Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film

Marc Spitz


Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film

Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film

  • Title: Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film
  • Author: Marc Spitz
  • ISBN: 9780062213044
  • Page: 290
  • Format: Paperback

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New York Times, Spin, and Vanity Fair contributor Marc Spitz explores the first great cultural movement since Hip Hop an old fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that s embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty somethings and even some Baby Boomers creating hybrid generation known as Twee Via exclusive interviews and years of research, Spitz traces GenerNew York Times, Spin, and Vanity Fair contributor Marc Spitz explores the first great cultural movement since Hip Hop an old fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that s embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty somethings and even some Baby Boomers creating hybrid generation known as Twee Via exclusive interviews and years of research, Spitz traces Generation Twee s roots from the Post War 50s to its dominance in popular culture today.Vampire Weekend, Garden State, Miranda July, Belle and Sebastian, Wes Anderson, Mumblecore, McSweeney s, Morrissey, beards, artisanal pickles, food trucks, crocheted owls on Etsy, ukuleles, kittens and Zooey Deschanel all are examples of a cultural aesthetic of calculated precocity known as Twee.In Twee, journalist and cultural observer Marc Spitz surveys the rising Twee movement in music, art, film, fashion, food and politics and examines the cross pollinated generation that embodies it from aging hipsters to nerd girls, indie snobs to idealistic industrialists Spitz outlines the history of twee the first strong, diverse, and wildly influential youth movement since Punk in the 70s and Hip Hop in the 80s showing how awkward glamour and fierce independence has become part of the zeitgeist.Focusing on its origins and hallmarks, he charts the rise of this trend from its forefathers like Disney, Salinger, Plath, Seuss, Sendak, Blume and Jonathan Richman to its underground roots in the post punk United Kingdom, through the late 80s and early 90s of K Records, Whit Stillman, Nirvana, Wes Anderson, Pitchfork, This American Life, and Belle and Sebastian, to the current and sometimes polarizing appeal of Girls, Arcade Fire, Rookie magazine, and hellogiggles.Revealing a movement defined by passionate fandom, bespoke tastes, a rebellious lack of irony or swagger, the championing of the underdog, and the vanquishing of bullies, Spitz uncovers the secrets of modern youth culture how Twee became pervasive, why it has so many haters and where, in a post Portlandia world, can it go from here


Recent Comments "Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film"

Spitz, a music journalist and novelist, sets out to define what “twee” might mean in relation to popular culture. According to the OED, this primarily British slang word connotes “excessively affected, quaint, pretty, or sentimental” and is “chiefly derogatory.” For Spitz, twee is all about being naturally trusting, “fighting fear and hatred with kindness.” In other words, it’s about being nice. As literary examples he cites Dave Eggers, Jonathan Safran Foer, Sarah Vowell, even [...]

In the sound-bite world we barely get a word out of our mouths before we get branded some one word "ist," or a practitioner of some "ism," wittingly or not, and two-way communication breaks down and the assumptions fly, projection runs rampant, and everyone runs for cover in their safe spaces and lobs molotov cocktails at random.Labeling, branding, catch-phrasing, categorizing we instantly need some way to subdue the nasty beast that is life; it is too big and messy and mean and it makes us mean [...]

This is barely a book about twee. There's a chapter about Belle & Sebastian, some pages about Beat Happening and K Records, and Sarah Records is more-or-less a footnote. Otherwise, it's really pop 'history' fluff about sensitive men in American and European pop culture since the 1950's. It's readable and enjoyable at times for what it is (the chapter on Nirvana was done relatively well, and I CAN get behind Kurt/Nirvana as twee), until you remember that what you're reading is supposed to be [...]

My biggest complaint about this book is that it started to tear down my illusion that I was an individual with unique & eclectic tastes and a heightened sense of morality – not chained by cultural monikers. Apparently, all this time I was just a Twee.In all honesty, I found this book incredibly fun and “twee” in and of itself. What I mean is, you will share my opinion of this book if and only if you have a functional passion and sense of nostalgia for at least ¾ of the artists, songs, [...]

I never felt at home in a community until I found twee. I have friends amongst the punks, hackers, writers, scientists, and academics, but any gathering of modest size within any of those groups inevitably starts to get a little mean, in that critical, competitive way. People bait each other, make fun of each other for knowing too much or too little about things -- it's all in good fun, but it starts to grate on me. I want to be with people who are passionate abouteverything , who are thrilled t [...]

People like to categorize things. It's one of those things that distinguishes humans from the lower animals. Rock writers really like to categorize things. Author Marc Spitz writes books about rockers and wrote for Spin magazine. He gets this categorization thing. "Twee" is an attempt to categorize together very disparate popular personalities and media along the theme of gentleness and a child-like approach to the world. The way this is done is to drop a name of a person, movie, book, tv show, [...]

I've been waiting for years for a book on the Twee phenomenon, so understandably I was quite excited about this. This book explores the meaning of Twee as the author sees it, and briefly introduces its icons. Of course, everyone has their own opinion on who should be included in the Twee pantheon. I thought that some of Marc's choices were spot-on, and others more questionable. "Maus" has anthropomorphic animals in suits, one of the Twee style landmarks, but to call the whole work Twee is a bit [...]

Not bad, but a little mainstream and bland. Covers the basis, but for what purpose, really? Other than geeking out on some familiar names? Jonathan Richman got his well deserved time, but no mention of some of the more super obscure stuff I was really looking for. Hoped to expand my world, not just observe it from where I'm already sitting, you know?

This book is not so much non-fiction as it is Op-Ed; it's the kind of Chuck Klosterman pop-culture theorist writing that we kind of see in the 33 1/3 series and in other forms, in print. But the book is misnamed.I was drawn into this book by its opening chapter and really appreciated the many ways in which the author thoughtfully wove through art, film and music to basically define the evolution of subculture's softer and less obvious side: underdog culture. It's not really Punk, though there's [...]

Here's the review:deucekindred.wordpress/20

As I was reading The Atlantic, I read the article about the Twee movement and Marc Spitz' book. The names Edward Gorey, Wes Anderson, and The Smith's caught my attention in the article. These names are definitive in my small existence. I knew I had to read more and I ordered the book. The book itself is twee in size. I enjoyed Spitz' way of stringing one twee element to another. It reminded me of a mixed barrel of monkeys that with care, and slight precision, are hooked and connected together to [...]

I won this book as a giveaway.Well, this was not exactly what I expected. I expected a fun, easy-going read that tracked a social movement from its origins to modern times. For the most part, this book did so. Prior to reading this book, I have never heard of Twee. Upon some Google searches I kind of had an idea of what Twee was: a group of people who support local artists and businesses, love the earth, and are unwilling to let go of a sense of childhood innocence. This novel basically reitera [...]

Huh. I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting out of this book: maybe an overview of a movement? Maybe something that coalesced the ideals and philosophies of what it means to be Twee? I found, as I tried to articulate these things to people who would inquire about what I was reading, that even as I worked through each chapter, I didn't feel any closer to a true understanding, or a real ability to communicate it. Twee, as described here, seems more of a referential club, an aesthetic that one [...]

I was intrigued by this book's claim to provide an inside look at what I have only known as the "hipster" generation. I had never heard of "Twees" before I picked it up. I found much of the book to be a labored attempt to connect the dots from punk to twee and found it to read much like a dry history book - packed with names and dates and facts and events - with very little to bring life and personality into the story of a cultural movement toward caring and kindness (the author's definition of [...]

The essay has a lot of interesting references and connections between indie culture. It is like a good overview of the main influencers in what the author refer as "twee" revolution. However I must say I personally found a lot of opinions that could be categorized as ethnocentric, due to the words like "brooklynized", and that "it" has spread all over the world. The subtext is always somewhat "the world has followed the leader" or something like that. In my personal opinion indie culture may hav [...]

An amusing survey of twee. As a fringe benefit, this book confirmed my suspicion that while I may look upon aspects of twee with a certain degree of amusement or fondness, I am very much not twee. Fun book, though. My eyebrow was raised at the idea of Kurt Cobain as being twee. Seriously?

I'm giving it a three for readability. Even so, I felt it was a bit of a stretch to say "The Diary of Anne Frank" was a progenitor of Twee. The chapter on Mumblecore was very good, though.

Over emphasis on music as an influence, perhaps mixes influences with the aesthetic style itself. Doesn't really address race or class.

Sounded so interesting, but ended up in laundry list mode. I don't think it's too mysterious that sensitive people will seek out "something pretty" when the surrounding culture is brutal. Is it a trend? I can only effing wish.

Twee (the book) is about the rise in the U.S. (mostly) of Twee (the phenomenon). The epicenter of Twee is contemporary Brooklyn, but there are outposts in places like Austin, TX and Portland, OR. Further abroad there is Glasgow, Scotland which is rather like the Mother Ship of Twee. The Godfather of Twee would be Morrissey. The Great-Grandfather of Twee is the ever-youthful Holden Caulfield. Here is author Marc Spitz's definition of Twee:* Beauty over ugliness. * A sharp, almost incapacitating a [...]

I'd been confused about this "movement" for some time - The sometimes lazy, often fearful, hyper-emotional misfits demanding the coddling of their helicoptered childhoods to continue well past sell-by dates, into their collective twenties and thirties.A weird skinny lumberjack beard or two later, these (wo)men-children have been, somewhat insultingly, labeled "Twee". If the shoe fits The problem is, it fits too well. Author Marc Spitz does not even bother to come up with a label as resounding as [...]

Van 4 estrellitas porque soy fan confesa del twee. Marc Spitz nos ofrece una interesante y pormenorizada mirada de un estilo que atraviesa gran parte del siglo XX pero que se hace difícil clasificar. Spitz trata de sistematizar distintas expresiones cultutales, desde el cine de los 60 hasta series como Portlandia o Girls o películas como Garden State. Un compendio pormenorizado que además incluye juicios de valor y un poco de anécdotas y gossip (ver donde cuenta la relación entre Sofia Copp [...]

Decent, if somewhat oversimplifying. Marc Spitz attempts a history of what he posits as a dominant cultural force "Twee." Twee was originally a pejorative term for describing a sort of precious, homemade quality that music on labels in the 1980's such as Postcard, Sarah, and K possessed. Spitz gives brief histories of all these labels in the book. He also extends his purview of Important Twee Culture to movies such as Gregory's Girl and directors such as Noah Baumbach and Wes Anderson, citing hi [...]

As someone who lives in a neighborhood in Toronto where you can't swing a dead Etsy cat without hitting something sold in a mason jar, I found this an interesting concept - better than the "Twee" title though, would've been "whimsy." That's far more straightforward and relatable.(As an aside, I feel like this review should've been banged out on a typewriter to heighten the level of affectation, but I'll have to make do with modern technology). Ezra Pound's battle cry was "make it new" but there' [...]

I'm kind of meh about this book. While it was really well written, it erased the entire history of girls and women (and most non-white men) from the history of "Twee culture" in a way that reminded me of the article "The Unbearable Whiteness in Indie" (ironically in Pitchfork, a bastion of said whiteness of twee).It's a shame, because while I found the suggested reading, listening, and watching valuable, I was disappointed not to find the influences of people like Tori Amos or Sophia Coppola lis [...]

This book is extensively researched. The author attempted to tie together various music, books, films and fashion into a Twee movement based in certain geographic areas involving notions of whimsy, romance, gentleness and some amateurishness. The basic concept didn't work for me. I found the analogies labored and the categories not defined enough to be persuasive. He drew in too many disparate elements to try to make his argument but didn't unify them. I don't see many similarities between Brook [...]

Marc Spitz digs deep into the sugary sweet generation of nice, filled with gentle music, cult films and crafty birds.Pieces written on fringe pop culture movements, like a recent Richmond-Times Dispatch article on hipsters (prepare yourselves), can often come off stiff or too strict in trying to define fairly nebulous groups. Thankfully, Marc Spitz’s experience writing from the music scene has made him well aware of both the culture around him and the tone he uses when discussing it. Spanning [...]

Spitz levou a cabo um assinalável trabalho de seriação daquilo que é twee. E eu, tal como suspeitava ao adquirir o livro, tenho mais inclinações twee do que unhas.Sem comentar as tentativas de espirituosidade (caídas em simples falta de profissionalismo) que recheiam o livro, é ao tentar catalogar sob a alçada do twee gente como Kurt Cobain e a sua (como ele próprio) pretérita banda que Spitz cai precisamente na zurzidela que o Easton Ellis fez ao twee : bem vistas as coisas, o twee [...]

A review copy was made available to me via Edelweiss.The idea of this book was intriguing-- tracing the roots of twee from its origins in the early 20th Century to the more modern acceptance of the movement. It was enlightening to read about the influence of numerous famous individuals who left their thumbprint on culture and the ramifications of their actions later on. The author's research was presented as a fun romp through music, literature, film, TV, and cultural icons. The organization wit [...]

At points in this book I forgot what Spitz's main focus was. Twee. A word that evokes the light side of hipsterdom. Putting birds on things, being a bit naive, a whole tra-la-la attitude. It's a topic that Spitz looks at in a cultural history by going back to some of the early twees including James Dean. Basically, Twees seem to worship people who died too young to become sinister, are a bit too sensitive, and don't have the ability to be too cynical.While I enjoyed the book, I wonder how much a [...]


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