ashley dean

It happens to many of us, the sudden-rage-induced eye twitch.

Today, I was rendered incapable of controlling my own damn muscles by this status sitting at the top of my Facebook newsfeed. (I hate every truth in that sentence so much.)

"If you say you like an artist, please listen to at least one complete album by them, otherwise fans like me will eat you alive..."

That's a reasonable request. Listen to more of the music you love, broaden your horizons, learn things, etc. The self-aggrandizing threat is what gives me a case of the stabbys.

It also reminded me of something Colorado Daily columnist Jess Ryan wrote a few weeks ago, titled "Take your nerd cred and shove it."

Well put, Jess.

Her point was that nerds of all kinds -- people who are very passionate about particular things -- should not feel the need to aggressively assert their superiority. Instead, you should welcome someone who's showing interest.

This can be a big problem with what Jess could call music nerds, except they're more often called music snobs, and for good reason. People who are really into music have developed a bad reputation for being assholes about it. One the most noted qualities of a hipster (now-meaningless term alert!) is being a music snob. You know the line: "You've probably never heard of them." Or there's the incredulous "Wait, you've never heard of them?"

Fine, then get your head out of your ass and play me some music. Let's hear it.


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Then there's the snobs like my Facebook friend above. This guy knows a band very well. He's the type that feels like a better fan than you because he knows how many beers the drummer had at a gig in Chicago last October, how much of it was thrown up and the B-side song the band wrote about it. He was there, and he camped out to see that show. He is certain some of that vomit splattered on him.

You did not know this. You were not there. You are not a real fan.

I've been guilty of looking shocked when someone doesn't know a band I think they should. This was at its most reasonable when someone said "Who?" when I mentioned the Ramones. (I mean, COME ON.) This is not at all reasonable when it's some small-time band that only had one album and I just happened to know and love it. The Harlem Shakes was a great band that existed in between the invention of the real Harlem Shake and the obnoxious internet phenomenon Harlem Shake. There is no reason you should have known this so I won't judge you, but go listen.

Whatever the circumstances, here's what more knowledgeable and passionate fans should do: Teach. And don't be condescending.

If you're a White Stripes super fan and someone tells you, I love them too, and my favorite songs are "Seven Nation Army" and "Hardest Button To Button," don't scoff. Don't give them shit for not having heard De Stijl. Help make a new White Stripes super fan instead.

This feels like a lecture in manners meant for kindergartners, but then, so do many things that are apparently necessary to repeat (see last week's rant about how to treat women in music). Sometimes, we all need a reminder not to act like dicks.

And, if you really do love the White Stripes and want to hear some new stuff, definitely take some time to listen to De Stijl. Pre-fame Jack and Meg were just as good as they were post-fame.