Hipsters Are Allowed To Whine

Last week we went to Mississippi Studios, a Baptist-church-turned-recording-studio-turned-music-venue, to see a live show. One of our favorite bands, The Moondoggies, but that’s neither here nor there.

Actually, it is. (Warning: I’m about to geek out here). Not only did Tara surprise me with a vinyl LP she bought at the show, but she had all the band members sign it for me. And I grabbed their handwritten set list from the stage after the show. Scribbled on a napkin. How cool is that?! I’m such a fanboy – who knew? Granted, almost nobody has even heard of The Moondoggies. They’re a local indie rock band from Everett, Washington. But if they ever explode and become really popular, man will I have some cool stuff. It could happen – you never know. Once upon a time, Nirvana played tiny clubs in front of a dozen people, so anything is possible.

The Moondoggies rocked Mississippi Studios on May 29th.

And at the show, we met a guy named Chris who was recording audio for the band. He was there with his girlfriend Tricia, and we struck up a conversation all about music and the Portland scene. When he found out I’m a big fan of The Moondoggies, he offered to send me a copy of the recording. Even took down my e-mail address and everything. Whether or not he ever follows through is debatable, but if nothing else we sort-of hung out with a cool dude and learned a few things about the local biz.

Anyway, we got to the venue about an hour before the doors opened. Looking to kill some time, we wandered around back, where there was a courtyard with tables and chairs and a fire pit, which had just been stacked with logs that were set ablaze. We ordered a drink from the bar and sat around talking and people watching, two of our favorite pastimes. And then Tara mentioned that we were on the older side of the crowd.

NOOOOO!!! I screamed.

Luckily, the scream was confined to inside my head so as not to draw stares from all the youngsters there. Glancing around, I grudgingly had to admit that she was probably right. Which sucks, because I’m just now living the life I always wanted to. Going out to enjoy live music late into the night and whatnot. I don’t feel old. I actually think thought I fit right in, but a few observations changed my mind. Sadly, it all came down to the way I was dressed.

The other kids (god, I don’t want to call them that!!) – the other patrons – were dressed like the Portland hipsters they are. While I wore denim shorts and a pair of white tennis shoes, they were dressed in jeans and what I have since learned are called “lifestyle” shoes, things like Vans and Converse Chuck Taylors. I was sporting a flannel shirt, so points for me there, but I did not have a beanie or facial hair or a tattoo. In other words, I looked like – oh, the shame – a dad, I suppose.

Seriously. White tennis shoes. Nike’s, even. Could I look any more suburban?!

My signed album and setlist.

Fortunately, Chris (who was totally dressed the part) didn’t seem to mind my attire – or if he did, he never let on (then again, I have yet to find a copy of that audio recording in my In Box). But I made a vow that evening to change things up a bit in order to better blend in with the crowd. I figured the simplest and quickest improvement I could make would be the shoes, so after shopping around for something cool and hip I found these plaid checkered loafers that I think will do the trick nicely.

Definitely not white Nike’s.

I’ll also probably never wear shorts to a show again, even if it’s 110 outside. Seeing that this is Portland that’s not likely to happen anyway, but if it does, I’m sweatin’ it out, man.

And probably complaining bitterly the whole time, but hey – even hipsters are allowed to whine.

For the record, I am not claiming to be a hipster. I think age-wise that ship has sailed, and there’s nothing I can do about that. But I do appreciate what they stand for. From urbandictionary.com:

Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.

Hmm. You know what? Maybe I am a hipster, after all.

I really just don’t want to look out of place, that’s all. And next time we go out, I won’t. Not with my groovy plaid loafers, baby.

Until then, go check out The Moondoggies. Please. They’re really good, and I want to be able to say I knew them when.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

19 thoughts on “Hipsters Are Allowed To Whine

  1. You could always try to rock the handlebar mustache and muttonchop sideburns. Actually…don’t.

    It really doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. We’re there to have a good time, and we always do. At the end of the day, that’s all that counts.


  2. Old is just a state of mind, but having a sense of style (which I’ve been lacking lately myself) is something that really helps one feel more confident. I’m going to clean my closet out soon, and it’s going to be depressing to see what I have, or should I say, don’t have. Now that you have Tara, she can help you with a more updated look. 🙂


  3. “Tara surprise me with a vinyl LP she bought at the show, but she had all the band members sign it for me.”

    How COOL is that? Way to go, Tara girl!

    “And I grabbed their handwritten set list from the stage after the show. Scribbled on a napkin.”

    Very cool also! Sharing that reminded me of the time I grabbed Robert Redford’s chewing gum out of an ashtray he tossed it into. I kid you not! I wrapped it in a piece of tinfoil and kept it for years. Eventually, I lost it. DAMN! I could have sold it on Ebay!!!

    LOVE the plaid sneakers, Mark! Go for it!

    Nice sound to “Moondoggies.” For some reason they reminded me of the sound of Neil Young.

    Have a faaaaaaaabulous week, buddy!


    1. I cannot believe you nabbed Robert Redford’s chewing gum. That is just so…RON of you! Actually, it’s pretty cool. Right up until the part where you lost it. I think you should blog about that experience – it’s a great story!


  4. Those shoes are fantastic. I personally live in converse for concerts and otherwise, but that’s just me.

    Love me some indie music, so I’ll be checking out Moondoggies for sure. 🙂


    1. I actually told Tara, “Sarah is going to appreciate this post” because I know what a fangirl…err, INDIE MUSIC fan…you are! Let me know what you think of The Moondoggies. 🙂


      1. LOL, I took Shawn to see Ryan Star over the weekend – he fanboyed Ryan and Ryan fanboyed him back. It was hysterical. And I definitely will let you know what I think! 🙂


      2. And while we’re on the topic of indie music – check out The Silent Comedy. They opened for Ryan in Boston on Saturday night and I really was not sure what to make of them, but they’re really pretty good.

        Vinyl’s actually making a comeback – a lot of current artists are releasing on vinyl now. I need to get a player – I have a few vinyls already and I have no way to listen to them!


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