So is there an explanation for why someone would only listen to obscure bands and avoid anything popular, other than they want to think they're better than you? Maybe.
I wouldn't exactly say I'm crowd-phobic but nothing annoys me more than dealing with huge crowds and long lines and lots of traffic. Do you know where you can find all that? Concerts for popular bands.
Plus, exorbitantly expensive tickets. You get none of that if you go for an obscure band, or as I prefer to think of them, "off-brand musical products." There's nothing snooty about it, any more than it's snooty to go to Arby's when Tony Roma's has a 2 hour wait. Or buying Hydrox cookies because they are out of Oreos.
Did you know the Hydrox cookie was actually invented 4 years before the Oreo? It still sucked though.
But that's just concerts. Why wouldn't they at least listen to popular albums? Well, it's not easy developing a taste for shitty music, which you will have to do to enjoy most obscure-band concerts (there's a reason nobody goes there). You've got to put in quite a few hours building up a tolerance for it, which means a lot of time with the ol' iPod.
"An hour ago it sounded like cats fighting, now it sounds like broken violins. I think I'm making progress."
I guess if you really cared about quality music more than saving money and avoiding traffic, this would be silly. But hey, even if their priorities are silly, they're not doing it to show off at least.
However, if you take this popular-music-eschewing person to Disneyland or to Times Square on New Year's Eve and they're totally enjoying it, this is not a crowd-phobe and is most likely just a hipster.
Everyone knows hipsters are obsessed with vinyl and always preaching about how the sound quality is so much better. Anybody could have a preference for vinyl, but it seems like the only motivation for being so preachy about it to others must be to show off your superior taste, right?
Pretty much, but there's one other rare possibility. You could be a recording industry executive. As has become pretty clear in the last decade, record companies hate illegal downloaders more than anything in the world.
To be fair to them, a lot of illegal downloaders are teenagers.
It would be a dream for them to get more people to demand vinyl, because you can't download that. A lot of record companies are coming up with tricks to encourage vinyl sales and hoping it catches on.
So maybe that obnoxious kid is bragging about vinyl to look superior, or maybe he's a record company shill doing some "viral marketing". Even if he isn't (and he probably isn't), you can still call him one. You can have a lot of fun with a hipster that way.
One notorious part of the hipster wardrobe is the hideous sweater - it's either too small, made of clashing colors, or otherwise looks like something someone would wear in a school picture in the 70s.
Coincidentally enough, those all describe sweaters commonly knitted by people's grandmothers. When I was a kid, my grandmother doted on us by knitting and gifting us with hideous, outdated sweaters that often didn't fit. I hated those sweaters. But here's the thing.
I wish Grandma was still knitting those hideous sweaters for us because she got Alzheimer's in her later years and passed away in 2004, and now I have no grandparents. If she was still alive and able to knit, I would wear every single one of her mismatching monstrosities.
I guess I would probably have that expression though.
So when someone is proudly wearing the ugliest sweater in the world, maybe they are a hipster, or maybe they are a grandma's boy. If you're thinking, "Well, you only have to wear grandma sweaters when you're going to see your grandma," that is a horrible thing to say and I am going to tell your grandma you said that, and you really should visit her more often. When is the last time you visited her?
So anyway, next time you are about to label someone as a hipster, take a step back and consider what the odds are that they might just be a tiny-eyed, money-saving grandma's boy with sensitive skin who put on some weight lately. And their dad is a record company executive. Okay, I guess the odds are astronomical. But not impossible.
Check out more from Christina in 6 Things Everyone Wants To Share And Nobody Wants To Read and The 6 Most Statistically Full of Shit Professions.