I had made the short trek from Rollins to the imitative streets of what seemed to be a Vegas depiction of New York City; however, it was actually downtown Orlando. Despite having to pay an absurd street parking fee of 10 dollars, being forever in debt of quarters, I had made it to the Beacham Theatre; a recently acquired music hall/club attached to a popular local music icon, The Social. Upon entering I was puzzled between the two different lines. I suppose I should just give them funny titles as: One, The Regular People. Two, The Dignified Guest and Press Line. To say the least, I felt honored-no, I was not in The Regular People Line.
Entering the concert hall, I was so politely asked if I wanted to purchase a fairly inexpensive alcoholic beverage–of which I was inclined to say yes, and happily accepted with the exchange of four dollars. Moving into the darkened room with dangling chandeliers and fancy positioned bars, it was almost a hole in the wall Titanic dining room. Quickly browsing tables covered with t-shirts and other fan accessories, I finally made my way to the stage.
With knowledge of the affluent Brooklyn neighborhood from which they hail, it was almost impossible to believe that The Augustines has made its way to Florida to open for an internationally known band, Frightened Little Rabbits, or something like that. Regardless, I was unimpressed with their music video with the music sounding like an expedited recording for attention accompanied by a performance of staring into a camera walking down a street.
The stage lights burned brighter, and a guitarist, a bassist/keyboardist, and drummer took the stage. The primarily adolescent crowd drew a basic instinct of applauding a band that some knew, and some that did not. Actually, it was a sea of plaid shirts, tight khakis or jeans, and an even brighter surface water of iphones and cameras. Funny enough, the band didn’t look any different. And from their look, I had this feeling inside of me that each of their song is going to require me to bite my tongue and listen to the repetitive chords that progressively sounded unchanged or indifferent. I couldn’t understand a word he was singing, not that it was important. Sounding like a drunken Scotsman with the influence of the Borat accent, they were almost a comedy to watch: the bassist swayed his body and guitar to the music, like a five-year-old having to use the potty…badly (squinty face included).
I’m sure you as the reader are familiar with this generation’s recent fashion conception, known as “hipster.” I don’t care of what any fashionista or cultural theorist has to say about this movement–if it could even be considered one. In my own opinion, it is an aesthetically produced image that is not only visually reproductive amongst the younger population, but it is affecting the music that this fashion icon somehow belongs to. Reviewing the comments on the band’s Youtube page, many commenters seem to hold prejudice at the fact that they’re from Brooklyn, and exploit the idea of “indie” as fashionable and musical. Yesterday’s grunge morphed into the present’s “emo,” and somehow gave birth t the future: “hipster.” There are many popular acts, in fact, that embody this look, such as Death Cab for Cutie, The Arcade Fire, and–oh yeah–more recently Taylor Swift. Whatever. They’re all “in it for the music,” I suppose, or hope. I can’t decide.
I guess the point I am trying to convey is that we are approaching times that not only scare me half-to-death of whatever future lies ahead, but of the angelic sounds that keep most of us sane. I do not mean to come off as some cultural elitist or musical elitist, but in my opinion the freedom in music seems to becoming unattached from what we used to call the soul.
To close this supposed band review, denying that they have followers is unjust and mean. Yet, to deliver a banal band review consisting of words and emotions that I cannot truthfully agree to, would be just too average.