Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Zen Dancing: How to Be a Hipster at a Concert

You’re getting ready for your latest indie pop rock show, which ultimately means you’re going to have to assimilate into the culture of apathetic, unconventional hipsters. Like Jane Goodall, you must walk amongst the primates without being noticed as an outsider.* Now, this may seem contradictory considering hipsters “do their own thing and don’t care what anyone thinks,” but this is simply not true. News flash: Hipsters do care what other people think and, sadly, most people, including myself, care as well. Oh, enlightenment and oneness with the universe just can’t come soon enough, so we can all stop worrying about such trivial things. But in the meantime, you need an outfit.

An outfit that will showcase your awesomeness to the other rockers in a subtle way that really exclaims you as too cool for your own good. This, friends, is quite the fashion dilemma. Thank god (or Buddha, or Indra, or whatever) for you, I’m here to help your existential crisis.

Rule #1: Neon. There is nothing indie rockers respect more than a mind-blowing, faux-acid-trip-induced display of bright color. Wearing bright colors will camouflage you among the tribe, and garner acceptance from fellow concert goers. Hot pink is the indie rocker’s catnip, especially as tank tops on skinny boys. If it makes your grandmother’s retinas bleed, then wear it. Wear a lot of it.

Rule #2: Kicks. This is both a fashionable and practical decision. One must realize that to really immerse oneself in the indie rock culture one must dance his/her fucking face off. Therefore, it is imperative that one said indie rocker should choose footwear that is both comfortable for bouncing around to electro beats while at the same time appealing to the eye. Brands that have successfully manipulated young minds to agree with this philosophy include Converse, Vans and Puma. I have also found, thanks to uber-cool friend and Thumbs Up Blogger Corey Janssen, that cowboy boots pair well with little vintage dresses in the same way cheese pairs with wine.

Rule #3: Hair. You’ll impress indie rockers by only gazing out of one eye, as your hair has been waxed across your forehead over your other eye, rendering it blind. Indie rockers take this hairstyle as seriously as the Chinese took foot binding. This look is especially important for indie boys to impress one another, since it exudes indifference and edge at the same time. The only other acceptable hairstyle for guys is a beard and wild, free flowing locks. Beards are also highly respected in the indie rock environs, and the density of a beard directly correlates to how truly rock the gentleman is.

Now that you’re finally dressed and sipping on Pabst Blue Ribbon at the smoky venue, you can allow the music to seep into your veins, feel the pulsing baseline reverb in your hips, and really move like you don’t care what anyone thinks. Because now you’re dancing, and this is vital to the indie rock experience. Dancing is a pure expression of emotion, and synthed up, sugary indie pop music offers an earful of happiness to shake and jump to your heart’s content. And the beauty of an indie concert is that these people are generally bad at dancing, so there is no need to worry about style or rhythm. Just feel the music, and let your limbs do whatever they want. Close your eyes for a moment and let the sound rush through you like a log flume at Disney World. This is the perfect opportunity to be fully present, as many yogis and meditators will say, since you aren’t worried about the future or thinking about the past. You’re simply here, moving your beautiful body and enjoying the moment.

Many indie rockers will jam up close to the stage, only to stand like the British Royal Guard with their arms crossed. Big mistake: We get it, you’re so apathetic you paid money to listen to a concert and act like you’re in line at the supermarket. But you will get bumped into people like me, as I have now reached a low state of nirvana called Zen Dancing. I’m sweaty, buzzed, and deliriously, ridiculously happy.

*Thanks to Adam, self-proclaimed HippieCrite, for the Jane Goodall joke.