Music critics tend to lack the identifying characteristics of traditional villains. Money, power, fame, clown masks, drone militias, platform boots, or whatever comes to mind when you think of the “bad guy” generally does not overlap with your average pop culture nerd. Yet Chuck Klosterman is convinced he is the Caligula of critics in his latest essay collection, I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains (Real and Imagined).
In his usual fireside-philosopher style, Klosterman wonders: “Why would anyone want to be evil?” Naturally, popular music provides plenty of food for thought when it comes to purposeful villainy, and Klosterman helps himself to everything from “Devil Went Down to Georgia” to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”.
Check out the following 10 songs, Klosterman’s commentary from the book, and see how the black hat fits.