It’s a question that has haunted minds for a long time now; when hipsters are alone, far from the ears of commoners to belittle and impress, what do they really listen to? All my best efforts to find out have failed–America’s in a sad state when, “I’m doing research for a blog!” is no longer an excuse for breaking and entering. So, if I can’t give you what hipsters really listen to, you say, what the hell is this post about?
And I respond: Screw you! because I’m bad at taking criticism. But since I can’t give you something you want, I’ll give you something you can tolerate, which is what I listen to. Once a month (or whenever I feel like, honestly, but probably once a month), I’ll publish a list of all the songs I’ve recently bought or especially liked for you perusal–these songs won’t all be especially “hipster” (although some certainly are) but will instead be just the music I’ve been listening to. Each playlist will include a little summary or other notes, and link to a YouTube playlist.
To begin arbitrarily, the first edition will be for April, published in late March. (By the way, what’s with magazines doing that? Like, if it’s published before April even starts and it’s called the “April” Issue, how do you know what’s going to happen in April? Why not call it the March Issue?) Hopefully you enjoy sifting through hours of someone else’s music just to find the two songs you’ll kinda like.
First, watch the video. Am I attempting to increase your enjoyment of this post with no comedic effort of my own but by merely appropriating the works of others? Yes. Now watch the video.
I can’t bring myself to classify these interviewees as “intelligent,” especially considering they agreed to have their faces shown on national television, but they provide a beautiful example of how not to feign connectivity and awareness. Now it is possible that in your extensive studying of Pitchfork’s archives and top alternative charts going back to ’05, you will have missed some groups. Because of this crucial unknown, it’s my advice that should you find yourself in a position like those in the video, or even just conversing with friends (who may be false-namedropping to bring your aloof alternative self down to their level of non-organic coffees and factory made goods), do not pretend you know who they are. Merely offer, “Oh no sorry I haven’t heard of them…you see I listen to good music.”
“If you haven’t heard them yet how do you know they’re bad?”
“Well, for one thing you listen to them.”
If you don’t feel like being that unkind, you can opt for a different strategy: internalized self-discovery. Just say “no,” as if your own personal, endless journey of musical enlightenment has not taken you in such directions yet, and are in fact extremely doubtful that that sacred road you walk would ever lead to such a low standard of “music.”
So go! Go with pretentiousness to reassert the hipster brand as knowledgeable and aloof, not the college drop-out, probably high one presented by the interviewees.