Hipster Moses and his new rapture

The sun was blinding this past Saturday on San Francisco’s Treasure Island when electronica artist Dan Deacon raised his arms to the sky and urged the crowd of thousands to part and create a giant circle at the front of the stage. And the crowd actually obeyed, if slowly: Hipsters shuffled their Chuck Taylors in reverse and a ring of grass appeared in the middle of the throng.

And then some bearded white dude tried to lead everyone in a silly stoner boogie. But no matter: We’d been freed. Or something.

Deacon (see Sound Advice for the word on last week’s Sacto show) sported a San Francisco 49ers Steve Young No. 8 jersey and led the crowd with uniformly slapdash and charismatic charm from behind his dilapidated table of electronic-music gadgets and doohickeys. From afar, he most certainly appeared to be some kind of prophet, if only of DIY spirit. And his set was a revelation—rapturous—which is more than you could say for the rest of the boring-as-all-hell acts at this year’s Treasure Island Music Festival, which attracted a sold-out crowd of mostly white communications majors from UC Berkeley.

A friend gamely coined the event “Co-eds of the Caribbean.”

Anyway, my brother and I bailed before Girl Talk’s sunset mash-up-cum-sexual-predator shtick.

One remaining observation of youth culture: Kids started rejecting brand-label clothing during the late ’90s, but it only led to the exact same corporate clothing in 2009, just without actual words or logos. Instead, it’s branding of dyes and shapes—primary-colored American Apparel garb, Technicolor Vans, neon sunglasses— and that’s more unsettling than any Guess T-shirt ever was. That, and everyone’s in some perpetual state of text-messaging. Someone please IM me when it’s safe to look again; these kids and their Everest-like pill pharmacopeias scare me.

After the festival, we corralled our rides from the bike valet and shot through Potrero Hill to Zeitgeist, the notorious hipster bar in the Mission, for a Trumer Pils bender and the Yankees/Angels match. And it was at Zeitgeist that our true common enemy resurfaced: New York slugger Alex Rodriguez. Hate that dude.

Afterward, we did some Bronx bombing of our own down the hills of San Francisco after midnight (I ride a fixie now; see story). And only our innate skill and trepidation of omnipresent potholes kept us from achieving true hipster rapture, otherwise known as asphalt rash.