Top 10 Signs You’re A Self-Hating Hipster

 

The word and definition hipster is as worn out and confused as a twelve year old obsessed with Insane Clown Posse, but lacking the funds for the face paint, and having to make do with house paint he found in the basement, thus subjecting himself to an insane amount of noxious fumes. Who knows what a hipster is anymore. Is it someone that listens to obscure bands? Someone that wears crazy outfits they picked up at a Vinnies? Or has it come down to being a self-centred, attention-seeking cosmic caricature that hates every moment of their life because of the extremities they engage upon themselves, but perpetuate the image of being a hipster because it’s all they know? If you find yourself nodding along to the final categorical definition of hipster, read on:

10. You create a blog, adamantly demand that it’s a domain

So Tumblr gives you hard ons, with all the cute anarchy slogans and pictures of people smoking bongs. So you get one. But don’t let anyone tell you it’s a blog. It ain’t a fucking blog. This is a serious domain. Not a blog, and certainly not a website. This is where serious issues, such as government corruption, asylum seekers, and political hypocrisy are examined and ravaged. On Tumblr.

9. You use Friendster

Man, fuck Facebook. All those annoying ads, and pictures of high school friends enjoying a normal existence. Fuck. That. You don’t give a shit that Kings of Leon are playing a show soon, or that horny, sexy Christian singles are in your area. And the alternatives aren’t much better. Twitter is such an encapsulation of the ADHD generation, and you don’t have the artistic creativity required for Instagram. So you use Friendster, the only social media service that really cares about its patrons: pedophiles that like to cover all the bases. And you.

8. You stop going to see new bands to find out about newer bands

Wanna go see that new band Disgusting People? You keen for that White Hex show? Shit, Multiple Man are coming to town, we gotta go! Nah, you reply, intently focused on the screen of your MacBook Pro. Those guys aren’t new enough. I only want to see a band play their first show. Of course, when it comes time to see a band play their first show, say DMA’s or Fermunted, you’re too busy scrawling through Soundcloud, looking for demos  of the side project that the guy from Deer Tick said he’d post.

7. You slit your wrists with broken shards of vinyl

Did you hear that new Sebadoh record? Jesus Christ. This calls for some of The Cure and The Jesus & Mary Chain. No, not listening to those songs, that would be counterproductive. It’s time for some good ol’ fashioned wrist-slitting. But razor blades are old-fashioned. You want something that has pain and suffering intrinsically written into itself. Cue shards of goth records. ‘The Weeping Song’ never sounded so good, or bloody.

6. You burn issues of Maximum Rock N Roll and The Village Voice for warmth

Living in New York/San Francisco/London/Berlin/Paris is fucking cold. So you’ll take a leaflet out of the book of your ancestors, and burn shit for warmth. Sure, you might burn down you’re overpriced apartment ($800 a week for a one-bedroom), but the way the flames lick those articles about Sonic Youth is just so tantalising. Also, what else are you gonna do? Turn on the heater? That would be way to easy.

5. You drink moonshine

Pabst Blue Ribbon has become a thing of the past, and chucking down VB’s never seemed quaint enough. Hence the moonshine. It’s a great, homegrown alternative that covers all the hipster bases. It’s cheap, it’s definitely local, and best of all, it’s completely impractical. But it tastes so revoltingly disgusting and no one else is doing it! So yeah, not being able to feel your lips for the next three days and alcohol poisoning are pretty much the only negatives.

4. You exclusively listen to (insert ridiculous obscure genre here)

Former ‘niche’ genres like shoegaze are slotted into the iTunes genre section, it’s time for change.  You can’t have a bunch of obscure genres that you pick and choose from-that would be ignorant. No, you need to exclusively listen to something that has about four or five bands attached to it, and is known by only you and those four or five bands. And you can’t listen to anything else. Brazilian post-afrobeat? Sure. Japanese proto-piano-punk? Yeah, that’ll do. Prog-trance with flourishes of big beat, from the late 1980’s Berlin scene? Get fucked, that’s more mainstream than wearing a Joy Division shirt at this point.

3. You use scraps of Vonnegut Jr. and David Foster Wallace as tissues

Being a self-hating hipster is hard, what with all the hate and hipsterisms, so there’s a lot of crying involved. But fuck that normal tissue bullshit. You’ll sit in your bathroom, and tear out pages from ‘Cat’s Cradle’ and ‘Brief Interviews with Hideous Men’ to dry your salty emotions. Because strong men also cry. Strong men. Also. Cry.

2. Listening to Nothing aka music that just hasn’t been created yet

You scrawl through the urban jungle, watching your wasteland be populated by chumps that only want to watch/listen to The National, or Schoolboy Q, or Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Not even the sacred realm of old-school hipster safety deposits are safe, as it seems like every twelvie now owns a Soft Boys record. So you’ve taken a leaf out of old mate John Cage’s book, and starting listening to nothing on your headphones. But it’s not really nothing-it’s the sound of music that hasn’t been created yet (TM).

1. You spend all your money on flannels and fake eyewear

Coachella? Meredith? A case of Resch’s? Sorry guys, you’ve spent literally all your money on flannels and fake eyewear. And look, there’s an admitted downside. You’re scrounging around for cents just to make rent, and you’ve had to give up on luxuries like food and utilities. Even your iPhone has become a glorified torch light, because you don’t have the money to pay for the phone bill. But on the plus side, you’ve got a closet bursting with cross-patterned wool shirts and glasses that don’t help your eyesight.

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Top 10 Acts That Can Fuck Off

Right now, the music scene is bursting to its brim with talent. Seriously, there is so much good shit right now, I have a hard time knowing where to start when someone asks ‘So, what’s your favourite band right now’. Do I go with FIDLAR, or TV Colours? Yes, I’m Leaving or Swim Deep? Ooga Boogas or The Stevens? And that’s just some of my favourite ‘bands’, in the traditional sense of the word. When you broaden out the spectrum to the very vague definition of ‘acts’, my mind jumps from DJ’s like Hayden James and Touch Sensitive, and instrumental swirlers like Gay Witch Abortion and Mogwai. Usually, I spontaneously combust, and end up foaming at the mouth in a foetal position for a couple of hours. However, there are some things out there that aren’t so good. But a lot of people have a hard time figuring that out. There are just some ‘acts’ out there that the world can do without. To put it in plainer terms, these are the Top 10 acts than can simply fuck off.

10. Mumford & Sons: I’ll admit it-when ‘Little Lion Man’ came out a few years ago, I was frothing at the mouth like every other pre-pubescent faux hipster. I was amongst the legions swarming for a vest and a vintage pipe. Then I grew the fuck up, and saw that Mumford & Sons were simply a fad. Every seems to have realised this except for the fucking band. Still rocking those shitty vests and dumb as fuck banjo, the band strut their scuffed boots across all the major festival stages of the world, including our own Splendour in the Grass. What the actual fuck? You do realise that it’s because of Marcus Mumfords ‘dashing’ (errrr…) looks, and that his James Blunt voice sounds exactly the same as any stupid as fuck acoustic ballad of the last century? You do realise that, don’t you?

9. Empire of the Sun: I used to think Luke Steele was kind of a genius. Then I discovered Steve Albini (don’t worry, this is the last entry that will start with ‘I used to like this, but then duh duh duh’…I realise it’s pretty cliche). Now, I can see that Luke Steele is just a flamboyant dude with a penchant for costumes and semi-catchy tunes. But after the 100th time of listening to Nick Littlemore and Luke Steele adopt a falsetto and prance around, I can say that ‘Priscilla: Queen of the Desert’ did the whole aren’t-men-fabulous schtick a long time ago, and they did it way better. In fact, Priscilla is ten times better than whatever rehashed turd those dudes chucked out earlier this year.

8. MC Riff Raff: Riff Raff sucks. I’m pretty sure people realise that. I’m pretty sure Riff Raff realises that too. He’s like the 21st Century ‘rap’ iteration of GG Allin. Except if we want to hear verbal defecation, we can just go onto any seedy website and watch it from the safety of our home. Riff Raff is a desperately clinging onto relevance, and becoming the equivalent of that annoying kid at the party that cries for attention by doing increasingly stupid shit, like fighting a bear naked, or driving a car blindfolded. It’s kinda funny for the first few seconds, then gets really sad, and the dude’s going to end up in a lot of pain very soon.

7. Arcade Fire: Ahhh! OMG! New Arcade Fire album coming out soon! It’s called ‘Reflektor’! It doesn’t use the correct spelling’ How fukn edgy, like any rapper that shortens Little to Lil’. Arcade Fire have always been pretentious snobs that appeal to pretentious snobs through pretentious snobby music. It sounds shit, and Pitchfork convinced everyone it was OK. Well, it sucks, the new album will almost definitely suck (sorry James Murphy), and the sooner this band disappears the better.

6. Robin Thicke: I only heard of this guy the other day, but apparently this dude has released 6 fucking albums. To put that into perspective, he’s released double the amount of albums than Step-Panther have members. Holy shit! So, is there any good material on there. No. That’s the short answer. The long answer is a 2000 word essay on the disgraceful nature of his ‘music’. To put my beef in summarised terms, Robin Thicke is a shitty misogynistic prick who makes shitty music for shitty people.

5. Imagine Dragons: Besides having a less inspiring band name than We Are A Rock Band That Plays Music, Imagine Dragons don’t just pander to the mainstream; they suckle the teet of the mainstream and then throw up over it. Imagine Dragons is what happens when you combine glam rock with douche bags. For people that liked Lostprophets, The Script or One Republic, you’ll fucking love Imagine Dragons. For everyone else who’s sick and tired of corporate rock and doesn’t give two fucks about ‘Radioactive’, congratulations you passed a basic bill of health.

4. Miley Cyrus: I didn’t mind Miley Cyrus when she was the twee Disney princess. Actually that’s a bit of a lie, I fucking hated her music with a passion, but she was basically a Disney chick, and those things can be ignored. Just don’t watch the Disney channel, you’re fucking sorted. But now, she’s a ‘popular artist’. Both those words in comparison to Miley defy logic. Everything she has done recently is both inescapable and fucking stupid. Her try hard hit of the summer ‘We Can’t Stop’ has actually made me less intelligent as a person. And as for her popularisation of twerking….fuck off. Just fuck off.

3.  Major Lazer: Major Lazer is a concoction of ego and trap music  from the twisted mind of well-known dickhead Diplo. His music is not catchy…it literally sounds like someone just taking a shit. This shit is made up of random yelling, hideous ‘rapping’, sirens and alarms, all conveniantly wrapped up in the label of shit music. If you want to go watch macho shirtless jocks try to make out with obviously underage girls and have your ears bleed, Major Lazer is playing at the Big Day Out. If you’re normal, go see Pearl Jam or some shit.

2. Daft Punk: In case you didn’t know, I don’t like the new Daft Punk very much. I think it sucks. I wrote an essay on its shitness. But let opinions be opinions right? Not this time. Daft Punk are fucking everywhere, getting mentioned in every facet of conversation. You can’t turn on a radio without hearing ‘Get Lucky’, or mention the names Pharrell Williams, Nile Rogers, Julian Casablancas or Panda Bear without some twat screaming ‘YOU MEAN THAT GUY ON THE DAFT PUNK SONG?’. No, you fucking dickhead. Not at all. Besides creating some of the most bland and mediocre music of the year, Daft Punk have tricked people into thinking their music is top shit. It isn’t. Oh, and for the record, two guys not wearing helmets isn’t news, it’s called getting a breath of fresh air. The band should try it sometime in their music.

1. Limp Bizkit: Yes, the majority of these acts on the list can, in my opinion, fuck off. But they’re all, to varying degrees, quite popular. Daft Punk released one of the biggest albums of the year, and got heaps of unnecssary press, but they’re still huge. Imagine Dragons sold out their Sydney show in a matter of minutes. And Mumford and Sons are definitely headliner material, regardless of the fact they’re ‘nice-guys-with-grandad’s-clothes’ schtick is totally stupid. But Limp Bizkit is an act that refuses to die, and drags it’s bloated Fred Durst-infected carcass around like an animal nobody has the decency to shoot dead. But don’t feel sorry for them or anything. Limp Bizkit is one of the worst things to happen to music ever, along with Kurt Cobain’s death and the breakup of Sonic Youth. They’re a hydra: cut off one head, it comes back with two heads to replace it. After ‘Gold Cobra’, you wouldn’t think the shitness could get worse. You would be wrong, as they’ve just come out with a comeback song and video entitled ‘Ready to Go’. It features Lil’ Wayne, because when you’re on hellbent on creating a musical genocide, what’s the difference of one more asshole? This is something that doesn’t just need to fuck off, it needs to be hunted down and publicly executed.

The Difference Between Indie & Interesting-An Essay

There is a facet of music that has annoyed me, and countless bands, for as long as popular music has existed: being pigeonholed. There is nothing worse than slaving over a piece of music, crafting a melody or a rhythm, re-imagining a sample, toiling on lyrics until you wake up in a pile of your own vomit from how amazing your poetry is (not speaking from personal experience), and proudly releasing your gift of musical beauty into the world…only to have it thrown back in your face as a categorised, labelled misconstruction, to be tossed up on a shelf with a bunch of bands that everyone will associate you with from now until when the Titans inevitably rule the Earth. Take the case of The Preset’s ‘My People’, a dance thumper about, I shit you not, boat people. However the political nature of the song was misinterpreted as a party anthem, and was shat out in all the clubs across the country. Or The Clash’s ‘Rock the Casbah’, a highly satirical song that viciously tore into the government, that has been reduced to being the song your parents awkwardly shuffle to in the living room. No, pigeonholing sucks balls. I’ll admit, that occasionally in reviews, I take a creative license and compare a band to something that might not spring to everyone’s mind when they here the song, such as when I recently compared X-Ray Charles to Beat Happening and The Modern Lovers. However, this is my website and my opinion….soooo, yeah fuck you  if you take personal offence to my comparisons between bands that I find have musical similarities for broader identification.

However, this is not simply about subtext or great bands past their heyday; this is about the highly negative effects of pigeonholing, namely throwing in bands of actual worth with the dreaded pseudonym of indie, or hipster depending on your cultural geography. It’s a brand that has a certain sting to it, one that recalls pasty kids in buttoned up floral shirts and way too tight pants, spouting how they ‘knew about this band before anyone else’, typing a post-romantic dramedy novella on a Macbook pro in a delicatessen on Broadway whilst sipping a flat-white cappuccino. Click here to visually comprehend if Lucifer was more of a douchebag. Although, for me personally, that doesn’t look like an astoundingly fun person, and they come off as rather cynical and two-dimensional, these indie scum do exist. They are the ones who scan Pitchfuck daily for bands they can worship before actually hearing anything, who single handedly keep Pabst Blue Ribbon in vogue, and made ridiculous clothing ‘cool’ (who the fuck likes fedoras?). But by far, their worst crime is the diluting of the indie genre.

Now before I continue, I would like to point out two things. Firstly, the inspiration for this essay was ‘How Did Indie Get So Safe’ on Fasterlouder by Edward Sharp-Paul; it’s a great, short essay (shorter than this one anyway) and it’s better than the majority of things you’ll read, besides Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Secondly, I’m about to insult a whole heap of indie bands that I find personally shitty. I understand that music is subjective, and this is not an argument about your personal music tastes. However, if you are one that enjoys the superfluously repulsive sounds of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Two Door Cinema Club, or Last Dinosaurs, I suggest you stop reading. Or not, you might find your new favourite band amongst those I find incestuous. Isn’t critiquing wonderful?

Anyway, there is a major problem with Indie music: it is too broad and too bland. When someone screams ‘OMG THIS BAND IS SAH INDIE’, it’s hard to know what they actually mean. Are they talking about Animal Collective, with their rich, multi-textured palettes of soundscapes, or the statistically terrible The Apples in Stereo? Did they mean Midnight Juggernauts’ pandering new album or Fugazi’s furious 1988 debut EP? It’s hard to know anymore. Then, there are so many sub-categories and niches, all with the title of indie slammed onto the front like an awkward boner sticking out of an 8th Grader’s pants: indie-rock, indie-pop, indie-electronica, indie-punk, indie-folk,indie-hip hop, indie-chill, indie-kill, indie-shank, indie-wank…the list goes on, and only about half of those are made up. Personally, you can chuck Phoenix, Passion Pit and Peter, Bjorn and John anywhere you want in there, it won’t change the fact that they’re shit. Most of these bands, despite declaring themselves indie, pander to a mainstream demographic. They play the dress up game and Domino Record Contract card, but the statistics speak for themselves. Vampire Weekend debuted their third album at no. 1 on the US Billboard Charts. Mumford and Sons won The Grammy for Album of the Year for ‘Babel’. Boy & Bear picked up 5 ARIA awards for their debut album, and will probably destroy the charts again this year, when they release their second album. Please, please do not misinterpret this as me saying that because these artists are ‘mainstream’ that they are shit. I’m merely pointing out that they have incredibly derivative music that in no way challenges the listener like independent music should. 

This brings me to my actual point, and I’m kind of sorry that it took so long to reach this statement. There are a fuckload of good bands out there that are getting thrown in with that indie tag. Just because a band is independent does not make them indie anymore. No, the cohesiveness of that identification got thrown out a long time ago, as soon as Interpol and The Strokes started getting popular. Both these bands are pretty good in their own way, however once they started and the indie ‘genre’ got picked up, about a million different bands started mimicking a sound and aesthetic similar to theirs that was in no way original, but was regardlessly hailed as being the next big thing. How many times can you open an NME or Rolling Stone and find them hailing ‘The Next Big Indie Thing’? Sure, it’s lovely for the band, but it has ruined all traction for the term indie. Initially, when the ‘indie scene’ popped up in America and Europe in the 1980’s, there was a certain amount of respect that came with the title. As Michael Azzerad’s biography of the 80’s indie scene, ‘Our Band Could Be Your Life’ describes, it was fucking hard to be indie. Bands like Black Flag and Dinosaur Jr. had to fight tooth and nail to get any exposure. Now, when the word indie pops up, all I can imagine is some Grizzly Bear sound-alike that will inspire absolutely no regard from anyone but the NME. Not that it matters too much to the band anyway, because they’re probably slathered in cocaine and bitches. Some bands, like San Cisco or Grouplove even come like pre-pacakged indie goods, ready made for the ‘indie addict’. However, it does matter to the independent bands that get slapped with the title of indie and hauled into a case of anonymity. There are now so many bands nowadays that consciously pander to the indie Triple J masses, that when a genuine band that comes around that happens to be independent and good, they are promptly blasted with ‘indie cred’, frothed over for approximately a week by hipsters, and then dropped by their ‘diehard new fans’ and left abandoned and disenchanted by their old ones.

There are a whole crop of new Australian acts that are legitimately interesting that I am fearful will get manhandled by indie-ness. Aussie Bands like Beaches, Dick Diver, Bleeding Knees Club, Royal Headache and Bored Nothing are all in close proximity to being swept in viva la indie, and promptly tossed into oblivion. Likewise, there’s international bands such as DIIV, Beach Fossils, King Tuff, and Savages who could suffer the same fate. For others, such as the cases of Flume, CHVRCHES, Tame Impala and Jagwar Ma, it’s probably too late, and it’ll only be a couple years before a ‘throwback’ reunion tour. This is fucked. Totally fucked. Firstly, because all of the bands mentioned above are bright young talents. It’s too early for them to go. It’s before their time. Secondly, these bands are not indie, and could be easily defined by other genres, if at all. Finally, it’s not fair to compare them to a band like Jinja Safari or Ball Park Music, each leaning strongly on obvious influences or mediocrity. The bands at the beginning of the paragraph are all highly interesting, highly capable acts worthy of a different attention that eschews Arcade Fire and Death Cab for Cutie Fans. Save your Augie March for when you’re bored on the bus. If you want something of captivating interest, check out Holy Balm, an electronica act that breaks all the rules of electronica. Or Ausmuteants, a band that could simply not give less of a shit. Or even Kirin J Callinan, the previous guitarist for Mercy Arms, Jack Ladder and Lost Animal, who recently tried to make a guy have a live seizure on stage at Sugar Mountain Festival earlier this year, all for the sake of art. These bands are all independent, Australian, and most importantly, interesting. They are not a bunch of acts to be randomly lumped in on an ‘indie playlist’ with the likes of Swim Deep or Father John Misty.

It’s 4 am on a Friday, and I don’t even really know what I’m saying anymore. Perhaps when I review and edit this tomorrow, it will make more sense. Perhaps it won’t. What I’m trying to say is this: I’m not going out of my way to insult the music taste of all the hipsters out there, I’m sure Snakadaktal’s debut album will be awesome. What I want to prove, like the Fasterlouder article, is that indie music has gotten quite safe and uninteresting, and I think that it has to do with the wide variety of ‘indie’ music, and the sea of music that most won’t bother to uncover. Indie isn’t indie anymore, that’s the problem. And if you try to make something not indie into indie, it will most probably get totally buried. Instead of hash tagging #indie to every band you hear on Triple J, perhaps take a listen first, and then figure out if they actually sound like The Postal Service and Modest Mouse, rather than just being new. And instead of buying the new Foster the People, spend your money on the new POND and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard albums. It’ll pay off in the long run.