Hipster

In defense of vinyl-loving hipsters (Or, Record Store Day 2016)

There’s a lot to hate about hipsters — I get it. The coffee is never good enough, the beer selection is lacking, we’re poor but always wearing expensive clothing.

Also, we love vinyl records.

Get out of here with your Spotify, Apple Music, MP3s and compact discs. That’s all dirty, digital dope. We want the pure stuff.

Side Note: Yes, I used “we” in the above sentences. Results are in — I’m a hipster. I know it, I can’t help it, it’s what it is. I’m 29 now. The theory is once I turn 30 I’ll graduate to adulthood and can forget about all these silly labels.

Anyway, today is Record Store Day (RSD). Find your favorite local record shop and go buy a few things. They’ll probably have free coffee. You’ll love it. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with RSD. I always go. But to engage an overused cliche, RSD was great before it went “mainstream.” Typical hipster drama. Let’s just say the romance left once 14 year-old girls started stealing records out of my hands (long story for another time).

This year, however, was fun. The lines weren’t too long, everyone was friendly. And best of all, I got mostly what I set out for. As my friend Jake says, “The wax gods were in my favor.”

Here’s the loot:

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  • The Vandals — Sweatin to the Oldies (Live)
  • The Get Up Kids — Red Letter Day Ep
  • Robert Johnson — 10 inch repress (1936)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Picture Disc 10 inch
  • Violent Femmes — Memory/You Move Me (single)
  • Death Cab for Cutie — Tractor Rape Chain/Black Sun (live)

Back to the Quick Defense

I admit it: there’s a lot of showyness about vinyl collecting. It’s great to showcase your collection with a fancy shelf and brag on social media. For me, however, being a vinyl lover (there’s got to be a better name for it?) is about more than just pretension and affectation.

Vinyl records are a treasure hunt. You find the one you want, say an old record you used to love, and it’s like striking gold. In some cases, the prices are so high, you might as well just buy gold, but I digress. Record hunting is also a great way to discover old (but new-to-you) music. I’ve gambled on many dusty, used LPs at yard sales that have later become personal favorites.  (more…)

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Kevin’s Ultra Hip (Hella Sick) Summer Book Club

Recently, I made a pact with my brain. That over summer I would spend more time reading than Netflixing. Netflix, my best fake friend, is a great tool for relaxing, especially after a 23 credit semester, say, by me. And, oh, I wanted to veg-out on Netflix more than my hipster neighbor wanted rollerblades. But I made a pact, and pacts are serious.

Previous post-semester breaks have included many veg-out TV series marathons (8 seasons of 24 and 9 seasons of How I Met Your Mother come to mind). To be Frank, I’ve still been enjoying Netflix in moderate occasions: a Sherlock episode here, a Comedy Bang-Bang there. But moderate is where I’m trying to keep it.  It’s time to take a break from marathon Netflix summers and, instead, marathon some books.

And the readings have been excellent so far.

If you are looking for some great books to read, then please, read these. We can talk about them together and start a cool kid reading club. Maybe you’ve read a few. Maybe you’ll have a little catching up to do. Maybe you can pick and choose. Either way, join my club. It will be ultra hip and hella sick. We’ll watch The Pagemaster together at the end of summer, and it will be fun.

Kevin’s Ultra Hip (Hella Sick) Summer Book Club

 The_Stand_cover1. The Stand by Stephen King – Completed

I just finished this one the other night, and I had never felt so accomplished. 1200 breathtaking pages. Technically though, it’s sort of cheating. I started the book back in December. The Stand is super long, and I had to wait till my semester was over to read most of it. But it was worth it! Also, Hollywood making a big budget movie. You could be ahead of the curve! (more…)

Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors: NYC!

NYC is a city I’ve been desperate to explore since always. Momentous and classic. Films like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York beckoned me. Of course, Seinfeld and any Beastie Boys music video played a similar role. It was only a matter time after moving to Rochester that Megan and I would explore the Big Apple.

NYC

NYC is an intimidating beast, especially for first timers. Where do we start? Where do we stay? How on earth do we drive? Thankfully, Megan and I were joined by two experts: my work friends Kevin (yes, another Kevin) and Anthony. Kevin Two grew up in Brooklyn, so we couldn’t have asked for a better hometown tour guide and “city driving” expert.

What Other Kevin didn’t tell me was that he couldn’t drive at night without his glasses. Annnnnd he forgot to grab his glasses. This meant I had to, wait for it, drive into bustling Manhattan on a busy Friday night, first time in NYC.

Was I nervous? Scared? Thrilled? Probably all of the above. But when it came down to it we were fine. See, I was trained in the mean streets of Los Angeles and Hollywood where everyone drives like a maniac (not just the taxis). Manhattan was a juiced up version of that.

I’m happy to report that everyone survived (including my car), and besides a few near death experiences, the ride was surprisingly smooth.

122… 122 1/8? You’re Standing On It, Dude

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27

I turned 27 today. Every so often I like to change my age—keep it fresh. I’m a creature of habit that way. What can you say about getting older? Nothing really. Sometimes life is swell, and you want time to stand still to be able to appreciate it. But then the moment passes and we’re on to life’s frustrations and complications and standing arounds.

I had to work on my birthday. That’s the worst. 6am to 1:30pm. It was okay though, better early than late. Right now, my wife is making me a vegetarian eggs benedict (veggie benny: my favorite) for dinner, and I’m comfortable in the new clothes I’ve purchased for myself. Later, we’re going to a local brewery and grabbing a drink and desert. And after that…. if I’m really lucky, I’ll— what? I was going to say watch Skyfall on Netflix.

I’m trying to find something witty to end this little soliloquy with. Life just keeps moving forward, don’t it? I’m 27. Good lord, wasn’t I just learning how to drive and smashing my red ’96 Chevy Blazer into a stranger’s car in my high-school parking lot?  (more…)