An Ungracious Exit

Given our low opinion of Rocket and Light of Doom, we were disappointed to see them go through to torture our ears and aesthetics for another week at the cost of The Likes of You and Hatch. On the other hand, I lost some of that disappointment when Hatch was given an exiting word and gave a rather petulant answer: “Only about 300 people in Nebraska voted.”

Excuse me?! Did you just dis Nebraskans? Or did you think you were dissing viewers by implying they’re some sort of rubes that can’t appreciate your East Coast jammin’? Perhaps The Next Great American Band isn’t getting good ratings (I have no idea) but we’re avid fans of the show, so much so that it’s the only must-see-as-aired show on our schedule, and we let Neil stay up to watch it. We’re in San Jose, which is a pretty long way away from Nebraska, and we have a pretty broad musical taste, and a passion for live music. Furthermore, I’ve met Nebraskans, and none of them struck me as particularly banal in their artistic tastes. But I guess if you’re in a little New York bubble, and most of the bands you’re competing against (and who have won out against you in a popular vote) are some variants of country-style music, you might be inclined to ignore the fact that the original song you presented the week before was, well, boring and tedious. Even so, until they revealed themselves as regionalist bigots, I think I would have like to have seen Hatch performing another round, instead of the affirmative action girl band or the kiddie metalheads.

Peter gave Hatch the benefit of the doubt by pointing out they didn’t know “the script” for being a gracious loser. The Likes of You knew it, though, and came out looking glorious. They confirmed their commitment to remain together, immediately announced a tour, and encouraged listeners to check into their MySpace page for dates and times. After all, that’s what they would have been doing if they hadn’t been on the show, and now that about a million people have seen them, they’ve just landed headliner status at larger clubs than they’d ever be booked at before the exposure, not to mention a ton of new fans.

Yeah, it’s disappointing to lose out on a TV talent show, especially to (at least two) bands which are little more than cheesy novelty acts. But The Likes of You had the right perspective in realizing that a) against thousands of competing bands, they’d won a spot of considerable exposure on national television, and b) the number of people who call in doesn’t matter as much as the number of people who ultimately buy your music and come out to see your show.

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