California knows how to party (as does New York)

I saw Ludicra and Krallice a few days ago. So awesome! And some of the friendliest band folks I have ever met, too. Laurie and Christy from Ludicra somehow managed to remember me from the very brief conversations I had with them in Boston months ago, which was pleasantly surprising. That kind of thing is what I like about participating in these tight-knit subcultures.

So, Ludicra, Krallice, and Ocean (awesome local doom band who opened for them) have all attracted the attentions of noted pretentious garbage cesspool Pitchfork. (I recommend reading their reviews of Ocean albums. Seriously hilarious.) In part because of this (I am guessing), there was a sizable contingent there of hipster-looking dorks, standing in the back with their arms crossed (of course) and looking kind of nervous. I shot them a death-glare or two, and it was then that I realized I have become the fucking snob I used to make fun of.

I am of two minds on this. On the one hand, I’m stoked to see awesome bands get the popularity they deserve. And I realize that everyone’s got to get into metal somehow, and I’m probably being really unfair by judging people for getting into it later than me. I guess what bothers me about the particular nature of the “bands I like getting popular with hipster dorks” phenomenon is that I’ve seen many an occasion where hipster dorks made fun of metal for being the province of lower-class mouth-breathers, and now that these bands have garnered a few good reviews from some hipster-asshole mouthpiece they’re losing their collective shit over them. I think you could probably find a lot of examples of this: art that’s typed as “lower-class” being mocked or ignored by pretentious d-bags until it gets a stamp of legitimacy from some cultural authority, and then all of the sudden it’s OK to (for instance) wear an Iron Maiden shirt without having to assure people of your ironic intentions. The class implications (“it ain’t shit unless a ‘highbrow’ cultural critic says it is”) are obvious, and fucking obnoxious.

In the Onion AV Club a while ago, they interviewed a fellow about his least favorite music documentaries. He mentioned Heavy Metal Parking Lot and its mean-spirited “ha ha, look at these goons” tone, saying that in his experience metalheads were actually pretty friendly folks in general, and that you can find idiots and assholes in any crowd, not just the one waiting for Judas Priest. Commenters (dear god why do I read the fucking comments) took issue, stating that yes, us metalheads are all just a bunch of fucking assholes, that we’re ignorant and overly aggressive and boy howdy, we sure don’t compare to the average crowd at an indie rock show. If I had a bingo card for stereotypes of working-class people, I probably could have filled out the entire thing several times over.

I wish I was better able to articulate these vague frustrations. I think they come from a couple things. One of them is the class issue I mentioned: a crowd that is generally middle/upper class (hipster dorks) getting into music that is generally pretty working-class (metal), but only tentatively, and only through “pre-approved” bands. (This, I think, is the reason why the Sword is so popular, while much better bands in the same vein [like the Gates of Slumber] get ignored – why listen to some dorky dudes in their 30s when you could be listening to ex-punk twentysomethings?) The other one is just being fiercely territorial about subcultures I participate in. This is the reason I will happily reach out and strangle anyone wearing “ironic” band t-shirts, and why terrible mass-marketed pop punk bands still depress me. This isn’t to say I am never critical of metal or punk subculture – sometimes they make me want to punch a wall. But when aspects of them are adopted by people who don’t give a shit about most of the music or the cultural history, well, I am not having that sort of thing. NOT HAVING IT.

Also, my word count just reached 666. FUCK YES.

~ by Smellen on April 19, 2010.

5 Responses to “California knows how to party (as does New York)”

  1. This is not relevant to your post at all, but can you believe the insane bullshit comments that are emerging around Jessica Yee’s piece on cultural appropriation on feminist blogs? It reminds me of about a million of your other posts.

    • yeah, that shit was just jaw-droppingly disgusting. “This is like saying I can’t eat pizza if I’m not Italian”- SERIOUSLY? WHAAAT. I looked around BitchBlog a little more and there were some similarly heinous comments on Yee’s post on the proposed niqab ban in Canada (lots of stuff about observant Muslim women being “guests” on Canadian soil, which means they’re obligated to dress like everyone else; some preachy atheist “religion is all patriarchal brainwashing anyway” shit; etc.). Seems like that poor woman is an asshole magnet. I couldn’t believe she was able to respond to that mess in such a civil and patient way – I think my response would have been more along the lines of “FUCK Y’ALL” in flashing 50-point font.

      • I know, except my response would include animated gifs of cartoon figures head-desking or something equally 2004. I don’t even want to go look at the niqab post…

  2. I think I farted.

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