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March 27, 2014 7:15 AM   Subscribe

The Hipster Music Index

Identifying Hipster Bands And Bro Sounds: A Scientific Study
Once again, the whole thing comes down to perception and whether or not an artist exceeds or falls short of preconceived expectations.
The Guardian even made a quiz: How Hipster Are You?
posted by the man of twists and turns (72 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've only heard of six acts on both lists combined.

/out of it and proud of it, going to see Black Sabbath on Sunday
posted by jonmc at 7:22 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


Who "likes" Pitchfork reviews on Facebook? Why would you do such a thing?
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:25 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


You could've stopped at "Pitchfork", Stitcher.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:28 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Today Pitchfork reviewed the new Horseback album and a Johnny Cash album. Yesterday the reviewed Twilight (the black metal band featuring Wrest) and rappers like Smoke DZA and YG. If Pitchfork is a 'hipster taste-maker' they are doing a bad job of it.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:29 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Who "likes" Pitchfork reviews on Facebook? Why would you do such a thing?

Why would you "like" anything from a business on Facebook?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:29 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


I should add, Pitchfork employs Kim Kelly and Grayson Currin for many of their metal reviews, both of whom are great writers and not really hipster in any way.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:30 AM on March 27


Like a lot of statistical analysis applied to subjective fields: sound methodology, incoherent theory.



i realize it's a joke article, and also a pretty funny one
posted by codacorolla at 7:31 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Whatever. The National is awesome and deserves recognition.
posted by glaucon at 7:33 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


Warning to anyone with a functioning short term memory: take The Guardian hipster quiz before you read TFA or you will net get an "accurate" score.
posted by digitalprimate at 7:34 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Not to sound like I'm trying to be alternative or anything -- I'm sure most of MeFi would find my musical tastes quite pedestrian -- but has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews? I just... can't see how text on paper (or a screen) would tell me if I would like a given piece of music.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:38 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Do hipsters use Facebook?
posted by Brocktoon at 7:42 AM on March 27


Only old people use Facebook these days, so of course the results are skewed towards bands that appeal to bitter, melancholy olds ( Hi, The National ).
posted by malphigian at 7:42 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


> ...has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews? I just... can't see how text on paper (or a screen) would tell me if I would like a given piece of music.

Before we had the Internets and the YouTubes and things like that, yeah, that was one of the crucial ways to narrow down the range of possibilities and figure out what to buy. There was a lot more going on around the world than the one college radio station within listening distance was capable of putting on the air.

Not to mention zines being one of the few ways to even hear of many bands and what they might be doing, and figure out whether they might be of interest.

Still these days, I'll buy albums on occasion purely because of a written review. It doesn't have to be glowing, it just has to be well-written enough to do a good job of indicating to me that the artist might be doing a thing that stands a good chance of pushing the right buttons for me.
posted by ardgedee at 7:45 AM on March 27 [8 favorites]


I was watching the Cosby Show last night (christ i'm old), and I shit you not:

Grandpa Cosby actually explains to Rudy what a hipster is.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:49 AM on March 27 [5 favorites]


Not to sound like I'm trying to be alternative or anything -- I'm sure most of MeFi would find my musical tastes quite pedestrian -- but has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews? I just... can't see how text on paper (or a screen) would tell me if I would like a given piece of music.

I love doing this. I do this as my irrational equivalent to the mid-90's phenomenon of buying an album purely based on the cover, or based on the fact that the album has a connection to some other band that I like, e.g. "I hear Trent Reznor loves Coil, I guess I'll pick up Horse Rotorvator".

I have fond memories of reading Alternative Press with my sister and leafing through not only the reviews, but the longform record catalog stuck in the center. I miss the mystery that had gone into album-buying.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:50 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


but has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews?

If a metal release gets a good review on Pitchfork, I'll check it out. By checking it out I mean, google the bands name and stream the album. If I like it, and keep liking it, then I'll buy it.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:51 AM on March 27


Maybe I've bought music because of a review? Maybe? (Surely I have but cannot remember when.) The way I discover new music I like these days, oddly, comes from choosing appealing sounding Songza stations and writing down the names of the bands whose songs sound good to me. Oh, I also find a lot of stuff via CBC Radio 2 as well. I don't think I've ever willingly clicked on Pitchfork's website and it's been yoinks since I have read an issue of Spin (is it still around? I honestly don't know) or Rolling Stone for anything music related.

I am an Olds, I guess, or at least one that relies on different media to find new things.
posted by Kitteh at 7:51 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Do hipsters use Facebook?

In their methodology, the higher a band scores on Facebook the less hipster it is.
posted by yoink at 7:53 AM on March 27


but has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews?

Oh, most definitely. And I've been richly rewarded in many instances. I used to get Spin back in the late 90s - early 00s (hipster cred: back when it was cool before it sold out) and I got a number of things based just on the reviews. The ones I remember are Spiritualized, Live at the Royal Albert Hall; Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs; Godspeed You Black Emperor! (I believe this was the correct punctuation at the time), Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven; Sigur Ros, Aegetis Byrjun; and I'm certain there were others. With the exception of Sigur Ros, I became a pretty rabid fan of all those bands. 69 Love Songs was the only album I'd ever seen get a 10 in their ratings, so I figured shit, I have to check that out. Then there was the Spin Alternative Records Guide (came out around 1995) and I bought truckloads of albums based on that - that book probably shaped my current tastes more than anything else. Not everything was successful, but for exploring pre-Nirvana weird stuff that you'd never hear on the radio, without having any idea what was going on previously, it was invaluable. Reviews have also been helpful if there was a band I already followed that put out a new album and I was on the fence about it. But, I used to be a real CD fiend and I'd go to the record shop once a month or so and get 5 CDs, so I'm probably atypical.

Aside from reviews, I'd buy stuff based on what they had at the listening stations at the store, stuff I'd heard on Pandora, or bands I'd seen live opening up for other bands.
posted by LionIndex at 7:54 AM on March 27


Was going to take the Guardian quiz but they appear to have forgotten the "Never Heard of Either Of Them" option, so I couldn't answer about half and also you're on my lawn.
posted by billiebee at 8:00 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


It doesn't have to be glowing, it just has to be well-written enough to do a good job of indicating to me that the artist might be doing a thing that stands a good chance of pushing the right buttons for me.

That's pretty much it. Spin's reviews at the time were well-written enough, and I was familiar enough with them, that I could read them with a decent sense of what I was going to get or what the artist was trying to do and whether they were successful at it, along with the standard "you might like this if you like stuff like [insert style/artist here]."
posted by LionIndex at 8:02 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I definitely lack the social fluency and capacity to dress myself to qualify as a hipster, but demographically it's inevitable that I occasionally find myself in certain circles, etc. etc.
That said, I find the trope of the person who likes an act -because of- its inherent obscurity really bizarre and inaccurate. Outré sounds are a passion of mine and if anything, I wish it were shared with more people because then I'd be able to have more frequent and more interesting conversations with others about this subject I enjoy. When I've stumbled into people who share an interest in certain out-there artists I've never failed to have enthusiastic, spirited discussions that left the both of us feeling mutually satisfied for having been able to open up about an intense but often private interest -- including with hipsters, who don't mind an awkward weirdo like myself stepping into their supposed turf.
The idea that there is this other who want to defend their "taste" smacks of circle-the-wagons insecurity. I don't believe there's any expectation that anyone else share my interests (whether those interests be obscuro music, or labour relations, or medical technology, or any of the other things I happen to be into), nor do I think this hobby carries any inherent cultural capital, but it's nice to shoot the shit with someone about something you have in common with them. I'd like it if lots of people had "heard of" the things I like!

(I appreciate a handful of artists on both lists)
posted by metaman livingblog at 8:03 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


When I was still buying music, and everything wasn't easily available on either YouTube or Spotify, I would use Pitchfork as a way to see what was new. I don't think that I've ever read one of their terrible reviews all the way through, and definitely never based a buying decision on it, but it was useful enough as a way to understand what had been recently released. But I also used my local music store, the IRC channel of the MP3 ripping group I was a part of, and opening acts of bands I liked.

Ever since I've subscribed to Spotify instead of purhcasing music, I check Pitchfork once every month or so. I mostly get new music by using Spotify's radio (actually pretty decent at finding sound-alike stuff), word of mouth, and the local hip-hop / R&B station. When you can listen to anything you want for pennies, then you can listen to pretty much anything without risk. In that sort of economy music reviews cease to have much meaning.
posted by codacorolla at 8:07 AM on March 27


I've only heard of six acts on both lists combined.

/out of it and proud of it, going to see Black Sabbath on Sunday


Pitchfork reviewed the latest black sabbath album and gave it a 7.0, you hipster.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:07 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Here's my problem with the methodology (and yes, I know this is not meant to be taken seriously, but I'm a nerd and I can't help myself): in my experience, it's not so much that hipster affection for a music is about the least number of people liking something, but the least number of the "wrong" sorts of people liking it. Or, more accurately, having the "right" sorts of people liking it. It's about using cultural markers to signal your membership in a certain tribe.

At first I thought the metric of Facebook likes was wrong because probably a lot of the "right" sort of people like Pitchfork on FB, but actually I have no idea who likes Pitchfork on FB. But either way, it's probably not the right metric. The right metric would look at the ratio of "right" people to "wrong" people who like a thing and go from there.
posted by lunasol at 8:17 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Pitchfork reviewed the latest black sabbath album and gave it a 7.0, you hipster.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the way this "study" worked. They acknowledge at the outset that Pitchfork reviews non-hipster music, and often very favorably. In order to qualify as "hipster" the music has to be highly reviewed in Pitchfork and the review has to receive relatively few "likes" on Facebook.
posted by yoink at 8:18 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews?

I used to do this all the time in the mid-to-late '90s because I was just out of college with some disposable income and had found a couple of really trustworthy sources of reviews. Then Napster->AudioGalaxy->Spotify came along and a lot of the thrill of music discovery is gone. Even ignoring "Oh, everyone already knows about them", without the risk of total failure from buying an album sound-unheard, some of the joy has gone out of music for me. It's easy to find new stuff that you like well enough by looking at Related Artists or Also Tagged in This Genre, but to discover something totally new you didn't know you liked seems much harder now.

Off the top of my head, albums I bought based on reviews having never heard of the band, much less heard them and was rewarded: posted by yerfatma at 8:19 AM on March 27


That's pretty much it. Spin's reviews at the time were well-written enough, and I was familiar enough with them, that I could read them with a decent sense of what I was going to get or what the artist was trying to do and whether they were successful at it, along with the standard "you might like this if you like stuff like [insert style/artist here]."

Yes, this.

This is also a big part of why Pitchfork had eventually lost me: their reviews fell in love with themselves. They became too long and too "creative". It got away from me being able to just determine what the album sounded like and whether or not it was worth a listen.

IMHO, when it comes to actually being able to tell what music is good or not, the most successful format for a review is that of Pauline Kael's 5001 Nights at the Movies. Succinct, pithy, descriptive. Movie reviews tend to be necessarily longer than music reviews, which is why I'm emphasizing the capsule format. Add a "Recommended If You Like" bit and you're good.

There is a time and a place for longform criticism, but if I'm reading a review just as a review, then I can't deal with a long-ish essay running track-by-track through an album that I haven't heard, where the review itself is no more illuminating than the accompanying numerical score.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:21 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


The right metric would look at the ratio of "right" people to "wrong" people who like a thing and go from there.

I agree, but people who "like" a review on FB are clearly the "wrong" people!
posted by crazy_yeti at 8:23 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I question the popular construct of "the hipster." It seems to function as a stand-in for the uber-millenial everybody loves to hate in the general web ethos of collective mockery.
posted by itstheclamsname at 8:24 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


And there sat Vampire Weekend, barely vindicating the tastes of the masses.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:29 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I heard about Waxahatchee through NPR, so that makes it most decidedly not-hipster. The methodology here is clearly flawed.


Yes I know this is a joke article. I'm joking too. Except for the part about NPR. That's true. I'm looking at you Scott Simon.
posted by slogger at 8:31 AM on March 27


Their analysis is questionable, their assumptions not fully stated, there are many implicit, unexamined biases.

Still, funny as hell, and that's all that matters to me.
posted by bonehead at 8:38 AM on March 27


I can't take the Guardian Quiz. I am only familiar with 4 out of the 20 artists mentioned.
posted by Foosnark at 8:45 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


The whole idea of whether hipsters "really" only like obscure music, or whether hipsters "really" only need the "right" people to like their music, is just a bunch of stuff. "Hipster" describes a negative idea: a sheltered, callow, urbanite young adult whose primary output are attempts at coolness and authenticity, and who therefore likes and does things for all the wrong reasons, and who is also oblivious to their own unseriousness and phoniness. Something like that.

The question isn't what hipsters "really" want, but rather what people who use the word "hipster" really want it to mean.

...

When I was a teenager in the 90s, I liked Skinny Puppy, Foetus, Bad Religion, surreal books, and indie/classic/psychotronic movies, things like that. The word "hipster" wasn't deployed in this way. My interests would have just sort of generally have been seen as a hodgepodge of industrial/alternative/whatever culture. I guess if I were a teenager now with those interests, I would be seen as a hipster instead? Because young people who discover scenes and become interested in things are necessarily doing so for bad reasons?

Like, people following fashion is absolutely nothing new at all - kids today don't dress worse than kids from any other era. People discovering new music, movies, books, etc. is nothing new at all. I don't understand why there is this negative obsession with the idea that young people are gawkily doing these harmless things that people have been doing for years and years and years.

Is it just because there is no longer any value in finding obscure things, since the internet has made it almost impossible for anything to stay hidden for long? So, when somebody seems pompous about being into $OBSCURE_INTEREST, it seems that much more silly nowadays?
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:46 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Monday, actually. Sabbath on Monday.
posted by jonmc at 8:52 AM on March 27


... has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews?

Ever? Then yes, "Let It Be", Replacements. And that has made all the difference.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:54 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


1. "aclaimmed"
2. Drake is #22 on the hipster list. Fucking Drake, ffs.

It's just a load of garbage, basically.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:12 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews?

All the time in my younger record-buying years [1980s, mostly]. I'm pretty sure I bought Springsteen's Nebraska after reading a review in Musician magazine, for example.

In 1977, I saw a TV commercial for Steely Dan's Aja, immediately hopped on my bike, rode down to Erickson's grocery, and bought it.
posted by chazlarson at 9:24 AM on March 27


Also, they spelled Deafheaven wrong on their graph.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:27 AM on March 27


It might have been more exciting listening to music sound-unheard and I found some great stuff too but there was also a lot of awful, boring music not worth buying and also I was too conservative, often sticking with albums from artists I knew, or albums I heard from a friend.

When labels/etc. started putting mp3s of singles on their websites it was amazing and I started to find so much more that I liked. Eventually we had youtube and streaming services and things like NPR First Listen and I can listen to so much music it is amazing.
posted by mountmccabe at 9:31 AM on March 27


The Knife is Beer Me Bro music?

Man it must be nice for kids today when the lunkheads who used to pick on me are now just jamming to reclusive faux-incestuous bird-faced Swedes.
posted by Beardman at 9:38 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I heard Radiohead's "Creep" on the radio and then read a review on Prodigy internet (something about cheery English lads that liked the Smiths) and went out and bought Pablo Honey.

Later I heard "Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth" on the radio, read an online review trashing the album (something about being mostly British-influenced noise and droney, not as poppy as the single) and went out and bought ...The Dandy Warhols Come Down specifically based on the description (even though the reviewer hated it).

Hearing a song on the radio maybe means these don't count. There certainly are albums I've purchased based on published reviews but I've probably bought more based on amateur/unpublished descriptions/quasi-personal recommendations.
posted by mountmccabe at 9:39 AM on March 27


If their methodology is in any way accurate, I've achieved my true desire as a music listener: being connected enough to hear hipster music while liking what I like regardless of where it fits on the hipster scale.
posted by immlass at 9:42 AM on March 27


Ooh, a new Horseback record!

*ignores everything else*
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:45 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


In that sort of economy music reviews cease to have much meaning.

For discovering new music that's similar to music you already know, that's true. (I, too, use Spotify as my main way of listening to music and finding new music.)

But if you want to find sounds you don't already know about, or get a better understanding of how an artist/album fits into the broader scene/zeitgeist/cultural dialogue, reviews can definitely still be useful. It's part of a music reviewer's job to keep up with a broad variety of established and emerging sounds, and to have some understanding how it all fits together.

I'm pretty sure I discovered Death Grips through a review, for example. I like (some) hip-hop and (some) aggressively avant-grade stuff, but it's unlikely that I would have found them by clicking on "Related Artists" links.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:46 AM on March 27


I bought what turned out to be one of my all-time favorite albums - Basehead's Play With Toys - based on a positive review in High Times, of all places.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 9:56 AM on March 27


there was also a lot of awful, boring music not worth buying and also I was too conservative, often sticking with albums from artists I knew, or albums I heard from a friend.

Absolutely and I appreciate not having to drop $16 on a piece of plastic to get the same couple of songs a third time in a new format, but the sense of possibility has been replaced by the illusion of choice. Or maybe I just got old.
posted by yerfatma at 10:25 AM on March 27


So, when somebody seems pompous about being into $OBSCURE_INTEREST, it seems that much more silly nowadays?

I think it's more that the Internet gives the young a larger audience to broadcast their sense of cool to. It used to be That One Kid would only drive their circle of friends nuts, now you can skip the circle of friends and post videos to Youtube. If it used to be that every generation thought they discovered sex, now it's that every half-bright young thing wants to tell you how to do it. And their original ideas are actually sourced from Abercrombie & Fitch ads.
posted by yerfatma at 10:29 AM on March 27


>>...has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews?

>>>>I love doing this. I do this as my irrational equivalent to the mid-90's phenomenon of buying an album purely based on the cover


Yes! I did this! And I ended up with StraightjacketFits album Blow. It was actually a good album.... although typing it out now I feel like I fell out of an episode of Portlandia.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:35 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Who "likes" Pitchfork reviews on Facebook? Why would you do such a thing?

Why would you "like" anything from a business on Facebook?

Maybe if you like a band and want to share a positive review of them with some of your friends who might also like the band. what is the issue here.
posted by windbox at 10:39 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Keep in mind, that by their methodology My Bloody Valentine was more than twice as "mainstream" or "popular" than Justin Timberlake and only slightly less than Kanye West.
posted by mhum at 10:48 AM on March 27


Trying hard to envision a party where the phrases "Beer Me Bro" and "Boards of Canada" intersect.
posted by swift at 11:08 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I heard about Waxahatchee through NPR, so that makes it most decidedly not-hipster.

I dunno. Seems like lots of hipster-esque bands do the tiny desk series. Oh and they did a story on Death Grips when they were shit-stirring the music labels... So NPR is actually quite relevant in my mind.
posted by Benway at 11:10 AM on March 27


Judging by their results, I would have to say their methodology is flawed or their definition of "hipster" and "bro" kinda makes no sense. I mean, some of the "bro" bands are not things I'd ever affiliate with beer-drinking bros. They are more accurately talking about "music snobs", and even those guys will give respect to a lot of the bands with a lot of facebook likes.

You could've stopped at "Pitchfork", Stitcher.

I like Pitchfork. I find myself currently in much the same situation misc-wise as I did in high school many years ago -- nowhere to really hear new music, so I have to go looking at reviews to see if anything sounds interesting to me. Pitchfork reviews tons of new shit all the time.

has anyone ever actually decided whether or not to buy an album based on reviews?


I have to hear something from it first, which is not hard with the Soundclouds and the Youtubes and such, but a good review that says the right things to pique my interest wil point me in the direction of something I never heard of before.
posted by Hoopo at 11:22 AM on March 27


Yeah, I think their interpretation of the data is pretty clearly wrong.

I think the correct interpretation is that everyone writing for pitchfork is pretty much a hipster, but hipsters do not actually automatically reject everything mainstream, despite what all the hilarious jokes about them burning their mouths on pizza and so on would have us believe.

I was going to say something about Boards of Canada being mainstream, but to my incredible surprise, Tomorrow's Harvest made it to #13 on the US billboard charts, so uh, never mind.
posted by aubilenon at 11:29 AM on March 27


Grandpa Cosby actually explains to Rudy what a hipster is

That night the hipsters jazz in.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:15 PM on March 27


(Waxahatchee is so last week.

Her twin sister's band Swearin' is the new hotness.)

Did I mention that the Crutchfield sisters are from Birmingham and cut their teeth at the now-defunct punk collective all-ages music and art space Cave 9 and thus I knew about them before anyone else in this thread and I am the hippest hipster who ever hipped? Because I'm totally not above mentioning that.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:22 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I've only heard of six acts on both lists combined.

/out of it and proud of it


I feel bad for you; you're missing some great music.
posted by threeants at 12:30 PM on March 27


The most interesting statistic that stood out to me comparing the "You've Probably Never Heard of Them" and "Beer Me Bro" indexes is the longevity of most of the artists in each. With some exceptions, most of the Beer Me Bro index had their first label release over ten years ago, whereas the Never Heard of Them index contains artists (again with some exceptions) that have either just one major release, and/or have been around less than five years. Music-indifferent people will depend on artist longevity for verification that a listen is worth their time and/or money the same way that some people trust a brand or a product that's been around a long time. Your selection just depends on how much time and risk you choose to invest in discovering what's good.
posted by swoopstake at 1:00 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I recently made the mistake of badmouthing Pitchfork here on the blue. Hoo boy, never again.
posted by slogger at 1:01 PM on March 27


Okay, I remember hearing about My Bloody Valentine for the first time through either Alternative Press or Raygun (dating myself, here!) as a wee gothlet back in the 90s. Now they are a not-hipster beer-me-bro band?! I'm confused, when did this happen? *wanders off in state of advanced musical senility*
posted by cardinality at 1:09 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


cardinality: "Now they [My Bloody Valentine] are a not-hipster beer-me-bro band?! I'm confused, when did this happen?"

Basically, this is just an artifact of the author's methodology. He's measuring popularity based on the number of Facebook shares of Pitchfork album reviews; whether this is a reasonable measure of popularity is debatable. Last year, My Bloody Valentine released their first album in twenty years with little to no advanced warning which probably explains why they racked up ~8000 FB shares vs. Justin Timberlake's ~3200 FB shares in the author's dataset.
posted by mhum at 1:43 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


This is pretty interesting but also really arbitrary. If I was younger I would probably be considered a hipster but I don't really base my music choices on some random review site like Pitchfork. Does anybody?

There certainly are people who drop bands like a hot potato when they break big (90s college radio I'm looking at you *cough* Nevermind *cough*) but I think they are in the minority. More of a stereotype than a reality.

Also personally when it comes to a band's discography, I've found that I tend to prefer either the album that breaks a band, or the one right before or after that. Later albums tend to bore me, and early stuff/demos (when hipsters stereotypically prefer them) often are a mess stylistically or are just trying too hard to sound raw. I guess it makes sense - bands hit an artistic peak which causes people to notice them, and then they get so busy touring it's hard to keep it up. Also they've spent 5 years writing their 10 brilliant songs and can't make 10 more in 9 months or a year ... there are exceptions though. Going way back to the 60s, the Kinks for example had

1967 Something Else
1968 Village Green
1969 Arthur
1970 Lola
1971 Muswell Hillbillies

But not a normal trajectory ... ok I've officially wandered off topic. Great post!
posted by freecellwizard at 2:06 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: This is pretty interesting but also really arbitrary.
posted by yerfatma at 2:17 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Don't feel sorry for me threeants. I listen to plenty of new (to me at least) music, just not trendy stuff.
posted by jonmc at 2:49 PM on March 27


I don't need you to tell me what I don't want, you stupid hipster doofus.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:08 PM on March 27


This thing makes me yearn for the coherent research methodology and deep, respectful subcultural knowledge of that fivethirtyeight thing about speed-rapping.
posted by box at 4:14 PM on March 27


Are Sun Kil Moon really a 'hipster band?' That is, popular with twenty-somethings wearing geek-glasses and riding fixies or whatever? I assumed their core audience would be people who were 20-somethings when the Red House Painters were releasing albums.
posted by K.P. at 4:28 PM on March 27


I like, like, ambient drone and boom-bap nostalgia exercises and shit. I also like neo-soul and singer-songwriter stuff. Hell, and Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker. My FB friends aren't all music nerds, they're a regular mix of friends and family and classmates and coworkers and whoever. If I post a link to something, it's because I think people will like it. And, I mean, I don't need an algorithm to tell me that Justin Timberlake is more popular than Oneohtrix Point Never.
posted by box at 6:12 PM on March 27


I've heard of all these bands, but only because I read Pitchfork, which I actually hate, but it's really the best place I've found to be made aware of new music, and I will always check the highly-rated albums in Youtube, and then it only takes about 30 seconds for me to determine if it's actually going to be a good record and worth tracking down (however one might track down such a thing), or if it's just Pitchfork being Pitchfork and they can go fuck themselves and their shitty taste in music.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:06 PM on March 27


(The new Sun Kil Moon album is pretty amazing, btw)
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:07 PM on March 27


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