Arts Desk

Snobpocalypse! Fan Death Unleashes Storm of Criticism, Butt-Hurt

artsdesk07

On Jan. 26, the local music blog All Our Noise posted an interview with Sean Gray and Chris Berry, the owners of College Park–based Fan Death Records. Chatting with reporter Denman C. Anderson, the pair discussed their favorite bands, the history of their label, and their plans to release a comedy LP.

The D.C. blogosphere went sort of batshit; a post on Arts Desk highlighting some of the pair’s more rankling opinions (e.g., "D.C. is a shitty place, with shitty bands, and a shitty outlook on life.") garnered more than 120 comments and briefly veered this blog’s usually unremarkable traffic into Sexist territory. Within a couple of days the post’s comment thread turned into a toxic waste dump of bad will.

Gray, 27, and Berry, 22, were unchastened. "We are just 2 record nerds. And the fact that 2 nerds who run a no-name punk label that isn’t even in D.C. can shit on 2 soft targets and make tons of people butt-hurt is telling of how lame the city actually is when it comes to crappy ‘indie’ music/culture or whatever it is those bands are into," they told Arts Desk in an e-mail a few days later.

Below, a critical catalog of the butt-hurt.

THE DANCE PARTY
The Hate: The D.C.-based synth-pop group loves beer, girls, and sweatbands. Gray: "I will flat-out name you who are garbage bands in D.C.…The Dance Party."

The Counter-Hate: "I love how some fat hipsters can move into a city, live there for two years and be experts," wrote commenter Dan. "The Dance Party was selling out Rock and Roll Hotel when those kids’ parents were still paying for year two of five of their European History degree at JMU."

How Butt-Hurt? "The interview got people riled up, which is pretty cool," says guitarist Kevin Bayly from Los Angeles, where the group is recording its major-label debut. "Also, the fact that our name came up is awesome, because we haven’t been there forever." Singer Mick Coogan says the band doesn’t exactly bristle at being branded a troupe of drunken lampshade-sporting goofballs. "We’re called the fucking Dance Party dude! That’s what we do."

Minorly

RA RA RASPUTIN
The Hate: "That band, garbage," said Gray, who noted that guitarist Patrick Kigongo is a "really nice dude."

The Counter-Hate: "If a band like Ra Ra Rasputin is so bad, why have their past two shows been packed?" argued commenter Pablo. "Obviously their are plenty of people who appreciate the sound their putting down."

How Butt-Hurt? "I’m offended that some asshole who I’ve never met would tell me that I don’t ‘have a sense of perspective in terms of what I’m doing,’" wrote Ra Ra Rasputin drummer Ken Quam on the comment thread. Kigongo was more cautious: "I’m not really too keen to draw this out, but Sean and Chris are entitled to their opinion," he wrote in an e-mail. "We’ve been doing this for three years now -criticism comes with the territory."

Very

BRIGHTEST YOUNG THINGS
The Hate: Many commenters accused the D.C. entertainment Web site—which escaped the rant but has blessed many of Gray and Berry’s targets with frequent and adoring coverage—is crappy-band ground-zero. "The real problem with DC is BYT," wrote commenter In a DC Band. "Wannabe frat-boy (& sorority girl) scenester douchebags—every single one."

The Counter-Hate: "The bands that are getting ripped on in this thread would probably be roughly as big with or without BYT," said commenter No Art on a follow-up post. "They would still have lots of friends, be just as stylish and fashionable, go to the same parties and events, etc. BYT is just an online gathering place for these people, who would otherwise probably just gather some other way."

How Butt-Hurt? "These comments (which have been flying around since day 1 about BYT) don’t upset us at all," BYT founder Svetlana Legetic writes in an e-mail. "By no means do I think we’re perfect, but we’ve spent years supporting bands, art and other creative people and endeavors in this city, as well as creating opportunities for people to showcase their talents and yes, sometimes being out and drinking. But EVERYONE deserves a place to relax. Having a sense of humor about it all is necessary."

Not At All

FAN DEATH
The Hate: Only one person contacted Gray and Berry: an anonymous e-mailer who threatened them with anal rape if they crossed the District line. Most people preferred to bash the pair, their label, and Gray’s cerebral palsy in Arts Desk’s comments.

The Counter-Hate: "Meh, they are just saying what we are all thinking," wrote NW DC.

How Butt-Hurt? "We proved our point," Gray writes in an e-mail. "Cause D.C. is so boring and shitty that two record nerds can piss off 100 people or more." He thought the jokes about his medical condition were funny. "‘Hey Sean why don’t you do an interview standing up,’ pretty amazing. I died of laughter."

Not At All

D.C. PRIDE
The Hate: First The Wire, now this. A few Baltimore residents dropped in to gloat: "As someone who grew up in the D.C. suburbs and fucking fled to Baltimore the minute I turned 18, Fan Death dudes speak the TRUTH," wrote Dan O. "Unless you’re a flag-pin wearing motherfucker or a toothless bike courier, anyone musically inclined and living in dc is setting themselves up for NOTHING. See y’all in hell, you 850-for-an-efficiency-paying motherfuckers."

The Counter-Hate: "Every city has really really shitty bands that are trying to ‘make it,’" wrote Who’s to Blame. "Believe you me, Baltimore has some embarrassingly bad bands.…like Fools & Horses, The Hint, Numa, Of Broken, etc. These bands make almost US Royalty look like Radiohead." Response: Ryan Holladay of D.C. duo Bluebrain made a valiant attempt to rep for his town. "I’m personally glad there is a new surge in DC music and hope to see even more spring up in this next year," he wrote. "Thank you to all the bands/DJ’s/MC’s that love this city enough to put themselves out there.

So Butt-Hurt

On Jan. 26, the local music blog All Our Noise posted an interview with

Sean Gray and Chris Berry, the owners of College Park–based Fan Death Records. Chatting with reporter Denman C. Anderson, the pair discussed their favorite bands, the history of their label, and their plans to release a comedy LP.

The D.C. blogosphere went sort of batshit; a post on City Paper’s Arts Desk blog highlighting some of the pair’s more rankling opinions (e.g., "D.C. is a shitty place, with shitty bands, and a shitty outlook on life.") garnered more than 120 comments and briefly veered this blog’s usually unremarkable traffic into Sexist territory. Within a couple of days the post’s comment thread turned into a toxic waste dump of bad will.

Gray, 27, and Berry, 22, were unchastened. "We are just 2 record nerds. And the fact that 2 nerds who run a no-name punk label that isn’t even in D.C. can shit on 2 soft targets and make tons of people butt-hurt is telling of how lame the city actually is when it comes to crappy ‘indie’ music/culture or whatever it is those bands are into," they told Arts Desk in an e-mail a few days later.

Below, a critical catalog of the butt-hurt.

CP

THE DANCE PARTY

The Hate:

The D.C.-based synth-pop group loves beer, girls, and sweatbands. Gray: "I will flat-out name you who are garbage bands in D.C.…The Dance Party."

The Counter-Hate:

"I love how some fat hipsters can move into a city, live there for two years and be experts," wrote commenter Dan. "The Dance Party was selling out Rock and Roll Hotel when those kids’ parents were still paying for year two of five of their European History degree at JMU."

How Butt-Hurt?

"The interview got people riled up, which is pretty cool," says guitarist Kevin Bayly from Los Angeles, where the group is recording its major-label debut. "Also, the fact that our name came up is awesome, because we haven’t been there forever." Singer Mick Coogan says the band doesn’t exactly bristle at being branded a troupe of drunken lampshade-sporting goofballs. "We’re called the fucking Dance Party dude! That’s what we do."

Minorly

Butt-Hurt

RA RA RASPUTIN

The Hate:

"That band, garbage," said Gray, who noted that guitarist Patrick Kigongo is a "really nice dude."

The Counter-Hate:

"If a band like Ra Ra Rasputin is so bad, why have their past two shows been packed?" argued commenter Pablo. "Obviously their are plenty of people who appreciate the sound their putting down."

How Butt-Hurt?

"I’m offended that some asshole who I’ve never met would tell me that I don’t ‘have a sense of perspective in terms of what I’m doing,’" wrote Ra Ra Rasputin drummer Ken Quam on the comment thread. Kigongo was more cautious: "I’m not really too keen to draw this out, but Sean and Chris are entitled to their opinion," he wrote in an e-mail. "We’ve been doing this for three years now -criticism comes with the territory."

Very Butt-Hurt

BRIGHTEST
YOUNG THINGS

The Hate:

Many commenters accused the D.C. entertainment Web site—which escaped the rant but has blessed many of Gray and Berry’s targets with frequent and adoring coverage—is crappy-band ground-zero. "The real problem with DC is BYT," wrote commenter In a DC Band. "Wannabe frat-boy (& sorority girl) scenester douchebags—every single one."

The Counter-Hate:

"The bands that are getting ripped on in this thread would probably be roughly as big with or without BYT," said commenter No Art on a follow-up post. "They would still have lots of friends, be just as stylish and fashionable, go to the same parties and events, etc. BYT is just an online gathering place for these people, who would otherwise probably just gather some other way."

How Butt-Hurt?

"These comments (which have been flying around since day 1 about BYT) don’t upset us at all," BYT founder Svetlana Legetic writes in an e-mail. "By no means do I think we’re perfect, but we’ve spent years supporting bands, art and other creative people and endeavors in this city, as well as creating opportunities for people to showcase their talents and yes, sometimes being out and drinking. But EVERYONE deserves a place to relax. Having a sense of humor about it all is necessary."

Not At All Butt-Hurt

FAN DEATH

The Hate:

Only one person contacted Gray and Berry: an anonymous e-mailer who threatened them with anal rape if they crossed the District line. Most people preferred to bash the pair, their label, and Gray’s cerebral palsy in Arts Desk’s comments.

The Counter-Hate:

"Meh, they are just saying what we are all thinking," wrote NW DC.

How Butt-Hurt?

"We proved our point," Gray writes in an e-mail. "Cause D.C. is so boring and shitty that two record nerds can piss off 100 people or more." He thought the jokes about his medical condition were funny. "‘Hey Sean why don’t you do an interview standing up,’ pretty amazing. I died of laughter."

Not At All Butt-Hurt

D.C. PRIDE

The Hate:

First The Wire, now this. A few Baltimore residents dropped in to gloat: "As someone who grew up in the D.C. suburbs and fucking fled to Baltimore the minute I turned 18, Fan Death dudes speak the TRUTH," wrote Dan O. "Unless you’re a flag-pin wearing motherfucker or a toothless bike courier, anyone musically inclined and living in dc is setting themselves up for NOTHING. See y’all in hell, you 850-for-an-efficiency-paying motherfuckers."The Counter-Hate:

"Every city has really really shitty bands that are trying to ‘make it,’" wrote Who’s to Blame. "Believe you me, Baltimore has some embarrassingly bad bands.…like Fools & Horses, The Hint, Numa, Of Broken, etc. These bands make almost US Royalty look like Radiohead." Response: Ryan Holladay of D.C. duo Bluebrain made a valiant attempt to rep for his town. "I’m personally glad there is a new surge in DC music and hope to see even more spring up in this next year,"

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • Matty

    This is hilarious!

  • question

    didnt sean get dumped by a fat chick last year?

  • In a DC Band

    You know, I should have clarified on my comment about BYT:

    There have been at least one DIY space that as a result of the people who make up this "online gathering place" attending are no longer available for hardworking bands (who are trying to function outside of the bar scene) because they trashed the locations (inside and out) drank on the street, and vandalized cars. And who got blamed? Well not the posh twenty somethings who work their happy corporate jobs, no it was the kids who set up the show. Destroying a potential venue destroys the "scene."

    That's an awesome way to support "bands, art and other creative people and endeavors in this city" as well as ensuring that everyone has "a place to relax."

    When the actions of a group hurt the community as a whole it is justified to point the finger at them.

    The aptly named "Bro Style" said, "And btw, don’t get pissed when Brightest Young Things reps someone else and not you."

    No one is jealous of BYT and the bands they "Rep." Is it possible that people just want your idiotic behavior to stop?

  • hatecore

    Fan To Death - spoiled hipster brats who think Clockleaner is original (really?) and innovative (really?). Read a few back issues of Forced Exposure, nothing of what you're doing or saying hasn't been done before you big dorks. You should use your trustfunds to open up a decent record store in Baltimore (RIP Reptilian) instead of releasing lame basement bands that no one will care about in 2-3 years.

    BYT - lame website for "jipsters" (jocks + hipsters), sorry folks, pitchfork already beat you to the "I wear sweater vests, snort coke, and dream of selling my music to commercials and Gossip Girl" demographic

    DC - overpriced city with very little interesting things to offer in terms of shows, culture, bars, food, etc..except some really great people and awesome record stores.

    Dance Party - awful, they deserve to be on a major, which will proceed to f*ck them in every way possible. 5 years down the line they'll be back, living in their parents basements, eating KFC famous bowls and listening to This Mortal Coils' It'll End in Tears.

    Ra Ra Rasputin - naming your band after an already awful chorus for a vomit-worthy disco song, no wait, referencing anything to do with "disco" is f*cking lame. I hope you all get cancer of the aids from a biker gang on your next tour.

  • Yodude

    those kids aren't trust fund kids by any means. One of those kids sold his record collection to fund the label. Sure if he had money he wouldn't be selling that shit Basement bands? Ok dude, you probably also thought Easy Action and Page 99 were great too. Stop trying so hard, everyone knows forced exposure, it's called the internet it's not like someone has to discover flipper or some shit through a mix tape made anymore.

    As far as reptilian, ask your self why it is dead? When the best thing they put out is a Longmont and a vaz record, that says something. Fishnet stalkers? come now really?

  • Yodude

    also if Clockcleaner sucks so much why did your boy chris x put out a record of their's? Rumor was he was jockin' em so hard he put down satan for a minute and put out Nevermind

  • hatecore

    a record collection bought with hard earned cash after years and years of hard work, for sure, you can tell by their age, leathery skin and hardened eyes that they've gone through some tough times.

    clockcleaner sucks, reptilian was a good record store, end of discussion.

  • Yodude

    that kid in the walker worked at age 16 and is still working. I'm pretty sure that kid has tons of medical bills due to his condition as well

    sure reptilian was a good store, if you are forever only into Amrep and goofy hardcore

  • lovecore

    wow "yodude"... you are taking this personally. I love your "phrase association" skills by the way...

    if I liked Reptilian Recs = how could I not like Clockcleaner, and I must only be into Amrep (which amrep band by the way?, they had a pretty big roster with a pretty diverse sound) and "goofy hardcore"(?)

    I don't care for Fan Death bands = I must be into Easy Action and Pg 99

    you kind of made my point with this one - "Stop trying so hard, everyone knows forced exposure, it’s called the internet it’s not like someone has to discover flipper or some shit through a mix tape made anymore."

    Exactly, the whole "we're into noisy/cynical bands and we hate everyone and f*ck you" is not an original attitude and neither is the pissed jeans/clockcleaner/drunkdriver sound. It's really no different from the hipster+funny hat+moustache+ironic metal t-shirt, it's just another f*ckin trend where people get to play "dress up" and pretend to be "cooler than thou" amongst one another. Except while making a racket and pretending to be cynical and jaded over a privileged white boy existence.

    In the end, Fan Death dorks = BYT jocks, except younger and pissed off (about nothing important of course, just scene bullsh*t).

  • Yodude

    thats cool

    sorry you're 30 something and repltilian failed you, like this post, you too seem pretty "butt hurt". you still got those negative approach demos that sound like crap that your boys put out.

    I'm pretty sure some kid in walker can't be a jock, unless there's some new sport with walker people.

    As for privilege, you are posting on the city paper message board on a lap top most likely (or some computer you own), let's not get into a debate who is more or less privileged

  • lovecore

    "I’m pretty sure some kid in walker can’t be a jock, unless there’s some new sport with walker people."

    Special olympics my friend, special olympics.

  • Yodude

    I'm pretty sure retards in the special olympics wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a label like reptilian who puts out satanic lecture picture disc vinyl, vs "hipster" whitehouse hardcore

    though the special olympics are just as goofy as someone buying satanic lecture picture discs.

  • lovecore

    wow... there you go again. you've got some serious association problems.

    you seem to have given way too much importance to my comment about Reptilian Records, since I was referring to the record store not their label, I don't think I own anything they released. But I do recall finding some cool records there once upon a time. It was a cool indep record store in Baltimore that is no longer, I don't think it's cool when indep record stores go under. I prefer them over ebay any day. I really don't need nor care to glorify the Reptilian Record label other than that.

    My point before, was that when it comes down to it, on a level of "value" and "contribution" to a "scene" I don't really see the difference between Fan Death and BYT.
    Fan Death is yet another "mysterious guy hxc/noise" label not that different from a million other labels, their distro has all the obvious bands that jaded f*cktards on a million blogs like to hype up as the greatest thing since Swans or the Birthday Party. It's a scene that stretches its neck and kisses it's own ass, just like pitchfork and BYT do (between the writers, bloggers and bands/artists), and both think they're somehow above all the other shit and therefore "edgy". Fan Death is not edgy nor different, sorry.

  • Yodude

    For a label that you say has "Mysterious guy hardcore" (yeah I'm using the full word dork) they sure have a lot of bands that have myspaces and ways to contact them

    I don't see any sex vid bands on their label (no any band that sounds like sex vid), maybe I'm wrong I like these guys i've order records from them before. Using the whole blog hype thing is old and tired and reeks of a dude who's bitter that he didn't make it, or is bummed that the swans are trying to cash in. I also think reptilian is a joke and a bad example, hell you have used vermin scum or something as a better example.

    Also as far as the store that label sold just as many Cursive records, blink 182 records as they did crass records, was there a few times and saw more satanic comic books than I saw good music.

  • CeCe Peniston

    Reptilian was a great label that released such colorful acts a s Flowers In the Attic and Hatebeak and Triac. A very Diverse satanistic label who's sole purpose was to soil the world with unholy hoards of crazed noise-rock fans upon the lilly-white christians of music. I love satan and music and shitty music. Why would I think clockcleaner are a good band? They don't worship satan and probably have jobs

  • lovecore

    all good bands worship satan.

    Yodude must be a Dry Rot fan (christian hxc) and he clearly has asperger syndrome.

  • pope

    Seriously...you guys all need to cut this shit out with calling out or making fun of someone that has a medical condition...whether it be Sean or anyone for that matter...

    Here is my email j4s0nms (at) gmail (.) com...if you want to crack jokes about him using a walker, send me your address and i will spend my hard earned money and come to you. then you can proceed to say this shit to my face and we will go from there...

    Do you personally know Sean? no you dont...so they stated their opinions and people are bent..it is hilarious in my mind, but if someone said those things about Pittsburgh i would be just as pissed off...everyone gets that..stop the crying already...

  • Yodude

    "all good bands worship satan"

    yeah you are for sure a 30 something that never made it

    dry rot? same as rot shit? both sound stupid

  • cuddlecore

    what does "make it" mean? is that what these bands aspire to? to "make it"?

  • dan o.

    dc sucks!

  • Ryan

    Hatecore/Lovecore:

    I whisper to you as I take you into my embrace:

    "Who hurt you?"

  • Jeremy

    I think DC ain't bad to begin with and it's rapidly getting better. The problem with B-more, is even though there are some terrific bands out of there, there are just too many bands! In DC, the scene is still pretty small. You can get to know most of the central bands pretty quickly. Stop hating on DC. Love it.

  • http://Brightestyoungthings.com Pedro

    Hi there!
    Dear 'in a dc band' mr commenter guy,

    we just saw your comment about how we trashed and disrespected a diy space. Nobody around here has any idea what you're referring to, and we'd love to address your criticism but you failed to name any specifics. If any of the altbros who came to a party we threw (which we haven't done in a 'diy' space in a long long time) made us look bad we'd definitely like to know about it, but it would be nice to keep in mind that the people who write, shoot, and organize byt are not the same as the people who come to an event we book or just mildly sponsor any more than a band is liable for dicks in the audience.

    That said we'd love to address your problems with us, but to be honest it sounds like you're just making stuff up. Please name what venue and/or occasion you're reffering to or email me at Peter@brightestyoungthings.com so you can fill me in.

    Go Nats!
    P
    as to the

  • aha

    is art's desk just trying to get sexist traffic volumes again?

  • http://www.brightestyoungthings.com cale

    The BYT trashes DIY space rumor returns! One time I heard it was in Baltimore tho. Ps. no Cale is butt hurt because he's a fag jokes. PPS. we didn't put the super bowl on best weekend bets the other week but i know for a fact some BYT staff watched it. Is that what you mean by wanna be jocks? PPPS. Jocks beat me up in high school :*( PPPPS. BlueBrain rocks. PPPPPS. pee pee

  • Pingback: Arts Roundup: Whither Local Indie Rock? Edition - Arts Desk - Washington City Paper

  • Pingback: Arts Roundup: Contra Fan Death, D.C. Music Is Doing Just Fine Edition - Arts Desk - Washington City Paper

  • Pingback: Arts Roundup: Geek-Out Edition - Arts Desk - Washington City Paper

  • http://www.uprightbasementmusic.com Dub Easy

    Upright Basement Music is a network of over 30 musicians creating reggae, dub, world, electronic, funk and hip hop music. Upright Basement Music promotes and supports the artists work to further its success in todays music industry.For more info : http://www.uprightbasementmusic.com/Home.html

  • Pingback: Fancy Schmancy People » Blog Archive » Fan Death Restaurant

  • http://www.iservepharmacy.com/ Viagra Online

    m pretty sure some kid in walker can't be a jock, unless there's some new sport with walker people.

...