About that contest. I guess today is a good day to reveal the winner.

I turned to Lindsay for help judging. It only took her 3 weeks to respond. Lindsay says:

Hi, I’m Scott’s friend Lindsay. Scott asked me to judge the “You Might Be An Indie-Yuppie If…” contest and made it sound like an honor, but then I realized it involved sifting through hundreds of comments, most of which said some version of “You might be an indie yuppie if you’re reading this!” (So original!) It seemed that only about ten percent of the commenters seemed to get what an indie yuppie is. Most just described hipsters without addressing the inherent cognitive dissonance a formerly indie person experiences when realizing he or she is no longer indie, but just a yuppie with vestigial indie taste.

A perfect “You might be an indie yuppie…” sentence must include two elements.
Can you guess what they are?
A) an indie element
B) a yuppie element*.
These warring elements must be juxtaposed just so for the indie yuppie sentence to work. Anyway, it was a hard contest to judge and there were many worthy submissions, so I’m starting with some excellent runners-up, followed by the winner.
*I’m totally making these rules up, obvs.

Anyway, I’ll cut her off there … because I didn’t agree with her pick and it’s my blog.

The winner:

You might be an IY if you import your entire iTunes library onto your work computer so you can share it on the network and show the other lawyers at your firm how hip you are.
Posted by: The 15-Minute Hipster at April 15, 2005 11:40 AM

Congrats Gaelen! Your O.C. Mix CD and Paste renewal (she already subscribes, of course) are on their way. Apropos of her submission, Gaelen has two blogs: one about indie rock and one about the Bar Exam.

If you check out the Post in print there’s a little quiz you can take to find out if you are an I-Y. You would all ace it.

UPDATE: Full article after the jump.

MAUREEN CALLAHAN. New York Post. New York, N.Y.: May 19, 2005. pg. 045

Meet the new yuppie: the urban striver who listens to “O.C.”- approved indie rock, checks the right blogs to find out about “secret” rock shows, considers white iPod earbuds the ultimate fashion accessory – and is a lawyer with a mortgage and a baby on the way.

Whereas once a yuppie was defined as being part of the establishment – think the 80s corporate drone who wore power suits, watched “thirtysomething” and loved the soundtrack to “The Big Chill” – todays yuppie strenuously identifies with all things counterculture. The strain was first identified a few weeks ago by Vice Records label manager Adam Shore, who derided what he called the newly created “indie-yuppie establishment” in an interview with the Columbia Spectator.

He tagged offenders as anyone who identifies themselves through their love of what he considers the ultimate in polite, passive alternative rock: bands like the Shins, the Arcade Fire and the Postal Service that he derides as “comfy music.”

Shores original comments were picked up by Scott Lapatine, who runs the heavily trafficked music blog stereogum.com.

Stereogums subsequent contest You Might Be an Indie-Yuppie If You . . .” received the most responses Lapatine has ever gotten to a single post.

“If you can afford New York City rents and can go to these rock shows, you are definitely an indieyuppie,” says Lapatine, who fully admits to being one himself.

“I just bought a ticket for the Death Cab for Cutie show at Central Park, and it cost $35 – at what point is that indie?”

In other words, you must be an active, contributing member of society who considers your iTunes library an extension of yourself and who turns up for work at 10 a.m. – though you may be hung over from last nights secret Gang of Four show at the Tribeca Grand Hotel.

“I was like, Oh, my God! Thats me!” says entrant Tanya Manchini, a 31-year-old editor from Hoboken (who admits she was relieved the Nine Inch Nails show she saw on Monday night ended early).

“I crossed the line when I stopped dressing in thrift store clothing and started appreciating shoes by Michael Kors,” she adds.

Still, she says, “its hard to reconcile yourself to it when you came up through the college radio punk scene, and then you grow up to become a person with disposable income. It really hit home.”

Manchini says that the indie-yuppie has replaced the conventional idea of yuppiedom – as does fellow entrant Georgiana Cohen, a 25- year-old Web content producer.

“Im marginally guilty,” admits Cohen, who points to her CD collection (“Ive got a few Bright Eyes CDs from 2000, before he was everyones Jesus Christ”) and her love of the movie “Garden State” as proof.

“That movie is like the Citizen Kane of indie culture,” she says. “You have Natalie Portmans character saying that the Shins will change your life. And it dealt with that kind of ennui – [like] that Gen X malaise 10 years ago. Its a badge thing – to say you saw Garden State three times! In a theater!”

Many newly minted indieyuppies say the statement they most related to was “You might be an indie-yuppie if you put on a CD and secretly pray that youll like it.”

The comment speaks to the effort involved in being an indie- yuppie, and the deluded self-esteem that can only come from knowing that you should like the Arcade Fire, or that Bright Eyes backlash is setting in.Self-described indie-yuppie Ben Garvey, 26 (“I have a mortgage and just went to see Built to Spill”), blames the Internet.

“Any dork can sit at home and find out about new bands – its just easier to stay on top of things,” he says. “There would definitely be fewer indie-yuppies if not for the Web.”

But Vices Shore says that he thinks the phenomenon goes beyond the conspicuous consumption of the right CD while wearing $200 jeans and sipping an iced chai latte.

He’s disturbed, he says, by the sheer level of politeness and sensitivity that has overtaken indie rock – which, in the 80s and 90s, was defined by coarse, reactionary bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and even Pavement.

“Why is it that when were at war, and we have an administration thats so against youth, that music isnt harder and more abrasive?” Shore asks. “Now everyone wants to be the Shins. I just dont get it.” The 33-year-old label exec – who, for the record, says hes not an indie-yuppie (“I dont require that kind of comfort in my music”) – says he was surprised by the reaction he elicited on stereogum.

“I obviously touched a nerve,” he says, adding that he never meant to spark hipster-on-hipster Web violence. “I was just trying to say that indie music has gone soft – I mean, it cant get any softer.”

But it may be too late: Many indie-yuppies are now re-examining just what their CD collections, viewing habits and fashion choices say about them.

“If you wear Shins pins on your messenger bag or your lapels, its like saying, Look who I like! Here are my loyalties! ” says entrant Cohen, who cops to such accessories.

But, she says, she draws the line at owning an iPod.

“I have a different brand of MP3 player, because white earbuds are a theft target – but also because I dont want to be that person,” she says. “I dont want anyone to think Im some kind of hipster elitist.”

[Illustration] The indie-yuppie uniform: $28 “vintage” Stones shirt from Urban Outfitters, messenger bag, Paste magazine and the all-important iPod. [N.Y. Post photo illustration / Victoria Will] -Messenger bags and spanking new Chuck Taylors: accessories of choice for the indie- yuppie. -Enjoy a $5 latte while listening to your new Arcade Fire download on iTunes.

Comments (65)
  1. rachel  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    what were lindsay’s choices?

  2. Yeah… don’t make us go to Lindsayism.com, never to return.

  3. Okay, I’ll be the first to say I don’t like the winning choice. It’s not snappy enough — integral for something to be funny or witty. You know the saying, “Brevity is the soul of wit”.

    There. Now you’re free to take shots at me.

  4. Man, I sound like such a jerk in that article. Ah well.

  5. smitty  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    doooood, there were way funnier ones. sigh.

  6. loveanddeath  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    Indeed. That choice seemed kind of un-funny…or…less-funny. Maybe not if you’re a lawyer but Im guessing the majority of Stereogum readers are not.

  7. Our original winner was “If your jeans cost more than an iPod, but your t-shirt cost less than a pack of gum…” but that person’s e-mail got bounced back.

  8. Justin  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    Runners up, please!

  9. Lindsay’s winner:

    You might be an indie-yuppie if the new Bloc Party LP really helped you get through those last few days to make sure you met your billable hours requirement at the end of the month.

    It was posted by justin@nysync.com. Can you prove it was you? If so, you can be co-winner.

  10. I sound like a douche too, but not as bad as the broad who said Garden State was the new Citizen Kane.

  11. Justin  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    Hmmm. Well, it’s a fake e-mail address, obviously. I’ve been posting with this name and e-mail address for a while now. Not sure how I can really prove it was me…

  12. Justin, e-mail me and we’ll get it sorted out.

    Leo J — yeah, it was tough. There were a ton of VERY FUNNY submissions, but most were just making fun of music snobs and not indie-yuppiedom.

  13. Could someone post the “quiz”? It’s not available in the online edition. :(

    For the record I didn’t think mine was the best either – by far!! I actually liked Lindsay’s the best but when you’re the judge I guess it’s poor form to pick your own entry as the winner…

  14. shc  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    do the finalists get anything? :-/

  15. Ugh, I was ok with my comment in the Post except for the “self-described indie-yuppie part.” haha. I thought I was disqualified because I don’t own an iPod.

  16. “I sound like a douche too, but not as bad as the broad who said Garden State was the new Citizen Kane.”


  17. Why is that indie-yuppie wearing a Stones T-shirt?

  18. Yeah, that came out as pretty douche-y, even though it’s not what I meant. I meant that a lot of people look at it as if it were the new Citizen Kane, or the Citizen Kane of this generation/indie-yuppies. Grr.

  19. “Garden State” was one of the worst, most middle-brow freakin demographic-pandering pieces of pseudophilosophy caught on celluoid in recent times.

    Also, what’s the real difference between Vice magazine and the New York Post? Both are neo-conservative, nihilistic banality mongers.

  20. Who are these people? Who think Garden State is the Citizen Kane for this generation? I get that you were dropping soundbites, but that’s the worst analogy ever.

  21. rama  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    high fives to jed. i agree COMPLETELY about Vice. and:
    “If you are both subculturally affiliated and and a functional adult.” was the most direct definition i saw. not to mention a little close to home!

  22. Scott knows I should have won. He’s keeping me down intentionally, because he’s a racist, or something. Wait, I might mean “because he’s into Erasure”. Then again, I’d have no use for the prize, since I don’t listen to any of those bands, really.

    As far as my definition, I think that’s the essence of it, without resorting to the mockery of others- which I’m normally all for, incidentally.

  23. Lindsay  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    Runners up (from which Scott’s winner was picked, AHEM Scott “I’m too cool to read my own website” Stereogum!):

    If your jeans cost more than an iPod, but your t-shirt cost less than a pack of gum…
    Posted by: seiche at April 12, 2005 07:17 PM

    You might be an indie yuppie if you learned about grime music from sasha frere-jones in the new yorker, and then felt hip when you downloaded some dizee rascal off stereogum.

    Posted by: rachel at April 12, 2005 07:21 PM

    You might be an indie yuppie if you are psyched that Volkswagen has some new commercials coming out.
    Posted by: ken at April 12, 2005 11:29 PM

    You suscribe to Adbusters, after you picked up an issue at the Virgin on Union Square.
    Posted by: Adnan Yazdani at April 13, 2005 06:24 AM

    You might be an indie yuppy if, while listening to a new CD, you secretly pray you’ll like it.
    Posted by: Joel M

    You might be an Indie Yuppie if you claim to be going to the U2 concert to see Kings of Leon.
    Posted by: Jenny at April 13, 2005 05:21 PM

    You might be an Indie yuppie if you mix lexapro with your high grade chron that you scored from some guy you don’t even speak to.

    Posted by: Ryan at April 14, 2005 11:50 PM

    You might be an IY if you import your entire iTunes library onto your work computer so you can share it on the network and show the other lawyers at your firm how hip you are.

    You might be an IY if you stand in the back at the VHS or Beta show so you can step out if you need to take a cell call from a client.

    You might be an IY if you download every album from a P2P network before it’s released so you can listen to it first, then actually buy the CD when it comes out, because you want it “in your collection.”

    Posted by: The 15-Minute HIpster at April 15, 2005 11:40 AM

    You took out a home equity loan to pay for your trip to SXSW.
    Posted by: Joe at April 15, 2005 03:47 PM

    And this was my winner:

    You might be an indie-yuppie if the new Bloc Party LP really helped you get through those last few days to make sure you met your billable hours requirement at the end of the month.

    Posted by: Justin at April 12, 2005 06:30 PM

    Scott’s winner actually had 3 runner-up spots – of those, I would have picked:

    You might be an IY if you stand in the back at the VHS or Beta show so you can step out if you need to take a cell call from a client.

  24. Nelson  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    Tanya, I think what Georgy might have been getting at (correct me if I’m wrong) with the whole Citizen Kane analogy was that both movies conveyed a disillusionment with the excesses of each generation and the search for something real and meaningful in life. Although I do agree that to mention Zach Braff in the same breath as Orson Welles is blasphemous. She might as well have said that Zach Braff is the Shakespeare of indie-yuppiedom.

    And about the winning entry, I can definitely see why it was chosen. It didn’t make me laugh like some of the others, but it did fit the criteria very well. So congrats to the 15-minute hipster. Huzzah!

  25. Zach Braff encapsulates the excesses of his generation with the banality of his conceit and pretension of his execution of it. His movie is for people who only started thinking deeply at age 25. I find it insulting that there is anything defining or archetypal about that movie, and I think we all should.

  26. Jenny  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    Is it really sad that being a runner-up just made my day?

  27. Although I was smotten by not making the cut (although my jokes were laced with lawyer references) I will paste in the Post quiz, (which by the way is total BS. It only indentifies hipsters, not indie-yuppies):

    Are you an indie-yuppie?

    1. Do you own a “vintage” T-shirt purchased at Urban Outfitters?

    YES NO

    2. Have you been “on the list” at a rock show at least once in the past month?

    YES NO

    3. Are your white iPod earbuds a source of pride?

    YES NO

    4. Do you know what “grime” is?

    YES NO

    5. Have you ever done a Web search to find the name of a song used in a VW ad?

    YES NO

    6. Do you have a Gmail account?

    YES NO

    7. Did “Garden State” speak to you as no other film ever has?

    YES NO

    8. Do you own at least one white belt?

    YES NO

    9. Do you have a fully articulated stance on Bright Eyes?

    YES NO

    10. Do you regularly read Paste, the NME, and/or The New Yorker?

    YES NO

    11. Do you have a TiVo?

    YES NO

    12. If yes, do you have a season pass to one or more of the following: “The O.C.,” “Best Week Ever,”

    “Gilmore Girls,” “Britney & Kevin: Chaotic”?

    YES NO

    13. Have you ever paid more than $50 for one pair of jeans?

    YES NO

    14. Do you have a blog?

    YES NO

    15. Are you confused as to whether or not it?s OK to like Coldplay?

    YES NO


    0-5: Borderline. You have yet to realize that even hipsters enjoy that Kelly Clarkson single.

    5-10: On the verge, although you really, truly hate the Arcade Fire.

    10-15: The epitome of indie-yuppiedom – but we won?t tell anyone about your trust fund.

  28. Oh and:

    You might be an indie-yuppie if you used Lexis-Nexis to get a copy of an article on Indie-Yuppies.

  29. > You might be an indie-yuppie if you used
    > Lexis-Nexis to get a copy of an article on
    > Indie-Yuppies.

    Haa. That definitely deserves a prize.

  30. “Zach Braff encapsulates the excesses of his generation with the banality of his conceit and pretension of his execution of it.”

    Jed, do you perchance write for Pitchfork?

  31. Nelson  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    Jed, just think of Garden State as one of the “…For Dummies” books. Zach Braff picked up on a number of trite conventions about 18-24 year olds and their existential angst (the quarter-life crisis) and put them in a package palatable to the masses complete with the Shins and Natalie Portman. It isn’t innovative or genre-defining, but it might at least point some people in a better direction. If some viewers are spurred to further explore its themes, then I don’t see the movie as being a bad thing. I’d rather someone start thinking deeply at age 25 than never at all, you know?

    Garden State is the kind of movie every 20-something hipster-blogger aspiring-writer feels they could have churned out in their sleep and that’s where I think a lot of the anger towards him and the movie comes from. Zach Braff wrote a hackneyed movie and got to sleep on a pile of money with Natalie Portman because of it, so yeah, maybe the bitterness is justified. Bastard. What was my point? Oh yeah, the movie wasn’t enlightening to the demographic it supposedly was representing, but those it did affect were probably helped by it so I won’t disparage him too much. My sense of superiority remains firmly intact.

  32. Just to confirm: I am not mad at Zach Braff, didn’t even mind Garden State (didn’t change my life either) I just thought the analogy was a huge stretch.

  33. Topher thank you so much for posting that quiz!

    (And now I feel bad that I was too dumb to think of looking it up on Lexis for myself!!)

  34. >>Posted by: Topher at May 19, 2005 05:23 PM
    >> You might be an indie-yuppie if you used
    >> Lexis-Nexis to get a copy of an article on
    >> Indie-Yuppies.

    >Haa. That definitely deserves a prize.

    Too little, too late! I’m posting all the rest of my snarky indie-yuppie jokes at my blog:

    http://www.listeningtoyolatengoonthewayovertocrateandbarrel.org [not really]

  35. i don’t see the citizen kane / garden state analogy so much. i think a better analogy could be drawn b/w gatsby and garden state. if you’re interested in issues of excess, i mean.

  36. deathbysexy  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    On the quiz, shouldn’t the 2nd and 3rd categories be 6-10 and 11-15? I got a 5, how am I supposed to know if I’m boredline or on the verge?

  37. rachel  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    hey scott, how many entries did there end up being, anyway?

  38. > hey scott, how many entries did there end
    > up being, anyway?

    A few hundred. The Post was incorrect stating that the contest received more comments than any other post. The Ashlee Simpson SNL thing got a lot more comments.

  39. I totally thought that any comparisons between Garden State and Citizen Kane were ridiculous, but then I looked up Citizen Kane’s soundtrack, and holy shit, the similarities are eerie:

    Citizen Kane – Various Artists – 1941

    1 Don’t Run For Govenor Coldplay 2:16
    2 A Big House Is Creepy Shins 3:20
    3 In the Waiting Line (to buy a newspaper company) Zero Seven 4:33
    4 New Sled Shins 3:51
    5 I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Find Out What “Rosebud” Means Colin Hay 5:18
    6 Red Sled Cary Brothers 4:18
    7 Fair Remy Zero 3:54
    8 One of These Second Wives First Nick Drake 4:49
    9 Lebanese Xanadu Thievery Corporation 4:46
    10 The Only Rich Newspaper Magnate Who Runs for Govenor in New York Simon & Garfunkel 3:59
    11 Such Fat Thighs Iron & Wine 4:12
    12 Let’s Go (sledding) Frou Frou 4:12
    13 Winding Campaign Road Bonnie Somerville 3:27

  40. joe  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    Mine was better:

    You took out a home equity loan to pay for Coachella road trip.

  41. Topher, you forgot that White Stripes song they used in Citizen Kane.

  42. rachel  |   Posted on May 19th, 2005 0

    jen, being a runner up has made my day, too. Whhhyyyy do you i need your validation??????
    it makes me feel alllllivve.

  43. My topher quiz score is a 1, so maybe I’m out of touch with the demographic:( Congrats to 15-Minute Hipster. Saw your site. Man, you were born to win this thing!

  44. I scored a 6.5 on the quiz.

  45. My official take on “Garden State”:

    It’s just a movie. It had nice cinematography. It had some funny moments- mostly broad comedy stuff. The guy who played his best friend was good. Also, the rest of it was embarassing and trite. No, I do not write for Pitchfork, or read it, for that matter. And I scored a 2 on the quiz.

  46. smitty  |   Posted on May 20th, 2005 0

    this Post quiz is retarded. Just because you know what grime is and have gmail does not make you a trust-fund baby. Neither does spending $50 on a pair of jeans, when you consider that a box of cereal is $5 in NYC.

  47. And the whole “trust fund” thing missed the point — The Y-U-P in Yuppie stands for Young Urban Professional — i.e. people who have relatively high-paying professional jobs, not those who come from wealthy families. Paris Hilton is a yuppie? Hardly.

    Of course, whatever the quiz said, we would have snarked about it, right? The Stereogum comments section is all about the snarky comments. That’s the secret to its greatness.

  48. Be honest with yourselves, everybody.

    $50 is not that expensive for a sick new pair of jeans.

  49. it is if you make 480 dollars a week.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.

%s1 / %s2