Chunklet Indie Cred Test

Having tackled indie rock’s biggest assholes and most overrated, Georgia mag Chunklet turns its soul-crushing wit on its own readership with the new Indie Cred Test. With over a billion (give or take) clever questions, this issue will determine once and for all whether you’re as hip as you think you are. Founder and publisher Henry Owings explains that Chunklet has had a challenging few years:

The Cred Market has bottomed out several times. The big ones were the death of print, and then with the birth of those stupid bloggers. Man, you talk about a one-two punch! And it’s not even like a blogger adds to the cred market.

True. But thanks to a Kickstarter campaign (and its promise of a rare Fucked Up 12″) the test is now a reality. Henry’s let us reprint part of Chapter 14, which measures your worth based on the contents of your Record Collection. Answer each with a YES or NO.

01. Can you define what an “obi” is without any Jedi references?
02. Do you get irrationally pissy when you hear that a release you want is MP3 only?
03. When someone says “I’ll burn a copy for you,” do you tell them not to worry about it?
04. Do you ever ask if they can press a copy for you instead?
05. Have you ever used the phrase “Six-Eye” in a casual discussion about records?
06. Have you ever pushed someone aside in order to ensure a positive acquisition?
07. Have you ever stolen any of your parents’ records only to learn that the sixties/seventies/ eighties may not have been all they were cracked up to be?
08. Do you know random people who have said, “Hey, I have boxes of those giant antique black CD things in my basement, do you want them?”
09. Have you installed a state-of-the-art suspension system so you can listen to records in your car?
10. Do you replace vintage inner sleeves with paper/plastic ones, then store the original in- ner outside the jacket in the plastic LP sleeve to prevent further damage?
11. If so, have you seen a therapist about this?
12. What’s the biggest order you’ve placed with Bags Unlimited, or any other place that pretty much sells boxes for your bullshit?
13. Have you ever worn out a record? Cassette? 8-track tape? CD? Music box?
14. Have you ever bought a record because of the shock appeal of the sleeve art?
15. Have you ever eaten a record because you loved it so much and wanted it to be a part of you forever?
16. Have you ever decided against buying a record because it wasn’t on candy rainbow carnival colored vinyl?
17. Have you ever tried to pass off an LP slightly melted by heat exposure as a “European remix”?
18. If a sticker or poster comes with a record, do you wait so long trying to find that perfect spot for it that you wind up losing it before you can ever post it?
19. Have you seen Vinyl by Alan Zweig but dismiss it as sensationalism?
20. Do you own a belt driven or fixed drive record player?
21. Does your turntable say “Fisher Price” anywhere on it?
22. Did you spend more on the needle for your cartridge than on the rest of your audio system combined?
23. Do you own a “Nitty Gritty Dirt Vac” or other high-falutin’ home system to keep LPs clean and static-free?
24. Even though the superiority of vinyl is utterly unquestionable, have you ever used modern technology to “digitize” one of your favorite records for easier mobile listening?
25. Could you change your stylus if needed?
26. Do you wonder when Steve Jobs will get off his ass and develop an iTurntable?
27. Does your turntable have a reverse button?
27A. If so, do any of your records tell you things, like how you’re ruining your needle?
28. Do you own any odd sized records (i.e., 8”, 4’, 4’8”, etc.)?
29. Do you own any die-cut records or records with die-cut packaging?
30. Do you actually listen to your ten-inch collection?
31. Is it tedious to have to get up and flip one of a single after the four minutes of music on side one is over?
32. Have you ever shown your collection off to people who couldn’t give a shit? (i.e., grandparents, in-laws, mailman, etc.)
33. When a band stays at your house, is your collection the first thing you show them, or is it your wang?
34. Have you ever gone through your collection and suddenly wanted candy? (Starburst or Skittles, to be exact.)
35. Have you ever gone into debt or incurred mafia-inflicted bodily injury for the sake of your record collection?
36. Is your singles collection worth more than the rest of your records and CDs combined?
37. Do you ever buy records just so people can see they’re in your collection?
38. Do you prominently display certain records and/or CDs in a place distinct from your collection?
39. Do you own any records that you keep sealed and unplayed?
40. Do you put all of your records in clear plastic bags?
41. Has anyone in your family suggested you sell some of your collection to make improvements on your home?
42. Do you have any records you won’t let anybody touch or play?
43. Have you ever physically attacked someone for calling records “vinyls”?
44. If so, did they totally whip your ass because, as everybody knows, record-collecting nerds can’t fight for shit?
45. Have you insured your record collection?
46. Has your record collection ever been appraised?
47. Have you ever purchased someone else’s entire record collection?
48. Ever bought a record you already own because the sleeve is in better condition?
49. Do you actually play your picture discs?
50. Does your collection have an “untouchable classics” section?
51. Does it also have an “internal debate about whether it qualifies as an untouchable classic” section?
52. Does your “untouchable classics” section include a bunch of shit that nobody’s ever heard of?
53. Does the time you devote to listening to your records count as “work” in your brain because of an internal OCD need to properly classify everything?
54. Has a pet ever destroyed any part of your collection and if so, did you then destroy the pet?
55. Do you have a rule regarding how much time needs to pass between listenings of an LP for it to go on the “sell” pile?
56. During tax season, does your accountant tell you that you spend far too much money on music?
57. Do you have the world’s largest collection of that “famously obscure” local band’s only vinyl release?
58. If you have to move your records, do all of your friends mysteriously disappear?
59. Does the number of jazz, soul, rap and blues albums you own outnumber the number of black people you know by at least a 20:1 ratio?
60. Have you ever spent more than $250 on a single record?
More than $500? $1,000?
61. Have you ever bought a record on colored vinyl and sold the one you owned on black?
62. Do you have to keep part of your record collection at your parents’ house due to its size?
63. Do you have so many records that they’ve spilled over into the bathroom?
64. Are your records stored in some form of condensed shelving units?
65. Have you ever stored records flat because of a lack of space?
66. Do you have a closet dedicated solely to record mailers?
67. Are you repulsed when you find people who leave on the original shrink wrap to “protect” the record cover?
68. Is the furniture that holds your vinyl nicer than the furniture you sit on to listen to your vinyl?
69. Have you raided liquor store back rooms for boxes in order to move your vinyl?
70. Have you entrusted your fragile plates and glasses to moving professionals, but opted to move your vinyl on your own?
71. Is your collection alphabetized?
72. Do you alphabetize solo artists by first name or last?
73. Is your collection separated into genres?
74. If an LP comes with a bonus single, do you file them together?
75. Have you ever arranged your collection by color because you saw a picture of someone doing that online or in some magazine and almost immediately regretted it because you can’t find anything you’re looking for anymore?
76. Are record store employees actually nice to you?
77. Does your skin actually prickle with anticipation when you inhale the musty odor of used records?
78. Do you buy records and later discover you already have them at home?
79. Have you ever uttered the phrase “but when’s it getting a PHYSICAL release”?
80. Did you ever decide not to buy a record because you were afraid of what the counter clerk would say?
81. Do you go out of your way to get colored vinyl or limited editions of records?
82. Do record store employees keep a stack of stuff for you behind the counter?
83. Have you ever refused a lucrative job offer because you’d have to move to a city with no good record stores?
84. Do you have a collection of “ironic” thrift-store records you have never listened to?
85. Would you consider downloading MP3s in lieu of a trek to your local shop?
86. Do you get angry when you can’t find parking due to some shitty band’s in-store?
87. Do you know what Record Store Day is?
88. If yes, do you visit more than one store on that day?
89. If yes, do you map out and prioritize which record stores are most likely to have your want list items?
90. If a terrible band gets better visibility on the rack, will you “accidentally” replace their records with those of a band you like?
91. Does your local record store allow you access to their back room stash of super-rarities?
92. Do you hog the store’s one listening station?
93. Ever been in a fist, knife or gun fight with an employee over the store’s poor selection?
94. If yes, did you go home after the fight and vow to open the “perfect store”?
95. If yes, did you give up halfway through taking copious notes to smoke a bowl?
96. Ever held up the check-out line to ask ludicrous questions about multiple box sets?
97. Have you ever purchased a book at a record store? Was it of any remote literary value?
98. Have you ever purchased a band sticker, button or t-shirt at a shop?
99. Have you ever tipped into the beer jar on the counter?
100. Have you ever balked at a store’s poor selection of 33 1/3 books?
101. Have you ever demanded they change the trip-hop or electro-pop in favor of something “harder,” such as Winger?
102. Do you pre-order?
103. Does the word “mono” mean anything to you?
104. Does your day job merely support your record buying habit?
105. Have you ever actually waited outside a record store for it to open, for any reason at all?
106. Does your local shop hold in-stores?
107. Do you ever buy records for their speculative future value?
108. Have you had a serious discussion about the superiority of 78s to all other vinyl formats with a record store employee?
109. Have you ever eaten inside your local record shop?
110. Have you ever spent the night at your local record shop?
111. Do you rip the poly wrapping off, or just slit it?
112. Do you have an open tab at your local record store?
113. Does your local record store have a “by appointment only” policy during the week, solely with regards to you?
114. If a trip to a shop looks more and more like a waste of time, do you stay to check the jazz, soul, reggae, hip hop, world, folk, country, spoken word, and/or vocal sections, just in case?
115. Do you ever come home with “what the fuck was I thinking” purchases from those sections?
116. Do you ever end up really enjoying a “what the fuck was I thinking” purchase?
117. Are you well known for getting into heated “screaming and throwing shit” kind of arguments at record stores?
118. Do you buy remastered editions of recordings you already own?
119. Do you buy albums you already own for bonus tracks?
120. Do you buy Greatest Hits albums for new songs/versions of songs?
121. Do you buy international copies of albums you own?
122. Do you buy vinyl and CD releases of the same album?
123. Are any of your records signed and framed?
124. Did you ever put cash in an envelope to buy a record you saw advertised in MRR?
125. Have you followed the career of any musician through more than four of their bands?
126. Have you ever spent more on music in a week than you have on groceries?
127. Do you own more recorded material by an artist than the artist himself owns?
128. Do you wring your hands when reissues come out because you’re worried what it’ll do to the value of your originals?
129. When talking about any post-vinyl format, do you sound like Abe Simpson?
130. Did you buy your first copy of Appetite for Destruction on cassette?
131. How about the single by Neil Hamburger’s old band?
132. Have you ever played Hum’s “Stars” backwards and heard an advertisement for a vehicle?
133. Have you ever bought a Tim Kinsella record on purpose?
134. Do you have that one Lifter Puller record about the kids who take drugs?
135. Do you remember when K just released cassettes and occasional seven inch singles?
136. Do you own With Sympathy and Twitch so that you can say you have every Ministry album?
137. Did you buy any Pavement records prior to Slanted and Enchanted being released?
138. Do the initials “R.V.G.” mean anything to you?
139. Do you have a separate, secret box of shameful guilty pleasures, like a collection of Madonna 12”s, or really shady Black Metal albums?
140. Do you only own jazz records that were sampled by hip-hop artists?
141. Does your Diamond Dogs have a dick on it?
142. Does your Body Count have “Cop Killer”?
143. Does your copy of 12 Golden Country Greats have the Muhammad Ali quote?
144. Do you put all your Will Oldham music under “O” (for Will Oldham), or do you have his records filed in half a dozen places (Palace, Bonnie Prince Billy, Will Oldham, Arise Therefore, Box of Chocolates, etc.)?
145. Do you file the Marshall Tucker Band under T?
146. Wait, why do you own Marshall Tucker albums?
147. Do you keep Mothers next to Zappa?
148. Do you keep everything Mike Patton’s on in one spot?
149. Do you have a “well, I’ll be damned, it’s worth over $100” late-period mono or early-period stereo Beatles album that you bought for less than a dollar?

There are no right answers, but if you answered YES to more than 10 questions, maybe take another look at your life choices. If you’re upset that a couple of the questions were not actually YES/NO, you fail. Buy the Indie Cred Test here. Then you’ll have a 1st Edition. Look at you!

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Comments (23)
  1. 133b. Do you often make disparaging remarks about Tim Kinsella and people who enjoy his music?

    • 133c. Does it make you cry when other people make disparaging remarks about Tim Kinsella and people who enjoy his music?

      133d. Should I get you a tissue?

      133e. No, seriously?

      • 133f. Do you think Tim Kinsella appreciates your defense of him and his fans on a message board?

      • Well, no, it doesn’t make me cry. It doesn’t even really make me mad or even terribly annoyed. I was just making an observation, which I do think is pretty true, but obviously Joan of Arc is not The Band For Everyone and I don’t proselytize for them or anything on a regular basis.

        On a different note, finally I found the guy who took the name dickpocket before I could get to it, forcing me to use my second and less preferable choice.

  2. Apparently I have very little indie cred. Whew….

  3. Sooooo… Indie cred = being a vinyl snob. Gotcha.

    • RTFA: “let us reprint part of Chapter 14, which measures your worth based on the contents of your Record Collection.”

    • No, you silly! That’s only one little chapter of the book. Indie Cred means being a snob about so many other things. It would be like saying “Stereogum commenter = having my feelings hurt when people poke fun at the bands whose posters are hanging in my locker”. Obviously, Stereogum commenters’ feelings are hurt by so many other things too!

  4. I don’t get it. The majority of this test is for audiophiles who have money to buy this stuff, not indie cred. Indie is about knowing new music, not what format it’s on.

  5. Indie is nothing. It’s the name given to all things mundane and useless. To have indie cred is to be as useless as possible… not at all like actual credibility.

  6. They say “Indie” because they’re afraid of saying “Hipster Trust Fund Baby who drinks PBR because it’s “Ironic” but who doesn’t really know what ironic means.” That would be too long.

    Or, they could just say, “Rich-Kid Poseur.”

  7. Totally agree with the others Stereogum, this “indie cred test” is a freaking joke – aimed at well-to-do hipsters, hardly the audience of real indie music lovers.

    Guess we now know more about the Stereogum staff than we wanted to.

  8. OK, I think I get it now – this must be an April Fool’s joke from Stereogum – whew! I thought you guys had lost cred.

    If it’s not an April Fool’s joke, then um, yikes. You can see more about this at http://www.indierockcafe.com

  9. Finally, a test!

  10. “Answer each with a YES or NO.

    72. Do you alphabetize solo artists by first name or last?”

    Umm….. Yes?

  11. Don’t get offended, if you are on this website your not here for mainsteam/ non indie music updates

  12. I think this section is more directed at record store owners and yupster, but you only need to answer YES to 10 to have a reconsideration of your life choices suggested. If you collect records at all, chances are that you can answer YES to at least 10.

  13. that was exhausting.

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