You know how there’s a stereotype of people—usually urbane, knowledge-worker white guys—who make craft beer or whiskey or wine into their entire personality, and even though it’s obviously a pretty broad generalization, it still rings totally true to you and seems really familiar for reasons you can’t quite put your finger on? Me too. What’s the deal with that?
So glad you asked. Today, exclusively for paying Friends of Fingers, I’ve got an interview with Jack Hamilton about conspicuous consumption, cultural commodification, and so much more. Jack is a bit of a polymath, and he wears a bunch of hats, though not in the toxic start-uppy sense of the term. He files regular dispatches as Slate’s pop critic and teaches as an associate professor of American Studies at the University of Virginia (wahoowa, et cetera.) He’s also the author of Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination.
This past spring, Jack went a little bit viral on Twitter with a post about a movie called High Fidelity, which came out in the year 2000. (It’s based on a 1995 novel by the same name written by Nick Hornby.) Here’s what he posted:
As someone who loved both the book and movie versions of High Fidelity, and covers the rapidly shifting cultural landscape of American craft beer, I was intrigued. So I slid into Jack’s DMs and invited him on The Fingers Podcast.
🎁 This episode is exclusively for paying Friends of Fingers like you. Know a friend who might enjoy it? Hook ‘em up:
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This interview, which took place in late March 2022 but I just recently got around to editing because being an independent journalist is hard when you’re as bad at time management as I am, still totally holds up today. That’s because we spoke about a lot of concepts that are pretty much timeless, including the great poptimism vs. rockism debate, the greatest trick record labels and later streamers ever pulled, and why people seem determined to define themselves by the things they consume, even when it costs them a ton of money and heartbreak along the way. Throughout our conversation, Jack graciously tolerated me trying to map my own theories about the waning cachet of craft beer onto his field of study (thank you, Jack) and overall, I think we put together a really thought-provoking episode that bridges the gap between two rich cultural disciplines. I hope you agree.
📬 Good post alert
Sorry to call my own number here but c’mon!!! See a good post that the Fingers Fam should know about? Please send me that good post via email or Twitter DM.
👀 More #content for further inquiry
Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination (Harvard University Press)
Spotify Has Made All Music Into Background Music (The Atlantic)
Mentioned in the episode:
Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres by Kelefa Sanneh (Penguin Press)
The Day the Music Burned by Jody Rosen (New York Times)
The Fingers Interview with Dan Ozzi, music journalist and author of ‘Sellout’ (The Fingers Podcast)
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (Riverhead Books)
🎧 Other recent episodes of The Fingers Podcast
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