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Monday, July 16, 2007

Faux hipsters return to their faux Brooklyns

Chicago returns to normal today after the end of Pitchfork 2007. Tens of thousands of mewling music fans came to my fair metropolis to celebrate music snobbery and the spread of rabid internet-bred pop fragmentation. I did enjoy myself at the Fest this year, as did my friend Kev (Pop Zeus). Bests-Mastodon, De La Soul. Worsts-Battles, the Cool Kids. I also have to give a shout-out to something called cevichee (sp?), a gypsy fair food consisting of lamb, pork, beef, onions, and salt all blended together and grilled on a kebab. It was served on a warm pita, and then you poured this spicy eggplant sauce on it. Fantastic! But overall I found the scene this weekend discouraging. When I was a teenager I went to fests to listen to tunes and get fucked up. The kids today (jesus, did I begin a sentence with that? I'm getting old) seem to be there to be seen and get fucked up, the music being an ancillary item. Sure, poseurs have always plagued the pop world, from hippies to punks, but hipsters (their most common label) have taken this to an art form. I do not believe that this forebodes some looming pop music apocalypse, as some old fogies have charged, but I do believe it may further erode one of the most powerful results of genius pop-its ability to bind people from different backgrounds into audiences where prejudices can be dissolved and commonalities found. At Pitchfork, I saw very many affluent young white people, but I saw too little of youth of color or lower economic status (that last sociological observation was made more difficult because there was an awful lot of rich kids vested in thrift store junk). Pitchfork did the right thing with the cheap ticket prices, but it will be interesting to see how the Festival develops over the next few years. There is a strong possibility that it may end up as a Warped Tour kind of event-a place for suburban teens to get their indie on. Again, I hope I don't sound like Oscar the Concert Grouch. This all just could be a sign that I am getting way too old for this type of thing.

Oh, and if you were there, I was the guy with the home made 'Hey Hipster, Nice Uniform' shirt.


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