separating the good from the hipster crap
What I really hate is all of these magazines and websites that review all of this hipster indie music and seem to give anything obscure 4 stars just to try to seem hip. Most of this stuff is complete crap. Sorry, but I still want music that I enjoy listening to. Would it make me cooler if I pretended to like a band that sucks just because I am the first to ever hear of this band? Maybe…but there is a reason the band has never been heard of…they suck!
So in an effort to recommend some of the hipster stuff that doesn’t suck, I am providing brief descriptions of some of the bands on the indie radar of the past year or so. It is also important to note that I am a big fan of albums over singles, so while I might recommend some songs to get you started, I wouldn’t recommend anything less than the entire album. If a band can’t come up with an entire decent album, then we might as well call them N’Sync and just purchase “Bye, Bye, Bye.” Most of this stuff can also be found on eMusic cheaper than iTunes.
Apples In Stereo (New Magnetic Wonder): I downloaded their album, New Magnetic Wonder, after reading an interview with James Mercer (lead singer of The Shins). He recommended the band, and I do feel this was a sound recommendation. They combine some catchy tunes with some 80’s synth, and I love it. The album sounds like what I would imagine The Beatles to make if they were still together in the 80’s, but maybe not quite that good. My favorite is “Sunndal Song.”
Belle and Sebastian (The Life Pursuit): I tried my best to hate this band. Hipsters seem to love this band. Well, buy the whole album (, listen to it a few times, and then you won’t be able to get it out of your head. Seems to suck at first, then you realize that it is super catchy. My favorites are “We Are the Sleepyheads,” and “Sukie In The Graveyard.” It reminds me of the theme songs to late 70’s and early 80’s kids TV, such as “The Great Space Coaster.” And if you forget this show…
Of Montreal (Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?): While these guys look like they might be a little crazy in concert, they are another band with catchy tunes. Definitely a hipster favorite, but they actually have good songs. Their best: “Everyday Feels Like Sunday.”
Arcade Fire (Neon Bible): This is definitely one of those bands that people listen to after seeing positive magazine reviews of the next cool band. And I’m sure some of you probably listen to them. Well I have really tried to like them, but the verdict still stands – they suck. And I think they are all hippies.
Spoon: While they just released a new album titled Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, I recommend starting with their previous release, Gimme Fiction. Also pick up “The Way We Get By,” from Kill The Moonlight. These guys are a little more rock than some of the others.
Editors (The Back Room): Definitely a euro feel to these guys with a U2 sounds as well (yes, I know U2 are european, but there is a difference). Try “Lights,” “Munich,” and “Blood.”
Balkan Beat Box: Don’t bother. Supposedly one of those unique, new sounds – yeah, but that doesn’t make it good.
The Cassettes: Maybe these guys wouldn’t sound so terrible if the record didn’t sound like it was actually recorded to a cassette in someone’s basement back in 1992.
Albert Hammond Jr. (Yours to Keep): The dude from The Strokes. I dig this song (“Back to the 101”) much more than that stuff The Strokes does.