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Hipsters and Cultural Diversity

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The New York Times gives Torst a short blurb. They have a DJ - who knew?

The Playlist

The D.J., Martin Fernando Jakobsen, creates playlists that draw from a wide range, including Mongolian folk music, Caribbean calypso and Pakistani surf rock. But the soundtrack is drowned out by the clatter of voices, echoing off the marble, wood and glass.

 

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The New York Times gives Torst a short blurb. They have a DJ - who knew?

 

The Playlist

The D.J., Martin Fernando Jakobsen, creates playlists that draw from a wide range, including Mongolian folk music, Caribbean calypso and Pakistani surf rock. But the soundtrack is drowned out by the clatter of voices, echoing off the marble, wood and glass.

 

 

I'm trying to think about whether I would see the drowning out of this playlist as a bad thing if I was there. Well, who knows? Maybe I'd like Pakistani surf rock &/or Mongolian folk music. Right now, in my head, I can envision a great Beach Boys parody for the first and an even better Pete Seeger parody for the second. Or maybe Peter, Paul and Mary?

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To be serious, to me the music is one of the many things I like about Torst. (The kind of stuff I play for myself at home, to be honest.) What's wrong with playing interesting international pop music? If someplace my fellow Old Guys were inclined to like played that kind of playlist -- or if someplace my fellow Old Guys hung out in 40 years ago did -- they'd probably look favorably on it. This comes across as more indiscriminate hipster-bashing.

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Or maybe Peter, Paul and Mary?

That's Kahlid, Fayyaz, and Yukti.

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To be serious, to me the music is one of the many things I like about Torst. (The kind of stuff I play for myself at home, to be honest.) What's wrong with playing interesting international pop music? If someplace my fellow Old Guys were inclined to like played that kind of playlist -- or if someplace my fellow Old Guys hung out in 40 years ago did -- they'd probably look favorably on it. This comes across as more indiscriminate hipster-bashing.

I was just kidding. I agree with you. I like listening to music from people with ways different from my own. Really. I even went to a Zuccaro concert & he covered a Van Morrison song, sounding like an Italian Dr. John. I have creds.

 

It just doesn't stop the internal parody machine from giving me a chuckle. I mean, really... you don't close your eyes and see 5 Pakistani guys with Hawaiian shirts and plaid pants playing surf music?

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To be serious, to me the music is one of the many things I like about Torst. (The kind of stuff I play for myself at home, to be honest.)

 

You are unusual.

 

Malcolm McLaren: "Post modernity means not knowing what you want to buy any more."

 

I think hipster bashing is okay, because these sudden commitments to Pakistani surf music and Mongolian trad jazz are affectations--like the beards and respecting the whole animal.

 

In most cases, anyway (it's not an affectation with you, Sneak, but then I am not calling you a hipster).

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I don't think it's an affectation with them, either. I think it's a result of the sudden availability of all music with almost no effort.

 

The kind of stuff I had to search out in the most remote corners of my radio station's record library in the '70s is now available at the touch of a button. And, if you hear it, why wouldn't you like (to pick out a few of my personal favorites) Kyrgyzstani mountain folk music (which rocks), or Indonesian psychedelic rock, or Saharan guitar-band music, or Jamaican Mento? All you have to do is hear that stuff and you can tell it's enjoyable, in the same way any other enjoyable music is.

 

So the big difference is, now people can hear it, with almost as little effort as anything else.

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Like in the 60s, the world's religions became available with little or no effort, and people started following various yogis and wearing beads. That sure lasted, even though I'm sure people thought they "liked" the messages.

 

I guess the acid test is whether you think a 21 year old wearing a foot long beard is expressing who he truly is or following a fad.

 

the sudden availability of all music with almost no effort

 

That's what McLaren was talking about--and not just music. I think it presents a very serious threat to discrimination and concentration (again, for most people, not everyone).

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Or else it opens up a candy box of stuff you would like but otherwise wouldn't have known about.

 

I'm not kidding: just listen to Kyrgyzstani mountain folk music.

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People with no taste are going to be undiscriminating irrespective of how much is available to them.

 

And as for distraction, you don't have to listen to everything. It's just now, it's easier to stumble across a wider range of stuff.

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Cuz, you go too much the other way, you become the author of a sentence in the NYT in '80s that offended me so much that I can still quote it almost verbatim:

 

People keep telling me I have to 'get hip' to Miles Davis or Aretha Franklin. [He was writing this in the '80s, remember.] As long as there's one more Monteverdi madrigal I haven't heard yet, I don't have the time.

Pathetic.

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You're both right.

 

Sneak is right in that people who care about music are tremendously excited about the fact that almost all music is available to them with zero effort. But some hipster kids listen to some music because it makes them seem cool, not because they like it.

 

Wilfrid is right that it's somewhat of an affectation (music is decor!) designed to signify certain things about a restaurant. But man, all music in all restaurants at all times is an affectation and I'll take the bet that the Torst crowd is more interested in Pakistani folk than the Le Cirque crowd is in whatever classical music they play there.

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"I'm not kidding: just listen to Kyrgyzstani mountain folk music".

 

 

Okay, but I still think the vision of 2 traditionally garbed Mongolian sheepherders singing "A Mighty Wind" is better.

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