Monday, May 24, 2010

Popsters, Hipsters, Poseurs, and Other Local Fauna

So I'm going to a couple of shows this week, which will be fun: I haven't really been out since the great Ray Davies "You're-A-Snob-For-Accurately-Describing-A-Demographic" Controversy in March.

On the slab this week, Paul Collins Beat on Thursday, and Blue Oyster Cult (What, Blogger does not provide an umlaut? For shame!) on Friday.

You'll never guess which of these has drawn the ire of the soi-disant hipster press.

Unknown Local Musician Wears Terrible Hat, Hates Hipsters
Posted by Mike Conklin on Fri, May 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM

First of all, shame on the Brooklyn Paper for publishing this bullshit, and shame on Southpaw for booking it. 27-year-old musician Jay Banerjee has organized an event called Hipster Demolition Night, taking place next Thursday and featuring a bunch of no-name garage-rock/power-pop revivalists. "It's a miniature revolution," he says, "a revolt against what’s been dominating the scene for far too long." And what's that? "Hipster noodling," obviously.
here's the saddest part of all this: They're not actually battling hipsters for anything. They lost. Those guys always lose. The ones who pride themselves on being rock and roll lifers, the ones who wear shorts on stage and send out press kits with 8x10 glossy photos, the ones who complain about the cool kids simply because they're not among them, the ones who make lame, outdated generalizations to lame, outdated media outlets in hopes of getting a little bit of attention. Well, here it is. It won't lead to anything, though. It never does.


Most people I know who listen to this genre are pretty self-deprecating about it: we've learned to be, since we're so accustomed to being told that it's just not as cool as whatever the person lecturing us is listening to. Whatever. But this is a genre with a long history and serious fan base, one which does not necessarily change direction every four months. You don't really hurt us by calling us geeks: we already know that. But denying us the right to exist and peaceably to assemble is downright unamerican, dude.

The comments calling him out for not knowing a thing about any of the bands he's trashing (as well as Banerjee's gracious offer to buy him a beer) make my job surprisingly easy here: he doesn't know the music, never heard of Paul Collins, and seems to think Collins looks 27. (I met Collins last year: a handsome man, but not 27.) And he seems to be the music editor of this paper, and he's completely unashamed of his ignorance.

I do not know what the bug up Conklin's butt is, but he seems awfully earnest about making sure that we know that he doesn't think we're cool enough to share Brooklyn sidewalk space with people like him. Where's his unconcerned, ironic detachment? In any case, he's roundly spanked here, and justly so. I'm dragging my geeky ass to Southpaw on Thursday in any case.

Maybe Astoria will host the wretched refuse of our tuneful shores next time.

Betcha the BOC show is also irony-free.

PS: Dunno what your sidebar shows, but mine proudly contains a teaser for an article called "Hipsters in History." Ha!

PPS: Just ruminating: do we think Conklin knows what Disco Demolition Night was, either? Probably not, or he wouldn't be giving Collins a hard time about his beret, one which resembles the kicky chapeau worn by my beloved blogmate. Steve Dahl's hat is much worse.