Tone Deaf

A new song seeking to build support for the Astrodome referendum may do just the opposite.

4. Drake

Okay everyone, we get it, Drake is kind of a pushover. I mean, he's sensitive! To women! He treats them with respect! Gosh, what a loser. And he incorporates R&B into his music, something no real rapper would ever do!

Look, I'm not the biggest Drake fan myself, but by all accounts he seems like a good guy who makes decent pop music. If he were running around being a jerk to people, like Justin Bieber does, it would be totally cool to hate on him. But just because your girlfriend likes Drake more than she likes you doesn't mean he's the devil.

Kurt Vile: Otherworldly, but amazingly focused.
Shawn Brackbill
Kurt Vile: Otherworldly, but amazingly focused.

3. Creed

What I hate about Creed is that their music is so indebted to Pearl Jam I can only shake my head in disgust. The sad thing is that just as Faith No More begat Korn and Limp Bizkit, Pearl Jam begat Creed, and both were great bands. It's just what you get when you take real, aggressive, passionate music and make it ­water-soluble.

What I can't deny is that while Creed has been cold and calculated about their attempts to become popular by copying another band's sound, the members on their own are actually very capable musicians. Actually, everyone in the band is pretty decent except Scott Stapp and his fucking Eddie ­Vedder impression.

2. Nickelback

I dislike Nickelback because their music is repetitious and tedious and retreads classic-rock tropes with all the fire and passion of a 75-year-old's sex life. It's weak and frigid and makes me want to puke with its dumb, misogynistic, wannabe Van Halen lyricism.

That said, every hack comedian on the Internet has decided to sub in Nickelback as the punch line to his or her lame jokes, which is just as limp at this point as Nickelback's awful music at this point. As someone who's tasked with being funny on the Internet for a living, or at least mildly amusing while repeating "they can't all be gold" over and over again in my head, it frankly ­offends me.

Can we have a moratorium on Nickelback hate? Just let them fade into obscurity along with the kind of meatheaded attitudes and personas they represent.

1. Coldplay

Confession time: I actually love Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, which was a damn good pop album no matter how you slice it. Brian Eno's lush production didn't hurt matters any, either. Frankly, hating on Coldplay is just as played out as hating on any other band on this list, except it's even worse because Chris Martin's bunch has done nothing so egregious as the others here.

Why do people hate Coldplay then? Some of it seems to be their preachy attitude. Admittedly, they wear their causes on their sleeves, and it can get almost as grating as listening to Bono or George Clooney. But there's nothing wrong with that! We just don't like it because it makes us feel bad for not being so charitable in our own lives.

It would be fine to hate Coldplay based solely on their music, though, except that their music is actually pretty good. They're talented, ambitious songwriters who work with some of the best artists in the business to build their music. Some of it may come out trite, but give credit where it's due for what they do right. If they weren't so damn popular, they'd probably be your favorite band.


Dazed, Not Confused
Hazy Philly rocker Kurt Vile has his priorities straight.

Neph Basedow

At first glance, Kurt Vile seems like your typical scraggly-haired, Southern-bred stoner rocker. In reality, however, he's a responsible family man and a focused businessman. He doesn't smoke pot, and he's not even from the South.

While his sound may be inspired by the folk tunes of the Deep South, Vile is actually a bona fide city kid, raised in Philadelphia. Turns out that trademark drawl in his songs isn't nearly as pronounced in regular conversation.

Earlier this year Vile released his fifth album, Wakin On a Pretty Daze, whose hazy, psychedelic lo-fi sound is consummate Vile. His vision for the record was loftier than with his past efforts, though.

"I definitely had some kind of epic theme going," he explains, considering his catalog. "I was excited to take that even further with Wakin. I wanted it to be a deep and epic record."

Wakin is "epic" in the sense that it's an ambitious 70-minute double LP.

"It was an obsessive journey," he continues. "I usually get deep into my records, and figure out the themes as I go."

Vile is otherworldly yet amazingly focused. A father of two, he's a dedicated family man at heart. He happily accepts the sole duty of bringing home the bacon, and takes advantage of certain business offers to do so. He coolly dismisses others' judgments of such decisions, like licensing his songs for advertisements. Besides, to Vile, "selling out" is an archaic idea.

"It's all art," he says of music versus money. "But the business side of music is making the right decisions, playing the right gigs, getting the right deals."

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