28 March 2009

Wow, this article actually exists

The Hipster Depression, as published in The Atlantic.

What does the economic recession mean for indie rock? The article posits the following:

Skyrocketing real estate prices had led to the rise of electroclash and the psychedelic folk revival, two fringe genres that flourished because, well, neither of them required a lot of expensive real estate. Fans could pack tiny, dingy venues on the edge of various downtowns, and the young people who sustain unpopular popular music could afford the modest cover charges and the watered-down alcoholic beverages. With his trademark wit, Svenonius’s commentary reminded us that bohemia isn’t an alternate reality that defies economic logic. Rather, it is a product of a much larger set of impersonal economic forces—gentrification, targeted advertising, the nightlife industry—and as such it is susceptible to quasi-Marxist analysis. Which leads us to the inevitable question: will the downturn spell doom for the hipster economy?...If Svenonious was right and indie rock flourished during a real estate boom, will indie rock die during a bust? I’ve spent the last several months pondering this vitally important question, and it occurs to me that we’re likely to see something subtly different.

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