Hey, Mr. Hipster, dude:
As you can see, I have quite a few albums, including a few by the Soft Machine but none from the Tragically Hip. What’s up with that? Or is it down with that? Or sideways? Or diagonally? Or is it that I’m just too old (over 60 and my hips hurt from motorcycle accidents)? Like Frazer Smith, I’m “Too Hip, Gotta Go!”
— One Old HIP-py Dude
Well, if you were any kind of proto-hipster, you would have abandoned buying records in favor of cassettes by the time the Tragically Hip dropped “Small Town Bringdown.” That’s what’s up with that. You can be down with it if you want, but keep off the sideways and diagonals, if you don’t mind. Obviously, you would have kept your Soft Machine albums for the same nostalgic reasons I still have my old Blind Melon CDs and that pristine copy of Tubthumper I listened to a whole lot for about five days in 1997; even when tunes go unheard for decades, good hipsters don’t discard music, because you never know when a medium will stage a get-knocked-down-but-then-get-up-again comeback, as vinyl has done.
Sad spectres of 2016 lurk at any mention of the Hip. Lead singer Gord Downie received a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer in the first half of the year. Like any badass worth his hipster salt, Downie survived the Year That Kills Musicians and Celebrities, managing a final tour with the Hip and a solo album.