When the 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes qualified life in the state of nature as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short,” who knew his words would also describe the spin cycle of your average modern It Band? Swedish pop outfit Peter Bjorn & John may have been playing together since 1999, but it’s only in the last few months that their irrepressable single with the madly perky whistle melody, “Young Folks,” earwormed its way into America’s consciousness — ascending from spots in the top-10 singles lists of coolmakers like NME and Pitchfork to guest appearances on network tentpoles Gray’s Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother.
And now, the backlash: An unidentified blogger has established an anti-PB&J site, protesting the fact that their popularity rewards mediocrity. But isn’t it harmless, you ask?
Not to stoppeterbjornandjohn.blogspot.com. “As much as we would all like to just ignore the whole ‘buzz band’ phenomenon — to chalk it up (correctly) to the meaningless machinations of a press in need of a story — the fact is that those decisions matter,” the blogger exclaims earnestly. “They matter in terms of what bands get played, what bands get signed, what bands get associated with indie rock as a genre. Whether we like it or not, the sound of the ‘buzz band’ gets attributed to us, in terms of what we supposedly like. We, the indie-rock fans, suffer when the buzz band is bad.”
What do you think, readers? does this dude (Why do we assume “dude”? Perhaps we should examine our own prejudices over here at EW.com. But we’d bet you many Swedish krona that we’re right.) just need to get a new hobby? Or is Chicken Little on to something, making PB&J responsible for (or at least a harbinger of) the indie-rock sky’s imminent collapse? Please tell us which side you come down on…
addCredit(“Peter, Bjorn & John: Rahav Segev/Retna”)