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Thread: Hipsters: Scourge or Irrelevence

  1. #31
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    I saw a DJ called LA Riots recently, it was the sort of French electro mixed with a little urban flavor (baile, juke, Baltimore club, etc.)
    that seems to be really popular now in Chicago and other cities in the Midwest.

    It takes some kind of involvement to at least be aware of this music, you can't just cookie cut Diplo sets mixed with Justice.

    But I doubt he's as deeply involved in the music's heritage as someone like Osunlade is with house.

  2. #32
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    Bit of a tangent, but what's the attraction of these single-speed bikes (beyond "cool people have them")? I seem to remember there was a thread about them on here a while back, can't be arsed to look for it now.

    Edit: ahh, so it's a bit like a BMX?
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 18-08-2008 at 03:45 PM.
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  3. #33
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    http://www.duttyartz.com/2008/babel-dancing-in-tongues/

    Matt Shadetek on the ethics of being a Shanty House DJ (don't play lyrics you don't understand basically).

    The following discussion in the comments section covers a lot of the "realness" debate, I think they used to refer to it is as "soul".


    (As an aside, single speed bikes are the best for trick riding, besides its the first kind of bike I ever owned, I used to love that thing)

  4. #34
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    "But I doubt he's as deeply involved in the music's heritage as someone like Osunlade is with house."
    Well, presumably if you have one dj who has dedicated his life to one type of music and compare him to someone who has dedicated the same amount of time to being a more eclectic dj then the first will know more about his music than the second dj will know about any given one of his musics - but isn't that merely an argument against eclecticism of any sort rather than hipster dj-ing? Or do you have a reason beyond the eclecticism for suspecting that the dj wasn't as involved as he might have been with each given style? I think that this is the realness argument isn't it?

  5. #35
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    The music was fun, it seemed very influenced by rock's sonic legacy (very trebly), and seemed a little disposable.

    But I think that history has proven that what seems like disposable music can often outlast the music that has "worthy" qualities.

    I think people will still be dancing to Little Jon in 25 years, long after Osunlade has become just a footnote in the history of house.


    The only thing that really bothers me about this style of DJing is that it caters primarily to coke heads, and I hate that shit with a passion.

  6. #36
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    Default The Splitting of the Hipster Mind

    Quote Originally Posted by CHAOTROPIC View Post
    I think they're the opposite, really. A nerd (if I'm right in conflating 'nerd' & 'geek') doesn't give a shit about what people think about him, hiding in personal obsession at the expense of status games. It's self-conscious outsiderism. 'Hipsters', according to every definition above, are interested in subcultures principally as a status game. It's self-conscious insiderism. Their very LACK of obsession, of real personal engagement, is their main characteristic & seems to be the principal argument the self-proclaimed 'real' give against their 'right' to engage with the subcultures they toy with.
    One area where this division break downs is in murky grey area between hipsters and political intellectuals. Both are equally concerned with manipulating codes, both are intent on effect, appearance, show and tell. The one wants to be seen, the other wants to be heard. In a sense, nobody cares more about status games than intellectuals, upon which they depend absolutely.

    The secret link between k-punk and hipsters is here, I think. The hipster/geek division could be easily mapped into academia - with geeks being the kinds of scholars who obsessively investigate, I don't know, medieval marriage rituals or whatever, whereas hipsters being the kinds of figures who feel disposed to pontificate on every matter under the sun, presently going around, whether they know that much about it or not. Echoing your comment, I'd say k-punk - and the Adbusters guy as well - is interested in hipsters, quoi topic, precisely as a status game.

    Quote Originally Posted by scarboi View Post
    I think the difference between K-Punk and our increasingly stereotypical young 20 something from a trendy area in London/New York/Paris/Berlin/LA is that we trade heavily in the cultural signs and signifiers of cool, while he analyzes from a distance. Its the process of constantly keeping the fashionable at arms reach, cherry picking only the most hyper fashionable that gives a hipster power.
    But - in this semiotic space where we find ourselves - is not analysis itself a form of semiotic trading? More to the point, whatever else k-punk is, he clearly isn't distanced; quite the contrary, he is consistently very polemical, very judgemental, and, ironically, very consumer-friendly; decreeing this or that cool, this or that not cool. At bottom, he rates, no?

    I think this is a very good quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Nah. Hipsters are poseurs who self consciously flit from one cultural meme to another, consuming on a superficial level in a desperate attempt to appear ahead of the game.
    I think, first of all, on some level we are all doing this - I mean, engaging in a desperate attempt to appear ahead of the game. Different games, maybe, but games nonetheless. I don't think this trait could be confined to one subgroup, be it hipsters, or otherwise... and I also think that what the figure of the hipster often serves as is a convenient way for people to dissociate themselves (and, in cases where this applies) their audiences, from these games. But speaking for myself, I don't want to be dissociated from that.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by swears View Post
    The people in the adbusters piece, didn't they exist ten years ago, only they wore 70s retro clothing instead of 80s and listened to Marky Mark rather than Girl Talk?

    And if you wanna take it back even further what about the retro-soul "style culture" that gripped London's clubland pre-acid house? (As described in Energy Flash, I dunno much about it)
    this is my prevailing feeling from the whole (quite interesting) debate: that we've found a new name for an age-old phenomenon (i bet oscar wilde was a twat).

    basically you've always had a large middle bit in the venn diagram that unites 'fashion people' (in one circle) and 'twats' (in another).

    these people are now more prominent than they were, because the greater atomisation of actual counter or sub cultural movements means it's harder for the media to spot the real thing. ironically, hipsters themselves are quite capable of keeping up with the latest 'real thing'.

    i could go on about this for ages but i might just leave it at that for now.

  8. #38
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    Interesting thread that I'm only half-interested in now that I'm an ageing hipster who no longer gives much of a toss about what The Kids are doing...

    Where's Harry 'The Hipster' Gibson in all this?

    When hipsters of old were mooching about in jazz dives they weren't plastered all over accessible media - of course. Now, typically, they're another dot of info/entertainment on the Big Screen. I read that those kids are 'hipsters'? Mmm. The classic definitions do mutate, don't they? Sounds as meaningful as labelling something 'cool' to me.

    To be 'hip' is an antiquated term - obviously - but once meant being 'in the know', above and beyond mainstream culture to the point of refusing all labels slapped on by journos hungry for a 'beatnik' story. Perhaps these kids feel likewise. Or perhaps they're as shallow as a lot of you seem to think. I wouldn't know. I only go to bars where there are DJs playing old black music (think back past Jazz-Funk, kids).

    Hipsters knew where they were at, if not where they were going, and recognised another by reading subtle signs. I suppose, like all subcultures now, these scenes are simply unable to thrive untainted by irony and self-conscious 'cool' because someone's always aiming a camera at them.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by josef k. View Post
    I think, first of all, on some level we are all doing this - I mean, engaging in a desperate attempt to appear ahead of the game. Different games, maybe, but games nonetheless. I don't think this trait could be confined to one subgroup, be it hipsters, or otherwise... and I also think that what the figure of the hipster often serves as is a convenient way for people to dissociate themselves (and, in cases where this applies) their audiences, from these games. But speaking for myself, I don't want to be dissociated from that.
    Are we? I agree absolutely that this isnt something confined to one subgroup, but image of the archetypical hipster is of one for whom this is the be all and end all.

    Id consider myself to be of the nerd/obsessive/borderline aspergers ilk myself, and my interactions with art/music have always been about being possessed by the media, unable to resist the urge to investigate/collect/analyse regardless of the social/image consequences, wheras the hipster approach is all about possessing the media. Picking and choosing your likes and dislikes based on whatever happens to be the current micro trend, whilst safely tucked away behind a veil of ironic distance.

    Of course, the ultimate anti-hipster/hipster stance is automatic disdain of everything new and trendy, and theres a million permutations inbetween...

    I do think the hipster hate thing is a bit OTT though. Most of them are just kids and will grow out of it.

  10. #40
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    "wheras the hipster approach is all about possessing the media. Picking and choosing your likes and dislikes based on whatever happens to be the current micro trend, whilst safely tucked away behind a veil of ironic distance."
    But how do you know who is doing this and who is into it for "real"?

    Anyway, agreed on this bit:

    "I also think that what the figure of the hipster often serves as is a convenient way for people to dissociate themselves (and, in cases where this applies) their audiences, from these games"
    I think that this is what I was trying to get at with this bit:

    "There is a sense that because of this you can use the term hipster as a kind of repository for anything negative you care to say about your almost-peers without ever having to worry about whether what you are saying applies to you in some way"

  11. #41
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    I am a nerd with (some) social skills. This, I believe, makes me a hipster (possibly a low-level one).

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    I think that this is what I was trying to get at with this bit:
    Heh, remember the Shoreditch Twat, and how it thrived on taking the piss out of 98% of the people that read it? Though not you or me, of course.
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    But how do you know who is doing this and who is into it for "real"?
    By talking to them?

  14. #44
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    Default The Image of the Archetypical Hipster

    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    The image of the archetypical hipster is of one for whom this is the be all and end all... Picking and choosing your likes and dislikes based on whatever happens to be the current micro trend, whilst safely tucked away behind a veil of ironic distance.
    To what extent does this image conform with reality, though - any reality? More generally, how much reality do the imaginary archetypes ever really have?

    What I question, in short, is precisely this image. I think it's a smokescreen of dubious substance, as archetypes tend to be. Furthermore, I contend that its main function consists in allowing one to say "Whereas they consume fakely, I consume authentically." Games, upon games, upon games...

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by josef k. View Post
    To what extent does this image conform with reality, though - any reality? More generally, how much reality do the imaginary archetypes ever really have?

    What I question, in short, is precisely this image. I think it's a smokescreen of dubious substance, as archetypes tend to be. Furthermore, I contend that its main function consists in allowing one to say "Whereas they consume fakely, I consume authentically." Games, upon games, upon games...
    it's not about fake vs authentic consumption, it's about surface consumption, vs engagement. championing, working with, critiquing, supporting etc. That has nothing to do with games, just supporting something whether it's popular or not.
    You just have to look at the 5 minute fashion for grime, to see that it's not just a myth.

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