What is the point of hating Arcade Fire?



For awhile today, Arcade Fire was trending on Twitter so I went to check it out. It was almost all hate for their new album, for the dress code at one of their shows and for a lawsuit they've recently filed. I understand having an opinion on lawsuits but really, if you hate the band, why talk about it at all?

For six years I ran the music site NxEW.ca, now only available via the Wayback Machine. In that time I didn't write a single bad review of anything for a few very good reasons:

First, with all of the music out there now, I didn't see the point of telling people what they shouldn't listen to. If people decided to give me a few minutes of their time, I thought it would be better to tell them what they should listen to; introduce them to a new artist or at least a new album that they might not have known about otherwise.

Second, there is enough hate in the world. Music isn't politics or the economy. Artists, even the ones you really don't like, aren't trying to take away your health care, your education or your job. Why spend time and energy on hating them? In 2017 you can just push a button and move on to an artist you like better.

Third, artists don't deserve the hate. They're just people and they are expressing what they like or what they hope you'll like. If they're successful, they'll make some money. Earning a living at it in the age of Spotify and iTunes is no easy task. It is not, in most cases, a job. There is no guarantee of an income and even if you're successful for awhile, there is no severance or unemployment if people suddenly stop buying your music. It is significantly less stable and reliable than driving for Uber.

Several years ago I even abandoned the idea of "selling out". If the members of a punk band decide to pack it in and start an 80s cover band so they can get regular gigs playing weddings, I bear them no ill will at all. If you can find a way to get paid for playing music in the current climate, by all means, take the money.

Everyone will have to answer the question for themselves but if you really, truly, deeply hate Arcade Fire wouldn't all the Tweets and Facebook posts about how much you hate them be better spent telling people about artists you do like? In a world where Donald Trump is President of the United States, couldn't we stand a little less hate?
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