Rock Show Anthropology

Dee and I went to a show last night. It’ll probably be the last show I review for KDHX, although I’m still working on album reviews and book reviews if I can find and pitch them. It was an electronic show; not something I usually request or see on my own, but I like my name to stay in my editor’s head as much as possible, and I don’t want to be one of those people who only writes and only requests things so they can get and see free music they already like. Writing for KDHX is amazing enough of an opportunity that, to me, approaching it from a selfish place does nothing but take an opportunity out of someone else’s hand, someone else who might not be doing it for such self-serving purposes.


I got a show I wouldn’t normally have requested, and Dee was my plus one because he’ll see just about anything for free (can you blame him). I’d warned him in advance that it would be a very hipster-heavy show. And it was. Oh lord, it was. As the venue filled up and the temperature got hotter and my hair started to curl from the humidity caused by hundreds of sweaty hipster bodies rubbing their cutoff jorts together, I gritted my teeth to ward off any decade-old flashbacks about what used to happen to me at electronic shows and reminded myself to stay objective. No mocking people. At least, not on the page.

There was plenty of mocking people between Dee and I, though, which sounds mean until you realize there’s so much there to mock. The aforementioned jorts are a start, because it’s not enough for hipster males to prefer pulling skinny jeans over their drinking problem-bloated haunches, now they have to take scissors to the knees, as well. Like we weren’t all doing that in 6th grade. Get into puff paint, you nerdcore douchebags, and then we’ll have something to talk about.

Headgear is another issue, because apparently it’s cool to wear a cycling beanie now? I think that’s what they are. They’re tiny little lidded caps that look like they belong on old timey painters or European cyclists, and I’m betting it’s the latter because hipsters are too unathletic to play any sports other than the playground variety (dodgeball, kickball, probably foursquare or some bullshit) or appreciate sports other than those played in Europe (no, asswipe, just because you call it a “kit” does not mean you’re a proper soccer fan).

Then there’s the rest of the clothes (ill-fitting, half gone, stolen from a hobo) and the bathing (non-existent, as I nearly titled my piece “It Smells Like Hipsters In Here”) and, at least in the youngest group of neo-hipsters, the worst fucking manners you will ever see at a show in your life.

Who taught these kids? No, seriously. Who taught these kids to go to shows, because whoever it was did a piss poor job and none of these sissy fucks knows how to behave. Who told these kids to show up wearing earplugs? EARPLUGS. They’re not in the band, they’re not working the sound board, they’re just hanging out wearing fucking earplugs. And they’re young, too — young enough to drink, and smoke, and that other stuff that’s allegedly bad for you like decibels are bad for you. Is this normal now? Is music an evil thing, something their parents drilled into them to avoid, like antibiotic-free milk and vaccines that cause autism? Or is the musical awareness of these kids shaped exclusively by the poison that is dubstep, a “genre” so foul that you have to wear earplugs or you’ll shit your pants and go insane? Not because it’s so hardcore, by the way, but because it’s not fucking music and nobody fucking made it and it’s just some fucking asshole hitting play on a Macbook and talking about sick drops.

Possibly the earplugs are getting in the way of music, because none of the kids wearing them seemed into the show. I mean, I know I get to go for free and I try to sit off to the side so I can write, but if you’re paying to go to a show, don’t you think you’d get excited about it? I get excited when I pay for shows. I pay for them because I’m a fan, and because I want to get my money’s worth, and because I genuinely am stoked about being there. I don’t just stand around the edge and appreciatively nod every now and then because I think it looks cool, or maybe because my psyche has been too dulled by a lifetime of Adderall and self-help parenting to get fucking pumped about anything anymore.

I guess they’re trying to be cool. They’re trying to be cool and belong, and I get that. I do. But when you hit a certain age (ahem, mine) and you look out at a crowd that’s raising their limp-wristed hands sort of half-assedly in what would be the pit, not even dancing or jumping but just kind of meh-ing, and all these morons walking around in poor person clothes but drinking $8 craft beers and taking for fucking ever in the bar line and  generally acting like they don’t know what the fuck is going on at all and I’m not just talking about that girl in the bathroom who was made entirely out of cocaine, you get a little furious at this generation that just doesn’t seem to give a shit anymore.

And it’s their turn. It’s not my turn anymore. I already had my turn. I already got to see my first shows. I discovered my tastes and fucking earned the right to enjoy them, which is more than I can say for these bitches. I hate to sound like one of those crusty old punk rockers mouldering away in a bar somewhere, but you know what these kids need? They need to get the shit kicked out of them in a proper fucking mosh pit. They need to get punched in the face, kicked in the ribs, and generally knocked around some, because you can tell that no one else in their lives has ever done them this favor. It’s like those bastard people you encounter every now and then who you know have never just had their shit rocked, because if they had – if someone at some point, or hell, even LIFE, had ever just hauled off and showed them what’s what – they might be a little more considerate, careful, or even ballsy enough to come off like someone who knows what they fuck they’re doing half the time. These kids don’t have that yet. They don’t have the experience, and as a result, they don’t have the passion.

Dee and I talked about this on the way home. We’re very smart, you know, so of course we cracked the code about why these kids are assholes and we’re so great, and how we’re supposed to fix it by bringing a larger consciousness to the issue.

Which is why our next Internet project is going to be called Rock Show Anthropology, and if you have any ideas for it, you just let me know.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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2 Responses to Rock Show Anthropology

  1. wtrmlln says:

    Good luck in Seattle!

  2. Carmen says:

    Age 30 = false sense of maturity and discriminating taste
    Age 50 = realization that “cool” means seriously not giving a shit about annoying hipsters OR dumpy minivan-driving mommies at Walmart OR gun-toting, toothless, pickup-driving rednecks

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