Your “hipness quotient” always goes up if you like bands that no one’s ever heard of.
I was never so hip that I really went off the radar…no punk bands from the South of France…no South African pan steel bands with a really hot zither player…nothing like that.
But I did like some bands that I’d read about somewhere or found their music in the 25 cents bin at the pawn shop. If it was obscure and reasonably good….I was all over it.
Bands like the Strawbs, Gentle Giant…Domenic Troiano…David Lasley (I have a buddy who used to get physically sick when I played one of this guy’s albums)….the Souther/Hillman/Furay band…I can’t even remember most of the other ones.
I guess my point is that some of the stuff that was most interesting to me, even as a pretty young music listener, was the music that was happening on the fringes.
The thing about music in the 1970’s was that you stood a pretty good chance of hearing some of it on mainstream radio. Nothing was “computer programmed”…if a DJ had an eclectic taste, he’d play whatever he wanted to. It was easy to hear some of this stuff back when it was getting played on the radio.
I look at some of the stuff that I was listening to at the time and it was all pretty safe…nothing too challenging or strange. Lots of singer songwriters…it was kind of a high water time for that style of music…so I couldn’t go too far off the rails if I was buying music by an artist I’d never heard of as long as he had an old Gibson or Martin with him on the cover of the album.
Good gosh…I just realized that some of my tastes were the “edgy” alternative to Chicago and Air Supply….holy smokes…I wasn’t nearly as cool as I thought I was.
And another thing…this YouTube thing…I don’t think that there’s ever been a time in history when it’s easier to discover new bands. Forget everything I said about the radio…the internet is where it’s really at.
I guess that like a lot of things…it’s not really how hip you actually are, it’s how hip you think you are that really matters. If you can carve some strange little niche out in your mind because you like some music that doesn’t jibe with everyone else’s tastes…well…more power to us all.