I titled this blog as I did because I'm on location tonight--5th Avenue and 59th, in the swarm of technoshoppers at the Apple Store, where the good Mac people toe the line between cultural awareness and fanatical cliche-ism. Hence the Dave Matthews reference.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump ago, I went to Brooklyn with JackO and Robusto to see a young-hipster concert at a place called Studio B. I had never been to Green Point before, and did not know that the neighborhood is entirely Polish. Every bartender, bouncer, and coat-checker was Polish. And for someone who jokes like me, that was like being castrated in a brothel. Or like being a lit match in a room full of gunpowder and shrapnel. Either way, Datarock saved me. The first band to play, Datarock is a foursome that wore matching red tracksuits with open zip-tops, revealing a healthy amount of sweaty chest hair and tattoo traces that probably continued downward. They were terrible--the music, the levels, the songwriting, it was all atrocious. But THEY were great, and I couldn't stop watching the debaucherous frontman maraud like a coked-up Viking while his band proudly spouted low-fi techno and emancipated jumping music.
In between pirouettes and cans of Red Bull, JackO genrefied Datarock as "Russian Grime Rock." I don't know if I agree or disagree, but I thought the title was so cool that we'd keep it. So, after the Russian Grime Rock, the Pretexts took the stage. A British electronica duo, the Pretexts are the poor man's version of what you would get if Mick Jagger and John Bonham took a lot of methamphetamines, bought a low-grade synthesizer and a cheap drumset, dressed like they were starring in "Grease," and wrote songs inside the Mac lab at Leeds Universtiy. The reticent, self-worshipping hipster crowd was quite unsure as to how to receive the Pretexts. The band out-grimed the Samples, wore leather bomber jackets, and seemed like the type of people who get hopped up at airports and pick fights with old people. They weren't exactly anti-hipster, but the Pretexts occupied an ideological space with which most of the crowd was unfamiliar. So the Brooklynites couldn't pull a rote behavior out the bag. They couldn't cross their arms and stare at their laceless low-tops, they couldn't complain that the Pretexts were better two summers ago a VFA hall in Bensonhurst, and they absolutely couldn't assume the condescending air that practically comes free with tight pants and politically-themed hoodies. We were officially in no-man's land, under nobody's auspices, and besides for those of us who'd just come to get out of the house and hear some music, everyone was confounded.
We sauntered out of Studio B at about 4 in the morning, as the sky's introductory light tracts were bathing in the diagonal rain. The water washed the hum out of our eardrums, and, as JackO and Robusto lit up cigarettes, I promised that I would never, ever be a hipster.
And right now, as I stoop over my laptop while preachy Macvangelists trumpet black iPods and low-rise denim, I promise the same thing, now more than ever.
Stay Stuck-Up, Studio B