Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Aging Hipsters

A friend once said, "There's nothing sadder than an aging hipster." I resemble that remark - I may sue him for definition of character. But seriously, I disagree. Starting with a war in Iraq and genocide in Sudan, my list of sadder things than aging hipsters would be a long one. But then that's exactly what you'd expect an aging hipster to say.

As someone who was always on the outside looking in, I would hardly qualify as a hipster. Better to be a trenchant observer than a poseur, so I thought. Like that Waterboys song, "I pictured a rainbow, you held it in your hands, I had flashes but you saw the plan. I wandered out in the world for years while you just stayed in your room. I saw the crescent you saw the whole of the moon." But I was the first kid on my backwoods block to listen to Gary Numan, Thomas Dolby and Machine, was among the first 200,000 households in MTV's second-round test market in northern Denver in 1981, was in a band myself, hung out in London's Camden Palace and Dingwalls pretty much every weekend for four years. So I did have some street cred during a distant age when dinosaurs like The Pixies, Pavement and The Replacements stalked the earth.

No hipster's cool quotient could withstand the following sequence of events: getting married, getting a mortgage, having children, coaching Little League ... and so on. But for those that think adopting the trappings of conventionality are a copout, I all I can say is, you don't know real courage until you stare a 30-year mortgage in the face.

It interests me how some music stands the test of time, while other music does not. And only in the fullness of time do the classics get sorted away from the discount bins at Sam Goody and into the ears of the next generation. Anyway, let that stand as a long-winded introduction to one of my favorite power-pop hipster songs of all time, The Replacements "Bastards of Young," and one of their characteristically minimalist anti-MTV video of all time:


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