January 11, 2013

“Often driven by creative and forward-thinking aesthetics above all else, hipsters and music snobs are often one and the same,” claims this slideshow from Pigeons and Planes, reinforcing a concept that you’ve seen repeated ad infinitum online, namely, that the act of being, or becoming, a “hipster” requires an exclusionary mode of thinking about music. You’ll often hear people complaining about “hipsters” and their judgmental taste, and looking down on others for their own, more pedestrian enjoyment of recorded musical sounds in listicles like this. Allow me, as an old person, to assure you that this has never happened once to anyone in the world past the age of, say, 24 years old. No one cares what music you like in the real world. You like something I don’t? That’s weird, but alright, let’s go yell into eachother’s faces at this burrito store anyway. That’s how life works outside of the list-based boogieman myth.

That said, we’ve all got hungry click fields to sow, so let’s take a look at a few of their picks for 15 Albums That All Hipsters Love, because it beats thinking about how poor Ben Affleck is dealing with his horrible misfortune over getting SNUBBED by the Oscars, or Fox News not knowing how coins work. Some of them are good! Some are the other thing.

1) Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
“In a lot of ways, this is the original hipster album” they write. Maybe. But in a lot of other, more accurate, historically-speaking ways, no it isn’t. This is a pretty universally acclaimed album, mostly because dude had the good sense to quit while he was ahead and never follow it up with a string of diminishing returns and retreads. It’s more accurate to put this at the top of a list of Albums That Melodramatic MFA students like.

2) Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Does never listening to another new band after around the time this one came out count as being hip? Because that’s what happened to most of the cool dads I know who like this arena-country for Canadian tuexdo-wavers ended up doing.

3) Radiohead - Kid A
“With influences ranging from electronica to krautrock to jazz, the record was experimental, expansive, somewhat inaccessible, and ceratainly polarising, the perfect “favorite Radiohead album” for any self-respecting hipster.” Wrong. The perfect Radiohead album for any self-respecting hipster is “no Radiohead album,” because that maudlin software-therapy shit is for triers and weekend warrior cubicle bbs. Barring that, feel like it might kind of be a fresh move right now to blow everyone’s minds and only listen to The Bends.

4) Arcade Fire – Funeral
“Arcade Fire got huge. But really, they’re just the best example of a band hipsters love to have loved first.” I honestly don’t think I know a single person who actively aligns themselves with the Arcade Fire brand. Does that make me a hipster? I wonder sometimes what this album sounds like, since a lot of people seem to like it, but not enough to, you know, play it.

5) Modest Mouse – Moon & Antarctica
“Really authentic, original hipsters (OG hipsters?) might claim The Lonesome Crowded West, but it was The Moon & Antarctica that remains one of those nostalgia-inducing albums in every hipster collection.” At the risk of sounding like an OG hipster, The Lonesome Crowded West is the right choice here, if I were to admit there was such a thing as a right choice. Shit, does that mean I just admitted that the premise of the list is valid?

6) Daft Punk – Homework
Fine, good pick, but do you also know that millions and millions of the least hip people you could ever hope to imagine—like European unhip level weirdos—also love this album? That has to mean something, right? (Just kidding, nothing means anything).

7) Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Literally the only time I’ve ever heard anything about Grizzly Bear, including their music, is in the context of people making jokes about hipsters on the internet, so, I guess, good call on this one?

8) The Strokes - Is This It?
Sure, but everyone with a soul loves this record.

12) Portishead – Dummy
Ditto, except it’s everyone with the kind of creepy soul that you wouldn’t necessarily want to spend much time with unless you got some of it on you.

14) The Knife – Silent Shout
Not mad.

15) Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
Quick, a single person who still listens to this record materialize into existence, because you’re a fairy tale.

Read the rest of the picks here, you guys.

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