It's an average night out at the frequented bar where smoke streams from the cigarettes of those who usually scatter the sidewalk in front. Inside, the walls are decorated with artful images of half-naked women and a DJ mixes while people dance together in isolation. There is a group that sits together, unsmiling and with a somewhat sneer about their surroundings. "That motherfucker was like 6 iPhones ago." A stereotypical girl in bold-framed glasses is sandwiched between her skinny blonde boyfriend and a similarly styled brunette guy who's wearing a man-tank. After each guy orders a PBR, a battle commences. Not a battle of physical strength and stamina, but a comparison of who has the better iPhone, music library, who is the most followed on Facebook or Twitter, thus proving their worth.
Does this sound like your night out? Perhaps someone you know? Or maybe deep down (possibly not that far deep down) it's you that relates the most?
Buffalo native Bill Boulden, otherwise known as Spruke, released a cleverly animated video this week to go along with his song "Natural Order (Battle of the Hipsters)." A track from Factor Friction, his fifth EP release, the tune is mostly electro-pop with some mild dubstep undertones. The video was designed by Brooklyn-based artist Nathaniel Soria of Studio N8.
After watching you may find yourself caught in the paradox of artistically portraying a hipster. It's irony of the ironic, which if you think about it too much turns into a vicious circle of irony.
"The portrayal was meant to be lovingly satirical," says Boulden, a self-titled hipster. "It's totally internalized; that's me I'm making fun of there. It's a self-satirizing look at all the times we've gotten in metaphorical fights at bars over who has better phones or musical taste, but portrayed literally."
A well composed song and a great execution of animation, this video tells a story and is a (sub)cultural exploration. Whether music, literature, film or television is your competitive pedestal, many are guilty of having that one-upping conversation to test each others breadth of knowledge.
But as the song ends, the world around the man in the man-tank burns slowly after the grandiose mass destruction, he sips his victory PBR alone at the (somehow still standing) bar.
Talk about visual metaphors.