Hipsters, let's talk.
A trip to the campus bookmobile this afternoon (which is totally awesome by the way) led me to believe that indie music is even more infuriating than indie film
. The context: music is one area of consumption/acquisition I severely neglected in recent years (makeup being another one). I have bought maybe 3 albums and a handful of iTunes mp3s since Napster went down in 2001. Maybe because exchange of illegally uploaded mp3s had been so gloriously unbridled, not having to pay for music started to feel more like a right than a clandestine act. And so, I didn't pay, and my only source of music in the past few years has been terrible radio play, pandora
, and the 2000 or so mp3s I had amassed in that short but wonderful year when Napster and my newfound university-provided broadband intersected.
Today I decided to remedy this sad situation and begin my musical re-education
by borrowing, at random, some 10 CDs from the bookmobile. Some I had heard of somewhere, at some point. Some I just like the album design/illustration. All pretty much looked like the kind of 'edgy' stuff that hipsters are so keen on.
I put the first CD in: The Pierces, Thirteen Tales of Love & Revenge
. Sounded intriguing. But as I listened to it, I realized it sounded exactly the way I expected it to. Uber unconventional, so chock-full of its own langorous oddities I half expected it to be featured on an iPod commercial, or maybe on the soundtrack of Zach Braff's next film (don't get me wrong--I loved the Garden State soundtrack). I mean it's GOOD, most of it is just so typically different.
One of the albums I really hated, Days of Wine & Roses
by The Dream Syndicate. It just made me want to throw my hands up and shake someone. There is something wrong when music makes you wonder if you hate it because it's bad, or because you are just not cool enough
But others I liked: Paramore's All We Know is Falling
, and The Owls' Daughters and Suns
, and parts of The Deadly Syndrome's The Ortolan
. And a lot of the Kings of Leon (which I had read about somewhere).
After so much unbelievable coolness, my ears were bleeding a little and it was such a relief to put in something familiar and so beautifully conventional: Alicia Keys, As I Am
Developing an acceptably cool taste in music seems like more work than it's worth. Anyway, here are a couple I liked from the stack.