In what seems like a particularly uninspired Tumblr joke but is nevertheless reality, Portland will host an indie-rock music festival sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon—a cathartic purging of all the most pervasive “hipster” stereotypes, and one that heralds their official obsolescence. Codenamed “Project Pabst,” the festival experiment will create a nuclear fusion of “hipster” jokes that will consume and destroy them, leaving us free once more to discuss culture without referencing things that were already clichéd by the publication of The Hipster Handbook in 2003.
Fittingly, Project Pabst will be headlined by bands that have been around at least as long as lazy jokes about “PBR-drinking hipsters in Portland,” Modest Mouse and Guided By Voices. It will also have the requisite hints of ’80s nostalgia (Tears For Fears, Violent Femmes) and token hip-hop appreciation (GZA doing Liquid Swords, Shabazz Palaces) thrown in as a nod to the hackneyed assumptions that ”hipsters” only listen to music according to some sort of carefully constructed online dating profile checklist.
Rounding out the bill are other acts who create vastly different sounds that have appealed to fans of incredibly diverse backgrounds, in some cases for several decades, yet have at one time or another all been dismissively lumped into “hipster music.” These include Rocket From The Crypt, Phosphorescent, Constantines, Surfer Blood, High On Fire, Small Black, Menomena, Speedy Ortiz, and more.
And as all these artists come together for a PBR-sponsored music festival in Portland, irony will at last turn inside out, in one glorious implosion. “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds,” the CEO of Pabst will say in gazing upon his creation. And he will mean it sincerely.