Now don't get me wrong, I love the mysterious aura of an eagle-winged Sufjan or the sexed-up disco fantasia of Of Montreal, but sometimes it's refreshing to see a band composed of all-around average guys. Guys that could live next door to you without a hint of pretentious weirdo-ness. These are the rock stars we love that are kinda like us. Sometimes they're unassuming, sometimes they're modest but they always, always wear jeans on stage.
9. Jeff Tweedy of Wilco
Ok, disregard the killer migraines, the past addictions, the diva-licious falling out with bandmates and you have a really average guy who writes songs that are anything but. Also remember that scene in I Am Trying to Break Your Heart where he asks his wife for money to feed the kids while waiting in line at Wendys. That alone puts him on this list.
8. Jens Lekman
Do guys get more humble then this? His shy smile and aw-shucks demeanor, not to mention all-inclusive after parties put him on this list. Following their concerts, how many pop stars invite the entire audience to a house party in Brooklyn? By putting fans first he essentially denounces his celebrity and affirms his every-man status. Plus we get to dance the night away at the same time!
7. John Vanderslice
By far the happiest, friendliest, sweetest guy on the list. Like Jens he obliterates the line between artist and audience. Chances are if you've seen him live you've also been hugged by him. Just an unbelievably down-to-earth and cheery stand-up dude.
6. Eddie Argos of Art Brut
Just listen to the lyrics of "DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes". Nuff said.
5. Bruce Springsteen
Ok, so he's a mega-superstar BUT he somehow maintains his working class cred by touring his ass off and maintaining his New Jersey roots. We should thank him for showing the kids that real rock stars aren't assholes.
4. Ted Leo
The political punker totally rocks, but he's also totally humble, appreciative and downright right ordinary when it comes to his personal life and dealing with fans. Just check out this photo of him and VK's Lizzie. It pretty much says it all:
3. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver
Dude lived in a cabin in Wisconsin and endured a shit-ton of heartbreak. That's about as every-man as it gets.
2. Ira, James and Georgia of Yo La Tengo
These Jersey natives are completely unassuming and completely ageless. They could be your next door neighbor. Hell for some of you young'ens they could be your parents. So causal and so casually cool, they wear jeans and striped t-shirts on stage. Except underneath their ultra-normal exterior lies their secret power - the power of rock. And rock they do.
1. Craig Finn (and really the rest of the members of The Hold Steady except for Franz Nicholay's mustache)
Do dudes get anymore dude-ier than them? I mean they formed a band as an excuse to jam once a week, down a few beers and escape the wives. And in turn wrote some of the best straight-up rock albums this decade. For that we salute you.
Now some songs:
Flume - Bon Iver
Me and Mia - Ted Leo
Fetal Horses - John Vanderslice