By the time you finish reading this, you will be done with a band called Tapes ‘n Tapes. If not, well, you were done with it months ago.
It is through no fault of Tapes ‘n Tapes. It simply released a debut album called The Loon. There will surely be at least one more album to follow from this nebbishy Minneapolis band. But no one will care. Why? Because it will be 2007.
The Tapes ‘n Tapes love affair started on Nov. 3, 2005, when respected blog Music for Robots posted a mash note devoted to the arrival of The Loon. “So today, we need to turn our joyous ears towards the frosty streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota to hear the current most amazing band in the world,” it gushed, posting an MP3 of the band’s song “Insistor.”
The same day, the blog Gorilla vs. Bear posted its ode to the glory of Tapes ‘n Tapes. “I got an e-mail from the band’s manager saying it would be cool if I featured a couple of the new tracks,” the blogger wrote. “So if you take anything away from this post, it should be that Tapes ‘n Tapes is really, really awesome.”
Blogger BadmintonStamps’ mixed review of Tapes ‘n Tapes’ Jan. 11, 2006, show (“While there were some less-than-stellar moments, the hits definitely outnumbered the misses”), did little to stall the hype. On Feb. 28, Pitchfork bestowed a coveted 8.3 rating on The Loon. In April, the group signed to XL Recordings—home to the White Stripes, Thom Yorke, and Devendra Banhart—which reissued The Loon.
On June 6, Sia Michel kinda panned a Tapes ‘n Tapes live show in the New York Times: “The band has all the buzz it could want, but it still lacks the confidence to develop a complex live identity of its own,” she wrote. Stereogum fired back at Michel (“Ex-Spinner Sia Michel knows it was blogs that rendered her former stomping grounds irrelevant”), and its readers did the same—except commenter “JT,” who claimed he didn’t “get the hubbub for that tapes crew…not that it’s bad, just boring.”
JT didn’t necessarily start the hate. But the hate spread like a virus. On June 7, a poster to Brooklynvegan wrote of Tapes ‘n Tapes: “am i the only one who really doesn’t understand what’s so special about this band?” In July, influential blog Said the Gramophone succumbed, too: “I have no love whatever for Tapes ‘n Tapes,” the blogger wrote. By the end of the month, the band had appeared on Late Night With David Letterman.
On Sept. 20, Stereogum kinda mocked Tapes ‘n Tapes’ inclusion in some MTVU programming gambit. Readers did the same.
Tapes ‘n Tapes soon found itself way down in blogger year-end polls. BrooklynVegan dumped The Loon at the bottom of its Top 40 list. It failed to crack More Cowbell’s Top 20. And suddenly, Tapes ‘n Tapes found itself shit on in its own hometown. A poster at Metacritic wrote: “Kind of fun to listen to. But grossly overrated and overhyped and not really that great.” Then he went in for the kill: “I’ve lived in the Twin CIties my whole life so I feel some hometown obligation to love and push this record but I can’t do it. Too much of a rip off. Most of them aren’t even from here anyways ;)”
On Dec. 23, local blogger Nice-N-DC slammed Washington City Paper for doing this story, which it claimed “was already diagrammed in Rolling Stone months ago” and declared the paper’s old-media ways “typical.”
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