no more birthdays
The first batch of b-sides from Sound Team's Movie Monster have surfaced. On this track, the boys have taken apart "No More Birthdays" and stripped it down, exposing Matt Oliver's emotional and extremely tender vocals, only to prop it back up with hand claps, banjo, clarinet, and wall-banging. A nice change-of-pace from the constant build of the album version:
Sound Team No More Birthdays (San Francisco Bay) mp3
You guys loved his "Non-Indie Dude" observations from the Pitchfork Festival and Lollapalooza, so please give a warm welcome to new g vs. b columnist Austin LaRoche. He's planning on contributing a weekly column here on the blog, and his first installment is hilarious, and dare I say, epic (deal with it, anonymous commenter.) Ladies and gentlemen, we present, "The Hipster Test." I got a 47, if you're scoring at home:
"After writing my observations on Lollapalooza last week, one of the comments I received posed an amazing question--what makes an indie kid?
Before we move further, let me point out that this is a very subjective question. Everyone has their own interpretation, and this is by no means "the standard" anywhere outside my apartment. Alright, enough bally-hoo, let's tackle this puppy..."
(click read more link for "The Hipster Test")
So I've separated "indie kids" into two categories--the nerds and the hipsters. (Quick note: "nerd" is a word that used to have a negative connotation, but in light of such protagonists as Seth Cohen, being a "nerd" somehow got "cool." This country cracks me up.) So, the new "cool" nerds are the music fans I like. They're on top of their shit, they know more about the music than I do, and they usually have cool blogs that deliver new music daily, and are the reason the Arctic Monkeys are getting laid every night.
(Another side note: do the groupies of bands have a certain pride in the bands they sleep with based on name alone? For instance, if you were a groupie and you were talking to someone who knew nothing about music, wouldn't it be cooler to tell someone you slept with an Arctic Monkey rather than a Stroke or a Hive or a Vine? I don't know if there's a prouder moment for groupies than announcing they've slept with an Arctic Monkey. Maybe that's how they sold all those albums in Britain.)
Back to topic. So, I like the nerds. They're nice people, and their main difference, in the realm of music, with the hipsters, is that they want to spread good music everywhere. They want every buddy on their mySpace page knowing about these up-and-coming bands. The hipsters, meanwhile, want to laugh at Dave Matthews fans and keep their music to themselves. I'm not as simpatico with hipsters.
Hipsters have some of the funniest characteristics known to man. At shows, they're the people who always look like they're having a terrible time because they're terrified that if they "jam out" a little or even bop their head Night at the Roxbury-style, they'll look stupid and the cool guy gods will take their tapered jeans from them. They throw away albums once Pitchfork disses them and they're always confused on whether or not the Strokes are still cool. But the one thing they do not do, under any circumstances, is admit they are a hipster. I never imagined I lived in a world where "hipster" was insulting and "nerd" was cool, but we are America, and we are funny like that.
That's why I think hipsters need to be tested on their coolness. We need people to know where they lie on the "hip" list. So we're gonna take a test. Don't worry, I'm taking it, too. This way, whoever is reading will know where they lie on the "hip chart."
Here's how the scoring works. The multiple choice answers to my questions will be numbered 1-5. Whatever choice best suits your taste, write it down. When you're done, add up your score and see where you stand. Everyone get out your number 2 pencils and Kelly blue books. It's test time:
Are you a hipster?
What was the last album you thought was perfect?
1. Hot Fuss
2. I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
4. Kid A
5. You haven't heard it, but it's by this band called "Jesus Was Me" and it's called Millard Filmore Slept with My Daughter, but it's hard to find and all the guys in the band died in a cult sacrifice.
Assuming we can all agree that Bob Dylan was the most iconic singer/songwriter of his time and there will never be another Zimmerman, if we were to go out on a limb and say that this generation has a "Dylan," who do you think it would be?
1. Jack Johnson
2. Ryan Adams
3. Conor Oberst
4. Jeff Mangum
5. Dylan was terrible compared to bands like "Jesus Was Me" and was an awful artist. So if you want me to tell you who I think the next "Dylan" is, it's a tie between the Duff Sisters.
The Arcade Fire are...
2. A decent band, but nothing special
3. A group who has made one, albeit very good, album
4. The greatest band in the world
5. A bunch of sellouts that were cool until my little sister heard them on the radio and now her and her teeny-bopper friends like them so they are lame.
1. Sang my favorite song ever--"Summer of '69"
2. Has never made a bad album
3. Has his ups and downs, but overall, has a lot of good songs
4. Hasn't impressed me since Heartbreaker.
5. Can jump off a bridge and hang himself.
Your favorite clothing store is...
1. Abercrombie or American Eagle, I just can't decide
2. I like all department stores, they got a wide range
3. Urban Outfitters
4. H&M or American Apparel
5. You have no clue where I get my clothes because I don't shop at chains. I only wear hand-me-downs.
Your favorite food is...
1. I love ICE CREAM!!!
2. A good steak with a loaded baked potato on the side
3. Pad Thai
4. Any of the entrees from the French Bistro down the street
5. I don't eat. If I ate, how the hell would I get into these size zero jeans? Not all of us do coke, okay?
You and I are going to bet on something arbitrary. The terms of the bet are the loser has to go into the independent record store in your area and ask if they have any Daniel Powter bootlegs. You lose the bet. You react by...
1. Getting those bootlegs!! You're the one who really lost the bet, Austin! Or should I say "YOU HAD A BAD DAY..."
2. Shrugging your shoulders and saying "no sweat" and carrying out the mission
3. You feel embarrassed by going up and asking but you make sure you ask a member of the staff you are by no means attracted to.
4. You make a joke out of it, asking your good buddy who owns the record store if he has any and he jokes back "yeah dude, we got a stockpile in the back."
5. You change your phone number, vacate your apartment, pack everything you have and find a new city to live in.
Your view on homosexuality is...
1. IT'S A SIN!!! YUCKY!!!
2. Don't care either way
3. I can't believe their gay marriage is illegal.
4. I have a ton of gay friends, it's neither weird nor an issue for me, just life.
5. You never know your sexuality until you try screwing everything. And I mean everything.
You think George W. Bush is...
1. Right behind Jesus as the greatest human ever
2. Not a smart man
3. One of the worst presidents of all-time
4. Someone who needs to be castrated, the son-of-a-bitch
5. Someone I'm not allowed to comment on...this is court ordered after my anti-Bush group was recently determined a "hate group" because we tried to poison his pets and stab each member of his cabinet.
When you hear the names Francisco Liriano and Manu Ginobili, you think...
1. Great rookie pitcher and Argentinean flopper
2. They're both athletes, right?
3. Not really familiar with those--were they on Project Runway?
4. I think I know a guy who wears their clothes
5. They've both made amazing albums, but you haven't heard of them because they're not on mySpace and they're a little too underground.
The most attractive woman in Hollywood is (don't worry lady hipsters, we have an alternative for you all in the next question)...
1. Pamela Anderson
2. Jessica Alba
3. Natalie Portman
4. Scarlet Johannsan
5. Hollywood is a bunch of ugly, plastic, terrible creatures who are as fake and terrible as anyone I've ever met. But if I had to pick one, I'd say that little wildcat that got naked in Broken Flowers.
The most attractive man in Hollywood is...
1. Brad Pitt
2. Matt Leinart
3. Adam Brody
4. Chuck Klosterman
5. Will Oldham
Your friends consist mostly of...
1. My BFF!!!
2. A couple old pals, a few of my (insert intramural sport) teammates
3. Some people I've met at shows, a few people from work
4. Artists, mostly. Ya know, people in bands and stuff
5. Pete Doherty
The coolest place you've ever been is...
1. PARIS!!! It was soooo romantic
2. In the airplane bathroom with a lover
3. New York City when (insert favorite band) was playing
4. VIP at SXSW
5. Jakota, Oregon. (Note: You may be unfamiliar with this town, but it's got the best underground hip-hop you'll ever hear. And get this--everyone there is blind!!!)
The coolest place imaginable is...
1. An exotic beach with Brad Pitt/Pamela Anderson
2. The Super Bowl (The ladies equivalent: Fashion Week in NYC)
4. Sufjan Stevens condo with he, Win Butler, Dan Bejar, Spencer Krug, and Chan Marshall writing songs together and playing different tunes.
5. Thom Yorke's bedroom closet
You've taken this entire test and said...
1. This is long but I have to forward it all my friends on facebook
2. Why did I take this, I'm really not too much of a hipster in the first place
3. Phew. I'm right in the middle.
4. I may just be a bit hipper than I imagined.
5. This is the lamest shit ever. Who cares about hipsters, they're all losers anyway.
The test has ended.
Where do you rank?
(Note--There were 16 questions, although you only answered 15 of them because depending on if you're into the guys or the ladies, you answered that question accordingly).
You watch the Hills and Laguna Beach, don't you? You really love facebook, the indie-est artist you listen to is Damien Rice, and you have never been accused of being "eclectic." Why did you even come on GVB? Are you Chris's cousin or something?
You're the diet coke of hipster. You may need to throw some polos away and give up on Ryan Adams to be considered "hip." Also, you could develop a drug problem, that works too. (Note--I scored a 40. I was borderline hipster. Maybe somewhere unconsciously I decided to throw the sports question in there to bring my score down. Not really, I just added that one because it was funny. Actually, I think I did that with all of them.)
You could be hipper, but you are quite hip. You order stuff from the H&M catalog and swear Neutral Milk Hotel changed your life. If you lie in this category, you can no longer be in hipster denial. If I call you a hipster, you have to respond with something along the lines of "yeah, whatever, I guess so." Who am I kidding? You'll keep on denying it.
You are the hippest hipster of all time. Next time I catch you at a show I'm gonna make sure you're sent right up front so you stand there and pretend you don't enjoy the music.
(Please note--your political beliefs and clothes should never matter in the music you like. In fact, I wore a polo to the first day of the Pitchfork festival. Please follow the nerds and listen for the music and spread it to the people who don't have it. Do it for your favorite artists and do it so we live in a world where I like to shop in places with the radio on in the background. Uh oh, I'm getting preachy, let me step off my stool here for a second. Okay, back to the ground, now. Do what you want with your life, be whoever it is you are, and look all over the internet for a copy of Millard Filmore Slept with my Daughter--it'll change your life.)