Last night, Hadaly and I, faced with room filled with perhaps the lowest hipster-to-real-person ratio in the city, very quickly devised a foolproof Hipster Detection Mantra. Eight simple words anyone can use to root out and evaluate the hipsters in their midst, with enough precision to determine the strength and severity of the hipster infestation.
This miracle tool?
"What do you think of the Arcade Fire?"
Confusion: "What, was there a fire at Coney recently? Are you asking me if I am in favor of Coney Island burning down? What type of asshole are you?" Diagnosis: Not a hipster. Might need to cut back on the crystal meth
Simple Statement of Fact: "Who doesn't? Or didn't, at least." Diagnosis: Has a taste for hipster culture, but doesn't subscribe to the hipster ethos.
Engaging: "Yeah, I suppose, but as long as we're talking about Canadian bands I much prefer the whole Toronto scene; like, Broken Social Scene and Feist and Metric rather than the Montreal scene. I mean, have you actually tried to listen to Bell Orchestre?" Diagnosis: Be cautious--this is a hipster, but likely a safe one. You will be able to get some good bootlegs and mix tapes off of them.
Holier-Than-Thou: "Oh, I liked their first album, but Funeral was too bombastic and sell-outy. Their song from the Six Feet Under soundtrack was pretty good, though. I think they should stick to stuff like that rather than this populist crap." Diagnosis: Definitely a hipster, from the anti-things-other-people-heard-and-enjoyed stance, to the use of the word "sell-outy," which is something like what Joss would have written for Buffy.
Belligerent: "Oh, god, how could you even ask that question these days? Yeah, I remember when I got the demos for 'Wake Up' back two years ago, but this isn't September '04 anymore. Does your mom not let you buy music until it's on the discount rack?" Diagnosis: Hipster. The type to be avoided at all cost.