How to become an ELITE hipster.

Any idiot can become a hipster as we all know, and these days when hipsters are the favourite hate object of half the world, what are we to do? Well, hidden in the whole hipster hate machine is the obvious answer: everyone thinks they know better than hipsters. So all you need to do is become an ELITE HIPSTER. But to become that you must go way beyond listening to Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes and Kany West, because all that stuff is just *cringe*. No no no, here's how to do it.

Classical music
Everyone likes Bach and there are plenty of people who will speak for hours about "nothing" happening "after Bach", but that scene is just for losers. What you need is Domenico Scarlatti, on Harpsichord (of course):

[Spotify link]
Rehearse these phrases : Actually, Domenico Scarlatti inspired Bach with his daring harmonic experiments...
I prefer Scarlatti's adventurousness before Bach's constricted formality.

Do NOT say: Scarlatti was better than Bach. This will cause the Bach freak to explode and you'll be stuck in a debate you can't handle.

Now, on to more modern music. The regular classical hipster will namedrop Arnold Schönberg, but don't you worry, nobody actually listens to him. What you need to go for is Alexander Scriabin. Check out this piano roll recording (extra authenticity!) and take careful note of the facial hair.

Rehearse these phrases: Scriabin went much further than Schönberg, even without using a proper atonal system...
He is often overlooked, but I'd say Alexander Scriabin was the most important composer of the 20th century...
(none of these are true, but because noone understands Scriabin they are safe)

Contemporary art music
Classical music is very good for the elite hipster, but it can't really measure up to it's modern variety, Art Music. Here you can almost choose anything to listen to, except for mainstream sell-out acts like Arvo Pärt, Michael Nyman and Philip Glass. I'd say you should study this brilliant piece by Karlheinz Stockhausen and use it as a ruler.

Phrases: Only one type of music is able to say something about the world we live in...
I've had precious, brief moments when I've really understood Stockhausen...

Electronic music
Obscure Croatian house just won't do here. What you need to do is go back in history, and there's nothing better then than swedish "Elektronmusik". It's vintage, groundbreaking and hopelessly annoying to listen to.

Rehearse these phrases: There hasn't really been any daring electronic music since the experimental Stockholm Elektronmusik school...
People talk about Kraftwerk, but from a serious perspective they are little but sell-outs...

Folk music
No, not "Folk", that is for hipsters. But you could try going for the source, listening for instance to blues legend Son House:

Phrases: Son House didn't have a fucking beard...
You know, Son House inspired both Dylan AND Tallest Man On Earth...

However, I suspect the Folk hipster scene has travelled that far already, so maybe it is better to go all the way here, to avoid sounding like just another idiot. How far? We are going to Tuva, in Siberia. The band is called Huun Huur Tu. You just can't beat this, it's weird enough to kill any hipster at first listen.

Huun Huur Tu - Fantasy on the Igil
[Spotify link]
Phrases: Folk music ain't worth shit unless it's from people really living the life...
Bon Iver singing from the gut in "Skinny Love"? Fuck that shit, he doesn't even know where his gut IS...

Now you are pretty much set to go. Just trim the beard to early 1900s style, loose anything plastic which isn't a 1970's megacomputer, sell your vintage analog synth you've been using for house music and buy a harpsichord, go through your grandfather's wardrobe for ridiculously vintage clothes and Voilà! Enter the ELITE hipster!

4 kommentarer:

Victoryrosemusic admin sa...

Quite possibly one of The most fundamentally important guides to arise in this modern age. Simply superb Sir

Anonym sa...

Very good blog indeed

However it fails to address one issue for me:
hipsters love shiny new gadgets. OK, i'm sure some like using an old 80s walkman to listen to music on the move, but the fact is a majority of hipsters - ok not ELITE hipsters - will have the latest ipod.
What's your opinion of hipsters and gadgetry?

Also I was reading some comments about the latest Trail of Dead album that I love very much and it got me confused - do you think you can advise?
Basically IMHO their first 3 albums were really good. They went on a major label after that: 4th album wasn't so good, 5th was really crap. Then they went indie again, and some people said they went back to form with their 6th LP, when I thought only the 5th was worse.
A lot of commments go this way "6th album is their best! LOL at the hipsters who don't like anything since 3rd album"
and more confusing "5th album was amazing, no-one else got it but it's genius"
I can't tell who are the real hipsters in there.
I tend to think both these comments were written by textbook hipsters:
- the first type because 1. they diss hipsters, 2. their favourite is from when TOD were no longer popular and it was their return to an INDIE label.
- the second type because their favourite is the one everyone else thinks is awful.
Or am I myself the hipster for not liking anything much until now since the 3rd album (apparently a hipster favourite)?

My brain hurts. Please help!


PS: I have a Victrola gramophone from the 1910s and sometimes enjoy listening to a century old shellac 78s.

Magnus sa...

Oh dear, Flo, that's a tough one.

This guide wasn't intended for people who have some (any) kind of taste. It was intended for the poor lost souls who just buy into anything which is labelled "the best" and who now find the hipster bullying unbearable and who need to disguise their lack of individuality/taste/brain.

But, I'm afraid I have to inform you that you are not a hipster. A hipster would never follow a band for more than one album. Any coming of a new album leads to extreme panic for the hipster, and the hipster will quickly move on to something new to avoid making a mistake.

Now, the people who say the 6th ToD album is great are probably some very hopeful or overly positive fans. The one who likes the 5th is either retarded, the next american idol, or both.

You are probably just an experienced music listener and band follower who knows that when it turns to shit there's no turning back.

I hope this clears any confusion.

/Magnus Quack

Ps. I'll think about adding a gadget section.

Anonym sa...

Thank you Music Quack, this is reassuring!
I'll just disagree with you because they turned back and the new album is anything but shit.

Anyways, now on to favourite Radiohead albums and what it says about being a hipster.... j/k ;)