Re: For Listening In The Dark

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God, ogged, you're so white.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:20 PM
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True fact: I rewrote this post just before posting because I thought "Damn, but that's a white guy way of describing this." But because I'm guilty, I could only mitigate, not erase, the effect.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:23 PM
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Some of us have made peace with ourselves, Hipster Jew.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:25 PM
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I am having a very white-girl moment over here trying to figure out if I hate myself for liking Mickey Avalon a little.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:28 PM
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I'm not a hipster, ogged.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:30 PM
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The Kosher Salami? Go for it.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:35 PM
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Also: "Hipster" used to refer to white people appropriating black culture. Now it refers to a subculture that, while it may have non-white participants, points away from contemporary black idioms. For example: I was just thinking about how much I enjoy my new New Pornographers album that came in the mail. Hipster, sure; not at all black. When did "hipster" change? Does it have to do with the funny glasses or the shitty hair?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:39 PM
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Pointing away from blackness is not the sole definition of hipster, though.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:41 PM
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No, but it used to point directly toward blackness, and now it very mostly doesn't.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:44 PM
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Hipsterism used to be about white people appropriating blackness? I didn't know that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:45 PM
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11

Mailer's essay "The White Negro" starts it off.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:47 PM
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7: Still does. Or can. It's just that rock as such has a better-established paleface tradition these days.

If there are "whiggers," why are there no "Whegros"?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:54 PM
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Maybe it began to change when hip-hop came to dominate the music of young blacks and went mainstream and commercial. So hipsterism, which is by definition not mainstream, couldn't tenably be attached to it. Just speculatin', though. Also going to bed.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:54 PM
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Or Africasians?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:54 PM
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Anyone want to attempt a definition of hipster?

12:What would Whegro mean?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:57 PM
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Today, "hipster" means "someone who belongs to an urban social group with overlaps mine geographically and ethnically but does not connect in fewer than two links socially, and who therefore must be hated because deep down I'm just a bipedal ape with the territorial instincts thereof," and little else.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:58 PM
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I think 13 is right. Hipsterism through the ages has a stance of knowingness. You don't need a secret whisper to hear the name R. Kelly.

12: The assohol content of CocoRosie shaking her jigabooty is different than the original White Negro pose. The latter is not mocking. The former is mocking while hiding behind irony.

What did Mailer's hipsters have ironic appreciation for? Mantovani?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-20-07 11:58 PM
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15: See 11.

Unfortunately no-one can be told what a hipster is. You have to see it for yourself.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:00 AM
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17: Appropriation in a different register, is all.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:04 AM
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What's it called if I appropriate Slack's articulateness?

(Ok, really going to bed.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:08 AM
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Terrorism.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:10 AM
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I think a lot of hipster fashion now is based on whatever you wouldn't have been caught dead wearing between 1985 and 1995 had you been hip then.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:11 AM
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15.2: Mr. Trick?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:11 AM
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What would Whegro mean?

It sounds like a hot cereal you'd buy at the organic grocery store.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:20 AM
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24: I think it must be the hot cereal offered for sale at hippie stores that fails miserably and ends up, rebranded, at halal groceries.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:33 AM
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18:

Unfortunately no-one can be told what a hipster is. You have to see it for yourself.

I just don't get this at all!

I gather that hipsterism is to be derided, but the guy shown in the link looks just fine except that his neon-green sneaker laces are funny/silly. Otherwise he's just a skinny guy in jeans and a stupid t-shirt.

I don't like t-shirts much to begin with. Anything with a logo on it is stupid. If you're going to wear a logo-patterned thing in the first place, I suppose you might as well go that guy's route and make it electric.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:34 AM
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re: 13

Yeah, I think that's right.

With, as already mentioned, 'appropriation' of various black music forms still counting as pretty hip if it's outside the mainstream, and a fair bit of black music itself, if it's not also in the mainstream. Someone who seeks out long deleted 7" soul classics, or early electro and hip-hop could still be deep in hipsterdom.

re: 26

The guy's t-shirt is an old Iron Maiden t-shirt from about 1984 with a different logo added. I know this because in 1984 I was an Iron Maiden fan, which is about as un-hip as one can get.

About 2 years ago, the 'ironic' wearing of vintage 80s metal t-shirts was very hip. Quite amusing for someone who wore them first time around and now associates them with general embarrassment.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:36 AM
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I gather that hipsterism is to be derided

Not so! Hipsterism is to be faux-derided in an ironic, tongue-in-cheek gesture toward one's own hipster-dom.

Or to go the folksy route: it ain't right and it ain't wrong, it just is. I actually don't mind the guy in 18 at all, but I reserve the right to be mildly amused that he looks almost exactly like I did in Junior High.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:44 AM
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faux-derided

Well, except for the cases that are truly to be derided. But that dude wasn't one.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:49 AM
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Yeah, the current thing 'hip' teenagers are wearing at the moment is a near exact rip-off of the late 80s '2nd summer of love' rave gear. Complete with huge baseball caps. They all look like extras from an S-Express video. Which, like DS, I reserve the right to be amused by, frankly.

[And of course, being amused by it, makes you un-hip, more or less by definition.]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:52 AM
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About 2 years ago, the 'ironic' wearing of vintage 80s metal t-shirts was very hip.

Ah. And I didn't realize the Iron Maiden connection.

Well. So they're, like, *reprinting* these 1984 t-shirts with the different logo? Or they were a few years ago. And people are, or were, wearing them ironically. Rather than just out of a liking for the music. (I mean, sometimes there's a revival of love for, say, Black Sabbath, and it's not ironic at all.)

Damn, it makes me glad I don't hang around with fashionistas.

Oh wait.

I'm exhausted, though.



Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:55 AM
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The people who wore the throwback metal shirts often did listen to the music, too. Whether or not they were appreciating it ironically was hard to tell. I don't think even they knew, really.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:56 AM
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Well. So they're, like, *reprinting* these 1984 t-shirts with the different logo? Or they were a few years ago. And people are, or were, wearing them ironically. Rather than just out of a liking for the music.

Yes, or sometimes just seeking out the originals, and wearing them 'distressed'. All ironically, rather than out of an appreciation for the music.

The revival of the late-80s rave look isn't entirely ironic, however, as there are a bunch of younger British bands who are explicitly labelling themselves as New-Rave and trying to revive part of that aesthetic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Rave


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:57 AM
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So what exactly am I supposed to do with my old toilet/sword "Metal Up Your Ass" t-shirt? Will it appreciate in value?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 1:21 AM
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I didn't realize the Iron Maiden connection.

You are so unhip.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 6:11 AM
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The guy in 18 doesn't have the vacant, angry look appropriate to classic metal.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 6:12 AM
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Hipster meets nu rave meets flash mob meets american apparel:

http://biapattoli.tumblr.com/post/7818742


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 6:54 AM
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37: heh, that looks pretty dang fun. Velour makes any occasion better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 7:31 AM
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Annals of being not quite ahead of the curve enough: about seven years ago I began regretting that I hadn't owned any stupid metal t-shirts when I had the chance. Soon enough, browsing a thrift store in San Francisco, I was excited to see a whole rack of Iron Maiden and Megadeth and (yes!) Dokken t-shirts. It was deeply demoralizing when I realized they were priced at $35 and up: not only had lots of people had the same idea as me, they had driven the price way, way past what I would pay. Therefore, I completely hated these people, and from then on hated the idea of wearing an 80s metal shirt for any reason other than that you hadn't bought another shirt since it was new.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 7:38 AM
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39 to 15.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 7:38 AM
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22: Unless you're of the hipster subculture that precisely imitates 80s hip-hop fashion. Or is that the blipster subculture? (And is that a racist term?) I don't even know. Hipsters defy analysis. Or at least that's how I feel after reading Blue States Lose.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 8:24 AM
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I used to feel like I knew what was going on with hipsters. But I moved out of Williamsburg three years ago, and have only had enough passing acquaintance with the superhip since then to realize they have mutated into something I can no longer follow or understand. The last time I went to an actual hipster club, my friend's friend started conversation with me and a girlfriend by saying, "I can tell how old women are by how they dress. You're well over 25, both of you." I was like, thank you? I thought I looked pretty cool.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 8:42 AM
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The last time I went to an actual hipster club, my friend's friend started conversation with me and a girlfriend by saying, "I can tell how old women are by how they dress. You're well over 25, both of you."

"And you're just a bucket of charm! I can tell that your testicles are undescended by how you talk."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 8:46 AM
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I'd like to think I dress well, according to hipster sensibilities, but I have no desire to be acquainted with hipsters. The last time I went to a show someone I just met that night hit me up for $2 to buy a drink. But then friended me on facebook afterward. Motherfucker.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 8:47 AM
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I can tell that your testicles are undescended by how you talk.

She didn't say it was a guy, sexist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 8:48 AM
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It was a guy. I think he was terrified that one of us might try to flirt with him (humiliating!). Of course, they were pretty coked up when we got there. Cocaine: instant asshole.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 8:51 AM
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Currently listening to Jimmy LaFave's Cimarron Manifesto. Also very prominent are Bob Marley and Ian Hunter. I have two Kimbrough cd's in rotation, tho not this one. I feel more & more country as I get older. Picked up the History of Country Western, 30s & 40s stuff, and really feel the intersection of old folk, blues, & country.

Course, also got I Balletto di Bonzo Ys after ten years of looking for it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 8:52 AM
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I dress well according to exactly no sub-culture, unfortunately.

I do tend to be fairly up on what's happening in music, but that's because I really like music rather than because of any desire to appear hip. Even if 90% of the music hipsters like is shite, I really want to make sure I don't miss the other 10%.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 8:53 AM
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It was a guy.

You're still a sexist, foxytail.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 9:01 AM
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I assumed, it's true. It was that the claim was about how old women are, rather than how old people are that did it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 9:03 AM
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Ah, that's astute, actually. Probationally non-sexist in this particular instance.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 9:05 AM
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Also, you might have caught the story the first time around.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 9:22 AM
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Now that my blog is gone, I feel the right to repeat myself.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 9:24 AM
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What did Mailer's hipsters have ironic appreciation for? Mantovani?

I know it's almost impossible to imagine, but Mailer's hipsters were not very ironic. Except possibly Wm Burroughs.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 9:25 AM
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Someone up there commented that Mailer started off the hipster=black culture thing.

Not quite.

"...dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix; / Angel-headed hipsters..."

And it predates "Howl," too. It goes back to the forties and the bebop era.

Boy, Jr. Kimbrough sure dropped out of this discussion quickly.


Posted by: TomF | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 9:52 AM
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Boy, Jr. Kimbrough sure dropped out of this discussion quickly.

That's because the blues are really really boring.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 10:04 AM
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Boy, Jr. Kimbrough sure dropped out of this discussion quickly.

I was hoping you'd show up for this one, Tom. Buncha philistines around here. I didn't know much about Kimbrough until I watched You See Me Laughin', which features quite a bit of him. And this album is just amazing. I don't have much of a music vocabulary, but it's intellectual or sophisticated blues or something. Really great.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 10:08 AM
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Q: How many hipsters does it take to change a lightbulb?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 10:14 AM
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A: You don't know?!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 10:14 AM
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I remember you posting about R.L. Burnside, don't I, Ogged? R.L. and Junior were friends and rivals, and were the first two acts at Fat Possum. At the time, I was far more interested in Junior-- there seemed to me no one who sounded like him.

He's got an odd connection to early rock and roll-- he taught Charlie Feathers to play guitar, and Feathers (who was arrived at Sun virtually at the same time as Elvis and who claimed not entirely unjustified to have invented rockabilly) always said that rockabilly was a fusion of what Junior Kimbrough did with what Bill Monroe did.


Posted by: TomF | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 10:55 AM
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Yup. You told the story of translating from Burnside English for some European tourists. When I heard Kimbrough on You See Me Laughin', I thought it sounded a bit too much like jazz for my taste, and I still know what I meant, but don't really think so anymore. I'll bet Kimbrough would have had the same kind of revival as Burnside if he hadn't died earlier.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 11:10 AM
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Junior hated to leave the immediate area, and pretty much wouldn't unless almost dragged. He was also less accessible to rock fans than R.L.; I really doubt he'd have had the same chance to jump out to a larger audience.

That's not a qualitative statement; I thought him vastly more original than R.L.


Posted by: TomF | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 12:25 PM
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Ok, you're right. I think that's why I didn't cotton to him at first. Something about playing this entire album in one go made me realize how great it is. Again, I don't have the vocabulary, but he doesn't sound like anyone that I know, but is still unmistakably bluesy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-21-07 5:33 PM
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