3-Minute Interview: 'Aging hipster' Melanie DuPuis

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Local,DC,People,Rachel Baye,3-Minute Interview

DuPuis heads the University of California's Washington Center. The 55-year-old Tenleytown resident also started a group on MeetUp.com for "Aging Hipsters" that now has nearly 400 members.

How did the Aging Hipsters start?

I was seeing live music close to twice a week. I happened to be single, and I really didn't want to date. The MeetUp gave me a way to pull people together who felt exactly the same way. I first named it that [with] the hope that people who joined the group would have a sense of humor. People write to me saying, "I don't think I'm hip enough to belong to this group." If you're old, you're not hip.

What are some shows you have seen recently?

Frightened Rabbit [and] the ICP Orchestra. The last thing I went to was Frontier Ruckus at DC9. We like to go to things that are not that well known. Lately we have had a lot of avant-garde jazz, world music and a bunch of indie stuff. There's some Americana music, like the Chocolate Drops. It's fairly eclectic.

How old are the "aging hipsters"?

There's an indie music group, which we refer to as "the youngsters." Sometimes they just don't want to be with grandma. The people between 35 and 45 tend to belong to the indie group but also go to shows with us. The center of the group is in their 40s and 50s. The folks in their 60s have a trainer. [The oldest member is] early 60s. Once you get beyond that, you really need a seated show. Standing up for five hours is hard -- we have techniques we use. A number of us lift weights. At the show, staying really hydrated. We tend to go to smaller shows, [not] those shows where you have to stand up for five hours.

How long do you hope to continue going to shows?

Until they take me out on a stretcher.

-- Rachel Baye

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Rachel Baye

Staff Writer - Education
The Washington Examiner