Hipster Garbage: The Indie Band Drinking Challenge, Round 2

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

It's no longer a secret that I hold a deep disdain for most of the hipster music that runs across my desk. I try to give it a fair shot, but I just can't get into it. And a ton of it has come across my desk as of late, further igniting that fire of dislike while leaving me to wonder just what my problem is with that junk.


Hipster Garbage: The Indie Band Drinking Challenge, Round 1

So this is the second part to that illustrious blog you read yesterday about how I tortured my good friends into trying to drink away my hipster-music pain. Yep, I'm a certifiable asshole, in case you hadn't come to that conclusion on your own.

Briefly, to ease my oh-so-scientific curiosity on whether hipster bands get better when you're hammered, I sat down with a crap ton of Lone Star and some patient -- albeit unwitting -- friends to test out my hypothesis. I spammed our impromptu music discussion group with the sounds of bands like Capital Cities, Wavves, and Foxygen and ranked them in order from pretty to really, really heinous based on how much alcohol it took to stop loathing them.

We eased you in Tuesday with the least offensive of the most offensive hipster bands, but now it's time to go full-throttle. Here's the worst of the worst, presented with full commentary from those friends I tortured during our musical roundtable.

5. The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die Even if their music didn't suck, that name screams hipster garbage. They're a second-wave emo band, full of a serious misuse of layering and effects-heavy guitars.

Subject matter? Suburban nostalgia. It's going to take a few Lone Stars, I'd hypothesize.

Beer 1: "Is that a conservative or liberal statement they're trying to make with the name? When the fuck is the song going to get going? Wait, no. Go back to no vocals. This guy wants to live?!"

Beer 2: "I'm actually on my fourth drink, not my second. This is okay. Oh, wait. He's really whiny. WAIT, WHY IS HE SCREAMING?!"

Beer 3: "It sounds like a Smashing Pumpkins song. This is worse than it was."

Beer 4: "This song never starts! This wait gives me anxiety."

At least the music is pretty sweet in the background. WHY THE FUCK -- THE YELLING.

4. Times New Viking Scuzzy lo-fi bullshit and buried vocals, Times New Viking plays drenched in so much distortion and aggression it's an obvious, unnecessary bid to prove they have big balls. Not impressive.

Beer 1: "This song is fuckin' terrible. You can't even hear his voice. It's sloppy and you can't hear what the fuck they're saying. It sounds like they're playing in a garage covered in blankets."

Beer 2: "This -- with the ultra-distortion -- they fuckin' kill me. The music sounds better, but the rest of it's shit."

Beer 3: "Every time it starts, I get my hopes up...(makes crashing noise)"

Beer 4: "The dog whistle in the background hurts my ears."

Beer 5: "They're actually okay now. When I heard the intro, I was looking forward to this song."

Wow. Only five beers into it...

3. Broken Social Scene Indulgent, oily bullshit that verges on mind-numbing with some songs that are friggin' SEVEN MINUTES LONG. Oh, and it's kind of redundant to rely on an overabundance of synth, guys.

Beer 1: "I just want to be drunk." (Furrowed brows around the music roundtable on this one.)

Beer 2: "This is boring."

Beer 3: "Shhhhhhhh."

Beer 4: Everyone pretends to sleep. "I can't get into this one. It's too boring; it's too monotone. I don't know."

Beer 5 Fuck it. It's the best of the last.

I guess if you just want to go in for a good snooze, there you go. The world needs elevator music.

2. Foxygen The object of my disdain, Foxygen is a vapid pastiche with a side of copycat. They're carbon-flaked replicas of everything that's been "meh" about indie-rock for a hot minute, but have managed to throw into the mix a serious ego problem and some really annoying dance moves.

Beer 1: "Are we listening to Puff the Magic Dragon? This is a kid's song, right? I feel like Tiny Tim is singing this. I can tolerate this one, sort of."

Beer 2: "Oh, it's little Tiny Tim! You're going in a different order! The hippie inside me could sit in San Francisco with a doobie and deal with this. Wait, I mean huge bong." (Someone at this table is playing air ukulele and pretending to have a little hat on while renaming himself Moon Beam.)

Beer 3: "I can still only listen to this once. It gets worse. It's a never-ending nightmare. It's like the Wiggles crap."

Beer 4: Immediate eye rolls and a facepalm. "Keep all the sharp objects away from her."

Beer 5: Passes faux joint and air chokes. I can't with this. Where's the tiny hat? "This song is still fucking on? I don't smoke, but I'd start with this one."

Beer 6: "This is the only song out of all of them that gets worse with each drink. Except for the submarine song. That's on a different level."


1. Youth Lagoon It's one dude, Trevor Powers -- it still counts as an indie band, so stop -- who records under the name Youth Lagoon. His original name was hipster enough, if you ask me, but he also throws in a minimal amount of everything to create a formless, ambling psych sound that still manages to lack substance.

Beer 1: "Doesn't sound bad. What the hell are they saying? It's not painful to listen to."

Beer 2: (Someone makes a puddle noise.) "This sounds like a fucking horror movie! Jurassic Park stuff or something like that. Come on, guys! What are we waiting on? Is he taking a piss? I would kill myself listening to this for 50 minutes."

Beer 3: "Deep blue sea. A submarine is going down and a killer whale is going to kill me."

Beer 4: "This is definitely the worst." Another facepalm. "Wake me up when this was over. Remember how Styxx did operas for a while? This song sobers me back up."

Beer 5 "It's a good thing you're pretty. It's like twisting a dagger in your ear. It's never gonna feel any better! Turn on Clockwork Orange, for fuck's sake!"


Stalemate. We give up. No more beer, mainly for the fact that we'd have to listen to this again.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.