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If Glamster and Hipster Collide

In case any of you are sitting around with bated breath wondering if I'm done with the distractions of my writer's conference, rest easy. The event ended last night and I can now return to the uber-serious world of bringing back glam. That said, I've had a fabulous idea I may be asking you for help with soon, so please stay tuned. You're going to want to be included in my evil (ok, awesome) plot.

That aside, I was thinking about hipsters last night. Mainly because I went to a bookstore after leaving the conference in search of a certain text. Of course, the store didn't have what I wanted but that didn't stop Barnes & Noble from separating me from my $12. Nope. While gazing the shelves, I found perhaps the best book ever written: Look At This F*cking Hipster. Now, the book came from the blog of the same name. I know the blog's been around awhile, but I never paid it much attention. In southern Ohio, we don't have a whole lot of hipsters. The ones we do have are usually part of our local music scene (or college fratboys). Hence my train of thought.

As I was literally crying with hysteria while looking through this book, I couldn't help feel the lightning bolt of fear rush through me: "Are Glam musicians turning hipster?"

I mean, I literally shuddered.

Again, my experience with all things hipster is quite limited. I've only been through Brooklyn once and that was in a car and we didn't stop (I was going to Manhattan). Again, no real Brooklyn-type areas in Ohio but Joe Mande, the author of Look At This F*cking Hipster, assures me most hipsters live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. "My AOL editor lives there," was my first thought.

I hope I don't get fired for writing that.

So anyway, all the hipster photos feature people wearing these crazy tight jeans and nutty scarves. Well, glam musicians do like tight pants and scarves...but it's different. It's perfectly correct to collect and wear Steven Tyler-like scarves and tight leather pants. It is not good to wear a pastel colored scarf around one's neck like a train conductor with pencil-slim jeans. You know what I mean.

But bringing back glam means bringing back relevancy and I fear the day I see Joe Leste or Mark Slaughter rocking out wearing an Animal Collective T-shirt. I don't know what it would mean to find a Glam hipster, but I bet some seismic universal shift would certainly occur. Think a big hair - meets eyeliner - meets tight pants - hookah rebellion or something. I think we can all agree we don't want that.

Oh, and basically the entire point of this post was to get you to read the "Look At This F*cking Hipster" blog. My apologies for the salty title. Mande has a potty mouth.


Reader Comments (6)

Glamster + Hipster = Vains of Jenna

(just look at how their slowly changing)
April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDanica
There are plenty of hipsters in Dayton. I know some. ;) And they're definitely not college frat boys.
April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine Sixx

You've done it again, Al!

This web site, "", is totally killarious!

Easily one of the funniest sites I've ever seen.

I think one of the most uproariously comical images and a great example of a "Glamster" (Glam Metal Rocker + Hipster) on there is the chick snorting glitter on Saturday, August 8th (the site lists the day an image is posted).

Joe Mande's captions of the photos of these supposedly "hip" characters are priceless!

The whole thing gave me nightmares of when I worked in major ad agencies in Manhattan in the late 80's and throughout the 90's, which are just packed to the gills with these people. Many of them are completely brilliant and super nice but then there are the people who help to mold the unfortunate side of the "hipster" cliche, who are completely arrogant a*sholes.

I also had my share of dealing with these kinds of people, having dated many a babe that lived in Williamsburg or on the Lower East Side. The coolest one had a pair of 80's neon green and pink retro 80's Nike's, black leggings, usually just an oversized T-shirt and had a Ying-Yang symbol tattoo on her arm which in '97 seemed pretty cool since most chix were doin' the butterflies in barbed wire motif still prevalent today.

Another thing that was interesting about her was her hair which looked like a normal shoulder length 70's wing job semi-shag but when the wind blew, it would blow back to reveal her head completely shaved on the sides (it was the wings that had me at hello -- I'm a sucker for anything 70's -- and the shaved head on the sides that had me at goodbye).

This hair-do worked great when she wanted to spike it up into a mohawk and go to Post-Punk shows at CBGB's (which I would attend also).

But she could roll both ways (meaning Punk or Hard Rock, hahaha!!!). And that was the beauty with that hair-do.

Something else that was cool about her was she was into all the bands like Motley, Poison, Ratt and Dokken, etc., I guess since that was the music of her high school and college days.

I met her at the Green Door, a phenomenal Trash Rock party hosted by Jesse Matlin every other Saturday night at his nightclub, Coney Island High, on St. Marks Place during the mid to late 90's.

It was a real hangout for Matlin's band D-Generation (who were great, btw!), their entourage, various other hanger's on and wannabe's like me who were there for the spectacle but who occasionally became part of the spectacle by the sheer accident of happening to be there.

I would always talk to Johnny Ramone whenever he was there with his chick and friends, which actually happened pretty often and he was always really cool. His chick was totally Downtown Hipster but totally Rock'n'Roll with platinum blonde hair, cheetah print furry coat and sunglasses (even at night). She wasn't so nice and I'd always have to get lost when she'd come back to the table or whatever, hahaha!!!

It was wild times and the whole place would dance to anything from Kiss to the Pistols.

So back on track...

We owe a huge amount of gratitude to Mande and you, Al, for showcasing Mande's "labor of jab" here, exposing these hi-lo Goodwill fashion victims (some with the occasional splashes of Gucci, etc. from Christmas in Westchester).

I'd say you can see evidence of the Glamster (Glam Metaller/Hipster hybrid you are in mortal fear of) in the style transition that occurred in the final throws of the original Glam/Hair Metal Movement as evidenced in the moment in time when Poison and Motley Crue put away the Aqua Net and heavy make-up, smacked their hair down (they kept the eyeliner) and traded in their cowboy boots for Doc Marten's.

I seem to recall more than one former Glam Metal Rockstar wearing a Che Guevara (the Argentine Marxist revolutionary and Hipster icon) T-shirt, beginning in the early 90's, namely Axl, Duff and Slash.

Was it the same actual shirt? That's another common hipster trait, too, I might add, since hipsters are so "broke" they have to share their clothes. I'd say Izzy Stradlin was/is probably the most hipster of all the Glam Metallers, looking like he walked right out of a time machine, fresh from a visit to Warhol's Factory with Keith Richards circa'68. Izzy's big black retro cap, vintage vests and belts, peg leg pants and Beatle boots, etc., are true perfection in visual articulation of what could be considered the cool end of hipster.

So, Izzy gets it right, nailing the suave heroin chic look of a long lost member of the early 70's era Rolling Stones, and not deliberately looking like the son of a Ringling Brothers Circus clown whose ravaged his Dad's trunk for shoes and accessories like so many of the hipsters on the web site and in the book (and in Brooklyn, hahaha!!!).

Axl, on the other hand, didn't get it right. When he finally decided to let his hair down and lose the mascara, he got goofy with orange Thierry Mugler cashmere sport coats, white bicycle shorts, and Doc Marten's.

And Axl went even more unhipster with the whole kilt trip he went on toward the end. If you are ever looking for the definition of the phrase "Trying To Hard", Axl's the pointillist illustration for it during the early 90's.

Also, in the early 90's particularly, we started to see and still see Glam Metallers like Nikki Sixx, Rikki Rockett, The Cult, Faster Pussycat, etc. wearing vintage (by that I mean real vintage, not stuff that's called vintage as some kind of style distinction but stuff that is actually old for real!).

And let's not forget Mick Marrs of Motley Crue and Phil Lewis of L.A. Guns and their penchant for donning black berets. What could be more hipster than a black beret, folks?!

Ian Astbury of the Cult was another one gone retro, perhaps really the first of the Glam Metallers to do it besides Izzy (as evidenced in the videos for 1989's "Sonic Temple album), with his leather bellbottoms and fringe suede jacket.

Al, you mentioned Joe Leste. Bang Tango were another act who were wearin' vintage clothes and bellbottoms before anyone else (but not before Astbury).

Admittedly, these fashion cues are also a nod to the '70's Hard Rockers but one could argue it's also "hipster".

I think the gravitational pull toward toning down the hair height (hahaha!!!) and toning up the vintage wear was a bit of a reaction to Grunge and those people mining the thrift shops for their get-ups.

Watch the movie "Singles" to get a vibe for that whole thing -- which is pretty much a softened cartooned version of the Seattle Grunge look which was basically hipster, at least at that time... Note Wynona Ryder's peasant dress and Doc Marten's look. Oh, so "hipster" beyond hip!

The Doc Marten's have been pretty much sidelined by the Hipsters as well as the Rockers due to overexposure and probably the fact that they are so big and clunky and weigh a ton.

Doc Marten's were the perfect example of "Hipster Irony" back in the day because they really aren't that comfortable but say "Doc" in the name makin' you feel like they're something your pediatrist would endorse. Yet they are frickin' verging on being total cripplers. So what! They're hip!

Further evidence of our newly spun archetype of the "Glamster" exists in the superb movie, "Laurel Canyon" where we see an AC/DC shirt donned by the hipper than hip alterna-rocker character in the film, Ian McKnight (Allesandro Nivolo).

Of course, there are deeper meanings to the presence of this shirt in the movie but I'll let you rent it, if you haven't seen it already, to find out. That is, if you can allow yourself to watch anything unrelated to Metal, hahaha!!!

Though, AC/DC aren't unanimously viewed as Glam (c'mon they're Glam, all you Homophobes -- look at the frickin' Black Velvet schoolboy outfit! -- Duh!), you get the feeling Ian's kind of mocking 'em when he's wearing it. That would be a classic hipster move as it's all about the irony in every move they make, no? It's just totally incongruous to his whole hipster act (or is it?).

And I think the whole Alternative Rock scene, particularly in New York, has been flirting with Glam Metal fashion for quite some time now. There are so many blonde dye jobbed hairdo'd and eyelinered bands churning out anything but what could be called "Hair Metal". I've even seen a few local act's band members donning Iron Maiden shirts on more than one occasion, too (though again, we find ourselves debating issues like whether Iron Maiden could be considered Glam or not).

But I digress...

Yeah, so the whole vintage-retro thing is such a predominant fashion element to the Hipster Look and there's where we see a crossover into Glam Metal and the Rockstars wearing the same stuff as the Hipsters...

Nikki Sixx will probably be buried in that light brown double-breasted leather jacket circa '75 he seemingly has glued on himself.

But people like him make the whole vintage-retro thing work a lot cooler pretty much (though it still can all be a little comical in this realm also) than these so-called Hipsters.

To any of you still reading this, I highly recommend going through the entire "" site. I plowed through the whole thing and it just gets funnier and funnier.

It's like High Fashion Nerd Paradise with some people who are so unaware of how completely nerded-out they are, they actually look like hipsters!

In half the time it would take you to fly to NYC to witness it all live and in person, you can just roll through this site from the oomfort of your own home.

And it's easier than inviting your town's knock-off hipsters over and having to entertain 'em -- they do tend to like their Pabst and Yuengling. If you really want to see some in the flesh you can always just go buy a pair of socks at American Apparel if you have one in the local mall or wherever.

Still, it would be fun to invite some hipsters over for cocktails and have the "Look At This F*cking Hipster" book prominently displayed on the coffee table. Remember, I don't think these people really refer to themselves as "hipsters", so to have the privilege of watchin' 'em as they casually pick up the book and peruse through it with studied nonchalance until they do a double take where they come to the realization the book is about them and their kind, and would be worth every penny.

I swear it's a prerequisite for American Apparel to only hire what would normally be attractive looking people but who insist on wearing weird hairdo's like comb-overs when they're not balding and horn rimmed glasses when they have 20/20 eyesight, etc. They are also usually fond of weird piercings like those huge rings in their ear lobes, which can actually become kind of functional since you can hang Christmas tree ornaments and your dry cleaning through them.

The whole thing is makin' me think I could make a killing by inventing and marketing fake Unibrows and little combs and brushes to groom 'em with, since it's definitely hip if you are proud to be sportin' a unibrow, whether you are a dude or a chick.

Speaking of Unibrows, what about Scott Noteven of Can'thax? One could argue he is the epitome of "Heavy Metal Hipster". Aside from the unibrow (though it looks like that has become a non-issue since he might have visited his girlfriend's electrolysist back in the early 90's as I seem to remember it disappearing during an Anthax Metal Block on Headbanger's Ball. Man he should have saved it. He coulda sent it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or something), he really rocked... er... um... unrocked the black Dickies shorts, Foot Locker tube socks and Doc Marten's. If he didn't have a black Charvelle bass strapped to him you could easily mistake him for an East Village coffee house inhabitant (which he actually probably is).

Hey, look, you know it's fun to make fun.

I assure you, the hipsters have their fun with us "squares", too. I've heard it with my own two ears in dives from St. Marks to 14th Street. But if you're a Rocker or Metaller, you're pretty safe with the hipsters, though they would rather see you in a Genesis or Hold Steady T-shirt than Iron Maiden, for sure.

But a lot of 'em are wimps so they won't ever scoff at your Judas Priest shirt for fear of imminent death, much like their Grandmothers would guffaw at it.

Still, I think the "Glamster" hybrid is there, and like Danica says, with more to come. Allyson & Co., get ready!

Here they come!

p.s. For more evidence of the hybridized existence of the animal heretofore to be known as a "Glamster", check out "". Here are captured in the beautiful digital equivalent of Kodachrome, the most hipster NYC Club Kids you'll ever see frolicking around Night Clubs from Manhattan to Miami to Hollywood. You'll notice Hipsters, High Fashion Victims, Alternative Rockers, Drag Queens and everybody and everything in between. Some of the looks are hybrids, so you'll see what I would classify as "Glamsters". Will they become Glam Metal Rockstars? Probably unlikely. But maybe some Glam Metal Kiddz will pick up the style and incorporate it the way Vains of Jenna possibly are as Danica has indicated. For more amusement after you've recovered from your symptoms of chronic Laughitis going through, you might want to also check out to see some serious Big Hair, Goth and Punk family members juxtaposed to "normal" family members in Olan Mills style family portrait photography beyond killarity. Thank God they don't have any pictures of me with my Mullet circa '86. Yikes!
April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Cleveland is kinda brooklyn esque in some parts.
April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
It's true, they're everywhere! And they flock from everywhere and migrate to Brooklyn!
April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I also occasionally disguise myself as a Hipster when saving Glam Metal Gurlz from being kidnapped at NYC parties by these creeps.
April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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