There was once a time when if you were a rock band, you could only fall into a couple sub-classifications under the mass genre of Rock N' Roll. Maybe you threw a little slide guitar in your reportoire and called yourself a blues band. Maybe your band had a country twang in their sound and you fell under Southern Rock. Maybe your band just played fast and angry and called themselves a heavy metal band. And then of course sometimes you were just a band that played good old ass-shaking jukebox jams that could only be classified as simply Rock N' Roll. At some point however, when people that couldn't play good music decided there should be still be a market for their sound, a new genre was born. A genre known as "Alternative Rock" that was invented by This Weeks Band That Sucks Balls: R.E.M.
Fuck R.E.M. This untalented collection of cock-gobblers were formed in the original hipster rock mecca of Athens, GA in the early 1980s. Athens was kind of like the original Austin, Texas that prided themself on birthing all the hottest indie-rock bands that were adored by stoned art majors. Legend has it that the members of R.E.M. met at the local independent record shop and bonded over their similar taste in shitty music.
"Whoa dude is that a Velvet Underground Record??"
"Whoa bro are you picking up a little known Patti Smith LP??"
"Whoa man it seems we both listen to music that just sounds like noise recorded by friends of Andy Warhol after a heroin bender!! We should form a band!!"
Apparently R.E.M. slowly gained an underground following during the 1980s and gained critical praise with the recording of each of their first couple albums. If you were young and only knew about music on the radio however, you probably didn't know much about R.E.M. though. This is because in the 1980s if you wanted to be mainstream and get on the radio your band had to actually be...good. I know it sounds crazy. Then 1990 came around and people stopped being interested in listening to songs about sex, drugs and having a good time and alternative nation broke through to the mainstream, led by R.E.M. Sure you might say Nirvana were the forefathers of "alternative rock" but ask Nirvana and any shitty alternative band afterwards who inspired them and they are sure to name drop R.E.M. They were the first band to truly inspire anybody that didn't possess the ability to play a guitar solo.
The first time most people remember R.E.M. really emerging on the mainstream scene was with their song "Losing My Religion." The video featured lead singer Michael Stipe pacing around and doing a hippie dance singing some bullshit depressing lyrics while R.E.M.'s guitarist plays a mandolin. Led Zeppelin is pretty much the only band that can get away with playing a mandolin and look cool. Then they made that fucking song "Shiny Happy People." God what a piece of shit. You are supposedly a "rock" band. Nobody wants to hear your garbage sing-along flower power folk anthem you pussies. Oh and of course there is "Everybody Hurts." When real bands sing about daily hurt and sorrow they drink a bottle of Jack and play a badass blues jam about their personal misfortunes. See: Stevie Ray Vaughan. They don't record a 6 minute emo whine fest with one droning repetitive six note guitar riff that never builds into anything rocking.
R.E.M. as I just mentioned is fronted by Michael Stipe and he is a total jackoff. He's basically like Bono if Bono always had a sad, introspective facial expression. "Oh look at me I'm Michael Stipe, I'm so deep and insightful, I look like such a artist. Listen to me tell you about helping out the people of Burma." Fuck you Michael Stipe. Your music sucks and yet you have sold 30 million albums. You invented a genre that is basically an "alternative" option to playing real rock music. You have nothing to be sad about. If anything you should be walking around with a shit-eating grin 24/7 because you somehow convinced an entire generation of idiotic hipster college kids to not only embrace your music, but form shitty bands of their own. Also, real rock frontmen have long flowing manes of hair like greek gods. They don't look like leukemia patients. Fuck you, fuck your shitty band, and fuck your bullshit causes you bald asshole.
R.E.M. was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, further validating their undeserved "rock" legacy. Giving further hope to the up and coming "The Decemberists" of the world that they have a reason to pursue their Rock N' Roll dreams. Well they don't. Alternative rock blows dick. If you don't have the ability to play instruments, sing, or write catchy melodies and hooks you don't deserve a record deal. You deserve to forever languish away playing at coffee shops in your college town. Every time another shitbag alternative band makes it big I remember that this is all your fault R.E.M. In the world of rock music it is truly "the end of the world as we know it," and I certainly don't feel fine about it.