To catch everyone up to speed whose eyes are not glued to computers, a piece posted on LA Weekly listing “The 20 Worst Hipster Bands” caused quite a ruckus last month in the always thrilling meta-blogging sphere of the Internet. People really, really hated that list. People wished bad things upon the writer of that list.
Admittedly, the piece could’ve benefitted from a fresh viewpoint, or at least a little bit of nuance in its selections, as it ultimately namechecked every indie-leaning band considered popular in the last six or so years. Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, The Black Keys, Death Cab for Cutie, check, check, check, check. It could’ve been titled “The 20 Biggest Indie-Rock Bands of the Aughts” and wouldn’t have to change a word, with the subtext that “hipsters, man, they’re the worst” firmly in place. One of the more stale jokes in 2012 pop culture, if you’re just joining us.
And now karma has backpedaled on us all. The writer of the piece, Ben Westhoff, has been deemed in charge of Village Voice Media’s music coverage, “particularly the blogs,” according to The New York Observer, presumably overseeing editorial output by the media company’s namesake alt weekly, in addition to its many publications scattered throughout the country, as it allegedly struggles to keep its head above water (a fight we hope they keep fighting, on a sincere note).
And then! Yesterday! As if out to prove his edginess (just as a hipster would!), Westhoff posted a snarky apology for The List, first letting us know that it was the most-read post in the history of the paper’s music blog, then citing a few choice quotes from the hate mail, then correcting MGMT’s ranking as the 16th worst hipster band to the 17th worst hipster band, which isn’t even true. MGMT is a hair better than Fun., everyone knows that.
And now you know all about Ben Westhoff, a little something about page views, and may resume living your life.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.