1) I would like to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, especially since they are playing an an all-ages, BYO venue that will allow me to swill cheap tallboys to my heart’s content.

2) I am also interested in seeing Sad13 and Swanning, for Speedy Ortiz / Radiator Hospital reasons.

3) However, as a grown-up, I reject the impulse of participating in an event called “Indie Pop Prom.” It is far to twee for me. If someone was to ask me what “twee” was, I would point them to this.

4) Sure, but why does this hurt you? If you are as secure in your adulthood as you seem to claim in that third bullet point, and you are as motivated to see these bands as you say you are in those first two bullet points, why should branding matter? Isn’t the concert itself – the music, the performances, the experience – more than enough to overlook a PR campaign you find objectionable?

5) Yes, in a vacuum, it should, and it probably does. But let’s not pretend that branding is some dirty word that has no meaning. Like it or not, every person engages in self-identifying that is at least partially formed by rejection of outside sources. Even as we grow up out of adolescence, we are still defined by what we reject just as much as by what we align ourselves to. Let’s be honest here; well-executed branding dictates what kind of interaction an event will receive; it is as much a part of drawing a crowd as the bands are. If this thing was called “goth ball,” its attendees would be different than the ones purposed to attend it now. We can kick against this stuff all we want, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there and that it doesn’t affect us. Packaging matters, even if we don’t want it to.

6) Spoken like a true marketer. I’d like to commend you, by the way, for not mentioning that this is a Brooklyn transplant in Philadelphia.

7) It’s taken a lot of my strength, thanks.

8) Look, let’s say I accept your premise. At the end of the day, your choices about alignment are hurting you in the short and long term, if you let branding dictate what you choose to engage with. In the short term, you’re going to skip out on a show you like because you object to “proms” or “cuteness as affectation” or whatever the hell your personal brand is here. In the longer term, you’re going down a path where you can’t allow yourself to engage with things outside of your own personal narrative – where you can’t do things you like – because they don’t fit into this picture of yourself that you’re curating for no one in particular. Just do what makes you happy. If you can’t be happy because the people you’re doing it with aren’t like you – based on nothing but your own wild-ass assumptions, by the way – you’re just an asshole.

9) I still think calling this a prom is dumb.

10) Fine.

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