NYMF 2011 Review #1: Fucking Hipsters

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                                  HIPSTER BAND
            We are a 4-person hipster band and we're living happily,
            and our title has the word "Fuck" in it.

                                  FANGIRL
            What happens if I date the lead singer, causing unrest
            within the band?

                                  HIPSTER BAND
            Oh yeah, like THAT'S never been done before.

                                  FANGIRL
            And I'm Asian.

                                  HIPSTER BAND
            In that case we change our minds, it looks like that HAS
            been done Oh wait no, we were sarcastic before.
            Or are we sarcastic now?
            Damn, being ironic is confusing.
Hipsterism is a difficult culture to pin down in dramatic fiction, never mind real life.You've got the apathy, the passion for independence, the clothing, the... uh... ugly ugly fashion "sense"?  In any sense, writers Lori Scarlett, John Ballinger, and Keythe Farley seem to understand the world quite well, and while flashes of brilliance pop up in FUCKING HIPSTERS!, the total package sadly sinks as much as a Williamsburg Food Truck in a... eh, whatever.

The show centers around local 4-person indie band Mark Twain's Mustache (awesome name FTW!) which is able to turn down recording contracts from Universal without blinking.  Lars leads, Evangeline does machines (blogging in particular), Tomatoes is cool but rude, and Buck is a party dude (and is gay married to Raphael.  I mean to Tomatoes). 

Director John Caraffa does a fine job with a fine cast, who does what they can with a book that seems to rely too much on characters talking around what they say/want instead of frickin' doing it.  Perhaps this would be a non-issue if the Yoko-Ono-esque story was less predictable, less over-the-top dramatic, or modified to play solely for laughs.  Most of it hinges on a plot twist that is obvious, but even if the plot twist got less obvious it wouldn't really improve the narrative.

As for the music, this show gives clear signs that indie music can provide for an engaging musical score.  The songs that the band sings in the shows within the show are great, catchy, and often very clever.  But when the musical-theatre-plot-advancing songs show up, they fail to do more than regurgitate what has already been expressed in the scene leading up to it.  It's also these songs that skew towards mile-a-minute patter lyrics that are too hard to comprehend/sing, and it's these songs that turn the show into a deadweight.

But alas, this is NYMF, and as I've learned personally, you judge these shows by potential and not final product.  While I'd love to come back and join these characters again in some form, I'm not convinced that any rewrite of a woefully stale girlfriend-breaks-up-the-band plot will ever bring these apathetic characters to life.  Or, whatever.



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