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tUnE-yArDs

Gangsta

Concert Catch-Up Week, Day 5: tUnE-yArDs
(click here if you missed Day 1: Todd Sniderhere if you missed Day 2: Justin Townes Earle, here if you missed Day 3: Radiohead, and here if you missed Day 4: Mariachi El Bronx)

I hate it when famous people I like don’t get along.

The subject of music feuds came up a few hours before my friend Coyle and I saw Radiohead in Washington D.C. And before you ask, no, the music feud I’m talking about isn’t the one about us buying the same M. Ward shirt, though I am wearing it as I type this — hear that Coyle?!? No, the subject came up because our pre-show listening regimen leaned heavily on Arctic Monkeys, to whom Coyle’s been listening quite a bit recently. As we talked about Suck It and See, Arctic Monkeys’ most recent album, it dawned on me that I hadn’t given the band a fair chance over the years, and I’m pretty sure it’s because of something Thom Yorke said a little while back. Of AM and their rapid rise to fame, Yorke was quoted in 2006 as saying:

“The fact that poor Arctic Monkeys are getting so much attention is purely based on the fact that the mainstream music business is such a bunch of fucking retards as far as I’m concerned.”

Looking back at this incident with the benefits of hindsight and Google, it seems totally unfair (and dumb) for me to have let a single utterance, especially a flippant one that was mainly directed at the mainstream music industry, steer me away from a group I’d been starting to enjoy. But a half decade of tepid listening, a heavy Radiohead bias and the fact that AM drummer Matt Helders had fired back a shot about Radiohead being boring all worked together to warp my memory, and I found myself saying to Coyle something like, “I haven’t listened to them much. I think they said something not so nice about Radiohead at one point.” It’s embarrassing to admit it, but I seem to have passively chosen a side in a disagreement that took place 6 years ago between two people I’ve never met, which means that I’m just now finding out how great Suck It and See is. Crazy, right?

Well, the crazy train keeps on rolling, with a stop two days later at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, where I was set to see tUnE-yArDs for the first time.

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