Beyond the Books

Your Guide to student life

Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:26 a.m.

In Defense Of Hipsters: The IHEARTCOMIX Showcase

I’ve decided that I am sick of it. When I told my friends that I went to, and enjoyed, the IHEARTCOMIX (The LA label growing synonymous with electronic/dance/pop punk music for “hipsters”) Showcase at South By Southwest I had to endure unrepentant assaults on my character. However, for every “move to Brooklyn” and “does Pitchfork have dance instruction videos?” I got, no one ever mentioned the important thing: it’s okay for music to be fun and there is nothing wrong with dancing.

The band names, however, could be argued as stupid

The band names, however, could be argued as stupid

Setting aside the insane assumption that a “hipster” is a thing, or more specifically one that can be defined by a series of arbitrary characteristics (like a passion for awesome sunglasses,) I finally feel it necessary to note that these poor kids cannot win. For years the metaphor was that hipsters didn’t dance; that they stared at the ground while a band droned on stage. Eventually the Diplos and the A-Traks, and the MSTRKRFTS appeared and with the availability of music that actually encouraged this kind of prosocial behavior (because no one can shake it at a Merzbow show) these kids started to dance. But apparently that is also not acceptable as labels like IHEARTCOMIX are blasted for encouraging physical movement like they’re in Elmore City. There is honestly no way for these kids to appease the general blog commentariat, but they keep dancing.

So, hell yeah hipsters. I guess at some point we all forgot that it’s not about reactions on Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan. And it’s not about getting into everyoneisfamous photos. It’s not about the overwhelming libido of Totally Michael or the upfront fame whoring of Ninjasonik. It’s about the fact that one can find enjoyment in a beat. Maybe irony, scenes, and reasons don’t; maybe dancing is just fun.

Photo by Alex Carusillo

Photo by Alex Carusillo

So “hipsters,” I’ve got you on this. I’ve got you because Team Robespierre sounded crazy hot even from the line outside the venue. Because The Death Set physically destroyed the stage while onetime passive kids screamed. Because neon colors actually are cool. And because the crowd was having fun not to impress anyone but because the concept still exists.


  • EVERYman

    What a totally uninspired and unconvincing argument for nothing. “Hipsters are cool cause we know about this stuff that I’ll casually link, but don’t label us for liking specific kitsch things.” Hope this continues to inspire you to keep your head positioned unquestionably, but seemingly unintentionally, well above the likes of us common folk.

    “Defending the Mainstream, at ALL costs”

  • Mike

    Do you know your last 10 (or more) blog posts have had nothing to do with DC music? Sorry to tell you, I dont think anyone cares about the awesome music festival you went to THAT NOBODY ELSE DID.

    Why don’t you talk about some actual local DC bands, jesus fucking christ.

  • Corinne J

    I wouldn’t say that your definition of hipster is quite accurate.

  • Jesie

    Ho Humm.. If I see once more Keffiyeh wrapped aurond the neck of one more hipster in the Mission, they are going to wish they didn’t wear out that day.Oh, did I say that out loud?