On the City Pattern Project: On the Internet, the Lost Dreams of Youth Are Just One Click Away


In which The Gay Recluse remembers life as an indie rocker.


After obsessing about the Hipster Runoff review of TV on the Radio for the past two days, we realized that it had sent us into a retroactive identity crisis. It was as if it were fifteen years ago, and we were just starting a band, and — as “entry levelers” — we were first trying to assess the boundaries of what was hip and what was not hip, and how there were certain bands we hated but who we dared not criticize — even to ourselves — because say, Gerard Cosloy or Tim Nye or Gail Chickfactor had ordained them as worthy. Which isn’t really remarkable; we were 25 years old, new to the city, in the closet and too insecure to have the confidence to cultivate any kind of aesthetic instinct, either in terms of listening to music or making it.


What is remarkable, however, is to see this kind of fearless vision in someone like 22 or 23, or whatever the HRO guy is. Imagine writing something like this at that age:

I remember when I was an entry-leveler/pure altbro, I went to a TV on the Radio concert. The white guitarist guy made every one in the audience take out their keys to ‘use as percussion.’ I looked all around me. The crowd began dangling their keys in rhythm with a babbly TV on the Radio song, grinning with delight as they ‘authentically appreciated the venue’s acoustics.’ I immediately walked out of the venue. While my life is meaningful, a part of me realized that it wasn’t meaningful enough to participate in a collective concert experience. (Bold ours.)

Here — in one sentence — is what could be the essence of our own existence at 40. Or at least an idealized, philosophical existence, i.e., leaving aside all the boring compromi$e$ we’ve made for all the u$ual rea$on$.


While there’s an effortless quality to youth we regret having squandered, it’s a relief to know that everything we dreamed of back then was lost, and so will no longer burden us going forward.

3 Responses to “On the City Pattern Project: On the Internet, the Lost Dreams of Youth Are Just One Click Away”

  1. seriously, who wants to be twenty-something again? It’s a state of perpetual confusion, extended adolescence that makes one look physically delicious, but all the more vulnerable for exploitation. I don’t buy the types who “have it all together,” they just have better PR machines. Show me someone who claims to know themselves at that age and I’ll show you someone totally unaware of the authentic and a master at artifice. I’m abhor youth-crazed mythology, the “It” children are nothing but gilded lies. Merry Christmas. lol.

  2. 2 orinink

    i have tried ands tried and just cant seem to get into tv on the radio,but it doesnt mean a thing because i can find beyonce deep in her shallowness,but i cant make excuses for art-bands and thats just not fair.What TV on the radio lacks for me is accessability and originality.Not enough connection to pop and r&B culture which is the most avant-garde shit we have now,because they reflect how dumb the masses are kept.Too studied ,too dull,too 80’s white artboy(and i am fully aware of the bands racial make-up).It is as if they live in a bubble,there sound is very obama,meaning it appeases and addresses white culture first .That is so yesterday,so clinton “error”and truly dull,just as dull as a gangster rapper or a goth band or any other genre that does not recognize other styles of music.I crave a style of music that reflects the many tones of the times we live in and reflects it in a visceral fashion.Music that is unflinching , streight to the point as well as complex .I listen to cusion,Apollo hieghts,Supersuit and a new dude named baron.They are all on myspace and they kick ass.

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