Sometimes I have fun. I really do. I walk on the beach, play in the park, and listen to ‘.fun’ on my iPod while trying to ride of that slight tinge of belly fat through rigorous exercising. But this was years ago. This was 2009, where ‘.fun’ had one little album under their belt, 2009’s ‘Aim and Ignite.’ An infectious merger of pop, rock, and indie into a powerful package, all channeled by front man Nate Reuss’ classy crooning and Jack Antonoff’s guitar work.
But this is 2012. ‘fun’ has returned to release a follow-up album, ‘Some Nights.’ Interestingly, this isn’t just some nights, but every night, where .fun is all over the place. Selling out tours, impeding my radio listening, and being recommended to me by 16 year old hipsters, ignorant of the fact that I was a fan of the band from Jack Antonoff’s band ‘Steel Train’ and have been consistently listening since then. Of course, there is the fact I saw .fun play in a venue that can barely fit the population ofAntarctica(and it was only half-filled) back before their debut was even released.
Not that I’m trying to go on any high horse (probably not doing too well) but the immediate imposing popularity of .fun leaves an odd taste in my mouth. This isn’t the first time by any means, but it seems the most harmful. A band I adored previously is now name dropped onJerseyShoreand covered by the hit television show Glee next to Justin Beiber and Madonna.
However hard you try, you can’t not be mad.
Maybe there is a part of you who has had this same situation with another band or artist. It’s ok. I feel for you. It must be great to be .fun. First you run around in relative obscurity, holding your own financially but not being able to deliver the real goods of lifelong support. Couple years go by, you release an album of arguably watered down R&B bits and infectious hooks, and you are set in the mainstream arena of immortality- for now.
This is all good and supper, and I am very happy for the talented trio to have taken their musical aspirations to a heightened level and earn a career from it, sure. But there is always that part of you that knows that the fan base is quantity over quality. 100 .fun fans in 2012 barely meet with 1 fan from 2008. Back then we adored the band with the selective group of us who were paying attention.
Maybe I am a whiny little boy. Maybe I should ignore my qualms of “my favorite band become hugely popular.” “Wah wah wah go whine inAfricayou whiny baby.”
Yet if you care about music, even at all, this will happen to you. And you will feel confused. And you will want to rant about it to vent your frustrations. Because in the end, music touches and it heals and it recalls something of nostalgia and adoration. And when everyone in the world is blasting the same group who delivered you from something and the newer fans are downloading the latest single to play for granny- there’s just something that has been lost.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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