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Hypester Alert: The Inaugural Sw-hype

What is a "hypester?" According to Urban Dictionary(*), a hypester is:
A person, not necessarily a hipster, who participates in certain activities because they are popular at the moment.
Guy 1: Did you see Vampire Weekend at the Fillmore last night?
Guy 2: No, but I drove by and saw all the hypesters in their skinny jeans.
Well, ladies and germs, it seems as though these days, we have a lot of stuff in the pop culture ether that is highly touted, whether by merit, reputation, or bags and bags of money used toward advertising said part-of-the-pop-culture ether. Whose job is it to officially decry whether those things are "Worthy of HypeTM", "Hyped on ReputationTM", or should be "Sw-hyped Outta HereTM"? It's mine.

So, I would like to formally introduce a new Blogulator feature: Hypester AlertTM. I, Qualler, will help you, the reader, determine whether or not the stuff that is being constantly shoved in your face by other fellow blogs, networks who are ruthless for money, or even your hypester friends in skinny jeans, is worthy of your time, money, and your precious, precious reputation.

For example, years ago I would have told you that Lost should have been Sw-hyped Outta Here, on the basis of the day Chris and I crabbily decided to watch the pilot, heard dinosaur roars, and immediately deemed it to be Jurassic Park meets Survivor. Had I had a Hypester Alert in my corner at that time, I would have known not to wait until 2009 to get fully engaged in the Lost experience. Thanks, Hypester Alert!!(**)

(*) Not coincidentally, Urban Dictionary itself could be used as an example of a product used by a hypester.
(**) Not to be confused as an actual endorsement.

So, with that being said, here goes the Hypester Alert for March 2010.

Vampire Weekend, Contra
Ah, Vampire Weekend -- the crown jewel of the Hypester crowd. The best example of a hypester-helped musical act released their second hype-fueled album Contra in January. Examples of elements of their music that are helped by hype: use of vocodor, elements of international music, cardigan sweaters. So, is their new album any good? Chris said that they're the type of band that is impossible to hate and impossible to love. Blogulator friend Wipert said they're impossible not to love, while other Blogulator friend Arun said they're impossible to not hate. So, which is it?

In my book, probably somewhere between Chris and Wipert's assessment. I understand what Chris means -- their musical style lends itself to a little bit of emotional distance. But, they do what they do so well -- craft impossibly bouncy, happy pop songs, that it's quite impossible to hate them. And depending on your love of the craft of making impossibly bouncy, happy pop songs, you might love them even more. But what is inarguable is their new record Contra is a step forward in terms of songwriting, and easily wipes out any worry of a sophomore slump. I am of the opinion that Vampire Weekend are here to stay. Thanks, hypesters.
Hypester Assessment: Worthy Of Hype

NBC's The Marriage Ref
You might know about The Marriage Ref from the many, many, commercials that NBC airs on its Thursday night comedy lineup. What is it about? Apparently, about Jerry Seinfeld producing a lazy, lazy idea that combines the comic stylings of Jay Leno's Jaywalking and a celeb panel made up of people like Larry David complaining about the garbage they're supposed to watch. NBC, kings of the Corporate Hypester, have hyped the eff outta this show to the point of embarrassment.

You can probably guess, then, that I'm not a fan. America feels the same, as well, as ratings for the show have fallen considerably since its hype-surrounded premiere after the Winter Olympics. So, for the love of God, NBC, please stop hyping this garbage. The last thing this world needs is a disgruntled Larry David outside of the realm of
Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Hypester Assessment: Sw-hype It Outta Here!

Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce, "Telephone"
Perhaps the most disappointing part of the new Lady Gaga video, the one Ryan Seacrest introduced on E! as "something you've never seen before", is not how it shamelessly it lifts from other sources (though it does). Nor is it the incessant, obvious, bordering on self-parody product placement by Target, Verizon Wireless, Polaroid, and Tyrese Gibson (though they are very incessant, and very obvious, and very much bordering on self-parody). What is the most disappointing about the video is how it doesn't seem to re-invent Gaga in any significant way the way "Bad Romance" does.

Then again, midway through the video, Gaga starts
making a sandwich and takes a bite on the beat of the song extremely well, then stands like a statue. Also, she signs "1, 2, 3" with German subtitles, followed by dancing in an American flag bikini. And, she somehow gets the strong-minded Beyonce to go along with her insanity totally. So, the total insanity of the video might actually work in her favor. Were this Gaga's first video, it might have been totally passed over. Then again, what is the point of having a megastar if not to allow them to go overboard every once in a while?
Hypester Assessment: Hyped On Reputation

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  1. Blogger chris | 1:55 PM |  

    Yeah Arun hates them because the man has no soul. Then again, I have to be in the right mood to listen. They can be wayyy too precious to the point of grating if you're grumpy, like Arun always is. That single "Cousins" though is pretty awesome.

  2. Blogger qualler | 1:57 PM |  

    I'm a sucker for anything that values rhythm and semi-complex percussion, so the marimba/xylophone/steel drum combo in the opening track is pretty much percussion nerd nirvana for me.

  3. Blogger qualler | 2:00 PM |  

    Also, Arun, via text, verbatim, on your statement that he has no soul:

    "That's outrageous! I'm the closest thing to a black person in our entire social circle. In many ways, I AM the soul of our friend network."

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