When I heard that a show of supposedly epic proportions was hitting The Pub & Grill at Santa Fe Brewing Company April 5, I figured I’d check it out. I had no way of knowing just how surrounded by irony I’d be.
New York’s The Postelles opened the event. This band was like taking The Strokes, combining it with a few Elvis Costello melodies and slapping a “garage-rock” label on it—like taking rock ’n’ roll and stripping it of its edge. Perhaps this was why the audience was made up solely of tweens and the other bands.
A few cigarettes later, I watched Atlanta’s The Constellations take the stage. The band’s pop(ish)-rock(ish) sound instantly turned me off with its ber-hipster style. Bongos, synths and superfluous female backup “singers” crowded the stage, and the entirely unremarkable songs seemed to play second fiddle to the members’ outfits.
Mid-set, I started pissing myself off with the thought of how music has taken a backseat to tight pants and ironic hairdos, and how any super-skinny weirdo who can string together three chords is swooned over by people with no taste in anything—aka, the people with enough money to dictate musical trends.
Nobody wants to be called a hipster, but in the interest of settling once and for all who is and isn’t way too ironic for their own good, I’ve put together a Cosmo-esque quiz that will help determine whether or not you are, in fact, the scum of the universe.
1. Oh wow, Modest Mouse is coming to town! You say:
a) I only like the old stuff.
b) The Moon & Antarctica is by far Modest Mouse’s best album.
c) I hate that shit.
2. Someone tells you your pants are a little too tight. You say:
a) The tighter the better. I mean, I don’t want anyone questioning whether or not they can see my junk!
b) Whatever—as long as I’m comfortable and can kneel if necessary.
c) My mother bought me these pants.
3. Have you heard that band Autumn Starts Next Wednesday?
a) Dude, they fucking rule!
b) I’m pretty sure a band with such a ridiculous name doesn’t exist but, if it does, I’ve never heard of it.
c) Nope, but I really love the name!
4. Your friend tells you he wants a Duck Hunt tattoo.
a) Awesome! Even though I was born in 1989, well after Duck Hunt would have been relevant, I think that would be amazing.
b) Why, oh why, would you do that?
c) I prefer the ET game for the Atari 2600.
5. You’ve just discovered you need glasses.
a) I want those big wide frames—the ones that look like I worked for IBM in 1977.
b) I’ll try on frames until I find ones that work with my face and go unnoticed for the most part.
c) It’s laser eye surgery or nothing.
6. You and your friends are starting a band. You say:
a) Let’s go for an LCD Soundsystem meets Bjrk with just a tad of Beirut kind of thing. We have to make sure the song titles are really wordy and pretentious.
b) I don’t want to peg down a specific style. Let’s just play what sounds good to us.
c) My biggest influences are The Offspring and Counting Crows.
If you answered mostly A, I’m sorry: You’re a hipster. Chances are you will deny this and tell everyone you hate hipsters. Just remember that protesting too much is a pretty great way to solidify your hipster status, and everyone is already aware of your bullshit. If you answered mostly B, you are a normal person. If you answered mostly C, you don’t know anything. Seriously, who are you and what’s your problem?
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There are worse things to be than hipsters—but not many. Just ask The Constellations.