From: (Alec Vance)
Subject: you know you're a scenester if... (was RE: Territorial Pissings)
Date: 13 Jul 1995 21:54:40 -0000
Organization: Chapel Hill Music Lovers

At 9.38am 7/13/95 -0400, Butman, Holly wrote:
>BTW, do you even know what a scenester is?

No, he probably doesn't, and please don't blame him for it. Most of us have heard the word "scenester" being bandied about here and there, sometimes as praise, sometimes as an insult, but very few would be able to answer Holly's question coherently. I myself was asked this question some months ago, and its complexity so challenged my lexicological functions that I decided I would tackle what Webster let slide by him and into the end-zone of elusive definitions. "What is a slacker?"--that was an easy one; we had Doug Coupland, Rick Linklater, and Ian Williams to write the book. But "what is a scenester?" is a question that may remain forever elusive. I for one, had never heard of one until I moved here, so I don't know if it's a local thing or a national thing. However, when it's used on, it carries very specific, local connotations that an outsider might not catch at first. So here goes my attempt at narrowing the field, if not pinning down the underlying motivations and character of the beast. (This will be especially helpful if you yourself are not sure if you are a "scenester" or not, and it is causing you considerable mental anguish.)


  1. You are a waitress at the Flying Burrito.
  2. You dated a waitress at the Flying Burrito.
  3. You can identify members of Zen Frisbee by their first names.
  4. You've ever smoked a spliff, argued to the point of complete exhaustion, or both (concurrently), with Dave Jiminez.
  5. You cried when the Hardback closed.
  6. You laughed maliciously when the Hardback closed.
  7. You are a DJ at WXYC.
  8. You keep track of who Mac McCaughan is going out with.
  9. You've ever given local hero Mark Sloop a ride home from a party.
  10. Two words: Camels & Olympia.
  11. You can tell when someone is on heroin.
  12. You know the last names of more than one person named "Ron."
  13. You know the name of at least one owner of Local 506.
  14. You know the difference between Cliff's Meat Market and Hank's Meat Market.
  15. You can name three or more bands that Groves drums for.
  16. More than one-third of your wardrobe comes from thrift shops, dumpsters, or your grandfather's attic.
  17. You have been in Chapel Hill for at least 5 years
  18. You have not left Chapel Hill/Durham in at least 2 years.
  19. You are accompanied by a peculiar odor (males only).
  20. You've ever had a crush on Frank Heath (females only).
  21. You ignore and forget the names of people you've met 10 times until you're sure that they're cool enough to know.
  22. You ignore and forget the names of people you've met 10 times until you're sure that you're sober enough to make a good guess.
  23. You not only know local bartenders by name, but you can get a drink after closing hours.
  24. You tell new acquaintances of the opposite sex that "you paint".
  25. Most of your small talk involves local bands, cigarettes and beer.


  1. You have long hair or "beat" facial hair
  2. You are in Pine State
  3. You are a DJ at WXDU
  4. You live in Durham
  5. Refer to "the scene" incessantly, as if it were something tangible and organic.
  6. You know the difference between the musical (as opposed to the graffiti) styles of Dada Veda and DSF Earth Corps
  7. You know something about politics, philosophy or literature
  8. You like Superchunk or the Archers of Loaf to the point of obsession


  1. You wear sandals.
  2. You live in Raleigh.

Feel free to add to/correct this vital information in the public interest... maybe we could include it in the forever-forthcoming FAQ!

Self-deprecation is a poor substitute for humility.
And I'm a lousy, egotistical, self-righteous,
egg-sucking son-of-a-bitch.
alec vance carrboro, nc

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