It’s late 2011 and you hear Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” for the first time on YouTube. You tweet something about how this is the catchiest song out and get a reply from your music snob friend: “You just heard this? It’s been on all the European charts forever. It’s so played out.” Just reading this smug response makes you wince.
It would be months before the song would be released in the United States, many more months before it would be performed on Saturday Night Live, covered on Glee and American Idol, and propelled to the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard chart, where it would stay for eight consecutive weeks. Within a year’s time, it would become one of the most viral and obnoxious songs in the country. And as much as you hate to admit it, the music snob had a point.
Music snobs get a bad rap. I know this because I get called one a lot. I probably deserve it; I have some asshole-ish tendencies when it comes to music. I’m the type to follow and support an artist right up until they break, then once they make a hit song I’ll back off or start ignoring them completely. If an artist has one song that everyone loves, it’s probably my least favorite song by that artist. If a song gets used in a commercial for a new car or a fast food restaurant, fuck that song.
I don’t mean to do these things. I can’t help it. I have my reasons.Click to continue reading