Music
by Lance Pauker on November 29, 2012

Back in the more glorious days of 2007, we had everyone in their place. Hipsters spent their time buying coffee table books at urban outfitters, while Bros plastered themselves with vineyard vines, throwback jerseys, and beer-bong laden frat rap. Now though, the landscape has changed. Mike Stud wears scarves. NBA players aren't allowed to wear glasses unless they don't have subscription. Mumford and Sons exists. These are lines, while definitely distinguishable, are for better or worse becoming increasingly blurred.

And the ground zero of this blurriness, without a doubt, comes in the form of electronic and dubsteppy music. (As will be addressed, semi-underground hip-hop, specific 90s gems and 80s throwbacks are also up for grabs). But our primary focal point is a genre that isn’t so much its own as it is an amalgamation of others, coming together to form something currently undefined, but crafted by that held near and dear to the hearts of competing ideologies. Consider this the Alsace-Lorraine of the Bro vs. Hipster war.

Below we have 8 different songs, all of which are teetering on the edge. If they had to choose a side, here’s where they’d land:  

**Try not to take this thing too seriously. Or do. The reactions will be a lot more entertaining that way.

 

A Real Hero – College Ft. Electric Youth

(warning, spoilers)

The anthem to Ryan Gosling’s “Drive,” which in terms of the Bro vs. Hipster spectrum, is quite a contradiction. On one hand you have Ryan Gosling, tumblr extraordinaire and master of all that is the archetypal male equivalent of Zooey Deschanel. But on the flip side, you have a guy who doesn’t give a shit about washing his jacket, which also has a dope gold scorpion on it.

In the end, the hero aspect puts the song over top. Gosling does not care for dying, losing, or even having a name. More than that, he’s scarily modest about his general badassness. Hipster culture bleeds for this sort of unrequited recognition, but Gosling simply pounds his beer and moves on.

Verdict: Bro 

 

Spitfire – Porter Robinson

The best unaddressed subplot of this tremendous “Bros vs. Hipsters” sketch is the background music. Is Porter Robinson’s “Spitfire” for Maxim-reading, beer-bonging investment banking fratstars, or is it more for the detached mustache grower?

To reach a conclusion, we must consult the hipster artist litmus test. Porter Robinson is an EDM prodigy who is fairly well known, but was definitely pretty “underground” until recently. Given that he’s a step below the star power of an Avicii or an Afrojack, telling other people that you “listen to Porter Robinson” isn’t so much natural is it is letting them know you have a more diversified musical pallet. Porter then, nabs the moleskin market.

Verdict: Hipster

 

Midnight City – M83

For a breakdown of this song, we will call upon Grantland’s Andy Greenwald, who once wrote this love letter to Midnight City:

It's the perfect soundtrack for moonlight driving in an impossible metropolis filled with nothing places: twisty exit ramps from freeways onto other freeways, that quiet part of Sunset where it suddenly comes alive and splits into four other streets like a self-flagellating hydra or a Diablo Cody sitcom. Gonzalez seems to have made the same faux pas as all temporary transplants, mixing up his own imagination with reality and somehow thinking the city is a “church” — or even that it's a real city at all. Lost in his jet-lag smear, he keeps waiting for someone to pick him up (even though no one comes downtown after 9 p.m. and, really, you can't exactly drink if you're going to be driving, and, besides, wouldn't it be nicer to finish that bottle of Syrah right here on the couch?) and forgetting that saxophone solos haven't sounded this invigorating since the Getty moved to Brentwood.

It's been 26 years and people are still afraid to merge on the freeways in Los Angeles. But at least they're willing to get behind the wheel.

If we’re talking Mashups, a simple Lupe Insertion makes this shit Broville USA. A sunset timelapse sunset intercut with slo-mo shots of ping pong balls, beer slashing, and pinnie-donning fist-bumpers. But for the main attraction, Greenwald’s Kerouacian ode has spoken.

Verdict: Hipster  

 

Thrift Shop feat. Wainz – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis 

Yes, Thrift Shops are generally reserved for food stamp-looking people who also have trust funds, but don’t let the name deceive you. Any right kind of fraternity will have had a “Thrift Shop” themed party this semester. And Macklemore, the man who penned one of the best drinking songs of all-time, certainly doesn’t abstain from the gluten.

Verdict: Bro 

 

Young Blood – The Naked and the Famous

A popular song for the overly collegiate, dissected time and time again by the insatiable remix army. But have you watched this video? SO much life contemplation. We’re all so happily tortured. Brush your hair up against the sunset and think about shit some more, why don’t you.

Verdict: Excruciantingly Hipster

 

Summit ft. Ellie Goulding – Skrillex

Before writing this article, I had no idea that Skrillz and Ellie Goulding once dated. By the Bro law of “collabing on a dubstep track with an attractive famous person, and then banging them,” this one is game over.

Verdict: Bro

 

Take On Me – A-ha 

Eighties throwbacks are a real toss up. Come on Eileen for example, despite being featured in the “discover yourself” movie masterpiece that is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” can also be quite a hit amongst the Lax crowd if placed properly in the playlist. But for “Take on Me,” it's the video–an eyebrow-raising smattering of arsty, that puts it over the top.

Verdict: Hipster

  

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

Just as women don’t poop, Bros don’t have emotions. This is indisputable fact. But if you have to bash everything society stands for, you may as well be the greatest person that has ever done said societal-bashing. It also doesn’t hurt to live a life predicated on reckless self-endangerment, and an overall disregard for your own talent. Recognizing how truly good you are, and thus scaling back to preserve some sort of healthily tempered longevity, is decidedly UnBro.

Verdict: Bro

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