What Your Favorite McSweeney’s List Says About You?

The list “What Your Favorite Classic Rock Band Says About You” is one of the funniest things I remember reading. For instance:

“The Doors: You have been bitten by an animal while trying to get it stoned.”

“Pink Floyd: Your garage is full of failed versions of your stereo/barbecue hybrid.”

And so on. The article listed 55 Classic Rock bands and was written by John Peck at McSweeney’s in February 2011. Still in 2011, he published three follow-ups (part II about Classic Rock, and parts I and II about 80s Bands). More recently, there was a Classic Rock part III (October 2019).

The 80s bands are funny too:

Mike and the Mechanics: You have thrown a Rolodex at a raccoon or skunk.

Rick Astley: You have used a hairnet as a handbag.

Besides the recommendation to read them all, I want to highlight that altogether, these series mention an amazing collection of bands. Particularly if you happen to care deeply about “classic rock” and “80s music” like I do. Most bands are well known, but there are several I knew very little of.

So for a lark, I made a spreadsheet with all the bands listed in the five articles. Some observations:

  • In total, there are 340 entries and 338 bands. 177 classic rock bands and 162 80s bands.
  • Tangerine Dream is the only band mentioned in both series. As your favorite Classic Rock band, the German group means that “You have several frankincense scars.”. As an 80s band, TD means “You have a half-full can of Sanka at the back of your cupboard.”.
  • Another double entry is T-Rex, which was the 18th entry in ‘Classic Rock I’: “No matter how much you clean, there will always be trace amounts of glitter on your stove and blender.” and returned in the third slot of ‘Classic Rock III’: “You have used a hammock or sweater to escape from a second-floor window.” (2011-2019 must have been an eventful period for the T-Rex fan…)

So, for your browsing enjoyment here is the full list. There are spotify links for every artist, as well as the number of followers in early July 2020.

This is a graph of the bands ranked by number of followers:


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