Rocks Off will assume that we're all music fans here, m'kay? We just like the way the more melodic molecules feel when they gutter-ball into our eardrums. That's peachy, but there are those among us who take being a fan into the realm of douchebaggery.
Check amongst yourselves for the following infractions:
5. THE PERSPECTIVELY CHALLENGED
These people are usually really into the latest pop sensation. They purposely seek out the most shallow and inane music to listen to, mostly because they can't stomach something a bit stronger. Another of their sins is the failure to understand that one cannot become an... idol within, say, a season.
If you call their heroes flashes in the pan, they'll scream at the top of their lungs that said pop star has been going strong for OVER A YEAR! Most of them fail to realize that they have the memories of gerbils, and that they basically recycle their favorite musician every year or so after the marketing push dies down.
4. "I WAS HERE FIRST!"
Also known as hipsteritis. These poindexters like to assign some kind of mythic status to having heard about an act before everyone else did. Look, if you discover the undiscovered and spread it around so that a band can build a push and maybe break out into success, then you're one of God's gifts to music. If you just keep it to yourself like some kind of bizarre art collector, then you're part of what's keeping independent artists down.
More importantly, if your friends don't know about an artist you've been listening to for years, then only become aware of them because one of their songs were featured in a movie or something, then that's your fault. If the band is so freakin' awesome, why didn't you tell us?
3. THE APOSTLE
Music can get us through some pretty rough times... or at it can at least get us through being a teenager when we think we're going through some pretty rough times. Who among us hasn't salved a wounded heart to "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" at least once? It's one thing to let music be an occasional confidant or shoulder to cry on, and quite another to treat an artist like they're Jesus.
If you come up to us and say, "Man, listening to GWAR really helped me get through my divorce!" then we'll make with the high-fivings and the ALL-RIGHT!-ings. If you tell us Adam Lambert saved your life then we're going to have to assume that you equate being sent out of the 10 Items or Fewer line for having 11 items to be some kind of mortal peril.
2. NO FARTS, ONLY DAFFODILS
These fans refuse to believe that their favorite artists ever put out any songs that are less than inspired, and will argue with great venom against anyone who dares to suggest otherwise.
There are some truly brilliant people in the world laying down music, but everyone has their bad days. People who say, "It's David Bowie. How bad can it be?" have never sat down and listened to Tin Machine. Just because an artist is awesome 99 percent of the time does not mean that every single composition is worth listening to. There's no reason to fly off the handle just because someone points out that Prince's later career has been a real steamer in the litter box. It doesn't make The Gold Experience any less awesome.
1. THEY WRITE THEIR OWN SONGS? DOESN'T MATTER.
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SHOW ME HOW
Here we are again with pop music. Some fans believe that writing your own pop songs somehow makes those songs more legitimate. Case in point was a former acquaintance who had gotten into Avril Lavigne in a big way. When we rightfully pointed out that the songs we had been ear-raped with on the radio were the musical equivalent of a fourth-grader's Mother's Day gift of a ceramic ashtray, he exploded and screamed, "At least she writes her own songs!"
Folks, that's not an accomplishment if the songs are terrible. Everyone reading this right now can write a bad song.
There's a subset of this type of fan as well -- the fan who is proud that their favorite artist doesn't use Autotune or lip-sync live shows. Again, this is not an accomplishment. You're not supposed to need Autotune unless you specifically want to sound like a robot, and you're damn sure not supposed to lip-sync. A pop star's only job is to sing, and if you're going to fake your way through that they way a teenager fakes their way through a shift at McDonald's, then we want our damn money back.
Jef With One F is the author of The Bible Spelled Backwards Does Not Change the Fact That You Cannot Kill David Arquette and Other Things I Learned In the Black Math Experiment, available now.