By Carrie Waite
Growing up as a little one in the 1970s, my father ALWAYS had a beard. Always, in some form, in some various stage of growth, he was hairy and scary. I had this photograph of him that I was slightly obsessed with because you could actually see his bare face in it. It was either a mugshot or one of those photo booth pics. Let’s go with mugshot. And I really hated his beard. Every time he’d pick me up for one of those “Dad Weekends”, he would insist on kissing my delicate little face and it felt like sandpaper ripping my skin off. But now, I seem to surround myself with the very thing that frightened me as a little girl. Hairy scary men.
So, tonight we started talking about how all the bands that are popping up in my iPod mix freaking have beards (maybe we’ll cover the ironic mustache trend in a future post, but don’t get me started on that right now). Half the magazine covers at Borders sport a beard (either a beard or Obama this week).
Death Cab For Cutie on The Big Takeover, Fleet Foxes on Under The Radar and even Zach Braff was all sorts of fuzzy on the cover of Geek Monthly. I heard your band must have at least one bearded member to get signed to Sup Pop nowadays and the New World Brewery is like a gang, no make that a secret club for boys with beards most nights. It makes me jealous that I can’t grow one.
I admit it. I think beards are pretty sexy, now. Even the scraggly, unkempt ones can have a certain Grizzly Adams charm to them. What is it about the beard? Is it simply a fashion accessory? A resurgent cultural phenomenon? Just plain laziness (this one gets my vote)? Damn manly though, if you ask me.
Perhaps it’s a sign that my beloved indie-rock has become a “mature” genre. God forbid, are we getting old? Why do all my favorite men look homeless?