Don’t be that Guy: 5 Ways to Spot a Nashville Hipster

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” ~Winston Churchill

Don’t be that Guy: 5 Ways to Spot a Nashville Hipster
Hipsters are the guys and girls who are always on the cutting edge of culture (or so they’d like to think). They’ve already heard of your favorite band. In fact, they listened to them several years ago and already

Felicia Franklin Photography

decided that they sounded too much like radiohead. They saw the movie, it sucked. They are against anything and everything that is “mainstream.” They are the devoted sharecroppers of independent thoughts. They are not at all bad people. In fact, if you’re reading this blog then chances are, you’re a hipster. I’m a hipster and proud of it. Being a hipster I’ve had years of experience with the Nashville sort and they are more than a little interesting. So for those of you who are closet hipsters, confused hipsters, wanna be hipsters, girl hipsters, guy hipsters, or not a hipster at all, this blog post is for you. These are five tell-tale signs of Nashville hipsters. Enjoy.

1. Foreign Language Tattoos

The first step in spotting a Nashville hipster is to look for the tattoos. Don’t worry, you won’t have to look hard, most hipsters make their tattoos painfully obvious via belly button deep American Apparel V-neck t-shirts. The tattoo is the symbol of simultaneous maturity and everlasting youth for the hipster. The most obvious hipster tattoo trend is the foreign language tat. This is common place in the hipster community because it lets the hipster hold on to their “uniqueness” while still getting the same tattoo as everyone else. This appeals to hipsters’ biggest fear of being normal. Look specifically for bible verses written in Latin, Greek, or (for the bold ones) Aramaic. You can ask the hipster what the tattoo means (trust me, they want you to) but don’t be surprised when you’re given and hour and a half explanation of a one line tat. However, don’t ask them to read anything in their dead language of choice because they don’t understand it (chances are, neither did the tattoo artist).

2. Clothing

The easiest way to spot a hipster is to look at their clothing. While this is not always 100% accurate, is does provide a starting point for analysis. Nashville hipsters can be seen rocking a plethora of different styles. The rockers will undoubtedly be seen wearing fully embroidered button-up shirts with a cross on the back as well as super stylish jeans with back pockets that button up to protect their hipster stash. While these clothes do look just like the ones on the clearance rack at Target, don’t be confused. Their clothes cost more than what most of us make in a month. What’s better is that these rocker hipsters get their clothes from boutiques. Yes, boutiques. The artsy hipsters like to wear clothing that in no way fits their age, or generation. They think it’s cool to blend styles in ways that don’t make any sense. Look for neck ties on t-shirts, suit vests on top of short sleeve shirts, fedoras while wearing swimming trunks. The list goes on and on and on. As long as the clothing is completely contradictory, the hipster is being unique and therefore not afraid of the way they look. Also, look for brand names, don’t be surprised to find a Nashville hipster wearing a 1$ thrift store t-shirt with $150 rock&republic hipster jeans.

3. General dislike for “The Mainstream”

Hipsters define themselves by their opinions, therefore their opinions are always unique and almost always against whatever cultural norm can be applied. If you want a good laugh, ask your local music hipster what they think of the latest Black Eyed Peas CD. Then tell them that you bought it through itunes

Felicia Franklin photography

and that the sound quality is way better than their Ryan Adams limited edition Vinyl. If their head has yet to explode, try and convince them that Taylor Swift is going to do for pop music what Creed did for tribal armband tattoos. A great way to pick a Nashville hipster out of a crowd is to start a conversation about country music. Nashville hipsters hate country music, but they LOVE folk. Ask them why, then nod your head accordingly as they explain the way that country music has lost its soul since Johnny Cash died. Don’t bother asking them about any other country artists because they’ll only want to talk about their “folk” artists. (The funny thing is, that most of their “folk” hits, are the same as your country favorites). If a politician who is alive agrees with your ideas, then you’re a conformist in the eyes of a hipster. You can only quote dead men, gangsters, Zach Braff, and the Beatles.

4. Overall Sketchiness

Nashville hipsters are notorious for their sketchy business antics. They don’t have 9-5 jobs, but they make more money than the entire state of Rhode Island (sorry Rhode Island, I really don’t know if that’s true). I’m mainly talking about the upper echelon of Nashville hipsters who I like to think of as the young professional hipsters. I’m not sure if they were hipsters before they were entrepreneurs or if it’s a result of all the hip outfits and opinions, but either way they work it. You see them every day. They sit in the corner of Panera Bread Co. on their iPhone talking to some guy about how “the new design is lacking majorly.” They use phrases like “bro, man, dude, chick, chill, feelin’ it, right on,” and “stellar” in business phone calls. If you ask them what their job is they’ll spit some strange form of hipster jargon at you that sounds an awful lot like a mobsters cover. They are the advisors, consultants, organizers, and handlers. I know that I’m leaving out the large group of hipsters who are part time musicians when they’re not too busy being hip, but they don’t make money so they can’t be sketchy about it.

5. They’re really skinny

They don’t have the time or energy to work out because they can’t tweet while pumping iron. What’s funny about hipsters is that the guys are often times smaller than the girls. I have heard many a hip conversation where the dude brags about how he can fit in his girlfriend’s jeans. I’ve also known a few hipster girlfriends to be upset after a breakup because their hip guy took their favorite pair of seven jeans and wears them all the time now. Their tiny frame can most likely be attributed to their diet of low-fat salads and red bull. Who has time to eat when there are blogs that need posting!

I admit it, I am a hipster. I hope that if you’re a hipster like me, you take this blog in full jest and don’t take any personal offense to the remarks I’ve made. After all, it wouldn’t be very hip of me to point out the flaws of my friends without including myself in the same group.

“Those who are quite satisfied sit still and do nothing; those who are not quite satisfied are the sole benefactors of the world.” ~Walter Savage Landor

Any other hipster observations? Let me know.

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20 responses to “Don’t be that Guy: 5 Ways to Spot a Nashville Hipster

  1. i have both purchased black eyed peas off itunes AND own ryan adams’ gold on vinyl. what does this say about me?

    oh, the internal conflict… 😉

  2. I liked this blog better when I read it on that 6-year-old Japanese boy’s blog months ago, titled “Tokyo Hipsters”. He wrote the whole thing on his iPhone and released a podcast of it the next day via twitter.

  3. That’s an awesome article Feesh! and blake I guess you could be considered a pseudo hipster, or a “pipster”

    • I agree, but I don’t think that either of those terms are mutually exclusive. Meaning I think that “Franklinites” are just a certain breed of hipster.

      • First of all, I just read the comment below me and would like to establish that that comment was not also left by me… it definitely seemed like it considering we both used the term “franklinite”, so I just thought I’d set that straight. In any event, I am willing to expound on the extreme differences of hipsters and franklinites. Franklinites are the kids that grew up in the teeny, tiny little city of Franklin; the kids who were raised on Christian music, Christian values, Christian church, Christian youth group, and Christian camp. The kids that you’ve described as getting foreign language tats with religious meanings: Franklinites. Same goes for the Christian-related clothing kids. Hipsters do not collude in religious propaganda- that’s for the Franklinites to do. I honestly think it’s a lofty endeavor to specifically define “hipster”, and yet at the same time it’s a thoroughly hypocritical pursuit; that is, to label oneself a hipster and then to verbally define the term is a conundrum in itself. Hipsters don’t label. Hipsters are not to be labeled. These are the only definitives one can accurately say about said “culture”.

  4. I guess that was humorous, but overall inaccurate. First, the hipster fad is an empirical, not an individualistic movement. Judging by your inability to see that, it is evident that you are probably a lower echelon wannabe and probably shouldn’t be writing on the subject in the first place. Secondly, there is no quantitative scale for measuring cool. Because of this, you can only be as cool as the prototypes you have observed. Some people label their observed prototypes as “Hipsters”. The funniest thing about your blog is that your definition for hipster is my definition for Franklinite. Think about it.

    • While I do agree that “hipsters” and “franklinites” are rather similar pop culture beings, I would contest that your conglomeration of ostentatious adjectives hardly proves any point at all. Maybe your “lower echelon” comment was designed to make me feel bad about my pseudo hipster status, but it just confused me. I’d love for you to further explain the sentence, “you can only be as cool as the prototypes you have observed” because I have no idea what that means or how it’s in any way relevant.

  5. Hipsters like Alt Country music, though. Such as Neko Case, Wilco, The Old 97s, Johnny and Killbillies, Meade Skelton, Blanche, Leon Redbone, etc. Most Country today is not Country- its Pop. They dont like Pop . Unless its old Pop, and obscure Pop. Patsy Cline is okay for most hipsters, and so is Dolly Parton and Gram Parsons.

  6. I approve this blog post.
    And i always like the way hipsters thought, like it’s this find enjoyment and beauty along with chaos in everything around you. It feels like poetic heartache.
    But what’s with the triangle obsession? why not a circle or tree cut-out

  7. I just moved out here from San Francisco and if you think that there is any kind of abundance of hipsters in this city you are sadly mistaken. San Francisco has about 12 solid different types of hipsters with smaller sub categories. You could write an entire book on San Fran hipsters. The three hipsters I’ve seen in Nashville so far barely make the cut. The hipsters you’re talking about sound like SF hipsters from 2005. And FYI it is more hipster to buy thrift store clothes than boutique clothes. I guess SF is a little more grunge. If you know of some hidden indie rock scene or a park where literally hundreds of hipsters hang out on sunny days, then we can talk… But for now, Nashville doesn’t need to worry about a hipster take over for at least 5 years… 😉

  8. If you do anything at Panera Bread you definitely would not qualify as hipster by NYC standards. But if a single young handsome schoolteacher from NYC was moving to Nashville for a job, where might he want to go? What area is the best to live in. I want independent coffee shops, pretty southern girls, and green spaces for my dog.

  9. hmm. never seen anyone who would be considered hip on bedford or at union pool…. but maybe that why i left nashville

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