How To Be a Music Snob
Worried that your new tat and tight pants aren't enough to secure your position in the Portland Indie Rawk scene? No worries, if you just follow these simple rules you can sound like the music snob you always wished you were.
1. Their Old Stuff
One problem non-music people can face is when people around you are talking about band you don't know much about. Do you nod along appreciatively? No, you need to have an opinion. The best safe response is just to say, "Yah, that album's OK. But I don't think it's as good as their old stuff." Remember, "Their old stuff" is always good (just be sure it's not the band's 1st album), and "Their Greatest Hits" and "MTV Unplugged Album" are always lame.
2. Read Up!
Info about bands is way more important than the music itself. Take some time to keep up w/ what new albums are coming out and some intra-band gossip.
3. I'm Going Through a _____ Phase
If you only are into the newest coolest Indie music, you endanger being a status quo version of hipsterness. Shake it up by occasionally going through different phases of music. It's best if these are really specific w/ lot of descriptors (like Underground-70's-hard-core or 80's-Electro-Pop or, as Miguelito Friguelito once said, Swedish-Heavy-Metal). If you're not feeling creative, just say your going through a Jazz stage. That will at least give you some grudging respect.
4. What To Say When People Ask What Kind of Music You Like
You have 2 choices. The best response is to not answer, but merely shrug your shoulders and with it shrug off the notion that your musical tastes could be so simple as to be diluted down to a type of music. If you're of the nicer type, still don't answer the question, but instead go into a lot of detail about 1 band you're listening to. But whatever you do, don't say, "I like everything, except for country and rap". That is so high school girl in the 80's.
5. Embrace a Cheesy Song
This one's tricky, and you have to do it w/ a lot of confidence. But occasionally you'll need to pick a Top-40 song or some past equivalent, and talk about how great it is. If done badly, you come off as a media pawn. But, if pulled off, you appear as someone who is so not a media pawn that you can see through their schlock and still spot a good song.
A perfect example of this was a music snob I knew (Who not only worked at record store, but was told he needed to be more polite to customers. How snotty do you have to be to actually stand out as rude at a record store?). At a jukebox, he put on TLC's "Waterfall". When I showed surprise, he responded, "Dude, it's one of the best pop songs ever."
And feel free to use that line. You might need it when your cool friends stop by unexpectedly, and catch you listening to Justin Timberlake. Good luck and remember, as John Cusack said in High Fidelity, "It's not what you're like, it's what you like."