Tag Archives: indie cred

#10 Being the Authority on Completely Obscure Music

Just saying college students like music is an understatement. Lots of people like music, but for college students it is almost a competition. Sure, every college kid likes Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes, and the White Stripes; but others need to take music to the next level. These few college students, most likely to be Philosophy, Environmental Studies, or Political Science majors, that feel they are the complete authority on all music. That is, music worth listening to. This does not include Dave Matthews Band, U2, John Mayer, or Green Day (or anything high school students listen to. Note: they will never be Music majors because they are too busy studying classical composers to mess with the latest indie bands out there.

You can tell if they are true music aficionados if they can spout off a 15 minute rant about how they saw Eric Bachman when he was still in Crooked Fingers or how Band of Horses have completely sold out since signing with Sub Pop and they saw them when they were 9 years old. Their 80 GB iPod will be completely full, and wardrobe will be comprised of concert tees mixed with vintage. All this combines to strengthen their indie-cred (more important than GPA).

If you ever stumble upon one of these self declared music prophets, you can easily score dozens of new burnt CDs simply by asking them “So what are some new bands you’ve heard?” Just beware that if they ever ask to check out your iTunes, make sure to promptly delete any embarrassing music such as Beyonce, Fall Out Boy, Incubus, and All American Rejects (as well as the before-mentioned bands). If they see any of this music (or similar) belonging to you they will immediately sever all ties.

Note: I’m not saying the bands mentioned are bad in any way; they are just way too popular for these self-proclaimed music freaks.


#8 Stereotypical Social Groups

Once in college, college students are able to find friends that are exactly like they are.  These stereotypical homogeneous social groups vary in characteristics, but are most likely seen on all college campuses in one way or another.


The first are the Hippies (sometimes known as Trustafarians). 


In high school, most of these now Hippies probably smoked weed and listened to Phish, but also wore Abercrombie and the Gap.  Once in college they found all the other people that smoke weed and listen to Phish and all simultaneously traded their “preppy” clothes for ones made of hemp, bought chacos, smoked a bowl, and grew dreads.  Although they join their local university’s Save The ___insert environmentally threatened subject___ group, they can also be seen driving their Expeditions four blocks to class.


The next stereotypical social group are the Wannabe Emo Band Members.


With the exception of maybe 3, most emo bands completely suck.  But since the whole genre is based on not being able to sing or play instruments well, many geeky college students can become instantly cool by becoming Emo.  They don’t even have to be in a band, although it does up your indie cred, they just need to look the part.  Instead of practicing the guitar or keyboards, these Wannabe Emo Band Members will most likely be seen smoking cigarettes on the stoop of some eclectic coffee shop having pseudo-intellectual conversations.  And though their parents pay their tuition and rent, they feel the need to live like a starving musician, possibly dumpster diving for food and picking up cigarette butts off the ground to get one or two puffs out of (also increases their indie cred).


The last and definitely the most dominant are the Greeks.


These are the cool kids from high school that always new they were cooler than everyone else, but couldn’t admit it because then no one would vote them as Homecoming Queen or come to their graduation party.  Now in college where only Political Science dorks ran for anything important they can flex their coolness-muscles and join a Fraternity or Sorority.  Greeks like this because a) they can choose who gets in, b) everyone that gets in are just like them, and c) they never have to deal with non-greeks (unless they are stuck with them on a class project).  Greeks love being greek because it is just like high school; dances, clubs, Homecoming, etc.  But now they can let everyone on campus know how great they are.


By maybe their junior year of college, students will usually get over what ever stereotypical social group they have joined and return to their normal ways.  Maybe they need to cut their dreads to get an internship, keep growing out of those damn skinny jeans, or simply realize whatever group they have joined is not their life and just move on.