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May 23, 2013 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Rave and Hardcore YouTube Comments Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity
posted by Artw (61 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, you see that a lot with Dutch gabber videos as well, all those thirtysomethings remembering their youth dancing to the crappiest music ever and how nobody nowadays makes good music like the Rotterdam Terror Squad used to do.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:59 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


In my experience this phenomenon is a) not limited to particular genres, just about anything 15 years old or older can generate these kinds of reminisces, and b) heavily leavened by "Fuck Justin Beiber/ Taylor Swift/ Lady Gaga/ Lil Wayne/ Britney Spears* this is real music!! type comments. But there can be some interesting stuff. Occasionally the musicians drop in.

*I've yet to see it go back to Hanson but I wouldn't be surprised
posted by furiousthought at 7:00 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks for posting this, it's a superb article. I've recently been reading through Clive Martin's back-catalogue of articles on Vice, and when he's on form, he's absolutely gold (with this being a particular highlight).
posted by hydatius at 7:04 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


While I love the idea of this, it smalls of "I have looked at a small section of YouTube comments and found that a hand-chosen subset of them deviate from a widely accepted stereotype." Basically: I'd like to see the actual data as a follow-up.

Of course, I'm also nostalgic for rave culture despite not being there, so I could just be sptin' this author.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:04 AM on May 23, 2013


No doubt just a reflection of personal tastes, but I spotted it on obscure Northern Soul tracks. Misty-eyed central.
posted by Abiezer at 7:07 AM on May 23, 2013


This is the weirdest use of hardcore I have seen.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:09 AM on May 23, 2013


Actually, it's pretty easy to find mostly-non-terrible comments on YT and you don't have to go nostalgia-based to do it. Anything out of the general run of humanity pretty much. Don't look on (current) pop music videos or viral videos, for instance. Find any niche interest and the comments are pretty relevant and non-cringe-inducing.
posted by DU at 7:12 AM on May 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


This is the weirdest use of hardcore I have seen.

Cf. (for those only familiar with the use of "hardcore" in punk)
posted by mykescipark at 7:15 AM on May 23, 2013


This is the weirdest use of hardcore I have seen.

Just going to jump to the wikipedia on this one: Hardcore techno. "Punk & Hardcore" does appear to dominate the general public perception, but I think that the first time you ever hear something with a relentless beat there's a desire to label it "hardcore".
posted by Going To Maine at 7:15 AM on May 23, 2013


Yeah, you see that a lot with Dutch gabber videos as well, all those thirtysomethings remembering their youth dancing to the crappiest music ever and how nobody nowadays makes good music like the Rotterdam Terror Squad used to do.

To be fair, there was a summoning of energy and shared passion during those fleeting moments that we raised our arms to the primal beat, a connectivity not often seen in these modern days of paranoia and disenfranchisement. This one solid rhythm moved through us, every one, and in seeing how it moved someone else you knew that two people COULD feel the same, that you were not alone in the uncaring night. If home is truly where the heart is, then my home is in the lair of the Gabbersaurus.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:37 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


I may as well just burst into tears.
posted by aramaic at 7:48 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


74bumpkin 7 months ago
phil davies from nantwich if u ever listen to this on here, its johnny from coventry, get in contact brother.
Worth it for this one alone.
posted by invitapriore at 7:49 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is the weirdest use of hardcore I have seen.

This comment actually boggled my mind for a second - 'What else could hardcore possibly refer to?! Oh, right...'.

In my experience this phenomenon is a) not limited to particular genres, just about anything 15 years old or older can generate these kinds of reminisces

I think pills lend dance music reminiscences from that era an extra dollop of wistfulness. I mean, I'm sure goths get all misty-eyed about cider-fuelled gigs, but the fact that clubbers' and ravers' memories are drenched in ecstasy-fuelled love for their fellow dancers defo makes a difference. When my friends talk about the olden days of our nightclubbing, it's not uncommon to see a jaw gurn...
posted by jack_mo at 7:52 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


In my experience, there's an overly sappy nostalgia found in aging ravers that seems to be stuck on endless repeat, a broken record of "those were the days", "those were the magic days", and "those were the magic, drug-fueled days". Folks who claim to have been active in that type of scene often do nothing but mush sentimental about the pills, the dancing, and the parties; all their memories of love come from what type of MDMA pills were the strongest.
posted by item at 7:56 AM on May 23, 2013


In my experience this phenomenon is a) not limited to particular genres, just about anything 15 years old or older can generate these kinds of reminisces,

Absolutely. I have recently been spending way too much time watching YouTube videos of songs from the 1970's. And I can't believe the love fest and nostalgia on display in the comments. The first comment for this video literally made me burst into tears. But I am a total sap when it comes to fond memories and nostalgia, so I couldn't help myself.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 7:58 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Try reading these and listening to Weak Become Heroes. Wait that was released 11 years ago? Double nostalgia.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:00 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was watching some "vids" (if that is what the kids call them these days?) of Senser's "State of Mind*" and "Eject*" on those there Youtubes the other day and found this to be quite true.


*which alongside Pink Floyd's "Dogs" from the album Animals and a few other anti-establishment tracks seemed to inform my position with authority and politics over the years...
posted by longbaugh at 8:03 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I subscribe to several dozen YouTube channels focused on trains, and the comments are awesome, with people from all over the world talking about the minutia related to trains. I almost never run across a troll, and sometimes it's hard to remember that I'm on YouTube.

I think the tighter the community, the better the comments are.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:04 AM on May 23, 2013


Rember the Red Rattler? Ah, those were the days. Trains that you could FEEL with your whole body. None of this Tangara rubbish.
posted by Joe Chip at 8:08 AM on May 23, 2013


Paging empath, paging empath.......
posted by lalochezia at 8:08 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Empath please pick up the rainbow colored PLUR phone
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:09 AM on May 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


I usually love reading the comments on classical music videos on YouTube. They're frequently knowledgeable, passionate and friendly. I learn a lot from them.
posted by winna at 8:09 AM on May 23, 2013


Perhaps the Xbro1 will be seen as the nadir of the bigoted web and as the diversity of the internet grows the idiocy will fade away.

Fucking 'ell this nostalgia is well strong, I'm already at baseless optimism and it's only been a few minutes
posted by fullerine at 8:22 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


This about sums it up for me.

I just want to mention that a lot of these days are gone and friendships are broken not because of the passage of time, or mortgages, or similarly poignant mundanities, but because of the war on drugs. Even if people survive in prison, mandatory minimums can make it very hard to stay in touch. If someone gets out after only a few years, even if you have a phone number, they may not want to hear from old friends. This scene and the lives of the people in it were destroyed by irrational legislation and corrupt thuggish police.
posted by doteatop at 8:24 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I usually love reading the comments on classical music videos on YouTube. They're frequently knowledgeable, passionate and friendly. I learn a lot from them.

Yes, but I've actually seen them get into a flamewar. I think it was on a video of one of Bach's organ pieces; the performer was playing it very very fast, basically to show off, and one person thought it was neat and the other thought (rightly) that it kind of ruined the music, and things got pretty ugly.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:25 AM on May 23, 2013


Perhaps the Xbro1 will be seen as the nadir of the bigoted web and as the diversity of the internet grows the idiocy will fade away

Why does Xbro1 generate no hits when I search for it on Google and how can we collectively change that? Because that is a perfect word and this is important.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:31 AM on May 23, 2013


If home is truly where the heart is, then my home is in the lair of the Gabbersaurus .

Just don't eat the mussels.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:35 AM on May 23, 2013


What a lovely collection of comments. Thanks so much for posting this.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:41 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


PLURmovie.com seems relevant.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:00 AM on May 23, 2013


These are really sweet.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:05 AM on May 23, 2013


The Age of Love: acid house as a charismatic religious uprising:
The early days of E in the UK, from 1987 to 1989, have some of the hallmarks of a charismatic religious revival, akin to, say, the Toronto Airport Blessing that would occur in Canada in 1994. In both movements, airport hangars full of devotees found themselves twitching, jerking, even barking with ecstasy. In both, there was an apocalyptic sense that the world was changing forever, that a new age of love was dawning. In both, the inhibitions and self-control of adulthood were thrown off and the innocence of infancy embraced: charismatic Christians spoke in tongues (babbling like babies in a pre-verbal Eden), while raver culture embraced teddy bears, lollipops, dummies, romper-suits, and danced to remixes of themes from kids TV shows.

...The Thatcher and Major governments’ various attempts at controlling and legislating the movement were clumsy, none more so than the Criminal Justice Bill of 1994, which outlawed ‘the emission of a succession of repetitive beats’ in outdoor ‘raves’. Collin notes: ‘Although other youth movements had inspired legal changes, never before, despite years of post-war moral panics about the activities of teddy boys, mods, hippies and punks, had a government considered young people’s music so subversive as to attempt to prohibit it.’
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:14 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


The early days of E in the UK, from 1987 to 1989, have some of the hallmarks of a charismatic religious revival
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:14 PM on May 23


One of the main reasons I couldn't bear it. The other was the music.
posted by Decani at 9:17 AM on May 23, 2013


Wait, I thought it was because you hate fun? I'm so confused.
posted by elizardbits at 9:24 AM on May 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


Heh. Wacky American Christian cults didn't invent psychedelic religious experiences.
posted by Artw at 9:34 AM on May 23, 2013


Am I the only one that read the article as satire?

I will note that I have plenty of pleasant memories of dancing all night in my early 20s, and the strongest thing I was taking at that time was caffeine.
posted by bfranklin at 9:34 AM on May 23, 2013


I could have written some of these (though my era was a little later), especially the one about life being disappointing since. The rave era was intoxicatingly optimistic (and I wasn't even on that many drugs). It was never just about a bunch of kids getting zonked on music and drugs—it certainly was that, but it wasn't *just* that. It was about creating our own parallel reality, alongside the boring one inhabited by the normals—a parallel reality where joy and adventure and play and expression were still possible; indeed, a defiant statement that we were going to have those things, even if the mundane world was determined to smother them.

Part of the reason we partied illegally in disused warehouses and the like, under cover of night, was practical—venues are expensive, the authorities weren't inclined to give permits, and to keep a low profile (what with all the drug use). But it was just as importantly part of the symbolism and spirit of the thing: reclaiming these spaces, if only for a night, and transforming them into places of celebration and life.

It's often been compared to a spiritual experience, and while I think it's important to not overstretch the analogy, I do think a lot of people turned to rave because it fulfilled many of the functions traditionally served by religion—community, ritual, the pursuit and sharing of peak experiences, etc.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:53 AM on May 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


The famous rave scene from Spaced
posted by Bwithh at 10:01 AM on May 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


PLURmovie.com seems relevant.

Anything liberally peppered with the acronyms PLUR and EDM is unlikely to be relevant to the UK rave scene.
posted by jack_mo at 10:45 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey bros - PLUR *fist bump*

(this is how I imagine people act at massives these days. I wouldn't know, I don't get out much anymore. Stupid work keeps getting in the way.)
posted by Arbac at 10:51 AM on May 23, 2013


The famous rave scene from Spaced

That might be my favorite single episode of television ever.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 11:04 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


wow, that one about the AIDS epidemic... gettin' misty here.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:10 AM on May 23, 2013


also, "phil davies from nantwich if u ever listen to this on here, its johnny from coventry, get in contact brother." Whether this is romance or bromance or whatever: d'awwwwwww.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:19 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I ♥ YouTube comments and I'm glad someone else does too. They truly are a global slice of the human condition. Great article.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:35 AM on May 23, 2013


This is just like the hippies except with different music and drugs, and less of a social conscience. Same as it ever was.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:46 PM on May 23, 2013


/LOLs at notion of superior social consciousness of hippies.
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


item: In my experience, there's an overly sappy nostalgia found in aging ravers that seems to be stuck on endless repeat, a broken record of "those were the days", "those were the magic days", and "those were the magic, drug-fueled days". Folks who claim to have been active in that type of scene often do nothing but mush sentimental about the pills, the dancing, and the parties; all their memories of love come from what type of MDMA pills were the strongest.

Whilst I don't doubt that plenty of the nostalgia from some quarters very much is about which pills were the strongest and which parties were the best – and I'll happily confess to indulging in a bit of that myself, at times – that's not why I look back with such fond memories.

I spent large chunks of my 20s going clubbing every weekend, and to one Sunday night bash in particular – often with jack_mo, amongst others.* At said bash I met dozens of like-minded people, and bonded over shared loves of music, art, film, politics, and a whole lot more. We talked nonsense (we were often rather high, true). We shared music. The club established a thriving web community years before the words social and media had anything to do with each other – some members of which are now married to each other, having met at the club but truly having bonded in online discussion. Others formed bands – some hugely, internationally successful; some flash in the pan disasters – or collaborated on art projects (or formed bands that were art projects, or art projects that were bands), or made films. Some of us started club nights of our own. Long after most of us stopped going out and necking drugs week in, week out – because now we're all old farts staring 36, or 40, or 50, in a good few cases, in the face – some of these people I met at said club are some of my closest friends; they're the people I know I could call in the event of a catastrophic mental meltdown, or a parental bereavement, safe in the knowledge that they'd both answer the phone and have comforting words to offer.

So maybe I'm nostalgic, yes, but it's not really because the music and the pills were better "back in the day". I mean, yes, I still get a Pavlovian rush when I hear certain records, but that rush is bound up in much more than just a basic "this reminds me of being as high as a kite ∴ this is great". It's more about everything else that I associate with this or that record, and a huge proportion of that is how this or that record reminds me of how I established friendships which endure to this day.

*Hi jack_mo!
posted by Len at 2:38 PM on May 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


One group of guys find a barn out in the country with a milk box full of used records, set up a generator, and go berzerk in the middle of nowhere on a sawdust floor, just far enough out to not bug any neighbors. Another group finds an art space requisitioned from an old warehouse in Oakland, wire up some JBL speaker stacks, and rub up some tech house gems in one room, drum & bass in the back room, ambient music in a third room with mood lighting and places to lounge and hydrate. Back before it was only clubs, when it was just us geeks, whether in the middle of the dancefloor or behind the table or up on a stage. Grateful for forethought of having stashed dry clothes in the trunk of the car.

For that heartbreakingly short 7 hours from 11 to 6, it didn't matter what you did for a living, who you were friends with, or what you were wearing. We were one tribe. All that mattered was the music.

I know it's silly. But, it's hard not to miss those days, especially if you were in the scene in the San Francisco Bay Area around the turn of the millennium after having spent so much time in the middle of nowhere hoping to get 15 people in a room for some grooves that seemed to have come from outer space. It felt like magic.

Each of the tracks in that post bring me back. I was out every weekend for years and years and, despite not ever taking drugs or drinking, I had an absolute ball about 80% of the time. I was there for the music and for the friendships. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

Thanks for this post.
posted by phoebus at 4:05 PM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


oh fuck i am drowning in musical nostalgia

send halp

my neighbors don't like 2 bad mice
posted by elizardbits at 6:26 PM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


mr kirk

your son is dead
posted by elizardbits at 6:33 PM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yr neighbours are idiots. Any chance you can find out what they make of Lords Of Acid, or Sonz of da Loop Da Loop Era?

There's also the option of blasting – speakers hanging out the windows, air horn on full blast, Vicks Vaporub in the area – this Fabio and Grooverider set from '92. Breakbeats Ahoy!
posted by Len at 6:47 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


elizardbits:
mr kirk

your son is dead


That song was responsible for a spectacularly EPIC meltdown of a friend of mine. And yes, his surname was Kirk.
posted by Len at 6:50 PM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


yeah, history of our world pt 1 is next. but first, scott henry's sm:)e mix session!
posted by elizardbits at 6:57 PM on May 23, 2013


I think the best comments on YouTube are the ones found on obscure classical music performance videos. For two reasons:

ONE, and this is more facetious, the urge to flame each other out while showing off expertise doesn't vanish, but the level of expertise actually present is increased. So you'll get users politely calling each other fuckwads while citing ridiculously complex musical theory, at least compared to what your average YouTube user possesses. Arguments over whether a pianist who can perform at the proper speed is missing something in the interpretation or whether the tempo is required to understand the emotional balance of a piece can get hilariously involved, more hilarious because the word "fuckwit" is never used, just strongly suggested.

TWO, and this is legitimately great, classical musicians very often control their own YouTube page, and respond directly to commenters. Which is cool on its own, but where things turn wonderful is that they will go to OTHER YouTube videos of amateurs or unknowns performing pieces and leave encouraging comments about their performances in turn. One of my favorite pianists, Jack Gibbons, comments frequently on attempted performances of pieces by Charles-Valentin Alkan, a relatively unknown but brilliant Romantic composer whose virtuosity makes Liszt look like a slacker, and whose work Gibbons has worked hard to promote. He'll leave advice about technique, about Alkan's method of writing, and generally be completely enthusiastic about people trying to learn how to play this guy's music. And keep in mind that Gibbons is a world-class virtuoso and quite a successful one at that, not just any old professional musician.

The combination of classy flamewars and legitimate interactions between serious musicians and enthusiastic amateurs is a really joyous combination.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:32 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Arguments over whether a pianist who can perform at the proper speed is missing something in the interpretation or whether the tempo is required to understand the emotional balance of a piece can get hilariously involved, more hilarious because the word "fuckwit" is never used, just strongly suggested.

I, uh, may or may not have been guilty of pretty much exactly this on several occasions. I seem to remember doing it on a video of Sviatoslav Richter playing Ravel's "Jeux d'eau".
posted by invitapriore at 8:24 PM on May 23, 2013


A friend of mine was fond of spinning Miss Jane's It's a Fine Day followed directly by Mr. Kirk. That was always entertaining.
posted by Arbac at 9:35 PM on May 23, 2013


f yeah bald chicks with doc martens and christmas ornaments on their heads
posted by en forme de poire at 9:45 PM on May 23, 2013


queue up Zomby's rave mix! (in particular this track)
posted by en forme de poire at 9:55 PM on May 23, 2013


Aw shit, if you're going to be like that about it, I'll have to go dig out some oldies too.

Sniff, sniff.
posted by ead at 10:55 PM on May 23, 2013


furiousthought: "In my experience this phenomenon is a) not limited to particular genres, just about anything 15 years old or older can generate these kinds of reminisces, and b) heavily leavened by "Fuck Justin Beiber/ Taylor Swift/ Lady Gaga/ Lil Wayne/ Britney Spears* this is real music!! type comments."

I find that the same elements exist in anything 15 years old or older, but the ratios of comment types vary a lot by genre.

While the linked article focuses on the wistful, I've found old-skool techno/jungle/hardcore video comments to be more upbeat, overall, with lots of just "Fucking choon!! This brings me back! Never gets old!!". The percentage of people who seem wistful and dissatisfied with their current lives isn't as high as the article makes it out to be.

Sappy 70s/80s music (Christopher Cross, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Night Ranger, etc.), though, are fucking depressing. It's all about past romances and lost youth. So many "What happened?" comments.

70s prog rock commenters, on the other hand, seem to dedicate 90% of their brain to Justin Bieber. In the prog rock world, it's Bieber day, all day, every day.
posted by Bugbread at 1:44 AM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just read a Youtube comment today, on a Miami Vice video, about how the commentator used to watch it with her family and they all loved it and now her husband's dead and the kids gone, and she's alone but can watch Miami Vice clips.
posted by dhoe at 5:16 AM on May 24, 2013


Oh wow, Senser. I remember being really underwhelmed by the lack of guitars in Switch at the time, having put my last £4.49 down on the strength of their other singles. It grew on me over the years, plus I've somehow recast it in my imagination as a specifically anti-Major song which is amusingly incongruous in itself.
posted by comealongpole at 8:29 AM on May 25, 2013


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