who is going to titus andronicus’ show in chapel hill may 20th? i’ll be driving and if yr close to asheville, let me know so we can carpool and maybe dance our asses off together. new friends through good music, anyone?
2014 Tour Dates now available for yr consideration at titusandronicus.net featuring support from Baked ( @bakedtweets )9 reblog
I realized something just now. I was looking at pictures on the internet of a band that played on the scene over the weekend, because I torture myself this way. I hope I do not sound too condescending when I tell you that the band in question was from what we might call a “tertiary market” or “provincial scene” - that is to say, the band’s home was remote from what we think of as being the major culture hubs of today’s America. Observing the bass player’s dress, I was able to trace his fashion sense to around 1997-1998. Okay, stay with me now!
I work on the Brooklyn scene, which is the most competitive hipster scene in the world, the place where people are the most obsessed with appearing to be on the cutting edge / informed of “the future.” As an effect of our sick, constantly invalidating, artist-strangling society, however, “the future” is scorned and rejected by tastemakers who believe that the real future is in the past. Because the recognize the weakness of their feeble minds, they see those who would enact a better future as a threat, thusly using their influence to consolidate public interest around certain historic eras ( usually the era with the most available dead stock ready to be outrageously marked up ) - we know this as “retro fashion” or something. For the common civilian, 19th century garb as worn by Mumford & Sons etc. would be the pinnacle of “retro fashion” right now, but real hipsters, like you and I, who have observed the western Long Island scene up close, know that in actuality, the nucleus of retro fashion at this moment exists somewhere around 1993-1994. Right?
To keep pace with rapidly expanding technology and eternally infinite human greed, the cycle in which cultural artifacts move from “hip” to “retro” has gotten smaller and smaller ; the cultural resurgence of 70’s signifiers had a certain window which shut when the 80’s became fashionable, but the hot moment of 80’s signifiers was shorter and had to get out of the way faster for 90’s nostalgia to move in. Now, we find ourselves approaching a cultural impasse that had never before been possible, which may shake the foundations of what is “cool” and render our entire class system useless.
You Brooklyn dwellers may not believe this, but there are people out there who have concerns and priorities beyond embodying the “now” ( really, the “when” ). These concerns may include enduring a shitty, debasing job to try to fill an aching, empty belly. In fact, when this work is through, certain peoples in certain regions may not even have access to or the funds with which to acquire lifestyle accessories in accordance with the current prevailing notion of which era is best to embody. They may source their clothes not from “funky vintage boutiques” but from true second-hand stores, where the desperate and destitute feed off the detritus of a wasteful society. An individual’s socioeconomic bracket and geographic location relative to “relevant cultural centers” may sometimes leave them in clothes somewhat “behind the times.”
[ As a side note, one time back in school days ( the mid ’00s ), I was showing my roommate a photo essay in a magazine that depicted a community in Africa whose people lived by traditions which were thousands of years old ; he said, “they’re so behind the times, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them wearing JNCO JEANS!” ]
Now imagine an individual from this sort of background, the clothes they may wear, the signifiers they may ( be forced to ) use. Perhaps we can “date” this person’s “vibe” to about 1999-2000, if we were the sort of psychopath that would really do this sort of thing in the field, just for fun [ I am beyond such judgements - I am a true anthropologist ].
Now imagine a trust fund hipster, flush with cash to burn, their every waking moment a void of responsibility into which may be flung much effort chasing trends, and think of their choices in clothes and signifiers. Notice that they seem to have just stepped out a time machine from 1993-1994.
The endless runaway train of capitalism will continue to force these cycles onto shorter and shorter timeframes. The rich will continue to be more and more wasteful, more and more fickle, and the exalted past moment will inch ever closer to our present moment. Meanwhile, the poor will have to do make do with less and worse.
The cultural moment chosen by the rich to signify their curatorial panache and the cultural moment forced upon the poor by our diseased society are on a collision course. Perhaps next year the hipster becomes sophisticated enough to value the fashions of 1996, while the oppressed person is pushed further into the corner and made to accept the scraps of 1997. You see what I am getting at?
Before long, these two timelines, one expanding into a “retro future,” the other into a discarded past, will share one moment. The vintage shop in Williamsburg and the Goodwill in Patterson, NJ ( it is actually called The Red, White, and Blue, but you get it ) will carry the exact same Tazmanian devil crew-neck sweatshirt, except the former’s sticker price will be a hundred dollars and the latter one dollar.
At first, this dissonance will go unnoticed and things will proceed much as they do now. Perhaps, though, peoples from these disparate communities may happen to be united, however briefly. The poor person in the Taz jumper may be made to serve the rich hipster in the same Taz jumper, and both will be suddenly unsure of what their true value is ( for the radical empowerment of the oppressed, to the terror of the fragile, cowardly hipster ).
Even more tantalizingly, perhaps the two will be drawn into some sort of mutual space, perhaps by the power of punk or some other inclusive art. Here, the hipster will not know they who should be scoffed at from they who should be embraced. The oppressed person will likewise be blind to distinctions between foe and family. In this moment, the walls that divide us will tumble down, and the united class, the people’s class, will dance upon the rubble, rich and free alike liberated from the chains of arbitrary status symbology.
Or maybe the bass player in the picture just never got over Limp Bizkit. I don’t know… what do you think? Speak more soon xoxoxo
PS Before you give me any shit for telling it like it is, remember this : The Artist holds up a cruel and truthful mirror to society, and this is painful for the more thoroughly brainwashed among the audience because they see their own grotesque image therein reflected. Because the audience member can never “beat” the society that makes The Artist’s words so necessary and true, and as it seems just as daunting to “beat” the inner forces which allow society to retain control, they will try to “beat” The Artist back into silence. “We have a nice, quite town here, and we plan to keep it that way!” So the cycle of psychic violence goes on unbroken, know what I’m saying?37 reblog
Nothing is more important to +@ than satisfying our fans - here’s @julianveronesi getting satisfaction for some lucky consumer, who we can only hope will have no grievances to air when their package arrives within four to six weeks TITUSANDRONICUS.BIGCARTEL.COM “because we care…”10 reblog