I’ve done some soul searching since I started writing this blog in earnest, around this past January. I’ve accepted my inner tween and am not ashamed of my past, present and future love of pop-music. I’ve stopped allowing my interesting thoughts to fade assuming no one would care to hear them. I’ve started seeing more shows and listening to more music. Overall, it’s been grand! And you, gentle reader, are a big reason for that!
…I’ve also accepted that, not long ago, I was on a precarious path towards horn rim glasses, Pabst Blue Ribbon by the pint, constant irony and uncontrollable self-importance.
I attribute my hatred of plaid as a reason I never became a hipster. Also, my hatred of unnecessary negativity. Can you ‘hate’ unnecessary negativity? Maybe I just dislike it…hmmm…
Why do I say that I was on the path to hipsterdom? Simple…I listened to bands no one knew about, and regularly said “I love ‘X-Band,’ you’ve probably never heard of them.”
My “A-HA! …oh NO!” moment came after hearing a joke:
If a hipster falls in the woods, does it make a sound? Yes…but you’ve probably never heard of it.
A flood of realization hit me…I love obscure music, even if the music is BAD! I have strong opinions about music, sometimes going so far as rejecting an artist totally…case in point, Matthew Good, who I JUST can’t get into, and when people tell me he’s amazing I actually feel a vibration of frustration in my gut.
…I KNOW he’s a good musician, a great songwriter, and has every right to have fans…but I can’t get it. It’s so bad…I get DUBSTEP before I get Matthew Good! But…I’m digressing…while dangerously regressing into an ironic hipster-i-ness (read: my most hipster friend is the biggest Matt Good fan I know)
Back on track…
What separates music lovers, ‘active’ music lovers, from hipsters? I have a few thoughts on the matter:
Actual Enjoyment of the Music: I’m not sure if stereotypical hipsters actually appreciate the music they claim to know, you know, the stuff you don’t know. When I see them in the vicinity of the music…they seem bored, out of touch…like they *gasp* had been told that the music was great or head the ‘buzz,’ but just aren’t actually that into it.
…which begs the question…if two hipsters hang out…do they both know all the music the other knows too?
Also…if all hipsters dress the same and like the same music to be different…how are they any different than goth or grunge or any subculture? They’re like…a subculture without a specific subculture to cling to. I’m rambling again! Someone kick me!
An Interest in Discussing Music: When I say “You’ve probably never heard of it…” I like to follow it up with either an example or a conversation. If I’m drunk…you’ll probably get a string of musical examples, a general history both of the artist and genre, and my opinions on who inspired who to do what. The rest of the time, so long as you’re interested, I want to invite you to the club…it’s NOT exclusive. An artist doesn’t want just one fan, and a fan should reveal their secrets. You don’t know a band that I know well? GREAT! Here they are!
A Positive Attitude: I battle with this one. I’m a pretty positive guy, though if I really don’t like an artist I tend to have a hard time shifting gears. Overall, a stereotypical hipster has a negative attitude in the form of cattiness, criticism and suspicion. They are more likely to treat you like an idiot for being unaware of something.
It’s something I noted years ago before I knew what a hipster was…the current culture is a culture of criticism. To seem smart, you must be criticizing something else. Want to seem weak? Say you like something.
Once I come up with a clever catchphrase, logo, and manifesto I invite you all to join my positive revolution and show that you can be cool while also talking about stuff you like!! Are you with me?!
Enjoyment, Interest, Positive Attitude. These three things can transform a ‘hipster-like’ music lover into…well, just a music lover!
Have you had bad experiences with people inflicting ‘hipsterness’ on you? Have you battled with hipsterdom yourself? Or…even more interesting…are you a self-proclaimed hipster and would you like to offer a defence? I’m all ears!