The Relentless Pace of Hipsterdom: A Day at Pitchfork Music Festival Paris

[Editor's note: Please welcome Greg Spivak to ToM.  All photos appearing here were taken by Mr. Spivak, we encourage you to click on them to see them at full size and resolution.] In French there is no equivalent for “hipster.” Recently the term has been adopted by the French press, with articles describing this American idea of “le hipster”; slowly, the word is starting to lose its italicized status as a new loan word along with les has-been, les best-of and les lifting (fine, the last is a strange Gallic deformation of "face-lift"). The closest the French come is the bobo, which, although coined by David Brooks, moved to, settled, and thrived in France -- talk shows speak endlessly of … [Read more...]

A Fool Such as Biden: Point Break, Wayward Teeth, and Man Love in the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate

“This is a bunch of stuff!”  I couldn’t have said it better myself…. Wait, of course I could have. So the good people at ToM (I use both terms loosely) asked me what I thought of last night’s hellacious, knockdown, by-the-book, paint-by-the-numbers, firecracker-of-a-parent-teacher-conference. Let me tell you, this couple has fire! The way the one pretended to dismiss his younger (and better looking, mind you) partner with that scenery eating grin and broad armed expressions of dismay, while the fit one blinked those pale blue-green eyes like the emo-loving student-government-vice-president he always strived to be.  The passion between these two feels like Point Break-era Patrick Swayze (“I … [Read more...]

The Food Truck Conundrum: Urban Politics and Mobile Eats

When local DC cultural website DCist tweeted a celebratory announcement of the arrival of Chic-fil-A’s new roaming food truck in the nation’s capital, one might have thought the tweet rather ho-hum. At most, cries of corporate infringement on a burgeoning subculture might have been expected to ring out. However, within minutes several prominent DC restaurant proprietors responded with harsh admonishments, but not about aesthetics or subcultures. Perhaps most notably, Dean Gold owner of Cleveland Park’s popular Dino restaurant, rebuked DCist for publicizing the food truck of a company known to support anti-gay causes and legislation tweeting: ChickFilA_Fuckers hate gays and we need to care? … [Read more...]

Asheville Showcase: Inviting the Tourist Behind the Counter

In September of 2007, I became one of the then approximately 73,000 citizens of the city of Asheville, North Carolina. That year Asheville was able to claim numerous honors such as "Best Southern Town" (Outside magazine, Aug. '07), one of the "Top 10 Up-and-Coming Travel Destinations" (, March '07), and was one of the "Top 25 Arts Destinations" (American Style magazine, June '07). From these and other accolades, a prospective move to the area might imply that employment should be a promise, relaxation nearly enforced, and that general malice was at least several mountain villas away. Today in 2011, the population has added about 10,000 more residents and keeps accruing … [Read more...]

A Taxonomy of Forest Rock

We are neither the first nor the last to notice that indie rockers of the early 21st century have a fondness for fauna -- you have Le Tigre, Wolfmother, and Grizzly Bear, and Tiger Bear Wolf for those who can't make up their minds.  Of course, from the Turtles to the Flys, bands have always favored animal names, but recent trends in indie rock have led some to suggest that a new fascination for the rural, pastoral, earthy, natural and animalistic has taken hold.  (Generally speaking, punk and grunge as genres seemed to eschew the animal band name -- Dictators, Voidoids, Sex Pistols, Nuns, Buzzcocks on one hand; Nirvana, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Melvins on the other.  No frolic in the countryside … [Read more...]