older stuff is a lot of fun, yet people won't hear that
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
I always love it when a small but talented band made it big or get the recognition they deserve. But I also know that their good work usually will 'suffer' or at least, it won't last...nothing lasts forever anyway, so it's not like I'm surprised, but I totally want bands to succeed regardless the mostly inevitable 'downhill' in the future.
Brittfish Brittfish 9 years
It's awesome to see a band in small venues inexpensively, but how can you begrudge them success, especially when you're a fan? Go forth and hit it big, little talented ones.
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