Several people could relate to my tale of growing up in a town with an ugly little music scene. I found these tales of woe somehow heartwarming, because they confirm the fact that no matter where you live, your local music scene sucks.

Notorious emo idiot croons seductively.How do you deal with Local Scene Idiots when Butt Attack actually DOES make it big? They then become insufferable, rather than "gets you out of the house"-tolerable. The local scene of the town I lived in produced both the mind blowing shittiness of Papa Roach, as well as the shittiness of Alien Ant Farm (though admittedly Alien Ant Farm had the sense to quit while they were not so far behind. They were never ahead.). So then the Local Scene Idiots became some new form of retard, because Butt Attack had a nice new shiny van and they could get all over the place. This only served to make these unfortunate fans even more crazed, because now they were SURE they knew how to pick the next big thing. So I had to deal with hours upon hours of requests to go to "that new band that's going to make it big just like AAF and PR." A side effect seemed to be that the bands that made it big were now just referred to by acronyms.


And another, this one managing to encompass two crappy scenes!

I only wish we'd had a band called Butt Attack. That would have been great. The Portland, ME bands that tortured me were called The Swift Icecubez, The Desperate Avacadoz, Nicotine Sneeze. Something about ending in z entranced them. That and the DefiniteArticle QuirkyAdjective UnexpectedNoun formula. Other winners: Shark Sandwich. Elderberry Jam (a jam band! Get it???). Twisted Roots.

We also had at least two bands, CAR and MAP, that used the "first initials of the band to spell our name" formula.

All garbage, or at best forgettable. All gone now I presume.

It was worse when I lived in Olympia Washington a few years back. There, the cognoscenti had decided to curse the town with a sense of Significance. People outside of Oly wondered what was going on in Oly for some gawdawful reason, so the local scenesters were so toxic that birds fell stone dead out of the sky as they passed. I was so uncool, one of the members of Sleater Kinney was in my linguistics class, she said something about being in a band and I said "Oh yeah? Any good?". She shrugged and said something about being written up Rolling Stone and the New York Times et. al. I was all like "Huh. Neat. Well, see ya!" The fact that I wasn't entreated to come to a show probably should have told me something.

I thought the "Punk" part described me pretty well, except for the part about doing interesting stuff. I'd be more like "I made pie" than "Lets lynch the landlord."

Anyway, great update. It's got a great beat and I can dance to it, I'll give it a 96, Dick.

-Joe Chonacky

Let me try a few! “The Syphilitic Virginz.” “The Morose Octopuzzez.” “The Premenstrual Shetlandz.” Please note that these band names are property of me, and if you use any of these names for your own band, you owe me 87% of any money you ever make, even though the prospects of making money with band names like these are pretty dire.

A couple of insightful fellows pointed out the trend of indie hipsters diggin’ on hip hop:

Hey, Dr. David --

I dig your recent hipster taxonomy, but where's the White Underground Hip-Hop Nerd? The guy who's got original pressings of every De La Soul and Black Sheep b-side, knows _Nation of Millions_ like the back of his hand, loves MF Doom and Cannibal Ox, and has even convinced himself that "Cars That Go Boom" is something other than a shitty girl-group novelty record --but wouldn't be caught dead listening to anything that ACTUAL BLACK PEOPLE still like?

I demand that this omission be rectified!

Also, please explain what the deal is with aging punks turning into rockabilly greasers.


To answer your question, aging punks turn into rockabilly greasers because a slick pompadour is a great way to hide a receding hairline. For another angle on white guys listening to hip hop, let’s check out this letter:

You should have mentioned how indie kids will often pretend to like some hip hop groups so they can act like they're really diverse. If you ever even hint at insulting one of these groups, you get a 20 minute scornful lecture about how you should open your mind to other forms of music. Even if you offhandedly mention that the bass line is repetitive or something, they'll automatically assume you're attacking hip hop as a genre, and jump at the opportunity to seem musically superior. Often these scenarios will be staged; the kid will put on some obscure rap CD while you're in the car with him and start screening any comments you make for a perceived insult. The diverse musical taste he has is all a sham of course, 99% of the time he'll be listening to the same dreary indie pop he always does. This trait can also apply to Pop Nerds as well, but it’s not quite as obnoxious since they usually actually do like a large range of music.


That’ll do it for this time, ladies and gentlemen. I know that some people get irritated when I do reader mail updates, but I only do them in when people send me a lot of great letters, and this was one of those times. I’d like to give special thanks to all the people who sent me letters, even the ones I didn’t print, and to all those people who sent me pictures of misguided hipster idiots. As usual, if you have anything to say to me, I can be reached at

– Dr. David Thorpe (@Arr)

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