We learned a lot about stuff white people like thanks to Christian Lander’s blog Stuff White People Like, but what he never got around to was what band white people enjoy most. Enter OkCupid founder Christian Rudder. In his new book Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking), Rudder rummages through all the data points collected by his dating website to reach some interesting statistical conclusions. As Jonathan Kay of National Post points out, tucked inside all the other bits about what phrases most white women use to describe themselves (“free-wheeling” and “country girl” are common) is this little fact about the whitest band of all.
Funny anecdote: When Kay presented the report, a coworker stated, “U2 is the whitest band in the world. Fact.” Kay points out that Bono was a featured member of Artist United Against Apartheid, a protest group from 1985. “The best song wasn’t the somewhat tiresome title track,” Kay adds, “but rather ‘Silver and Gold’, written and performed by none other than U2’s Bono, his white privilege firmly in check.”
So no, U2 isn’t the whitest band in the world (or, as the data actually suggests, the “least black”). Nor is it Huey Lewis and the News, nor Love and Rockets, Nirvana, Tears for Fears, Men Without Hats, or a million other seemingly obvious possibilities. No, the whitest band of all is “a wistfully lilting, alt-emo Glaswegian Indie band whose name is derived from a 1960s-era French novel about a six-year-old boy and his dog.” That’s right: It’s Belle and Sebastian.
To commemorate their new title, revisit what Kay calls the band’s signature track, “The State I Am In”, in this live performance.