Scenester

2 09 2008

Recently, i overheard some indie kids bitching about how this and that person’s such a “Scenester” and it made me think if i actually had something to do with that term. Of course, i’m not that narcissistic to think i actually invented it but if memory serves me right no one locally pre-mid 90s ever used it in a sarcastic, negative way.

So, just what is a “Scenester anyway? According to the dictionary it’s “a person associated or immersed in a particular fashionable culture scene”. Close… but in my book, it’s someone who associates him/herself to just about ANY scene. Art, Music, Literary, Film, Dance, High Society, Politics, he’s/she’s there. A Scenester knows the key people or pretends to know and try his/her very best to show they’re down with the homies. Nothing wrong to be well rounded and interested in different things for sure but a Scenester is a different beast, much like a pesky mosquito that won’t go away, an irritating fixture to places, things and events that you will want to avoid, eventually. There are levels of tolerance, yes. Some you can still take but most are really out to get their 15 minutes of fame at all costs.

A Scenester also loves being photographed and being in broadsheets as well as the “right’ magazines and publications. Fashion, lifestyle, teen, street, gadget, car etc. magazines, you name it, you’re bound to come across a Scenester in the back pages where they have pictures from various events. A Scenester also loves to namedrop and most especially the “it” names from the respective scenes. So basically, a Scenester is both a leech and a social climber, just slightly hipper. This to me is the definition of what a Scenester is in the local setting.

The other kind of Scenester was a quartely, risographed fanzine of sorts ( yes, honorable fanzine expert, we didn’t know the aesthetics of the fanzine cottage industry then but who cares?). Anyway it was a geeky, psychotic, feeble attempt at literature and ahead of its time ranting vehicle, originally as companion bible to Consortium goers. It definitely raised eyebrows but was destined to disappear instantly due to lack of funds, until, then stranger, turned good friend Kristo Babbler (his nom de plume) offered to rescue it from its impending doom and (gasp!) actually published the zine for his Focal Publishing House much to the delight of its writers, a mixed bunch of people tied together by music, film, watches and quality footwear.

That was a very exciting time, loads of coffee and alcohol, allnighters, good and bad ideas, midnight snacks, ego clashes, personal differences and lots of love in a Melrose Place kind of way. Alas, some people took it way seriously and things went sour. As they say nothing good lasts forever. Yours truly started it and named it The Scenester, inspired by the many attention seekers of the day and the many horrible parties and events that gave birth to Scenesters more than a decade ago.

To commemorate its short yet glorious existence in the mid 90s, here are cover samples in their magnificent monochromatic, cheap-ass style.

If you enjoyed that. Imagine the content.

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9 responses

2 09 2008
armimillare

if you were talking about ’92, i was still in pigtails and in second grade.

there is a slight infestation of scenesters. i kinda realised that its not so bad after all. it gives you some variety. a template of what not to do or become. the road to acceptance isn’t that crooked that one shouldn’t try so hard.

2 09 2008
totid

I suppose it’s world wide but just more noticeable in Manila. Take your pick-For every generation,there are Scenesters or There’s a Scenester born every minute.

2 09 2008
popleibel

I don’t think the word has a negative meaning in other countries. For me, Scenester is a sort-of Insider. Someone who can give inside scoop about a certain scene.

Was the last sentence of your comment a Buffy reference?

2 09 2008
totid

yes,much like the way it’s defined in the dictionary but what i meant with the worldwide comment is that there are similar people everywhere in the world, in whatever particular scene. They may be called other names but locally, that’s how i refer to them and with my definition in mind. As for the reference, nope i haven’t seen an episode of Buffy. Just coincidental.

9 09 2008
rkevvy

how about a hipster? is that someone who likes low rise jeans.. cuz im not really feeling the coin slot

9 09 2008
totid

haha funny. To me a hipster’s pretty much down with what’s hot before it gets hot and is the opposite of a “trendie”. The hipster doesn’t try too hard and is cooler. Someone who doesn’t need to follow trends but just knows what he/she wants and can carry it well even if it’s the in thing or not. As you can see the term “trendie, trendy or trendoid” is somewhat self explanatory.

25 09 2008
Jaime Tayag

When I lived in Boston, there were these people we called scene whores. They dressed, acted, drugged, and attended events appropriate to the scene they were currently in. What dictated their scene? Well, there were some people for whom a change in scene and a change in bed partners were simultaneous. Hip-hop Dave suddenly became Edward Scissorhands when he started dating Elvira, Mistress of The Dark. You wouldn’t recognize hardcore (punk/rock) Candace when you saw her next because she was dripping with plastic candy jewelry, sucking on a pacifier and hanging off DJ Entropy’s arm.
Besides the scene whores, there were others who passed through the scene for a variety of reasons. There was a time when it was super-trendy to go to a rave or two (max), eat some ecstasy, and get laid if they were lucky. Just to say they’d been. There were those who hung around for the drugs, whether to sell, buy, or mooch. There were those random people that took advantage of the American party kids’ tendency to frequently offer strangers a couch or a floor to crash on. There were those that liked wearing the Kikwears, the UFO’s, the Caffeines. There were even those who bought turntables and tried to become DJ’s, only to abandon them and the scene altogether when success and celebrity didn’t happen within a couple of months (or they didn’t manage to charm the raver chick they’d set the goal on).
These people actually made up the majority of the people in the scene. What lumped them together was the fact that none of them were in it first-and-foremost for the love of the music. They were the scenesters.
And then there were the hedz. The househedz, the d&b hedz, the technohedz. The groovers, whose urge to dance was like an urge to get high or desire to have sex. The local underground DJ’s who stuck to it regardless of the venue, revenue, crowd response, trend, etc. The ones who didn’t sell out to play at the mega-clubs, opening for mega-club-cheese like Louie de Vito (uhm, America’s #1 DJ?) or Oakie (the world’s favorite DJ?).
Basically, my view on the whole scene thing is…..if you’re around and it’s not simply because you just fuckin love the music…..you’re just a scenester, and you’ll come and go like scenesters do, and you’ll do it whether you’re in Manhattan or Makati.
I love writing scene commentaries almost as much as I love dancing. Fancy that, GrooveNation is the only collective I respect, and Toti’s blog is the only place I feel inspired to comment about the scene. Thanks!

25 09 2008
totid

You got that right alright. Yeah,exactly. The parallelism can’t be more accurate. It’s the very point as to why we’re doing the Deep Fried experiment.Building it back from the ground up to weed out the Scenesters and really see who’s in it genuinely for the love of music and dancing. I could definitely say you’re one of the real McCoys. Actually, you’ve been noticed by people already from the time you set foot on W135. It ranges from “did you see the guy who was dancing from start to finish?” to “he must be on E” for dancing that long” and i just laugh. As you can see It’s still an out of this world concept for majority of the locals to dance the whole night powered by the natural love for music and we definitely need 10-20 more of you who are as passionate as we are about it. Thanks as well for the compliment. You’re a new member of the mutual admiration society haha. Seriously though, we appreciate the support and validation from people like you who know who’s on the up and up and isn’t just a scenester.

26 09 2008
Jaime Tayag

Me dancing non-stop, all night? I can’t deny I learned how to do that high as a fuckin kite. Good thing getting clean didn’t get me off the dance floor. You know how that sample goes, “music is a natural hiiiigh…get up everybody…”. So there, that’s how I get high now, by shakin’it til the endorphins hit. And you, you’re my dealers.

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