Los Angeles is invaded by hipsters. They’re the cool kids that wear skinny jeans and have bangs that cover half their faces. Everywhere you go a hipster follows, they’re seemingly unavoidable. Therefore, in the midst of this invasion, I have decided to go undercover and explore foreign waters. I am merely a normal girl who is going to delve deep into this hipster world and share my discoveries. I am the Un-Hipster.


They Need to Come Closer to Us

Nervously, my cousin and I set up a MacBook video chat with the boys of Close But Not Quite. We’ve spent weeks blasting their CD in our car, analyzing lyrics of heartbreak and throwing mini dance parties. Their music is not the type I usually listen to, but if the Un-Hipster is dancing, then it’s not just a hipster phenomenon.

Hailing from La Habra, Calif., are the 17-year old wonders: Wes Smith (vocals), Tony Rodriguez (guitar), Alex Ochoa (guitar) and Randy Handoko (bass). Their music is an eclectic mix of rap, rock and power pop.

Their first CD, Questions That Need Answers, deals with the adolescent ups and downs of love, broken hearts and teen angst. If you like Metro Station, All Time Low or Gym Class Heroes, you’re destined to fall for these up and comers.

Eventually our video chats connect and before us is the band – minus one.

“You’ve gotta watch out for the drummers, they’re crazy!” Wes informs us.

Quickly, we realize their drummer is MIA and discover he has left the band. The ups and downs of having a band full of teenage boys become apparent. Musical and personal conflicts along with the passion to make good music have led to the demise of many bands, but not this one.

“The four of us will always be here, and we just want to keep making music,” Smith notes.

Smith is the rapper and lead vocalist of the group. He has a glowing personality and is the dominant voice throughout the interview while the rest of the band follows his lead.

The band’s growing popularity is due in large part to MySpace. Alex Holigores of Morph Management sent them a MySpace message offering them a chance to hit the recording studio for free and gain management.

“Randy didn’t tell us about the message,” Smith exclaims.

We all jokingly begin to chastise Randy, but it’s all in good spirits. Luckily for us, they discovered the message and have embarked on an amazing journey with their first album available on iTunes.

The band has already experienced many firsts. First shows, first CD and … first groupies?

“There was this one girl who constantly messaged my personal MySpace. It was crazy,” Ochoa proclaims.

These boys need to get ready for the throngs of screaming tweens, teens and soccer moms that await them in the near future. Their fresh sound and catchy lyrics combined with the band’s good looks and lively personalities are all leading to stardom.

Yet, not once do any of the boys mention fame or popularity, instead their focus is on making great music. With each band member teetering between the line of childhood and adulthood, they remain unjaded and eager for what the future has in store.

They do have one goal, Warped Tour, they exclaim. No need to fear, I assure them they will get there; and they will. Their music and determination will get them far; soon, their only worry will be groupies.

’Til then, you can check them out at myspace.com/closebutnotquite and purchase Questions That Need Answers on iTunes.

Also, the band says, “Feel free to add our personal MySpaces!”

Their upcoming show is Nov. 21 at the Wire in Upland. I’ll definitely be there, and I hope you will, too.