Hearsay: Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Anti-Hipster Rising

We’ve written a bunch about Best Fwends, a kitschy techno duo based in Fort Worth and Austin, and we’ve always been kind to them. As we should. They’re good. And so is the Alex Atchley Experience. And Michael Eli DuFault. And a lot of other geeky hipster bands and performers who have found themselves, somewhat unceremoniously, in the throes of an anti-hipster backlash of unparalleled intensity. Anyone whose taste in music tends toward the exquisite (snobby?) and whose wardrobe includes cheeky vintage t-shirts and several pair of peg-leg jeans is now often equated with the average douchebag, frat-hole, or some other form of less-than-desirous company. There actually are several blogs devoted to the anti-hipster movement, including diehipster.com and www.hipstersareannoying.com. (In defense of hipsters, I can say that although most may accept what they are spoonfed by their friends, at least they doesn’t patently accept the same from mainstream entertainment companies.) The bad part is that, as with other walks of life – hip-hoppers, jocks, metalheads – there are legit hipsters, people who are legitimately creative and legitimately anti-mainstream. The legit-hips now not only have to combat the general apathy that greets every kind of creative pursuit but also the deadly perception that they’re just hipster-poseurs. Which sucks for hipster bands/performers like Best Fwends, Alex Atchley, and others. Here’s what Afro Dan at Vice magazine wrote last year about the Fwends’ most recent album, Alphabetically Arranged (on Moishi Moishi): “So you’ve gathered together all your old kitsch video game samples, a collection of retro toy keyboards, and a load of household junk for those ‘unique sounds,’ but what now? Make a zany collection of no-fi pop songs to release on a hip British label? Or maybe just fuck off and get a real job? It’s a tough one.” All record reviews under 100 words (Afro Dan’s is 59) are useless – they can’t even begin to do justice to works of art into which 100-plus hours of sweat and skill have been funneled. Bad record reviews under 100 words are more than useless. They’re annoying and downright aggravating. They might make the writer feel like a big man and get a passing giggle from a reader or two, but other than that, they’re the equivalent of masturbating in public. Had Afro Dan spent more than a couple of minutes with the album, he surely would have noticed the extended moments of light-hearted, toe-tappin’ robot-disco brilliance that pop up throughout. Granted, my voice is little, and, yes, Afro Dan and other writers like him are providing a valuable service by helping readers and potential listeners separate the legit-hips from the poseurs. But I refuse to believe that anyone with functioning ears can’t find a single thing to like about Alphabetically Arranged. Evidently, much in the same way that hipsterism has become commercialized so has its angry opposite. … The aforementioned Atchley, whose sound is kitschy but legitimately heavy and melodic, is playing on Saturday at 1919 Hemphill (817-920-9665) with The Emotron and Philly’s Mose Giganticus. Demo tracks from Atchley’s forthcoming album, Post Punk Depression, are available at aae.hotdogstorm.com. The album is scheduled for an October release.
Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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