Warm up your pontification pants and polish the spines of your records, hipsters and indie kids. The fine people behind Georgia based music magazine Chunklet are self-publishing (because DIY totally ups your cred) the mag’s new book, The Indie Cred Test after raising more than enough funds via Kickstarter (a bribe of a rare Fucked Up 7″ was involved). According to the magazine, “The Indie Cred Test is a broadly written and obsessively crafted multi-faceted standardized exam to pick apart the reader and underground culture in general. What’s cool? What’s not? Did you pass? Does it matter? Of course! You need to maintain your cred to preserve….well, your cred!” Truer words have never been spoken. Click through for a sneak peek into some of the crucial questions and get a head start on determining your cred level or just skip the small stuff and buy the book here.
The following is only part of Chapter 14, which focuses on examining your cred level based on your record collection, reprinted originally by Stereogum. Keep a tally of your answers:
01. Can you define what an “obi” is without any Jedi references? 02. Do you get irrationally pissy when you hear that a release you want is MP3 only? 03. When someone says “I’ll burn a copy for you,” do you tell them not to worry about it? 04. Do you ever ask if they can press a copy for you instead? 05. Have you ever used the phrase “Six-Eye” in a casual discussion about records? 06. Have you ever pushed someone aside in order to ensure a positive acquisition? 07. Have you ever stolen any of your parents’ records only to learn that the sixties/seventies/ eighties may not have been all they were cracked up to be? 08. Do you know random people who have said, “Hey, I have boxes of those giant antique black CD things in my basement, do you want them?” 09. Have you installed a state-of-the-art suspension system so you can listen to records in your car? 10. Do you replace vintage inner sleeves with paper/plastic ones, then store the original in- ner outside the jacket in the plastic LP sleeve to prevent further damage? 11. If so, have you seen a therapist about this? 12. What’s the biggest order you’ve placed with Bags Unlimited, or any other place that pretty much sells boxes for your bullshit? 13. Have you ever worn out a record? Cassette? 8-track tape? CD? Music box? 14. Have you ever bought a record because of the shock appeal of the sleeve art? 15. Have you ever eaten a record because you loved it so much and wanted it to be a part of you forever? 16. Have you ever decided against buying a record because it wasn’t on candy rainbow carnival colored vinyl? 17. Have you ever tried to pass off an LP slightly melted by heat exposure as a “European remix”? 18. If a sticker or poster comes with a record, do you wait so long trying to find that perfect spot for it that you wind up losing it before you can ever post it? 19. Have you seen Vinyl by Alan Zweig but dismiss it as sensationalism? 20. Do you own a belt driven or fixed drive record player? 21. Does your turntable say “Fisher Price” anywhere on it? 22. Did you spend more on the needle for your cartridge than on the rest of your audio system combined? 23. Do you own a “Nitty Gritty Dirt Vac” or other high-falutin’ home system to keep LPs clean and static-free? 24. Even though the superiority of vinyl is utterly unquestionable, have you ever used modern technology to “digitize” one of your favorite records for easier mobile listening? 25. Could you change your stylus if needed? 26. Do you wonder when Steve Jobs will get off his ass and develop an iTurntable? 27. Does your turntable have a reverse button? 27A. If so, do any of your records tell you things, like how you’re ruining your needle? 28. Do you own any odd sized records (i.e., 8”, 4’, 4’8”, etc.)? 29. Do you own any die-cut records or records with die-cut packaging? 30. Do you actually listen to your ten-inch collection? 31. Is it tedious to have to get up and flip one of a single after the four minutes of music on side one is over? 32. Have you ever shown your collection off to people who couldn’t give a shit? (i.e., grandparents, in-laws, mailman, etc.) 33. When a band stays at your house, is your collection the first thing you show them, or is it your wang? 34. Have you ever gone through your collection and suddenly wanted candy? (Starburst or Skittles, to be exact.) 35. Have you ever gone into debt or incurred mafia-inflicted bodily injury for the sake of your record collection? 36. Is your singles collection worth more than the rest of your records and CDs combined? 37. Do you ever buy records just so people can see they’re in your collection? 38. Do you prominently display certain records and/or CDs in a place distinct from your collection? 39. Do you own any records that you keep sealed and unplayed? 40. Do you put all of your records in clear plastic bags? 41. Has anyone in your family suggested you sell some of your collection to make improvements on your home? 42. Do you have any records you won’t let anybody touch or play? 43. Have you ever physically attacked someone for calling records “vinyls”? 44. If so, did they totally whip your ass because, as everybody knows, record-collecting nerds can’t fight for shit? 45. Have you insured your record collection? 46. Has your record collection ever been appraised? 47. Have you ever purchased someone else’s entire record collection? 48. Ever bought a record you already own because the sleeve is in better condition? 49. Do you actually play your picture discs? 50. Does your collection have an “untouchable classics” section? 51. Does it also have an “internal debate about whether it qualifies as an untouchable classic” section? 52. Does your “untouchable classics” section include a bunch of shit that nobody’s ever heard of? 53. Does the time you devote to listening to your records count as “work” in your brain because of an internal OCD need to properly classify everything? 54. Has a pet ever destroyed any part of your collection and if so, did you then destroy the pet? 55. Do you have a rule regarding how much time needs to pass between listenings of an LP for it to go on the “sell” pile? 56. During tax season, does your accountant tell you that you spend far too much money on music? 57. Do you have the world’s largest collection of that “famously obscure” local band’s only vinyl release? 58. If you have to move your records, do all of your friends mysteriously disappear? 59. Does the number of jazz, soul, rap and blues albums you own outnumber the number of black people you know by at least a 20:1 ratio? 60. Have you ever spent more than $250 on a single record? More than $500? $1,000? 61. Have you ever bought a record on colored vinyl and sold the one you owned on black? 62. Do you have to keep part of your record collection at your parents’ house due to its size? 63. Do you have so many records that they’ve spilled over into the bathroom? 64. Are your records stored in some form of condensed shelving units? 65. Have you ever stored records flat because of a lack of space? 66. Do you have a closet dedicated solely to record mailers? 67. Are you repulsed when you find people who leave on the original shrink wrap to “protect” the record cover? 68. Is the furniture that holds your vinyl nicer than the furniture you sit on to listen to your vinyl? 69. Have you raided liquor store back rooms for boxes in order to move your vinyl? 70. Have you entrusted your fragile plates and glasses to moving professionals, but opted to move your vinyl on your own? 71. Is your collection alphabetized? 72. Do you alphabetize solo artists by first name or last? 73. Is your collection separated into genres? 74. If an LP comes with a bonus single, do you file them together? 75. Have you ever arranged your collection by color because you saw a picture of someone doing that online or in some magazine and almost immediately regretted it because you can’t find anything you’re looking for anymore? 76. Are record store employees actually nice to you? 77. Does your skin actually prickle with anticipation when you inhale the musty odor of used records? 78. Do you buy records and later discover you already have them at home? 79. Have you ever uttered the phrase “but when’s it getting a PHYSICAL release”? 80. Did you ever decide not to buy a record because you were afraid of what the counter clerk would say? 81. Do you go out of your way to get colored vinyl or limited editions of records? 82. Do record store employees keep a stack of stuff for you behind the counter? 83. Have you ever refused a lucrative job offer because you’d have to move to a city with no good record stores? 84. Do you have a collection of “ironic” thrift-store records you have never listened to? 85. Would you consider downloading MP3s in lieu of a trek to your local shop? 86. Do you get angry when you can’t find parking due to some shitty band’s in-store? 87. Do you know what Record Store Day is? 88. If yes, do you visit more than one store on that day? 89. If yes, do you map out and prioritize which record stores are most likely to have your want list items? 90. If a terrible band gets better visibility on the rack, will you “accidentally” replace their records with those of a band you like? 91. Does your local record store allow you access to their back room stash of super-rarities? 92. Do you hog the store’s one listening station? 93. Ever been in a fist, knife or gun fight with an employee over the store’s poor selection? 94. If yes, did you go home after the fight and vow to open the “perfect store”? 95. If yes, did you give up halfway through taking copious notes to smoke a bowl? 96. Ever held up the check-out line to ask ludicrous questions about multiple box sets? 97. Have you ever purchased a book at a record store? Was it of any remote literary value? 98. Have you ever purchased a band sticker, button or t-shirt at a shop? 99. Have you ever tipped into the beer jar on the counter? 100. Have you ever balked at a store’s poor selection of 33 1/3 books? 101. Have you ever demanded they change the trip-hop or electro-pop in favor of something “harder,” such as Winger? 102. Do you pre-order? 103. Does the word “mono” mean anything to you? 104. Does your day job merely support your record buying habit? 105. Have you ever actually waited outside a record store for it to open, for any reason at all? 106. Does your local shop hold in-stores? 107. Do you ever buy records for their speculative future value? 108. Have you had a serious discussion about the superiority of 78s to all other vinyl formats with a record store employee? 109. Have you ever eaten inside your local record shop? 110. Have you ever spent the night at your local record shop? 111. Do you rip the poly wrapping off, or just slit it? 112. Do you have an open tab at your local record store? 113. Does your local record store have a “by appointment only” policy during the week, solely with regards to you? 114. If a trip to a shop looks more and more like a waste of time, do you stay to check the jazz, soul, reggae, hip hop, world, folk, country, spoken word, and/or vocal sections, just in case? 115. Do you ever come home with “what the fuck was I thinking” purchases from those sections? 116. Do you ever end up really enjoying a “what the fuck was I thinking” purchase? 117. Are you well known for getting into heated “screaming and throwing shit” kind of arguments at record stores? 118. Do you buy remastered editions of recordings you already own? 119. Do you buy albums you already own for bonus tracks? 120. Do you buy Greatest Hits albums for new songs/versions of songs? 121. Do you buy international copies of albums you own? 122. Do you buy vinyl and CD releases of the same album? 123. Are any of your records signed and framed? 124. Did you ever put cash in an envelope to buy a record you saw advertised in MRR? 125. Have you followed the career of any musician through more than four of their bands? 126. Have you ever spent more on music in a week than you have on groceries? 127. Do you own more recorded material by an artist than the artist himself owns? 128. Do you wring your hands when reissues come out because you’re worried what it’ll do to the value of your originals? 129. When talking about any post-vinyl format, do you sound like Abe Simpson? 130. Did you buy your first copy of Appetite for Destruction on cassette? 131. How about the single by Neil Hamburger’s old band? 132. Have you ever played Hum’s “Stars” backwards and heard an advertisement for a vehicle? 133. Have you ever bought a Tim Kinsella record on purpose? 134. Do you have that one Lifter Puller record about the kids who take drugs? 135. Do you remember when K just released cassettes and occasional seven inch singles? 136. Do you own With Sympathy and Twitch so that you can say you have every Ministry album? 137. Did you buy any Pavement records prior to Slanted and Enchanted being released? 138. Do the initials “R.V.G.” mean anything to you? 139. Do you have a separate, secret box of shameful guilty pleasures, like a collection of Madonna 12”s, or really shady Black Metal albums? 140. Do you only own jazz records that were sampled by hip-hop artists? 141. Does your Diamond Dogs have a dick on it? 142. Does your Body Count have “Cop Killer”? 143. Does your copy of 12 Golden Country Greats have the Muhammad Ali quote? 144. Do you put all your Will Oldham music under “O” (for Will Oldham), or do you have his records filed in half a dozen places (Palace, Bonnie Prince Billy, Will Oldham, Arise Therefore, Box of Chocolates, etc.)? 145. Do you file the Marshall Tucker Band under T? 146. Wait, why do you own Marshall Tucker albums? 147. Do you keep Mothers next to Zappa? 148. Do you keep everything Mike Patton’s on in one spot? 149. Do you have a “well, I’ll be damned, it’s worth over $100” late-period mono or early-period stereo Beatles album that you bought for less than a dollar?
Top cred points go to people with 149 Yes answers, obviously. But you knew that.