The Soundtrack of My Skinny Jeans

There is a lot of trash around my neighborhood.  Like, ALOT.  I suspect it is a result of there being snow cover essentially all winter long (preventing any random trash from being cleaned up or blowing away, etc) and then having all of the snow melt in one day, in addition to there being so many cancelled trash pickups due to aforementioned snow.  But seriously, my hood looks like ass.  I hope the city has a plan to clean this all up, because we’re not going to do it ourselves, and as things are, Pennsport and really all of South Philly kind of looks like something from Judgment Night.

Speaking of Judgment Night, anyone near my age remember that soundtrack?  Remember how that was kind of a big deal, with rock bands playing with rap stars?  Remember the Crow soundtrack?  Is this still happening, soundtracks that are big deals?  I don’t really hear about it, and I’d be tempted to think it’s because I’m too old, but really, let’s be honest, I’m still really fucking hip.  I heard a few rumbling about some of the Twilight and Hunger Games soundtracks (a few of “my” bands had songs on them) but they didn’t seem to be cultural milestones.

Speaking of me being “hip”, let’s get something straight: I am not a hipster.  Not even close.  For all those reading, let’s define what “hipster” has come to mean over the past few years. It means this guy:


First of all, in this guy’s defense, Swans is a badass band.

But clearly, I am not this guy.

I like a lot of what hipsters like.  I like the same bands.  I like the same authors (because hipsters read!).  I like the same movies.  We have the same worldview, typically.

Hipsters and I even share the trait that we kind of think we’re pretty great, and the stuff we like is probably better than the stuff you like.

But…hipsters want constant credit for it.  They want to dress and grow facial hair and present themselves to the world in a way that demands your attention and that you acknowledge they are hipsters.  Despite outward appearances, I do actually have a very well-formed fashion philosophy that involves minimalism and austerity.  I don’t wear any jewelry.  I don’t accessorize.  It’s not as though I want to “blend in”, but more a nod to the notion that the content of my work, words, and deeds is what defines me.  I define myself through the way I walk, the way I glare at you as I pass you, the way I laugh with my head turned down while patting you on the back.  My simplistic and earth-toned style of dress is not meant to make me blend into the pack, but instead to put me, myself, and the content of my personality front and center, and not have the focus be on the quirkiness of my outward presentation.  The way I see it, any boring, fluffy fraud can pick out bullshit clothes at a thrift shop and grow a Rollie Fingers ‘stache.  It takes balls to be compelling with a t-shirt on.

There are many other substantive ways in which I differ from hipsters: they’re mostly vegan, I’m mostly beef and cheese.  They’re all about tattoos and piercing and I’m indifferent (I have one tattoo almost by accident).  And on and on.  But mostly it’s about people: they want to be defined as part of this group, and I want to be defined as only me.  I am not a part of any movement.  For the love of science, folks, how could anyone who knows me and also is familiar with hipsters think that I am a hipster??  Please think for yourselves.  You can like My Morning Jacket and not be a hipster.

SPEAKING OF BANDS I LIKE (I am doing great with transitions in this entry!) this coming Monday I am seeing Arcade Fire.  So pumped!  Anyway, before this tour started, they announced they would like the folks attending their shows to wear either formal attire or costume (here is an article about it and here is another one…and that second article is not at all happy about it).  Believe it or not, there was actual backlash about this!  I mean, this is Arcade Fire, not freakin’ Foo Fighters.  What kind of person would be a fan of this band and not like this, or at least be unsurprised by it?  This sort of thing is exactly why we like Arcade Fire!  They make badass quirk rock that you can hang in the Louvre…I don’t want to see their show in jeans and a t-shirt.  If I owned jeans (hipsters wear jeans, I don’t own a pair, so fuck you).

Anyway, I stopped by a costume store today to find something to wear.  I bought this awesome mask.  I’m not sure about the jacket…should I wear what I have on in this picture, or something goofy, or something “normal”?009



10 Responses to “The Soundtrack of My Skinny Jeans”

  1. I am dying here, laughing at the mask. And yes, I think the jacket is a good touch.
    Hipsters are trying to be different from other people. You are a hipster trying to be different from hipsters. I know, I know, you are not a hipster!

    • sethdellinger Says:

      haha well, you’re actually onto something. What I often say to people is one of two things: “I’m an ACTUAL hipster. You know, like, I’m really onto something here” or “I’m a hipster without the uniform”. It’s not that I want to be “different” from anyone, including hipster, and it’s not that I want to “fit in”, it’s just that I want to be authentic, be as close to the real me as possible. And hipsters…well, that’s not what they’re doing :) I may need you to drive over here and untie the back of this mask for me haha

  2. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    We seem to be filled to the brim lately with ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ references, but you have to attend an orgy secret society now that you have a fancy mask and coat. I’m going beyond insisting here haha. But totally wear that to the concert. I bet you could pick up a broad wearing that, and never once would you need to remove the mask.

    I didn’t read the Arcade Fire article you linked to, but anyone who whines about that is a goddamn idiot. I think it’s pretty cool that they did something like that! And it’s not like they’re gonna kick you out if you do show up in a t-shirt and jeans. They just would prefer otherwise. Unless they did say they would kick you out. I didn’t read it.

    Whenever I see people reference they type of guy in the picture as a hipster I’ve cringed. To me the tag, “hipster” has always been more of a lifestyle. Someone that dresses like that has always simply been a douchebag to me. There’s no guarantee he’s into the respectable hipster bands. That dude could be blasting Miley Cyrus from a state of the art stereo just off camera. The way I’ve defined hipster has always been someone who appreciates a style of art, mostly music, that is highly respected but just a little too out there for me personally. I’d say you’re a hipster in every way except when it comes to fashion.

    How do you not own a single pair of jeans?!?!?! I know there are lots of long pant styles out there, but really jeans are the only type. Right? So you just walk around in your underwear all winter? If that’s the case, maybe you are a little closer to hipster fashion…

    • sethdellinger Says:

      I went with this mask specifically because how much it looks like it’s from Eyes Wide Shut. Fear not. I’m definitely going to have sex with it on some day.

      Although Arcade Fire’s initial press release called the dress code “mandatory”, they were quick to release a follow-up that made it clear that, of COURSE it wasn’t mandatory. People are jackasses.

      Your definition on hipster would have been pretty good about ten years ago, and I wouldn’t have shied away from being referred to as such. But it has a new, very specific meaning now that refers to a very specific kind of people…we can’t change that. That’s what it means now. And I am not that. And it is a lot more than fashion. They have a whole lifestyle. Eating organic vegan, that sort of thing. But still, yes, I am CLOSE to them. But I maintain that my desire to not be a part of a movement and to be my authentic self is more than enough to say there is a wide gulf between me and hipsters.

      Hipsters wear almost exclusively skinny jeans, I don’t own jeans. I am a universe away from hipster fashion. You’d be surprised how many pants are out there other than jeans.

  3. ShipGurl Says:

    Please do tell, what in the world lit the flame of this article?

    • sethdellinger Says:

      It was all just basically thinking out loud haha. Sometimes I like to just start writing a blog and see what’s on my mind.

      • sethdellinger Says:

        I’ve got opinions and thoughts on just about every issue in existence…sometimes ones you aren’t expecting to see come out!

        • ShipGurl Says:

          Ha ha…OK. I was thinking perhaps you were stereotyped hipster by someone and it pissed you off.
          I think your Mom hit the nail on the head. : )

          • sethdellinger Says:

            Oh I am called a hipster all the time! And it does piss me off! But no specific instance made this happen.

            And it doesn’t really piss me off because I hate hipsters…if I had to be a member of a group or movement, I guess it would be them…but it’s just so weird because I’m SO obviously not a hipster.

            My mom is definitely a smart lady :)

  4. i would maybe find a bit of something with some color to tuck in the jacket pocket.

    also, the fact that you do not own jeans is really noteworthy. you have to be part of a pretty extreme minority on that one.

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