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Hipsters

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Sorry can't do Black Crowes; Tesla and Janis Joplin were better. Had Crowes done something like Comin Athcha Live to show off technical prowress maybe I could have dug them. I put the Black Crowes with the too mellow heroin bands like Sublime and Blind Melon. The only way to be that mellow is through serious downers.

 

 

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I think the core problem with the Black Crowes was that there was no member of that band who was particularly memorable (I can't name any of them!), and Chris Robinson was not an exceptionally compelling frontman.  I don't question Robinson's credentials as a rock & roller, it's just that he and nobody in that band had any air of assertiveness or danger about them. By comparison Guns 'N Roses had Axl and Slash -- each totally iconic individuals.  Most people know James Hetfield and Lars or Vince Neil and Tommy Lee or David Gilmore and Roger Waters.  But look at all of the bands that struggled...usually the average person can't name more than one person in the band, and because of that, the band's ability to resonate with the public is limited. 

 

This is why electronic music is so ridiculous...when there's just one guy writing and "performing" the music, that dude has to be Elvis or James Brown to command the attention of tens of thousands of people.  Well at least you'd think so, except for whatever reason electronic dance music fans are more than content to go berserk for a mediocre dude with a laptop and a light show. 

 

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Yeah Taylor Swift is from a wealthy family, so is Lady Gaga.  Lenny Kravitz is an interesting case, because he was supported by his parents, but at least had enough sense to realize that the 80s were total crap and was one of the people who really brought a warm 70s aesthetic back into pop music in the early 90s.  The other major group that did the same was The Black Crowes.

 

Taylor's got a sort of perfect storm going because she can write, she can sing, and she looks like the supermodel next door.  She was inevitable. 

 

But Iggy Azalea's parents were artsy-poor.  Lorde was middle class, so were Charli XCX and Sam Smith, both from the same smallish town in England as it turns out.  Likewise Beyonce.  We all know about Eminem's upbringing, Justin Bieber also had a single mom.  Nelly, Jay-Z, and most of the rest of the hip hop stars came from inner city black neighborhoods.  MGK's parents were missionaries.

 

The idea that a band has to tour constantly is historical at this point.  Touring is an afterthought, in many cases.  Promotion happens mostly on the internet.

 

The Albini article was dead on accurate.

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^Your last statement is a little incorrect. The drummer from The National is one of my clients and he was saying that almost all of the money they make comes from tours. All the other stuff basically allows them to break even. And they're a modest group of people so they aren't blowing money on things they don't need.

 

I don't know how it works in pop music, but from what I've heard it's not too dissimilar. The concerts are where the money actually is. Everything else is a tool to get people to the concerts.

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^Your last statement is a little incorrect. The drummer from The National is one of my clients and he was saying that almost all of the money they make comes from tours. All the other stuff basically allows them to break even. And they're a modest group of people so they aren't blowing money on things they don't need.

 

I don't know how it works in pop music, but from what I've heard it's not too dissimilar. The concerts are where the money actually is. Everything else is a tool to get people to the concerts.

 

The Albini article bears that out. Bands are getting paid much better for live shows than they used to. But there are less places hosting, and paying for, them.

 

It used to be a way to get exposure, now it is something you do when you have it already.

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It's because he's mostly talking about hip-hop where touring is optional.

 

From my time working at a concert club, I feel bad for hip-hop fans who go to live shows.  They're some of the most expensive tickets (like double a comparably popular rock band), the performers usually show up waaaay late (one actually went to a Cavs game when he was supposed to be onstage), then they perform for maybe 45 minutes and they're done (average headliner rock band does a 60-90 minute set).  Usually there is no stage show or setup, just a dj booth, and a bunch of idiots walking pointlessly around on stage.  Come to think of it, they're awful tippers, so I don't really feel that sorry for them.

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^Your last statement is a little incorrect. The drummer from The National is one of my clients and he was saying that almost all of the money they make comes from tours. All the other stuff basically allows them to break even. And they're a modest group of people so they aren't blowing money on things they don't need.

 

I don't know how it works in pop music, but from what I've heard it's not too dissimilar. The concerts are where the money actually is. Everything else is a tool to get people to the concerts.

 

The Albini article bears that out. Bands are getting paid much better for live shows than they used to. But there are less places hosting, and paying for, them.

 

It used to be a way to get exposure, now it is something you do when you have it already.

 

I don't know that bands are actually getting paid better, but they are getting paid.  Which is something they aren't getting from record sales.  So there's that.

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It's because he's mostly talking about hip-hop where touring is optional.

 

From my time working at a concert club, I feel bad for hip-hop fans who go to live shows.  They're some of the most expensive tickets (like double a comparably popular rock band), the performers usually show up waaaay late (one actually went to a Cavs game when he was supposed to be onstage), then they perform for maybe 45 minutes and they're done (average headliner rock band does a 60-90 minute set).  Usually there is no stage show or setup, just a dj booth, and a bunch of idiots walking pointlessly around on stage.  Come to think of it, they're awful tippers, so I don't really feel that sorry for them.

 

My brother's lead singer works security at the Agora and this is what he says.  Though he also says that Bone Thugs had a crowd consisting of 35 year old white guys on iPhones.  Are the high prices a way to cut down on potential problems? 

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It's probably a combination of factors really. High prices increase the status symbol of having tickets, the high prices make up for the fact that hip hop shows happen less often on average than rock ones, they help keep out riffraff and more money for the act.

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It's because he's mostly talking about hip-hop where touring is optional.

 

From my time working at a concert club, I feel bad for hip-hop fans who go to live shows.  They're some of the most expensive tickets (like double a comparably popular rock band), the performers usually show up waaaay late (one actually went to a Cavs game when he was supposed to be onstage), then they perform for maybe 45 minutes and they're done (average headliner rock band does a 60-90 minute set).  Usually there is no stage show or setup, just a dj booth, and a bunch of idiots walking pointlessly around on stage.  Come to think of it, they're awful tippers, so I don't really feel that sorry for them.

 

My brother's lead singer works security at the Agora and this is what he says.  Though he also says that Bone Thugs had a crowd consisting of 35 year old white guys on iPhones.  Are the high prices a way to cut down on potential problems? 

 

Hip hop shows are usually put on by street promoters rather than the big players.  They tend to not have insurance, and when they do, it's expensive. 

 

They also tend to overpay for the talent, so they have to charge high prices to try to cover the expenses. 

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I didn't do the books, but my understanding was that it was the expensive insurance and the fact that other sales like liquor and food were lower, so the money has to be made somehow.

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This is why electronic music is so ridiculous...when there's just one guy writing and "performing" the music, that dude has to be Elvis or James Brown to command the attention of tens of thousands of people.  Well at least you'd think so, except for whatever reason electronic dance music fans are more than content to go berserk for a mediocre dude with a laptop and a light show. 

 

 

whoa there rightous tiger. don't mix the pop dj's like david guetta in with the true electronica artistes. for example, the mu-siq and pole show i saw in the 90s in the brooklyn bridge anchorage was thee most immersive concert going experience ive ever had. 1000 suns better than your black crowes concert for sure. its a shame that after 9/11 incredible event spaces like that will never be available again.

 

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I didn't do the books, but my understanding was that it was the expensive insurance and the fact that other sales like liquor and food were lower, so the money has to be made somehow.

 

Serious question:  did the people who would normally get tipped get paid a bonus for working these shows?

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No, you just suck it up.  Every crowd comes with it's challenges.  Hip-hop crowds, stoned hippie crowds, metalhead crowds, country crowds, "country" crowds, screaming teenage girl crowds- each unique in their own way, like a flurry of obnoxious little snowflakes.

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I didn't do the books, but my understanding was that it was the expensive insurance and the fact that other sales like liquor and food were lower, so the money has to be made somehow.

 

Serious question:  did the people who would normally get tipped get paid a bonus for working these shows?

 

I have known bar owners that do hip hop nights with outside promoters charge them extra rent so that they give their bartenders extra money for the night.  Without it most of them would refuse to work.

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Why are commercials and youtube videos all being shot in this style, with uhkelele's, chimes, and the dorky "humor" that started with Conan O'Brian in the mid-90s?

 

Another video in the same cutesy-yuppie style:

 

 

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I didn't do the books, but my understanding was that it was the expensive insurance and the fact that other sales like liquor and food were lower, so the money has to be made somehow.

 

Serious question:  did the people who would normally get tipped get paid a bonus for working these shows?

 

I have known bar owners that do hip hop nights with outside promoters charge them extra rent so that they give their bartenders extra money for the night.  Without it most of them would refuse to work.

 

Why are the bar sales lower? Lots of pre-gaming?

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I didn't do the books, but my understanding was that it was the expensive insurance and the fact that other sales like liquor and food were lower, so the money has to be made somehow.

 

Serious question:  did the people who would normally get tipped get paid a bonus for working these shows?

 

I have known bar owners that do hip hop nights with outside promoters charge them extra rent so that they give their bartenders extra money for the night.  Without it most of them would refuse to work.

 

Why are the bar sales lower? Lots of pre-gaming?

 

Pre-gaming both at home and in the parking lot, and "in gaming" (sneak-ins) as well. 

 

They are also about five times more likely than corresponding non-hip hop crowds their age or older black crowds to complain about a drink they are halfway done with, or say that the empty glass a bar employee took back for re-use was actually full. 

 

This doesn't even cover that the lack of people willing to work makes it more likely that someone who is is strong-pouring or even not ringing up their friends.

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I didn't do the books, but my understanding was that it was the expensive insurance and the fact that other sales like liquor and food were lower, so the money has to be made somehow.

 

Serious question:  did the people who would normally get tipped get paid a bonus for working these shows?

 

I have known bar owners that do hip hop nights with outside promoters charge them extra rent so that they give their bartenders extra money for the night.  Without it most of them would refuse to work.

 

Why are the bar sales lower? Lots of pre-gaming?

 

Its two fold.  The sales tend to be lower because hip hop fans tend to smoke more than they drink ;) ;). 

 

And in reality, that community doesn't tip well.  Call it a stereotype, but it's plain and simple.  I've seen $200 bottles of Dom ordered and they'll leave the bartender a buck. 

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I didn't do the books, but my understanding was that it was the expensive insurance and the fact that other sales like liquor and food were lower, so the money has to be made somehow.

 

Serious question:  did the people who would normally get tipped get paid a bonus for working these shows?

 

I have known bar owners that do hip hop nights with outside promoters charge them extra rent so that they give their bartenders extra money for the night.  Without it most of them would refuse to work.

 

Why are the bar sales lower? Lots of pre-gaming?

 

Its two fold.  The sales tend to be lower because hip hop fans tend to smoke more than they drink ;) ;). 

 

And in reality, that community doesn't tip well.  Call it a stereotype, but it's plain and simple.  I've seen $200 bottles of Dom ordered and they'll leave the bartender a buck. 

 

This of course is why I asked the original question.  They are also among the most demanding and inconsiderate (both of the bartenders and of other customers) of patrons.  Every customer group has its issues, but the others don't expect the bartender to work for pretty close to their base rate.

 

I doubt you will find a bartender of any race or gender that does not agree.

 

We touched on this some when we talked about Naymik's columns about Sweethearts and the Hi-Low.

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OK, we've covered that, so maybe we should get back to stereotyping hipsters.

 

Well, we've talked about why bartenders and wait staff don't mind their quirks so much.  They may be odd, fussy, and demanding but they do tip pretty well.  :)

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Why are commercials and youtube videos all being shot in this style, with uhkelele's, chimes, and the dorky "humor" that started with Conan O'Brian in the mid-90s?

 

Another video in the same cutesy-yuppie style:

 

 

 

 

It's not hard to figure out. It worked for someone and others followed suit. Solved.

 

In the USA we double-down like no one's business. It's almost staggering. If something works once we beat on it until everyone snaps or it becomes totally ineffective. Disco, hair metal, and 1997-2006 bling rap were shoved up everyone's asses so hard that the "cool" people had to run away screaming leaving the underclass and those who simply don't care to fly the flags of them until death. It's the same with these commercials, reality TV, laugh-track sitcoms and procedurals. It doesn't matter that the cool people are gone; they're too flighty anyway. Sell stuff to the proles that locked on to some thing that was new, edgy and interesting when they were 13.

 

 

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I didn't do the books, but my understanding was that it was the expensive insurance and the fact that other sales like liquor and food were lower, so the money has to be made somehow.

 

Serious question:  did the people who would normally get tipped get paid a bonus for working these shows?

 

I have known bar owners that do hip hop nights with outside promoters charge them extra rent so that they give their bartenders extra money for the night.  Without it most of them would refuse to work.

 

Why are the bar sales lower? Lots of pre-gaming?

 

Its two fold.  The sales tend to be lower because hip hop fans tend to smoke more than they drink ;) ;). 

 

And in reality, that community doesn't tip well.  Call it a stereotype, but it's plain and simple.  I've seen $200 bottles of Dom ordered and they'll leave the bartender a buck. 

 

In 2015 I'm thinking about keeping a meticulous record of tips in a notebook.  It could make for an incredibly controversial Buzzfeed article!  I work for tips about 120-150 nights a year so that's enough data to determine trends. 

 

I agree that hipster-looking individuals are generally solid tippers, as are frat guys.  Best tippers are middle-aged gay men. 

 

 

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That's because we're fabulous. Though I'm not middle-aged...but I still make sure to tip really well. Being a server or bartender sucks.

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In 2015 I'm thinking about keeping a meticulous record of tips in a notebook.  It could make for an incredibly controversial Buzzfeed article!  I work for tips about 120-150 nights a year so that's enough data to determine trends. 

 

I agree that hipster-looking individuals are generally solid tippers, as are frat guys.  Best tippers are middle-aged gay men. 

 

 

 

That's right.  If you're going to be a baller and order expensive craft beer that tastes like nuts, fruits and berries, you better walk the walk!  Those hip hop guys and their Dom and Remi Martin just talk the talk!

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So do hipsters stereotypically drink sh!tty PBR-type beer or nuts, fruits, and berries craft beer? I'm confused.

 

The prevailing hipster cultural theft has drifted from blue collar mechanic/trucker in the late 90s and early 2000s to now the "craftsman".  Woodworking has been trendy for a few years now. 

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^Just face it. You don't like young people.

 

Every cultural movement is stealing from a previous generation. Rock music is stolen from rock 'n roll which is stolen from jazz and blues which is stolen from folk and spiritual songs which is stolen from slavery work songs which is stolen from traditions in African tribes which is stolen..................

 

The only thing the current generation is "stealing" is the origin of the things they are creating. You may not like it, and that's fine, but it's no more unoriginal than your generation's music, fashion, etc.

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^Just face it. You don't like young people.

 

You may not like it, and that's fine, but it's no more unoriginal than your generation's music, fashion, etc.

 

*Applause*

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So do hipsters stereotypically drink sh!tty PBR-type beer or nuts, fruits, and berries craft beer? I'm confused.

 

2 nice, exotic beers, followed by 8-12 PBRs is my typical routine.

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Why are commercials and youtube videos all being shot in this style, with uhkelele's, chimes, and the dorky "humor" that started with Conan O'Brian in the mid-90s?

 

That video style is quite popular with Kickstarter-type videos, such as the one you posted.

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I think I already posted this, but its still pretty relevant:

 

Yeah, that's pretty much it.  So is this:

 

And you can thank the wanking eighties, if you wish, and digital sequencers, too, for proving to everyone that technologically "perfect" rock--like "free" jazz--sucks rockets. Because order sucks. I mean, look at the Stones. Keith Richards is always on top of the beat, and Bill Wyman, until he quit, was always behind it, because Richards is leading the band and Charlie Watts is listening to him and Wyman is listening to Watts. So the beat is sliding on those tiny neural lapses, not so you can tell, of course, but so you can feel it in your stomach. And the intonation is wavering, too, with the pulse in the finger on the amplified string. This is the delicacy of rock-and-roll, the bodily rhetoric of tiny increments, necessary imperfections, and contingent community. And it has its virtues, because jazz only works if we're trying to be free and are, in fact, together. Rock-and-roll works because we're all a bunch of flakes. That's something you can depend on, and a good thing too, because in the twentieth century, that's all there is: jazz and rock-and-roll. The rest is term papers and advertising.

― Dave Hickey, Air Guitar

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think I already posted this, but its still pretty relevant:

 

Yeah, that's pretty much it.  So is this:

 

And you can thank the wanking eighties, if you wish, and digital sequencers, too, for proving to everyone that technologically "perfect" rock--like "free" jazz--sucks rockets. Because order sucks. I mean, look at the Stones. Keith Richards is always on top of the beat, and Bill Wyman, until he quit, was always behind it, because Richards is leading the band and Charlie Watts is listening to him and Wyman is listening to Watts. So the beat is sliding on those tiny neural lapses, not so you can tell, of course, but so you can feel it in your stomach. And the intonation is wavering, too, with the pulse in the finger on the amplified string. This is the delicacy of rock-and-roll, the bodily rhetoric of tiny increments, necessary imperfections, and contingent community. And it has its virtues, because jazz only works if we're trying to be free and are, in fact, together. Rock-and-roll works because we're all a bunch of flakes. That's something you can depend on, and a good thing too, because in the twentieth century, that's all there is: jazz and rock-and-roll. The rest is term papers and advertising.

― Dave Hickey, Air Guitar

 

One of the more profound ironies in the history of rock and roll is that both punk and 80s musical precision were a reaction to the same thing: the meandering "12 minutes of the same chord and lets call it a solo" chaos of mid 70s dinosaur rock.

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Don't hipsters dig lo-fi? The original hipsters certainly did. It's a whole (loosely defined) genre embracing the attitude toward order/disorder behind jmeck's quote.

 

Here's some Ohio lo-fi:

 

Cloud Nothings:

(No idea if that's an official video.)

 

Times New Viking:

 

Some psych lo-fi I dig from Athens, GA. Probably falls into the "term paper" camp since it's more headphone music than something to see live. Whatever.

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Don't hipsters dig lo-fi? The original hipsters certainly did. It's a whole (loosely defined) genre embracing the attitude toward order/disorder behind jmeck's quote.

 

Here's some Ohio lo-fi:

 

Cloud Nothings:

[snipped link]

(No idea if that's an official video.)

 

Times New Viking:

[snipped link]

 

Some psych lo-fi I dig from Athens, GA. Probably falls into the "term paper" camp since it's more headphone music than something to see live. Whatever.

[snipped link]

 

Yeah and the lo-fi just keeps getting worse - at first it was kind of unpolished, now its lets make everything sound like it was recorded in a bathroom.

 

Check this out *current "lo-fi" craze:

 

 

 

Vs the much better recorded "live" performance:

 

 

Older lo-fit hipster music was more like this:

 

 

I'll put it in a very "millennial way" moar wifi.  Frankly I think its really hurting rock and roll lately it needs to become unstuck.  I'm going to add that the sheer awfulness of pop culture ~1997-2003 was another reason why rock is the way it is now.  The first wave of these lo-fi hipster bands were an amazing breath of fresh air to a really really terrible overly glitzy overly angsty (manufactured angst) corporatized rock scene.  Now they've become stale and inbred in their sound - something needs to shake them up.

 

If you want innovation now, go to rap, there's a lot of great stuff happening in that world these days :)

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I have to agree with you. I can't stand Real Estate. There are definitely bands that I think do the thing pretty well. (Wussy and How To Dress Well come to mind). I also don't really understand why people like Sun Kil Moon or Panda Bear. Just really boring music people get really excited about.

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I hate the fact that pop culture was so crummy when I was in college and grad school (1998-2005). Those are the years where you're supposed to like everything in order to gain full peer acceptance and it was just too tough to disguise my disdain for what was popular at the time. People will really grill you, "Do you like this? Isn't it awesome? Why not? What's all this other stuff in your CD collection and Napster playlist? Why do you hate what's cool? What are you rebelling against? You hate anything that's popular."

 

What's worse is that I couldn't point out as specific complaints about the crap as I can now (except in the case of nu-metal where I could point out problems with the songwriting, vocals, lack of guitar solos and drum fills, the fact that I don't like drop-D derivative tunings etc.) to try to chill people out. All I could say is that it was just worse than what came before. And newer, better stuff hadn't emerged for me to prove that I can dig currently popular stuff just as long as it's actually worth consuming.

 

I have a lot of fond memories of college, but not of the late '90s/early 2000s.

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I have to agree with you. I can't stand Real Estate. There are definitely bands that I think do the thing pretty well. (Wussy and How To Dress Well come to mind). I also don't really understand why people like Sun Kil Moon or Panda Bear. Just really boring music people get really excited about.

 

Sun Kil Moon I only really like live, he bellows out his lines, its an interesting delivery and his lyrics are pretty well written too (though a touch too rambly).  I don't get Panda Bear either that was such a boring show when I heard them.

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lo-fi is the hipster version of auto-tuning.

 

Hipsters in the 90s and 2000s always stayed away from punk, hardcore, and metal, which have each been quietly(!) doing their thing continuously this whole time without any attention from the mainstream or Stereogum, Pitchfork, etc.

 

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Sign of the apocalypse?

Hipster have invaded Birmingham Alabama.

 

Damn it's hard (and expensive) to be an Alabama hipster,

16709767-large.jpg

 

A friend of mine just left town. The place was changing, he complained.

 

"I moved here to get away from the hipsters," he said. "Bastards followed me."

 

So he sold his loft, grabbed his guitar and his funny hat and left Birmingham to pursue his mid-life doctorate. And I just shook my head. Because I know that the first stage of hipsteria is denial. Hipsters hate hipsters. Almost as much as they hate national restaurant chains and genetically modified foods.

hipMan short.jpgBirminghipster Ian Hoppe acknowledges his own hipster tendencies. Which might just mean he's not as hipster as we thought. (Justin Yurkanin)

 

But he's right about Birmingham. It is becoming Hipsterham....................

http://www.al.com/bhammag/index.ssf/2015/01/damn_its_hard_and_expensive_to.html#incart_river

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Watching the clip from the Appalachian Trail video again, the Sandstorm incident is immediately followed-up by some guy in a straw cowboy hat AND drunk-uncle style neck tie around his forehead.  A radical innovation that could definitely catch on. 

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