On many a Saturday night, I’ve wound up at Wonderland, the best neighborhood bar in Columbia Heights at 11th and Kenyon. The beer is cheap, the crowd is refreshingly unpretentious, and on Saturday nights, it’s old school hip hop baby. Just the way I remember it. You can dance goofy or you can dance cool. At the WL: tis all good.
I’ve also decided to put a self-ban on using the term “hipster.” As misappropriated and lazily pejorative as the term is, not only is it abused by pop culture traffickers like Spin or Wired, but much worse, by a swarm of mostly 20-something, mostly white social purist tall-poppy-poopers who derive pleasure from saying things like:
“So…at Tokyo Police Club last night, during the last song, they made the audience clap out this beat…”
-Poppy-pooper then claps out a standard 4/4 off-beat used in perhaps 12,000 songs since 1975-
“So, there I was, clapping out this total hipster beat,” he says, pausing ironically. Meanwhile, his girlfriend is wearing a stripey top with one side hanging below her shoulder, looking to all the faux-artsy trash world like she just came from American Apparel.
It’s as the source of my infinite wisdom, a co-oping vegan straight-edge-scene Father figure friend says: “The majority of people who make fun of hipsters are, in some form, hipsters themselves.”
“The vast majority of people in this society have no idea what we mean when we refer to ‘hipsters.'”
How I yearn for the days of yonder when kids simply listened to and loved music, unassociated with elitist sniping and the distasteful irony that eats upon itself amongst my generation.
In the end, it’s all just for kicks right? I mean, you’re all educated and high-minded enough to concern yourself with larger matters than the superficial and poseur which you choose to lampoon, right?
And that, in part, is why I love the Wonderland. Liberation from the scene.
On a separate note, if you: 1) LOVE OK Computer, Radiohead’s masterful third album; and 2) Have a casual appreciation for dub or reggae; then: Listen to Easy Star All-Stars’ cover of “Let Down,” from their cover album entitled “Radiodread.” You would never have guessed it wasn’t dub to begin with, and the dialectic between lyrical and musical mood is truly heavenly.