Richmond Rules Hipsterdom

Austin concedes to new capital of ironic tattoos and skinny jeans.

If you’re a hipster, stop reading this. Because you probably shouldn’t care.

Then again, you might want to keep reading, if only in a studiously uninterested way — and only because you aren’t supposed to care.

And besides, don’t you need to distract yourself from the horrific news that John Mayer will play the Landmark Theater on April 24? Tickets on sale Friday.

Richmond won an unscientific online poll over the weekend that it’s “on the verge of hipsterfication,” according to CultureMap, an online magazine in Austin, Texas.

The voting followed an article by Lauren Modery, a 28-year-old writer who also runs the blog and tweets at @Hipstercrite.

Apparently Austin is crawling with hipsters, a term that’s so old it’s retro. (Perfect!) The satirical “Hipster Handbook” came out in 2003, after all. “It’s become an umbrella term for any young person who is not interested in mainstream culture,” Modery says.

As for those outward signs of hipsterdom, she says: “I hate to use all the clichés, but it’s true. You have the fixed gear [bicycles]. You have the flannel wearers, you have the old-timey-glasses-wearing ones. You have ironic tattoos.” That’s not to mention skinny jeans, indie bands, beards and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Modery’s observed the growth of Austin and its hipster population. “I feel like at some point,” she says, “the title has to be passed over.”

Usually hungry for any label, affirmation from the outside world, any shot at a brand attribute, some in Richmond lunged for the title. Word spread. The city won with 72 percent of the votes, beating Chattanooga, Tenn., which logged 15 percent, and Ashville, N.C., with 5 percent. Detroit, Pittsburgh and Burlington, Vt., barely registered.

Modery says response from most of the other cities in contention was more like, “Oh my God, please no.”

What’s next for us? Modery writes: “Shepard Fairey street art, Californians, food trailers, two more additional American Apparels, pedicabs, more music festivals than you’ll know what to do with, random Ryan Gosling sightings, a W Hotel and gluten-free, dairy-free air sandwiches.”

And in case you want to celebrate, let us suggest this weekend’s best option for hipster heaven: Strange Matter.

Things kick off Friday with Japanther — a show by Richmond Independent Radio WRIR. Sunday features the Spits, Southside Stranglers, Nervous Ticks and the Haverchucks. And sandwiched neatly in the middle is the Follicles of the James’ Inaugural Mid-Atlantic Beard & ’Stache Competition on Saturday night.

Now that’s a deck weekend. Or are we back to saying cool?


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