Friday, February 18, 2005

Another Pitchfork Moment:

generic hipster

I'm embarrassed to say I approached this Pitchfork article by William Bowers with some interest. That's not a photo of William above, but it's how I imagine he looks. I thought the piece was going to be a column, or an article, or whatever, on being a consumer of music at a time when choices of music, medium, genre, are overwhelmingly diverse. But, naturally (this being Pitchfork), it descended into hipster babble"

what does it mean to "consume" music? That you merely buy it? That you download it? That you burn it, label it, and shelve it according to your personal Brian-Eno-centric decimal system? No, you say, because you are not just some acquisitive tool, or blind collector; you are a "fan," an appreciateur, an officionado, a participant in a grander cultural discussion. To truly "consume" music, you say, would require some scholarship, some sacrifice, some slow digestion. To recognize the flowerpot-wearing band in a poster on the wall of a "nerd" during a Simpsons episode, or to have "Whip It" in rotation on your "Crazy Eighties" playlist is not to consume Devo, you say. To consume Devo is to know their ideological and geographical origins, to be intimate with their failures, to study their DVDs, to know that the Strokes and many others are citing them as an influence on future records, to debate about Devo and win, to weep when Wilco plays "Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy" in New York at the beginning of 2005, to type post-Freudian analyses of Booji Boy for an imaginary journal, to feel ambiguous about Mothersbaugh's soundtrack work, to debate about Devo and lose, to spend precious hours searching for that Neil Young movie they were in, to design a cluster graph that attempts to sort out the significance of their run-ins with Bowie and Dylan as well as their reconfigurations of the Carter Family and the Rolling Stones, and most importantly, to explain to idiots that they weren't wearing flowerpots-- "Obviously, those are energy domes based on Mayan ziggurats, asshole!"


At 12/20/2005 7:29 PM, Blogger wsb said...

Generic hipster! Pshaw!


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