Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why don't hipsters dance?

If somebody can provide me with a logical answer, I will come over to your house and cook you dinner. This is not a novel observation and something I have kvetched about thousands of times in the past, but last night really hammered the point home for me.

At the Magnolia Electric Co. show at Bottom of the Hill, the second to last song they played was a kick-ass cover of Warren Zevon's "Lawyers Guns & Money." Not only was it a recognizable cover, it was easily one of the most rocking songs of the night. Check out a video of the same song from an earlier show in Austin*:

For most people, that is a formula for dancing, toe tapping, mild head-bobbing, etc. But as I was jumping up and down and pumping my fist, I happened to notice that the crowd around me looked like the extras in a "Saved By The Bell" episode when Zach Morris calls a time-out.

Like I said, this is definitely nothing new. I wasn't even close to surprised, but I never seem to not be disappointed when I go to high energy show and the hipster throngs are doing their best to not move.

Is it lack of appreciation? Probably not. Fear of accidentally touching somebody else during the dancing and thereby suffering the indignity of human contact? Maybe. I think it could have most to do with the fear of looking uncool** by allowing the world to see just how bad they are at dancing. I guess I can somewhat sympathize with that because my dancing looks like a full-body dry heave. I have no idea how I haven't ended up on youtube by now with a ton of snarky hipsters making fun of me in the comments section like my good buddy Cameron Gunn.

*By the way, doesn't the guitarist look like a wampa from "Empire Stirkes Back"?
**This is a hipster's number one fear in life.


  1. It's funny because its true! Hipsters don't dance! Think it is b/c dancing is uncool or unironic or something like that not exactly sure. I mean, hipsters get drunk don't they? That is all it takes to get most shy people to dance. Kendall, you are on to something here. Your loyal readers demand more investigation and a follow up piece. Get to the bottom of this!

  2. but they also hate when i jump up and down, spill my beer and theirs and step on their toes! even though i'm in heaven for the moment...

  3. 1.) Hipsters don't dance because they don't want to completely submit to the band.
    2.)Releasing energy, via dancing, probably seems futile to them.
    3.)Dancing could be perceived by other hipsters as lacking control...showing they don't bother.
    4.) They find civility in restraint.

    It's pretty sad. And you're's ultimately because they're worried about what others think of them. I saw a segment on Jimmy Fallon last night (one in which I immediately thought to myself, "This is retarded. Why am I watching this."), and it made me think about how I look dancing at shows. The segment (you can visualize it or Hulu the real thing) was a contest for audience members to attempt to shake off a winter hat and rubber kitchen gloves ONLY from dancing(not using their body or limbs). I suppose it was actually pretty funny since I'm referencing it. I think you should try this dance method at the next hipster show.

  4. Like Rachel said I too am afraid of flying own sweat landing everywhere but then I'm no hipster. Does that get me dinner?

  5. Hipster-dom is about observing minutia and making it really important. See: everything that hipsters do.
    Since dance is a full body experience and does not directly involve thinking about what it is about THIS opener at Slims that really makes them better than all other music in the last 25 years, hipsters can't be bothered.