These Are the Bands That Make You Totally Undateable


A couple of weeks back, our esteemed literary editor Emily Temple surveyed the books that might make you beat a hasty retreat if you saw them on a potential date’s bookshelf, or in their handbag. The post got plenty of heated comments, and it also got us thinking about the other place you might look to snoop on a date’s cultural credentials: their record collection (or, failing that, their iPod.) And so, as we did for books, we asked around Flavorpill central to find out which artists might, if discovered on a potential date’s playlist, put an end to that date pretty damn quickly. We received plenty of responses, and the entirely personal, subjective, and often hotly debated results await after the jump.

Bon Iver

Key quote: “We’re gonna have to talk about your feelings a lot, huh?”

Yes. And also probably have to endure lots of heartbroken pining for an ex-girlfriend/ex-boyfriend over dinner, an hour into which you’ll end up slipping out the front to “take a phone call” and surreptitiously fucking off to the subway. Save yourself the trouble, peoples.

Chris Brown

Key quote: “Sometimes your life offstage influences fans’ perception of your music. For me, Chris Brown will always be a misogynist tool who beats up on women. Not cool. Also not cool: anyone who sees ‘past’ that and enjoys his asinine twip-pop.”

This rather speaks for itself.

Amanda Palmer

Key quote: “You’re going to charge me for sex, aren’t you?”

For $50, you get to go on two dates with an Amanda Palmer fan. For $100, you get to go on one date with an Amanda Palmer fan. For $500, all this unpleasantness can be avoided entirely!

Dave Matthews Band

Key quote: “Good job being Caucasian and boring.”

In fairness, pretty much everyone who likes the Dave Matthews Band is now happily married to someone pleasant if slightly dull, has two children with sensible names, and owns both a well-stocked tool shed and a Labrador. So this is a hypothetical question. But still, yes.

Psy-trance, generally

Key quote: “If all you’re going to do is talk about fire-twirling and how awesome the Full Moon Festival was and how much acid you bought with the advance you got on your daddy’s credit card, I am leaving. Now.”

There’s also the whole personal hygiene question to think about here.

Sigur Rós

Key quote: “I’m going to get a lot of crap for this, but they’re singing GIBBERISH in ICELANDIC and all their songs are 17 minutes long. That’s not what makes you undateable. What makes you undateable is that there are two kinds of people in the world — those that like Sigur Rós and those that don’t.”

Disclaimer: this was not this writer’s choice. Still, we guess this means we get to date everyone else in the first group, so elfin waifish types with Nordic obsessions are welcome to get in touch.

Disney soundtracks

Key quote: “I don’t care how much you pine for your childhood, if you only listen to music that was sung by cheerful animated birds, I don’t really want to hang out.”

The trend toward reliving childhood as a lost golden age to be reattained and indulged via some sort of ongoing celebration of one’s inner child is indeed a pretty depressing one. It doesn’t exactly promise wonders in bed, either.

Foster the People

Key quote: “The dude literally used to write advertising jingles. ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ was obviously his best yet (and sounds just as carelessly commercial as it is)!”


Best Coast

Key quote: “You fucking killed Pocahaunted.”


Pop music, appreciated ironically

Key quote: “No, man, I, like, really love Katy Perry. It’s just so much fun, y’know? Wait… where are you going?”

Generally comes with cutoff shorts, a PBR, repeated unintentional appearances on Stuff White People Like, and a massive side serving of abiding douchedom. Avoid.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Key quote: “Good job, Uncle, please put your clothes on.”

Ouch. While Flavorpill has spoken up in defence of the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the past, we have to admit that the member of staff responsible for this ice-cold dismissal does have a point, especially in regard to late-period Peppers — although we would point out that we’d happily sit through a date with anyone who appreciates John Frusciante’s god-like genius.

Dad rock, generally

Key quote: “If your top five favorite bands are all from the ’70s, then it’s time to start socializing with people who aren’t your parents. I mean, I love Dad Jams as much as the next person, but I instantly assume you have anxieties about the real world if you can’t open your mind to just one semi-recent artist.”

There is indeed nothing worse than having to listen to someone drone on about how “there’s no good music anymore.” Creeping conservatism before 30 probably means full-fledged right wing lunacy in middle age, too. Joy.

Jam bands, generally

Key quote: “All jam bands like Phish. People who listen to them exclusively don’t know anything that’s happened in the world since 1997, and have a proclivity for calling things ‘chill.'”

And more to the point, is there anything to be gained by going out on a date with a man in shorts? Happily, men (and girls who like girls) don’t have to worry about the dangers of going out with female jam band fans because, um, we’re pretty sure there aren’t any.

R. Kelly

Key quote: “R. Kelly for sure. ‘Trapped in the Closet’ gives me the creeps and his cheese factor is off the charts.”

Curiously enough, this nomination catalyzed much intra-office debate about whether R. Kelly was in fact “amazing.” This writer is going to go out on a limb and say that actually “Trapped in the Closet” is one of the less creepy things about Mr. Kelly — compare and contrast this, for instance — but either way, the sort of saccharinely gag-inducing “lovemaking” you’re likely to “enjoy” if you stick out a date or two with a Kelly devotee is definitely enough to give one pause for thought.


Key quote: “NICKELBACK.”

Well, obviously.