Archive for the ‘inferiority complex re: hipsters’ Category

Royals – Lorde

Staying in on nights you’re not supposed to, watching Rage and having the outside brought in, feeling the gap. There’s something in me that makes me think that this disconnect i have with new music and the attractive people that make it is my fault, not theirs. If i could get over myself and every other barrier between me and a happy existence, ignore the controlled and contrived elements seemingly everything out there thrown at me has, and have the patience to put up with it, then maybe i’d be happy amongst the approved and delivered songs of the generation appointed to erase mine. But then again music has always been terrible. I’ve just not always been this old, ugly and bitter. Well, not this old at least. I haven’t found any evidence that her name isn’t a reference to Audre Lorde. Good luck in your NCEA exams.

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Keep quiet – Lemuria

I was teased once for wearing a Lemuria shirt. At the corner of King Georges and Stoney Creek roads in Beverley Hills waiting for the walk signal. It hurt, i’ve never forgotten it and i demand an apology. Of course i didn’t stick up for myself, caught in that discourse of mostly my own invention that everything i like is terrible and everything everyone else likes is right and good. It’s always weird when things i keep so personal are born out in public to contention, reminding me that everything i love needs defending yet i have no defense for any of it. I don’t even feel i have the grounds for an apology – only a plea that if i’m not to be welcomed then can i just be left alone? No, actually can you just ignore my embarrassing shortcomings and pretend to like me. I know i’m wrong. This loneliness, nonacceptance and ridicule is evidence that i am. Or at least constructed and posited as wrong to your right.

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The luckiest guy on the Lower East Side – The Magnetic Fields

When i bad mouth New York, it is from a knowing subordinance, and is out of jealousy and spite. It’s reinforcement in songs like this, imagery like this, of wonder and of life lived properly, that makes it all at once so compelling, vital, and distasteful. Even though this is a very slight survey of the lives and people who live there, and of a way of life and a city that doesn’t really exist anymore, it’s a very appealing fantasy. I think the city is treated as the centre of the universe too often, but i guess if i lived there, why too would i consider any place else? I really would love to live there, but as a native. I could never move there. I could never move anywhere.

The East Village was once considered the Lower East Side’s northwest corner. However, in the 1960s, the demographics of the area above Houston Street began to change, as hippies, musicians and artists moved in. Newcomers and real estate brokers popularized the East Village name, and the term was adopted by the popular media by the mid-60s. As East Village developed a culture separate from the rest of the Lower East Side, the two areas came to be seen as two separate neighborhoods rather than the former being part of the latter.

In the early 2000s, the gentrification of the East Village spread to the Lower East Side, making it one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Manhattan. Orchard Street, despite its “Bargain District” moniker, is now lined with upscale restaurants and boutiques. Similarly, Clinton Street has long been a destination for trendy dining establishments (including Clinton Street Baking Company, WD-50, Cube 63, Falai, and the now-closed 71 Clinton Fresh Foods).

In recent years, the gentrification that was previously confined to north of Delancey Street has continued south. Several restaurants, bars and galleries have opened below Delancey Street since 2005, especially around the intersection of Broome and Orchard Streets. The neighborhood’s second boutique hotel, Blue Moon Hotel, opened on Orchard Street just south of Delancey Street in early 2006. However, unlike The Hotel on Rivington, the Blue Moon used an existing tenement building and its exterior is almost identical to neighboring buildings.

(Wikipedia, the source for everything)


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Dead of the night – Demon Flight

Metal! At least i hope so. The vocals on this song seem so artificial, so whiny, so “when i squeeze my nose i sound like Axl Rose”, and yet so awesome that i hope on hope that this is genuine and not some sham hipster parody. I should probably do some research on it. Until then, my love and appreciation of this song is entirely contingent on the legitimate proprietry of heavy metal – those that live and die by it, who contribute to it, who have a sincere love for it, who have place and little where else to go, not capricious, appropriating, occupying forces who claim stake to all through whim, endorsement from on high and apathy; who come and go through no struggle or overhaul of identity. This must be of the former. It must be. I don’t mean to say that a certain purity is mandate for certain endeavour, just that this song, if it were sincere, would have a value it otherwise would not.

an actor's revenge

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Too many creeps – Bush Tetras

What a great song! I’m the most inhibited dancer in the world and the last person that should be jury to what and what isn’t danceable, but even from my wallflower locale i know this is beyond funky. Pat Place on guitar! So simple and so amazing. That could be an aphorism for post-punk as a whole.

This song conjures up the scary, lost New York of After Hours, Times Square, Liquid Sky, etc. (yes, everything i know is from movies). The dirty, ever-night, crime-ridden, Bernhard Goetz, don’t wander the streets out late, tough New York of old. Now it doesn’t seem to have that complexion at all. Whether through actual systemic and social change or through the use of an entirely separate palette to paint the city experience today, New York seems harmless. I have no actual experience of the city, only an impression, so i am probably seeing the same city fixed with different viewpoints for different periods. New York in the eighties was also Sesame Street, Hannah and Her Sisters, Desperately Seeking Susan, and Central Park was there then as it is now. So… it is a huge city, with the whole range of socio-economic standings, as it always has been. Still, it seems different.

Greenwich Village seems different. Art created in New York seems different. Through gentrification on an already gentrified area, the whole class of people who can afford rent on those loft apartments has cultured a whole other hipster and a whole other hip, more parasitic than creative. It has always been like this, though. But it seems bred now in a pacified, regurgitative, affluent, harmless environment, not the vanquished fear-inspiring, admonishing New York. To be a band in New York now it is impossible to be spat out of that or have that image defaulted to you on geography. If ever it is projected, it is only ever pretense. The New York of the Bush Tetras is gone. I should research into this more. It is apparent to me. In Katoomba, NSW, Australia, 2780.

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Evident utensil – Chairlift

It had to happen sometime. The same song came up twice. And it’s this one, the impetus for one of my more shameful, pathetic mess of write-ups. My opinion has not changed in the week or two since i wrote that, nor has exactly what i am rallying against become any less muddled. A great song with a singular bad element that probably heightens the song for most people. Nothing new here.

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Evident utensil – Chairlift

Confirmation i am doomed to live a lonely, lonely life is that i hate every presence of the deep male voice in this song. I first heard it during an episode of that great bringer of contempt and displeasure – and that wonderful feeling of inferiority – into my late night Friday life, Rage. Among videos reminding me why i don’t invest time in a lot of music, how this culture i’m meant to be open to and subscribe to is the hands of the wrong people, how old i am, how i don’t look like i want to, how i will probably never do anything with this life, etc. sometimes i find a song i like by a band i’ve never heard of, like this one.

So… that voice. Everything else about this song is great, it’s just those few response lines by one of the guys in the band that irk me. It is not to me to declare what part of any song is dispensable, but i think this is completely, and i think i have a reason. It is its delivery. It is delivered with and drawn from all extent of hipster mastery and memory. It is a contrivance those who unhesitatingly take property of everything they see fit love to make. It is unnatural, a conceit, spurious to the effect of evoking intentionally a world specific and non-transcendental, of young people moving and being moved by certain things, and of a belonging, a birthright, to this world. It is the outcome of a consideration of “if i make a sound like this with my mouth ooh yes i must this is my ticket to credibility.” What would have this song been like if it were decided to leave this affectation out? It is there with great intention, and not simply because someone thought it would sound cool.

It is its place. Whereas the rest of the song comes from someplace awfully nice, those lines seem unnecessary and disruptive. They intrude as though with authority over everything else in the song, coming from a higher place, like every perfect thing in this song apart is insufficient and needs the confirmation of a boy who has figured out how to play with his voice to achieve the right ends. It is a reminder we are in hipster country. It undermines at every turn the feeling i get when listening to it and the places it takes me. This song could have survived intact without it. This song would have been better without it.

Maybe all i find against it is exactly why it is there the way it is. I doubt this is a divisive feature of the song at all. There is all number of happy, content people, then me in some corner not enjoying the song as intended. Like i should ever even have a say in what is cool and proper.

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