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All this blog blab…every time I write that I just think of Arrested Development.  Maybe I should just rename this blog “Bob Loblaw’s Blog Blab Lab”.  Or something.


Hipster Runoff is a blog.  It lives here:  http://www.hipsterrunoff.com

Prior to this week, I had wound my way through the internet and ended up on Hipster Runoff a few times over the past, say, year or so.  I kind of just ignored it because it confused me.  The blog, and it’s anonymous master, “Carles”, speaks very much in the current language of the internet-indie-music-criticism world, but it was very hard for me to tell where he stood on the much-hyped bands he was discussing; he seems to like them, but his writing has a very pronounced sarcastic/ironic/cynical edge.  I didn’t spend enough time reading the blog to process this approach, because I didn’t see the potential value of what he offers, which is actually a sort of meta-criticism.  HR appears at first to be just an offbeat music blog, but he’s really commenting on the way we discover, discuss, and consume this music/culture.

What changed my mind and got me interested in this blog?  Well, first of all, I spent some time this week at my brother’s college with him and his hipster friends, and they encouraged me to read it both for its humor and for the biting look it takes at the internet-hype-machine music world.  Then I read this interview with Carles in the Village Voice, which doesn’t really see him dropping out of his invented character (the interview was conducted via IM), but is pretty revealing about his motivations for blogging, and I think it’s quite fascinating.

Sometimes it could almost come off as a standard music blog, but he makes the whole thing seem very ironic and self-aware by putting scare quotes around damn near everything.  For instance, in his post about the upcoming Broken Social Scene album, he says:

“Back when ‘good music’ was still discovered via ‘word of mouth’ referrals,”

instead of

“Back when good music was still discovered via word of mouth referrals,” which is equally peevish, but doesn’t protect itself with the irony that scare quotes provide.  Hooray grammar lesson!

He’s all about putting scare quotes around words like ‘relevant’, ‘authentic’, ‘personal brand’, ‘alt’, ‘critical acclaim’, etc.  Even if the ‘indie music world’ (oh god, now I’m doing it) isn’t something you’re hugely connected to/interested in, I think he makes an interesting point of calling our attention to how much of this stuff is about marketing(/’personal branding’) and how much is about ‘actually searching’ for something ‘meaningful’.  This sometimes takes him into surprisingly existential territory, which you’ll definitely see in the Village Voice interview.  Here’s one last excerpt, taken from a post he wrote last year about Animal Collective:

“I like ‘looking forward to things’ because it is a gimmick that makes my life worth living.”

Cheery stuff!  I don’t think about it too hard, because I think I’m pretty honest with myself about why I listen to the music I do (because I like it, not to earn some sort of cred…or create a ‘personal brand’).  But I think he gets at some impulses that we all have when it comes to consuming culture, so it’s worth checking out.

One Response to ““Hipster Runoff” // more blog blab”

  1. کاهش پینگ says:

    very good tnx

    سرویس کاهش پینگ

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