by Brian Costello
KNOW YOUR SCENESTER: 20 ALL-TOO FAMILIAR ARCHETYPES
In Which Your Perpetually Faithful Chronicler of Human Folly, Bloopers, Zingers, and Humorous Home Videos Involving Scrotal Bonks Turns His Limited Attentions on the Study of Scenesters, and How to Detect and Recognize the Myriad Species of Said Scenesters, with Proper Animadversions Regarding Walking and Talking Enemabags Who Doth Complain Too Much Due to Lack of Third-Leg Exercise with Harlots and Strumpets.
To the Most Honourable Sir Lord Shitshisshorts, esq., without whose invaluable assistance 'twould be no small boast to proclaim my trousers would be multicoloured with the stain of human fluid, I most respectfully offer these words to you, in honour and pulchritude on the Eighteenth Day of February in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Five.
Tallyho, honkies! Do we have any honkies reading this tonight? Great! I suspected as much! In this here column, we're (I'm) going to break down and classify the many types of scenesters existing in these United States today. You see, I've played in smoky clubs, musty basements, smelly punk houses, and rawkus Bat Mitzvahs wherein many a yamulka was tossed joyfully in the air to the tune (a term I use loosely here) of our musics (another term I use loosely here). I've played all over this great country. I've played a few places, and I've rocked (read: mildly entertained) a few dozen faces (and that's a liberal estimate). I've even played shows in DeLand, Florida!
So as you can see, I've been around and then some. When you're as well-traveled and as well-experienced (in other words: I'm getting too fucking old to be doing this shit) as I'm, you see patterns emerging in the behavior of people at the rock shows, no matter where you are. Granted, I've never played shows outside of these United States, but I suspect the archetypes presented below don't vary much from country to country, but what the fuck do I care about the rest of the world? I'M AN AMERICAN, BITCH, AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, WHINE TO MY PRESIDENT AND HE'LL FUCK YOU UP!
Be that as it may, let's get right to our study of the many archetypal scenesters, and as you read this, let us not labor under the delusion that this is about everyone but you, My Most Sagacious Reader. It's about you, and yes, it's even about me. (But that's false modesty on my part. Really, it's more about you). Let's go:
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #1: Johnny sO' Obscure (obsessiveus boreingus):
This guy (always a guy) loves nothing more than to talk your ear off about how unbelievably cool his record collection is, and has no problem name-dropping references so rare and arcane, you only have an inkling of what he is talking about. Inevitably, this specie of scenester will corner their prey in some dark section of the club and leave him stranded without friends to rescue him nor a polite conversational escape. All one can do to escape this specie's clutches is to walk away quickly as if it is of the utmost importance that you void your bowels post haste, and punctuate it with a panicked "I'll be back in a minute!" Nothing else works. Trust me.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "Well, of course the best Beach Boys album is the Albanian import on teal vinyl where it's all the "Smile" recordings Brian Wilson made while taking a shit and eating a ham on pumpernickel sandwich..."
WARNING: COCK BLOCKER EXTRAORDINAIRE.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #2: Grampa Sidney (anarchus elderlyus):
The very last of the 70's punks, Grampa Sid spikes what remains of his bald head and still wears his leather jacket and his worn out yellow Buzzcocks tee with his bulbous paunch hanging over his jeans. Gramps looooooooooves the olden tymes. Sometimes, crummy bands have Grampa Sid introduce them so as to give them quasi-linkages to the Golden Age of Punk, and it's never not hilarious as Grampa Sid says crap like, "I just wanna say that I've been going to shows since 1978, and this next band really captures the spirit of what punk was about in those days." His yarn spinning and overall presence make you want to just pack it in and get a sensible haircut and find a nice office job in a nice office park.
TYPCIAL QUOTE: "I remember when the Vibrators were having drinks at La Mere Vipere, and then Captain Sensible stumbled in and he said to me, "'Allo, mate! Whut's all this then?"
WARNING: Like an avalanche of fossils, it's hard to stop Grampa Sid wants he gets going.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #3: Larry Local (yokelus hayseedicus):
This specie of scenester is proud of where he's from, the town where your band is currently playing, and Larry loves telling you all about what the scene in his town is like. Nevermind if his talk is full of references to the "East Side" or "like how it is past 74th Street and Turtleneck Avenue," just smile and nod because, seeing how you don't live there and don't plan on moving there anytime soon, because, for fuck's sake, why would anybody want to willingly live in, say, Indianapolis, there's no sense in committing Larry's yakking to your long-term memory.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "Well that's [insert name of town here] for ya. People don't come to shows until 12 because there's shit going on on the West Side, and sometimes on the Southeast Side over by the Dog Biscuit Factory, so it's like you only have 23 minutes to buy beer then cause all the stores stop sellin' at 12:23AM because Mayor Blueballs and all these clowns in City Council are such tools..."
WARNING: Gives needlessly complicated directions to the interstate when you're finna split town.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #4: Cleopatra Hotstuff (bootiliciousus flakinosis):
The cutest of all the girls at the show, and boy, does she know it. More into the fashion and the social scene than anything else, Cleopatra's quite the flirt, and is solely responsible for almost 1/2 of all the scene drah-muh floating around the shows and parties. If an outoftowner asks about her, all the locals get an all-too-knowing look in their eye and say, "She's crazy. Leave that alone." And you know what? They're right! Flaky too! The locals who talk about their brief attempts at dating Cleopatra talk like shell-shocked veterans. But in the sausage party scene of the Loser's Circuit, this kind of behavior from Cleo is a-okee-dokee.
TYPCIAL QUOTE: "I just got a new star tattoo on my lower back. Do you wanna see it?"
WARNING: She is the proud possessor and user of a Hot Topic X-tra Valuez Card.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #5: Nat Network (reamus schmoozus):
Nat is never without CD-R's of his shitty band, ready to give to all takers: hot girls, other bands, record company moguls, talk show hosts, reviewers...anybody who can help him make it big in the music biz. An opportunist of the worst sort, this specie quite naturally lives in Southern California (but not exclusively in SoCal). Nat will go to the Blackout ready to chat his way "to the top" with all the H.A. reviewers editors, etcetera, and he certainly is not averse to ass-kissing. In my experience, the best way to get rid of the Nat Network's of the world while you're at the rockshow is to point somewhere behind him and say, "Hey look, it's Larry Hardy!" When he turns his head to look (and he will turn his head to look), you take off running.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "I think you'd like our band. We're really starting to be a draw in L.A. Your band is so fucking good, dude, it's like you're blessed with so much talent and we should totally play together because it would be such an amazing combination..."
WARNING: Mind your Bullshit Detector.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #6: Ansel Adams (photogus muscleus):
Well, if it isn't Mister Cameraguy! Documenting the shows with pretensions of putting out the coffeetable books for the 2030's. Muscles his way to the front and center, dancers and revelers be damned.
TYPCIAL QUOTE: "This is gonna turn out sooooooooo good!"
WARNING: If you are front and center at the big show, watching your fave band in the world, Ansel will have no problem standing in front of you, walking through you as if you don't exist, and generally getting the hell in your way.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #7: Instant Mikhail Baryshnikov (just add drugs) (danceus pranceus):
The one guy always dancing at every single show right up front whether there are 3 people in the audience or 500. His dancing is awful, yet inspired. Mikhail is there to have fun, and you can't fault him on that, no matter how fucked up and foolish he may seem from time to time.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "This band's great! Why aren't you dancing?"
WARNING: Should you work up the nerve to dance with Mikhail, he will dance in spinny circles around you. Not that that's such a big deal, but I'm just sayin'.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #8: The Opening Band's Girlfriends (supportus nomatterhowmuchitborestherestofus):
It's the 3-5 ladies standing in the front row while everybody else is way in the back by the bar drinking and waiting for this shit to be over. The Opening Band's Girlfriend's dance, sing along to the unmemorable and hackneyed songs, take pictures, and raise their bottles of Michelob at their guys, all for love, because it sure ain't for the music.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "No, baby, you were great tonight! Why are you so down on yourself? Well, I liked it at least, and that should count, right?"
WARNING: Deep down inside, The Opening Band's Girlfriends sincerely believe their boyfriends have talent.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #9: Slutty McGangbang (chlymidia pubus):
Every straight male has had some kind of drunken sexcapade with this specimen. Put a few drinks in her, and look at her go! Off goes the t-shirt! Here comes her hand groping for your package! Girl-on-girl makeout action! Slutty McGangbang is the yin to Cleopatra Hotstuff's yang. A walking talking fucking id. Do wear a condom.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "Do you wanna see my tits right now?"
WARNING: Never not horny!
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #10: Mister Mosh (dumbass dickus):
If a band plays an uptempo number, Mr. Mosh is there, ready to engage in the hokiest of outdated dances--scaring away the girls, scaring away the laidback folks, scaring away the other dancers, scaring away everyone except similarly testosteroned shirtless males. Never without a backwards ballcap.
TYPCIAL QUOTE: "UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGH ME LIKE!"
WARNING: Will hit back if punched. (Just ask Dr. Filth.)
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #11: Charles Psychowski (blackedouticus scaryus):
Here, we're presented with the species who takes The Life and Opinions of Charles Bukowki just a little bit too serious. Like Don Quixote with his romance novels, poor Charles has read all two hundred Bukowski books, and based on these, he operates under the deulsion that drinking heavily makes one brilliant, thus making it okay to pick fights, yell and bray like an angry jackass, humiliate himself and those around him, and, in essence, be an alcoholic asshole without the redeeming literary merit. Needless to say, Psychowski isn't inspired to write--he'd rather just act like Mickey Rourke in 'Barfly'. At least the guy isn't boring. Unoriginal, yes, but rarely dull.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "Whaaaajew call me, ya fuckin' cunt?"
WARNING: Will drink all your beer should you have a party.
SCENESTER ARCEHTYPE #12: Jimmy Chinstroker (aka Roger Ebert, Jr.) (critiqueus fanboyus):
The self-appointed critic of the scene, Jimmy Chinstroker finds his bliss in discovering bands that "suck." This gives him something to talk about, and, of course, it is his sole creative endeavor. Jimmy did some time in the hep record store in town, and/or he wrote reviews for his 'Coffeedrinker' fanzine. Ergo, this gives him carte blanche to express his critiques. For some strange reason, this specie of scenester has established quite a large habitat in the eastern part of Wisconsin, but they are certainly abundant in any large city or collegiate township. Their mating rituals consists of witty repartee on the Terminal Boredom Message Board, and the exchanges are rarely not unwitty. However, these mating rituals accomplish little, for they are asexual. Who would wanna breed with such parasites? Not with my dick, Spunky.
TYPCIAL QUOTE: "You a fagg and that shit sounds like Devil Dogs if they sucked bad and your mom sucks too i'm drunk spilling cheeto powder on my keyboard"
WARNING: These guys, by and large, are monomanical idiots sucking the joy out of the inherent fun in music. Ignore them.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #13: Sheila Pee (sloppicus drunkardus):
Binge drinker to the max, Sheila Pee stumbles around the club knocking into everyone in her path, flask of whiskey hidden in her purse and clearly working its magic. After a few hilarious attempts at conversation in which her slurred mouth is out of sync with her intoximicated brain, Sheila Pee will inevitably pass out on the couch, pee dribbling out of her fishnet stockings. Hoo boy!
TYPCIAL QUOTE: "You guys....blaaaaaargh."
WARNING: Known to fall quite a bit on the dance floor.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #14: Dick Soundguy (shitbrain fuckheadus):
A terribly important person in his own mind, Dick Soundguy likes to take full credit for the sound of your band, and loves mixing everything, no matter what genre, like it's an 80s Miami Bootybass jam. They went to Columbia College or Full Sail, where the instructors filled their supple young heads with so much egotistical horseshit, the Dick Soundguys of the world believe they could make the sound on stage without even the musicians and their instruments. It's almost like they work at Guitar Center or something. Truly uptight and miserable. Shoot on sight.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "Those mic screens don't come cheap, ya know." "That feedback might sound fine in your little practice space, but you're in the big leagues, buddy."
WARNING: No redeeming qualities. None.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #15: Carl Cockblocker (cocksuckerus cockblockicus):
Like moths to lights, Carl here hovers around you as you talk to your girlfriend between bands, and he waits and waits until you go to the bathroom or to the bar to get all up in your dearly beloved. Whatta tool. His conversations are so boring, not even a girl is suckered by it (usually). Easy enough to scare away if need be. An annoyance, like a housefly.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "While I definitely enjoy the garage rock, my tastes have been known to vary all over the map, from psychobilly to baroque jazz."
WARNING: Inconsiderate. Very inconsiderate.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #16: Cokie Roberts (snortus bumpus):
The guy with the coke. Nuff said.
TYPICAL QUOTE: "Hey man, thanks for lettin' us use your room (sniffle sniffle)."
WARNING: If you're not careful, Cokie could mire you in the most pointless conversation you've ever had.
SCENESTER ARCHETYPE #17: Naked Ron (hangus brainus):
There are some who laugh at the dry wit of British humor. Others crack up at Jim Carrey's zany hijinx. Still, others go for the working class humor of Larry the Cable Guy. And there are still others who laugh heartily at the foibles of a good chuckle-filled "Will and Grace" episode. Not Naked Ron. No, Ron's schtick is to whip out his testicles on unsuspecting showgoers, or to whip out the whole frank n' beans. Somebody forgot to tell this guy that the streaking fad of the 70s ended long ago. The Hanging Brain, in Ron's retarded mind, is the modern-day equivalent of the lampshade on the head, only funnier. Just indulge poor Ron with delighted smiles and warm laughter, no matter how grossed out you are or no matter how worn out the gag has become or no matter how warn out you are from gagging. I thank you from the bottom of my heart because you know I'm just trying to lighten the mood, you know, and you think it's easy trying to make up stuff that's funny for a bunch of jaded drunks who don't care what you're up to no matter how loud you shout and who cares anyways it's not like anyone reads this thing!
TYPICAL QUOTE: "Excuse me, but do these pants make me look fat around the crotch area? HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR!"
WARNING: Please be patient. God isn't finished with me yet.
Okay that's all for now. Later.
Illustrations by Ben Lyon
Contact: the bcshowwithbc-at-hotmail.com
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