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Opinion: A Beginners Guide To Purchasing Band T-Shirts

So You’ve decided to purchase a t-shirt featuring one of your favorite acts. Congratulations! Band merch is a time honored tradition that helps one openly express his or her love for a particular musician. It’s natural to wonder what this piece of clothing says will say about you to the world at large. Never fear! This handy chart I’ve assembled is all you need know to put forth the best rendition of yourself to the world:

The Beatles: The band t-shirt equivalent of a plain white T. This shirt says nothing about anything to anyone. Everybody loves The Beatles, even people who go out of their way to criticize The Beatles still like the goddamn Beatles. Just wear a shirt that says “72 degrees and sunny with 45% humidity” next time.

Butthole Surfers: Either being worn by a 14 year old who found the shirt at Goodwill and has no idea it corresponds to a band, or a 44 year old who ingested an olympic swimming pools worth of LSD between 1987 and 1991.

The Spice Girls: “Hey did you see that Buzzfeed list of ‘25 things that will make you nostalgic for things you were nostalgic for in the 90s’? It’s just the prop master’s list from Dazed and Confused.”

The Smiths: This guy thinks his shirt will attract women at bars, because there is a weird bit of chemistry that leads some men to think that women find yawn-singing irresistible.

A Tribe Called Quest: As a 26 year old white guy who lives in a furiously gentrifying neighborhood, allow me to explain to you why hip-hop has been rapidly declining since I was in middle school.

Rolling Stones: I am (recently divorced, in my 40’s, and trying to hook up with) a 20 year old girl who has never heard a Rolling Stones song.

Sublime: I’m at a Sublime With Rome concert and everyone else is wearing the same shirt. As a bonus this shirt can be worn to certain festivals ironically.

The Killers: The design on this shirt will look like whatever shirt design The Hold Steady or The Strokes were selling at their concerts 2 years ago, but, ya know, Vegas style!

Bruce Springsteen: I’d make a joke here, but The Boss is such a populist he probably reads this blog. I don’t want to become a character in one of his songs shutting down factories for profit, or selling crank to a teenager.

The Velvet Underground: If this person doesn’t brag about smoking pot on the subway within 5 minutes of meeting you, they are probably a NARC, in which case don’t take them up on their offer to smoke pot on the subway.

John Coltrane: Only cosmetically different from the A Tribe Called Quest guy, substitute jazz for hip-hop, furiously gentrifying to overwhelmingly gentrified, and the paperbacks in his apartment for first editions.

Vintage Z100 Jingleball Shirt: It’s laundry day, give me a break.

Primus: I only own two shirts, this one, and my formal Primus t-shirt with fewer cigarette burn holes.

Frank Sinatra: If you’re really into Sinatra you never wear a t-shirt, you spend all your casual wear time smoking cigarettes under a lamp post in a suit, deep into the dark hours of the night…

There you go intrepid music lover, with this information in hand you can find the perfect shirt for you and your carefully crafted self image!


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