Tag Archives: Scenesters

Scenesters get old-school, or just get old

5 Jul

When Hot Damn was in high school, we didn’t have hipsters.  There were dweebs, jocks, nerds, hoods, mallrats, punks, new-wavers, skaters, pot-heads, juvies, rivet-heads, brown-nosers, homos, band-dorks, theater people, scenesters, campers, girls that took The Cure way too seriously and so on.  But, no hipsters.  They hadn’t been born yet.  I’m not exactly sure where I fit on the scale of labels and teenage coolness.  It’s not that I consider myself without definition; more likely it is that I kind of embraced bits and pieces of them all, floating in a social abyss.

One thing I was into was the “music scene” and so I knew a lot of scenesters.  I listened to low-dial college stations, hung out in record stores, made themed mixed tapes, read Maximum Rock n’ Roll and snuck into clubs to see bands.  A lot.  I don’t think I ever copped a beer; I just wanted to hear the music.  My parents thought that I saw Top Gun like every weekend; they were not so okay with me slinking around downtown at night.  Can’t imagine why.  Growing up in Atlanta, there was no shortage of music venues that looked the other way when it came to minor patronage.  The Metroplex, White Dot, 688, Royal Peacock, Dugout, Atlantan Hotel, Margaritaville, The Point, and Celebrity Club all had slack doormen and great music every weekend.  I saw a bunch of great shows at Georgia Tech, Emory and Piedmont Park, too.  Last Husker Du show?  Saw it.  Ditto for The Replacements.  Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ at a burrito shack?  REM at Piedmont Park?  The early version of The Black Crowes in a basement?  Sitting on stage with the Smithereens?  Check them all and then some.  It was good times.

A favorite band from that era, Guadalcanal Diary, had a pearl anniversary reunion show this past weekend.  (They played that cannibal song!)  Going to the show I expected to see a bunch of throwbacks and familiar faces from way back when.  Well, it turns out that aging scenesters…age.  They are virtually unrecognizable.  Their hair turns grey (if they still have it), their clothes get all practical and store-bought, and they have traded in pointy boots for a comfy pair of Merrells.  It’s also mainly old dudes, not old chicks, who turn out for reunion shows.  But if the music still rocks and the beer is cold, it’s all good.  And it was.  Except that it was hot, and we were sore from yard-work and had stuff to do the next morning.  As we were leaving a tad early, a guy looks at Big Daddy and says, “Hey, don’t I know you…from Cub Scouts?”  Cover blown.

You know, Big Daddy and I actually still go out and see our fair share of bands.  We are usually the older people toe-tapping in the middle, surrounded by young hipsters.  Aside from the skinny jeans, 1970s women’s sunglasses and ironic t-shirts, the hipsters aren’t all that different from the aging scenesters.  Well, except that the hipsters all have tattoos and piercings; the pearly scenesters have nicotine patches and wedding bands.