10 Steps To Becoming A Hipster Music Snob

Posted 12/09/2010 by Amy Kristen in Labels: , , , ,

So. You’ve been invited to go to a shabby dive bar on a Wednesday night in the middle of Hipstertown, U.S.A., and you want to be able to hold your own in the inevitable debate about which indie-band-you’ve-never-heard-of reigns supreme. This is clearly going to be a challenge, oh ye of the Ke$ha-worshiping clan. For your entire life up to this point, you’ve listened only to the Top 40 radio station and the occasional Twilight soundtrack when you want to feel musically diverse. Your definition of music involves auto-tuners, the production talents of Timbaland, and Glee. It’s not music unless a group of beautiful gay boys are able to put on a spectacular dance number to it and/or it is parodied ad nauseam on You Tube by grandmas, fat men, and Asian kids.

Well, my friend, you’re in luck: All you have to do is follow these ten simple steps and you too can appear like a cool music snob. Amaze all your friends! Be the life of the kickback! Impress the attractive emo girl/boy you like! Anyone can do it!

Note: Hipster clothes (e.g. tight jeans, quirky $300 sunglasses, plaid shirts from the Salvation Army) not included.

1. Throw away any and all albums you may have purchased by the following artists: Katy Perry. Bruno Mars. Taylor Swift. Justin Bieber. Anyone who spells their name using punctuation marks, other symbols, or the letter Z instead of S. This will save you hours of making up stories about how you came to own such embarrassing excuses for music.

2. Never, ever buy anything again from the iTunes Top 100 Downloaded Singles List. Those songs are purchased by other schmucks like you who trust large corporations like Apple and Clear Channel to tell them what to listen to. In fact, if the band is any good, their work won’t even be offered on iTunes. Which leads us to our next point…

3. You have no idea how to find obscure indie bands to listen to because, naturally, they’re obscure. So here’s what you do: Make up a name for a band. The name has to be as weird and ludicrous as your feeble, uncreative brain can conjure up. Example: “Mc Skeletor”. Now type the band name into the iTunes search bar. If it gives you nothing, congratulations! You’re one step closer to finding a real band! Now try Google-ing the band name. Bingo. They only have a MySpace page? Perfect.

4. Make lots and lots of “mix tapes,” which are really just CD-Rs that have been burned with a bunch of random songs by your new favorite bands. Since you can’t buy their music online, you’ll have to get it illegally. Note that it is not real music unless you’re forced to steal it. Now, acquiring these music files requires some semi-intermediate computer knowledge, so to save myself the trouble of having to explain it, we’ll keep it simple. For this step, all you have to do is get the nearest nerd to download the songs for you. In fact, why don’t you just have him burn them directly to a disk for you? You don’t even have to bribe him, because he’ll do whatever it takes to help you. See, at this point you’re so obviously mysterious and emotionally layered that simply getting to talk to you will be payment enough.

5. Play the mix tapes everywhere you go, especially when in the company of fellow music snobs. Blast the CDs from your home and car stereos. iPods are also acceptable here, but make sure the volume is loud enough that everyone will be able to hear what you’re listening to (and not recognize it, of course). Take every available opportunity to mention the name of the artist or song title out loud. Gain bonus points by throwing in random music terms you don’t really understand (“Wow, Sinister Six is UNBELIEVABLE. I swear, that guitar riff… And the bass line! Brilliant!”). Shake your head a lot, like you can’t believe how amazing your musical taste is. Yes, you can talk to yourself! It’s okay. You’re cool.

6. Go to obscure underground concerts. Again, it’s difficult to attend a concert if you don’t even know that it’s happening. However, this can be accomplished through a couple of different means. Your first option is to tag along with your new cool music snob friends. However, using this approach will quickly shine a light on the fact that you are still not as cool as them, which will probably make them realize that you are a POSER (Gasp! Shock! Horror!). You can probably get away with being a tag-along for a week or two, but then you have to find your own path. Do this by going to the dirtiest, sketchiest part of town (aim for the streets with the most human fecal matter/body parts on the sidewalks). Listen carefully. Do you hear banging? Loud rhythmic noises? Wailing? That’s called music (or murder… use your best judgment here). Follow the source of the sound. Enter an unmarked metal door. Find yourself in the center of “The Scene.” Revel in your awesomeness.

7. Advertise the fact that you went to the aforementioned obscure underground concert. Somewhere in the warehouse where the band is playing there should be a large table with various paraphernalia for sale manned by a small pimply kid. T-shirts with the band’s name on them are best; just be sure to buy one that’s at least 3 sizes too big for you. When you get home, use your best scissor/glue gun/Bedazzle skills to make the shirt an almost unrecognizable shadow of its former self. Just be sure the band name is still prominent. Wear this shirt wherever you go and don’t ever, ever wash it. If someone asks you about the band, shrug, smile smugly, and explain that you used to like them, but that was so last week…

8. This is perhaps the most important step of all: Criticize every band that you’ve actually heard of. Even if they used to be embraced by the hipster crowd, you’ve heard of them, which means they SOLD OUT (see: Weezer, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, etc.). Selling out is like giving over your soul to the devil or becoming a hooker and only asking for a smile in exchange. It is the worst possible thing a band can do. Expand on this! Be sure you brush up on your insult skills beforehand. You should refuse to listen to any music besides your own, because everything else is crap. Especially all the music you used to love.

9. Repeat all steps until it becomes habit and you find that you have actually transcended from mere pop-loving mortal into an Indie Music GOD.

10. Hold your head high, proudly don your American Apparel fedora, and confidently venture forth into the world of the cool music snobs who only listen to obscure indie bands… because congratulations – you are now one of them! Just never tell anyone your deep, dark secret about what a loser you used to be.

Next week’s lesson: How To Appear Like You Understand Artistic Foreign Cinema Without Really Trying.

-- Amy Kristen

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