Q
What do you think of "hipster house"? I don't mean as a genre, since I think it's a made-up genre and not actually a sound or anything, but more as an idea. It seems to me that it's like a way to clean up the cheesiness (I mean that in a good way) and sincerity of house to make it more palatable for an audience that is still suspicious of dance music that's not somehow coded as "smart" or "weird". I'm curious what your take is on it.
A

I think that I’m having a hard time identifying “hipster house,” which I think means I’m getting kinda old and not quite as resentful as I used to be? Like, is Blondes considered hipster house? Because that records is such a limp, boring ass version of dance, to me. But then like, that Ital record is awesome, and Mi Ami’s Dolphins is a pretty slept-on record, though they’re from the same circle and I’d say Black Eyes’ music kinda had this serious dance element, so is it just hipster house when it kinda sucks? I know your whole point is “ignore it as a dumb genre name” but it’s helping me unpack the idea, so bear with me…

I do think there is a trend though, towards house music being part of the “hipster” music experience, and there’s just a ton of baggage with house that if you’re not acknowledging or understanding, then you’re a jerk. Today at the EMP thingy, I saw the totally awesome Julianne Escobedo Shepherd do a totally awesome talk about voguing and ball culture and part of it had to do with recent flirtations with the culture by straight, white DJs (particularly their use of the M.A.W’s “The Ha Dance,” a song kept alive of ball culture) and it was definitely an example of what happens when people pick up on something for cool points, and how wrong/bad/weird it can get. In a larger sense, adopting a lot of the elements of house in general, even just a basic 4/4 beat with a couple of signifiers does seem problematic to me.

Still, I’m having a hard time identifying “hipster house” and because house has so many permutations and subgenres, you know? Like, something like that new John Talabot record, which I like quite a bit, feels cleaned-up and tasteful to me in a way that can kinda piss me off. But it’s part of a whole tradition of tasteful european house music. And like, does hipster house have anything to do with Fingers Inc. or Aly-us or M.A.W. or Armand Van Helden? Not trying to argue because I think what you’re feeling about “hipster house” is still correct, but because dance is so mired in history yet says “fuck it” to history in some ways, and because dance always has a utilitarian element to it, I feel uncomfortable questioning it. Other people, with more knowledge or more of a “right” surely can, though.