Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: ‘Look at This Fucking [Sociological Treatise on the Modern] Hipster’ Edition

Morning, folks!

The mysterious purveyor of the Felice Brothers golden-ticket essay contest named a winner Friday. I’ll share the winning essay here later today, but here’s a taste of the author’s pathos at work:

I don't know how I missed out. But don't make me sit at home alone on Friday night, listening to Adventures of the Felice Brothers Vol. 1, masturbating in the dark, and waiting for the tears to come.

As it turned out there were no real winners at the sold-out show at the Rock & Roll Hotel that night. The gig started out promising before someone in the front row teased the musicians that their beloved Yankees were about to be eliminated from the playoffs. The rest of the concert had a spiteful air; the band, visibly pissed, played a lot of uncharismatic new material and never got in sync with the audience. Kudos to the Felice Brothers for being unafraid of veering from their gothic folk-rock wheel house, but this was clearly not their night.

Comedian Louis C.K., by contrast, managed to give a packed Warner Theater an hour and sixteen minutes of new material without losing anyone for a second.

Anyway:

The discordant guitaring of D.C.’s ‘90s hardcore punk scene is apparently not the District’s only six-string legacy; turns out the DMV is also something of a classical-guitar mecca, reports WaPo. Writer Anne Midgette traces the lineage back to Greek immigrant Sophocles Papas, who built the scene back in the ‘20s. Tally another point for the Greeks in the canon of D.C. music—you’ll recall it was another Greek, John “Johnny Boy” Katsouros, who launched erstwhile Washington R&B legend Terry Huff back in the early ‘60s.

Arena Stage opened in its new home. It tweeted all the relevant coverage.

Finally, New York magazine has an article about the death of early 21-century hipsterism—a condensed version of an investigation by the literary journal n+1. The music piece figures most prominently in what the author calls the “Hipster Primitive moment,” when we all grew beards, donned flannel, and pretended the Industrial Revolution never happened. From the article:

Music led the artistry of this phase... Here are the names of some significant bands, post-2004: Grizzly Bear, Neon Indian, Deerhunter, Fleet Foxes, Department of Eagles, Wolf Parade, Band of Horses, and, most centrally, Animal Collective. (On the electronic-primitive side, LCD Soundsystem.) Listeners heard animal sounds and lovely Beach Boys–style harmonies; lyrics and videos pointed to rural redoubts, on wild beaches and in forests; life transpired in some more loving, spacious, and manageable future, possibly of a Day-Glo or hallucinatory brightness.

The n+1 book version, by the way, has contributions by City Paper columnist Moe Tkacik, who, speaking at a Symposium, blamed neo-hipsterism on the era’s big movers: the Internet—for breaking down the barriers to subculture—and China, for enabling the sort of credit flow that would let American Apparel open 200 stores in two years. (She does not venture to explain where the Hipster-primitive animal fetish came from.)

Me? I blame the Internet for how little I am being paid to write this.

Bye!

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  • Henry Bean

    you short-sighted, uneducated moron!
    you write "The discordant guitaring of D.C.’s ‘90s hardcore punk scene is apparently not the District’s only six-string legacy:..."
    you forget
    -Danny Gatton (best Tele player ever) and Roy Buchanan (almost a Rolling Stone)
    -Archie Edwards and John Cephus (blues Gods)
    -John Fahey (Blind Fuckin' Joe DEATH)
    -Link Ray (pretty much invented Neil Youngs electric guitar tone)
    -Nils Lofgren (Neil's and Bruce's ax man)

    hardcore was and is the shit, and the greeks and all that deserve their props but you can't forget these other cats and the scenes that they created in oblivion.

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