Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Emotional Stress of Being Hipster

Hipsters... I knew xxxx before it was cool.

For anyone not familiar with the term, urban dictionary gives us a great definition of what a hipster really is by describing them as a “subculture of men and women … that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.” For the full definition, please click here.

Now, I only half consider myself a hipster. I don't follow politics, nor do I believe that consumerism is destroying our culture.But I do however follow trends when they suit my current style and I do love all things art and underground. My taste in music is very "hipster". I listen to bands you’ve probably never even heard of— wait, maybe you have. Please stop me if any of these bands sound familiar. Imagine Dragons? Ghost Beach? Peachcake? Stepdad?

No? Well brace yourselves because you’re in for a treat. Thanks to social media, these unknown bands are now becoming more and more popular. Websites such as ragechill.com, stereomood.com and indieshuffle.com are a great place for these bands to gain exposure. These three websites revolve around the same idea, make an account, upload some of your favourite indie bands and share it with everyone else. This is an incredible tool for these bands and artists to gain a larger fan base and to test out new music. Artists with maybe just a couple hundred fans can post their music online, and in a matter of minutes can be exposed to thousands of people.

Stereotypically, hipsters tend to want to know bands before they get too famous in fear of that band becoming mainstream or top 40. And maybe they’ve got it figured out. The more exposure an artist or band gets, the worse the music tends to be. I’m not saying this is true to all bands but we do need to consider which songs are getting the most air time on radios and which songs are topping the iTunes charts. Most songs seem to revolve around sex or getting drunk and contain no lyrical substance whatsoever.

This is where the hipster soul struggles. As much as we hipsters want to see our favourite bands succeed and gain a larger fan base, we’d like to keep them sheltered to preserve the quality of the music. The struggle for us is that we don’t want to share our music with others but in my case, I wouldn’t have found out about the incredible bands listed above if it weren’t for those three sites named earlier. I’m torn in half. Half of me celebrates when I hear an indie band on the radio and I’ll cheer them on in my head. Good for them, they’re doing well for themselves. The other half of me dies. Here we go, now everyone will like them and jump on the bandwagon even though I’ve been a fan for years.

As much as this pains me to do this, I would love to share with you one of my all time favourite Toronto based bands.Everyone, this is Nightbox. Nightbox, welcome to the world of mainstream.

TO ALL YOU MAINSTREAMERS, KEEP YOUR DIRTY PAWS OFF THEM! (but don't because I really want them to succeed!)

Oh, the emotional stress of being a hipster.


  1. Good Job!
    I will be checking out this new bands thanks to you, I completely understand where you’re coming from it does seem that artist change everything once they become mainstream and achieve fame and fortune. However there is the exception, in my opinion I think Snoop dogg is a true original who never sold out or changed his style or music even as he became mainstream. He always stayed true to who he was, Wiz Kalifa is another example who shows he stands out with his style and lyrics and doesn’t conform to the mainstream influence. In regards to punk rock my best friend used to absolutely love Good Charlotte before they were ever famous, so much that I joined her for one of their low budget shows back in the day. Their music was original and even though I am not a fan of punk music even I loved the catchy tunes but mostly it was their style that attracted me the most. Needless to say we all know what happened once they blew up, they broke up and their music got worst and worst seemed their personal lives like dating Parish Hilton and Nicole Ritchie took over the lime light, and their fans turned to a more original unknown bands to support. It is a conflict when you want the artist or band you love to do well, but not to conform.
    Have faith hipster!
    They do not all go astray think of Cypress hill, Lauryn hill and Tupac who always stayed true to their fans and their individuality as artist.
    I’m sure these bands will too.

  2. I loved your use of links and videos. It wasn't overwhelming and it really helped expand on the topic in which they were linked too. I am looking forward to checking out these new bands and genre of music.
    I also really enjoyed that you kept your topic current and your definitions up to date (using urban dictionary was a great choice).
    Good job and well written.