Humor: Let It Beard
Submission by Ricky Moslen, TNG contributor
People always expressed that I “look like I’m in a band,” which I accepted as a compliment. Since high school I’ve always played in some kind of band, so whatever—nothing wrong with looking the part. This was people’s initial observation of me and it was fine, but this compliment has since ceased. I still dress the same and I pretty much look the same, but I certainly don’t resemble a musician anymore— I don’t have a beard.
Why is it that almost every guy in every goddamn band now needs a beard? It seems the only gentlemen who don’t possess substantial facial hair are those who can’t grow decent facial hair (it’s nothing to be ashamed of). I’m not just talking about stubble here—the whole whiskery shebang.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bitter. I can probably rock a beard like any other guy-who-doesn’t-watch-playoff-games-but-grows-the-beard-anyways, but I just don’t want to. No offense to musicians who sport long beards (button-down dress shirts with polyester vests and thrift store-matching slacks optional) on stage, but sometimes it just looks like you’re striving too hard to be another Cat Stevens, which we all know is near impossible (Cat Stevens is barely Cat Stevens these days).
I miss the days when a frazzled beard solely meant “washed up artist.” The Beatles understood this. By the time they recorded Abbey Road, their facial hair was creeping out of control (except for Paul McCartney—remember what I said about those who can’t grow facial hair). Is it a coincidence that their last two albums are my least favorite Beatles releases? Don’t blame the drugs and don’t blame Yoko—blame their hairy faces.
With that said, who else is responsible for this new trend in independent music? I don’t know of any Muslim rock bands, so I hold no blame there. Maybe a surplus of Lungfish fans secretly mimicked Daniel Higgs’ grizzle at the same time some Canadian hipsters started their own Destroyer cover band and things caught on? If so, others shouldn’t be let off the hook. Sure those mentioned below rock their beards hard, but they still deserve blame for this hairy rock n’ roll fad.
1. William Oldham
OK in his defense, Will Oldham was probably born with a beard. I remember reading somewhere that his stubble badly scratched his mother’s birth canal during delivery. Well-groomed whiskers don’t hold special songwriting powers…I think. If so, then Oldham tapped in, as evidenced by his dozens of sweet music projects.
2. Doug Martsch
When crowds cheer following a Build to Spill guitar solo, are they clapping for Martsch’s insane guitar skills or for his bearded-stature? Maybe because he’s considered an indie rock guitar god, he let the “god” part go to his head?
3. The band Fleet Foxes
Look at all those hair follicles—they resemble a friendly, well-groomed gang—so instead of jumping you, they help old ladies with their groceries and shit. There is one random member who looks like he belongs in an emo band, so hopefully he’s the one who gets all of the Fleet Fox groupies.
Even the chicks grow beards these days, as evidenced by the cover for Peaches’ self-titled album. Of course you may say, “Oh calm down Rick, that’s obviously a fake bush of hair.” Yeah…but is it?
5. Abraham Lincoln
I could’ve gone for the easy Jesus joke, but Lincoln is the one who made it hip for public figures to sport beards (at least in America). Sarcasm aside, did Lincoln know he’d be the sole Republican to have a “look” imitated by the 21st Century hipsters for years to come?
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