28 November 2006

Hipsters.


There was a time in my life when through an odd concatenation of circumstances I, though myself certifiably and forever square, was friends with a number of thoroughly hip musicians. In those days, I spent nearly all of my net disposable income (not too dang much) on CD's. I read Mojo and No Depression as if they were the Daily Office. I read the record reviews in Rolling Stone in the store, though I am proud to say I rarely lowered myself to level of purchasing that magazine. Anyhow, I recently read through a batch of rock criticism for the first time in a long time and was amazed (in a bad way) at the insularity and, well, completely unaware scenester-ish-ness of it all. Imagine my gratification when I checked in to Books & Culture and found out I was right:

Let's impose a moratorium on rock critics. Now. A few months ago, I came across this line by critic David Dunlap, Jr.: "[The band] Windsor for the Derby has plenty of experience jumping subgenres … everything from slo-core to krautrock to electronica to its current flavor of Mancunian-tinged postrock."

Call me square, dismiss me as an oldster, but I think when you're referring to Mancunian-tinged postrock, it's time to hang it up. Pop music criticism has grown so insular, full of itself, hipper-than-thou, and, most important, aesthetically disjointed from the thing it claims to examine that we'd best start over—beginning with a rediscovery of the granddaddy of all modern rock critics, Lester Bangs. . .

Here's the whole thing. See, I'm still borderline hip.
 

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