When Tony Bennett announced indie folk group Bon Iver as your official Best New Artist at last night's GRAMMY Awards, hipsters everyone cheered/jeered. One small subset though looked on with bemusement: everyone else in the country.
Yep, just like Arcade Fire's improbable Album of the Year win last year inspired a "Who is Arcade Fire?" tumblr, Bon Iver's nomination spurred one intrepid person to start "Who is Bon Iver?," a tumblr conceived last December that predictably went nuts after the band's win last night.
The site collates various tweets, many filled with explanation points and question marks and asking for clarification (or "Who the f**k is that?") on "Bonny Bear." Poor Duncan Witchel of Toronto just wanted to enjoy the awards show and recognize his favorite musicians until some dirty, disheveled mumbler ruined it. "Bon iver?!?! Artist of the year?!?! Who the hell is this guy?!??!?! Did they find him outside the staples center?!?," tweeted Witchel, echoing many of the sentiments (and punctuation) on the site. We feel you, Duncan. Music's gotten crazy fragmented to the point where having a Top 5 album may only mean you're known by a select few.
I reached out to IAMSOUND Records' Paul Tao, creator of the Arcade Fire tumblr, for some insight. "As nice as everyone wants to pretend to be, we all secretly love poking lighthearted fun at people who don't know the bands we know and these blogs makes it funny and acceptable to do so," said Tao. "For the Arcade Fire one, the funniest people weren't the ones who didn't know who they were; they were the ones who were outraged that a band they had never heard of could possibly win."
So congrats Bon Iver and welcome to the new music world, where your album can go to number 2 on the Billboard 200 and no one has any clue who you are.
Here are some of our favorite tweets: