MarcSpitzTweeMarc Spitz’s Poseur recalled his salad days as a downtown Manhattan music writer. But his new book kicks off in Brooklyn – and specifically at the Brooklyn Flea – because, you see, it is a history of twee.

You could define the Twee Tribe as the “hipster elite” that’s ruining America. But Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion and Film describes the Twee Party in more flattering terms: its multigenerational members exalt beauty over ugliness, childhood and innocence over adulthood, nerd chic over conventional “cool,” and intellectual curiosity over bullying. Think coffee mugs etched with owls, probiotic hot sauce, and mason-jar tops with built-in straws, to name some of the Brooklyn Flea items Spitz singles out.

As we paged through this history of twee culture from the 1940s to the present, we were inspired to do the most twee thing possible: we broke out our Trapper Keeper and, using our 4-color pen, created an index for the book. See below for a list of Twee Tribe chieftains and their work. Page numbers refer to the iBook (after all, Steve Jobs was twee, according to Spitz: his utopian, design-driven vision tapped into “a sort of scale model of the current ‘Brooklyn’ in which Mose Allison, Animal Collective, and Drake live in harmony in the cloud”).

Anderson, Wes
            as the household name that made Twee a movement, p. 261
            as standing above the haters, “his head far too high in the clouds to even hear or acknowledge them,” p. 281

Automatic for the People
            REM’s “last gasp of Twee friendliness,” p. 178

Baumbach, Noah
            as “the poster child for the bedroom scholar who, like Morrissey and Stuart Murdoch, formulated a stance strictly by absorbing and filtering other artists’ work,” p. 259

Beat Happening
            “lyrics about wearing pajamas, going on picnics, climbing trees, and having crushes,” p. 194

Belle and Sebastian (see also Isobel Campbell)
            as “a Twee superband that personified the new Brooklyn, ” p. 127
            as “the superstars of Twee, especially for the kids of the Internet age,” p. 230
            as having “unapologetic preciousness” that “inspired the kind of hate and backlash that the Smiths faced,” p. 241

Birbiglia, Mike, p. 334

Blume, Judy
            as “the queen of Twee Tribe youth-lit,” p. 109

            Jean-Paul Belmondo as “the first Twee leading man; godfather to everyone from Hoffman and Bud Cort to Zach Braff, Jason Schwartzman, Michael Cera, and Jonah Hill,” p. 80
            Jean Seberg’s wardrobe as “the big bang of female Twee fashion—striped shirts, trousers, and Mary Janes with no socks—but it’s the hair that is most atomic and eternal,” p. 81

Brooklyn (see also Brooklyn Flea)
            as “our greatest export to the world right now, the way “Hollywood” was a half century ago and Silicon Valley was three decades later,” p. 16
            as “embracing artists and objects once-arcane and niche, all of which can be grouped under the vintage, transparent plastic umbrella of the often pejorative term Twee,” p. 7
            as “not just a borough of New York City but rather an idea, an aesthetic, a selling device, an industry, and a dream of some kind of global Narnia where everyone has the right books, clothes, shoes, records, cookies, and pickles. Everyone is young and most of the young are Twee,” p. 10
            as a “blank slate where musicians like [Zach] Condon [of Beirut] could build their own universe as they envisioned it, a kind of new “Old New York” that suited their romantic notions and didn’t have the peer pressure and the coked-up pace of Manhattan,” p. 330

Brooklyn Flea
            Style at: “mustaches, some waxed and twisted into spiny points, lumberjack beards, little makeup, “hair in the pixie style that suggests Jean Seberg,” bangs that evoke Anna Karina, Julie Christie, and other ’60s film stars, vintage granny dresses with Doc Martens and a discreet amount of black eyeliner,” p. 9

Brown, Charlie
            as “Hannah Horvath, a half century beforehand; a model for Generation Y and, I suppose, even Z as he inhabits a postwar baby boomer realm,” p. 70

Bujalski, Andrew
            as godfather of mumblecore and “a modern, intellectual wallflower, with shaggy hair, big glasses, and inherent shyness,” p. 300

Buzzcocks, The
            “gleefully camp,” p. 133

            as “a sound (jangly pop, sweet vocals, dreamy lyrics with a 1960s bent),” but also “a certain type of haircut (the Jean Seberg, of course, for women; the David Crosby Byrds fringe for men), T-shirt (Warhol Factory–style striped), outerwear (motorcycle jacket anorak),” p. 202

Campbell, Isobel (see also Belle and Sebastian)
           as  “that Twee fashion archetype, indebted to the Nouvelle Vague heroines and still mimicked by a few thousand young women every year to this day: a well-read, cultured, and liberated woman who could turn on a dime and be girlish without pushing aside her integrity as a musician or her feminine strength,” p. 234

Capote, Truman
            as affecting a “a sort of untamable ‘prodigy chic,’ often portraying himself as much younger and more boyish than he actually was in an effort to inspire wonder over his already highly sophisticated and detailed writing,” p. 66

Clueless, p. 253

Cobain, Kurt
            “rock and roll’s own Little Prince figure,” p. 216
            “tending his pets, smelly turtles and rabbits,” p. 217
            juvenile fascination with organs, sex, fluids, p. 218
            “may have briefly once lived, like a Dungeons & Dragons troll, under a bridge,” p. 218

Coppola, Sophia
            as “the slickie of her day, someone who was fun to hate on and as far from an underdog as possible,” p. 271

Costello, Elvis
            as an “angry young man who didn’t wear the leather motorcycle jacket, did not seem to trust glee at all,” p. 138

Collins, Edwyn (see also Orange Juice)
            as wearing “flannel shirts, New Wave sport coats, and tapered trousers,” p. 165

Crosley suitcase turntables, p 33

Cure, The, p. 208

            as “another questioning loser hero,” p. 335

Dean, James
            as “androgynous and unsure, his sexuality a constant matter of debate,” p. 68

Deschanel, Zoe
            as “both a Twee Tribe icon and an Indie apostate, as she seemed to not only advance her persona but also blatantly go for the cash with the website she cofounded, HelloGiggles,” p. 356
            as “a symbol for what was going wrong in the broader popular culture. If someone was marketing overpriced crocheted narwhals on the arts-and-crafts-marketplace website Etsy, it was Deschanel’s fault,” p. 359

Devo, p. 139

Disney, Walt
            as “Indie when Indie wasn’t cool. Perhaps a little Goth too,” p. 36

Donnie Darko
            as “a great Twee film because it’s suffused with dread, darkness, and humor à la Anderson’s oeuvre, and because it reduces its adult characters to either helpless or deluded,” p. 283

Drake, Nick
            as “the greatest proto-Twee icon to ever pick up a guitar and sing while staring at his worn-out shoes,” p. 97

Dr. Seuss, p. 47

Dunham, Lena
            has children’s book characters tattooed on her skin, p. 29
            as someone who was “well versed in just about every major Twee icon, from Sendak to Stillman to Baumbach to even Miranda July,” p. 365

Eames, Ray and Charles
            as “Twee Tribe elders” — “Charles in his tweed suit with pipe and bow tie, and Ray with her smart dresses and pulled-back hair,” p. 46
            as “Masters of Twee” who had a “sense of the highly personal craft that was meant for sale and consumption predated the Etsy revolution by a half century,” p. 47

Eggers, Dave
            as only person who rivals Jack White as “a twenty-first-century Indie maverick, creator, and operator of his own idealistic microcosm,” p. 293

Fast Times at Ridgemont High
            as “the most transformative teen film ever made is that it highlights this shift in sexual power,” p. 142
            as “a teen comic and a Twee milestone that would inform every other teen film that came later, from Risky Business to the John Hughes oeuvre. Jocks were out. Geeks and proto-Twees were in,” p. 143
            as “first feminist teen film,” p. 144

Ferdinand the Bull
            as “a triumphant outsider and resister who would not buckle to thugs, a Twee archetype for the ages even three quarters of a century later,” p. 41

Foer, Jonathan Safran
            as resembling “a boy, a spelling-bee champion,” p. 288

Frank, Anne (concept of)
            as “voice of honesty, reason, hope, wit, and sanity in a world that seems broken and insane,” p. 56

Freaks and Geaks, p. 335

Funny Ha Ha
            as “a film that didn’t talk down to its young audience but presented a raw, funny reflection of that audience that was both comforting and flattering,” p. 304

Garden State
            as “Twee’s biggest overground moment,” p. 339
            Sam as classic Manic Pixie Dream Girl, p. 342

Gerwig, Greta
            as “mumblecore’s breakout female movie star,” p. 312

Gilmore Girls, p. 209
            as “Twee fantasy” where “the rift between parents and children, endemic to all youth-oriented popular entertainment, is finally erased,” p. 337
            as “chiefly responsible for the homely but sweet new leading men, your Michael Ceras, Jonah Hills, Jesse Eisenbergs, and Seth Rogens,” p. 343

“Glasgow School” of cinema, p. 158

Glover, Donald
            as having “all the Twee Tribe qualities himself: he does not fear sensitivity or vulnerability, having recently posted a series of confessional sketch messages on his Instagram page,” p. 366

Gondry, Michel
            films as “throwbacks to the candy-colored, trippy ’60s and early ’70s,” p. 276
            characters of homemade whimsy who “want to belong, to be loved, to figure out this big, scary world,” p. 276

Gregory’s Girl
            painfully insecure male lead of, p. 161

Grogan, Clare
           as wearing “black turtlenecks, chunky jewelry, and granny dresses with Doc Martens,” p. 163

Harry Potter books
            Twee Tribers see hidden depth of, p. 127

            ridiculous adult characters of, p. 145

Hello Kitty, p. 194

Herman, Pee-Wee
            as “1980s’ greatest man-child,” p. 127
            in love with his “prized bright red bike, a vintage beauty in true Twee fashion,” p. 153

Holly, Buddy
            as “the first hip nerd, riding motorcycles and, sartorially, inventing ‘geek chic’ almost singlehandedly with his bow ties, slim suits, horn-rimmed glasses, neat hair, and toothy, eager smile,” p. 74

Hughes, John, p. 148

Ice Storm, The
            as using “a kind of knowing array of ’70s kitsch to lift certain key scenes. That film’s teens are, in typical Twee fashion, wiser than their parents,” p. 272

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
            as “an album about childhood made by childhood friends who remembered it,” p. 61

Jacobs, Marc
            “unsuccessfully attempted to bring grunge fashion to the masses in the early 1990s, but then perfected his attack with his extremely Twee line of clothes and accessories that connected more organically with the precocious Indie spirit and featured actress Elle Fanning,” p. 16

Johnson, Calvin (see also K Records and Beat Happening)
            as “eating locally farmed tomatoes before it became commonplace,” p. 189

            Juno as “closest thing the era has to a true Punk. She abhors the then-current trope of the sexy nerd,” p. 343
            as “rich in the secret language of detail: Juno’s hamburger phone, her pipe, Bleeker’s orange Tic Tacs,” p. 344

July, Miranda
            as evidence of a double standard, since “Thumbsucker, the debut of July’s husband, the designer turned director Mike Mills, is even more Twee than some of July’s conceits, and nobody called for his head,” p. 351

Jonze, Spike (see also Gondry, Michel)
            films as “throwbacks to the candy-colored, trippy ’60s and early ’70s,” p. 276
            characters of homemade whimsy who “want to belong, to be loved, to figure out this big, scary world,” p. 276

K Records
            “fighting against the shoulder-pads-and-coke 1980s zeitgeist,” p. 192

Kaufman, Andy
            as “Twee hero,” p. 331

Kinks, The
            as “prized as almost a holy combo of the Twee tribe,” p. 83

Little Miss Sunshine
            as a “milestone in the mainstreaming of Twee,” p. 100

Lost in Translation, p. 273

Martin, Steve
            as “Twee comedy pioneer” (see also Kaufman, Andy), p. 333

            as read by young people “slouching in their black vintage dresses, clunky shoes, nerd glasses, ski hats, and beards,” p. 290
            as “a sort of catchall buzz word for everything clever and Twee in publishing,” p. 296

            “The Mod look—clean, tapered Italian suits, zip-up boots, bangs (for both men and women), and peacock-pattern scarves and ties—permeates British film of this time period and is just as key to the foundation of Twee as a carelessly exhaled French cigarette,” p. 83

Morrissey (see also Smiths, The)
            as the “King of Twee,” p. 19
            as “the eternal flame for every lonely teen,” p. 172

Mutual Appreciation
            as “the first time the new, young, Indie Brooklyn was captured on film for those outside of the five boroughs to witness. And they liked what they saw,” p. 305

My So-Called Life
            as a “sophisticated portrayal of an identity crisis set to the new platinum Indie rock,” p. 334
            as depicting “the first teenagers ever portrayed in pop culture, to deliver the message: ‘We know this system is insane,’” p. 335

Orange Juice (the band), p. 163
            as “pop geeks,” p. 163

Perks of Being a Wallflower, The
            as “a leap forward, part of the next step beyond Nirvana’s alterative revolution,” p. 338

            as “shorthand for a kind of Brooklandian obsession with new music and obscure cult bands,” p. 244

Plath, Sylvia, p. 75

            as “the best watchdog of Twee culture,” p. 372
            as “an artisanal show. It uses, whenever possible, locally sourced real Portlandians,” p. 375

Raincoats, The
            as a band that “prized their 1960s Kinks and Herman’s Hermits 45s, shopped in thrift stores, and cultivated a soon-to-be highly influential ‘art school’ aesthetic,”  p. 136

Rice, Justin (of Bishop Allen)
            as the first hearrthrob of the mumblecore era, p. 305

Richman, Jonathan
            as succumbing to “terminal cutesy poo,” p. 123
            as “a Twee Tribe saint because he opened up the clenched Punk rock heart, and by example demonstrated that it was okay to be both tender and appreciative of the sound of the ‘Old World,’” p. 125

Risky Business
            introduced “an enduring Twee icon: the cool loser,” p. 146

Rough Trade record store, p. 127
            as a “hub for defiantly Twee vinyl connoisseurs from all corners of the Isles,” p. 136

Royal Tanenbaums, The
            “pushes all the Twee Tribe pleasure buttons (1960s soundtrack, smart humor, studious detail, children’s-book-drawn palette),” p. 267

            Max Fischer as “the can-do spirit of the young and contrary Gen Twee member, personified,” p. 264

Salinger, JD
            as “perhaps the second great body of water that feeds all Twee streams, rivers, estuaries, and ponds. His influence on the aesthetic is equally vast, his body of work virtual Twee scripture,” p. 52
            Holden Caufield as “the voice of postwar reason, truth, and youthful power,” p. 55

Schaal, Kristen, p. 334

Sedaris, David
            as “Twee Tribe hero,” p. 245

Shins, The
            as a post-Strokes example of “ a gentler, more sensitive strain of Twee Tribe–friendly rock [that] would become even more commercially valuable” (see also the Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie and its offshoot the Postal Service, Rilo Kiley, Sufjan Stevens, and Beirut), p. 328

Squeeze, p. 127

Smith, Elliott
            as a “Twee cinema-soundtrack stalwart and lost boy of Indie rock” with Ferdinand the Bull tattoo, p. 42

Smiths, The (see also Morrissey)
            “The Twee Beatles,” thanks in part to their twee intolerance of bullying, p. 127

Solondz, Todd
            as “the darkest, bravest, and funniest of the ’90s Twee Tribe filmmakers,” p. 254

Squid and the Whale, The
            Max as “the prototype for the coming generation of tech-propelled young people who want their glories accelerated without the burden of paying any dues,” p. 259

Spiegelman, Art, p. 63

Stillman, Whit, p. 247
            characters of are “rosy cheeked and clad in Brooks Brothers and J.Press when not in tuxes, don’t talk like WASPs with sticks up their asses,” p. 251

They Might Be Giants
            as the “Twee Stones to the Smiths’ Twee Beatles,” p. 179

This American Life     
            as “a kind of “What a Wonderful World” for Indie kids that wasn’t saccharine or repellently chilly,” p. 245

Twin Peaks
            as evidence that the “Big Twee aesthetic” had blown up, p. 212

Velvet Underground, p. 112
            “After Hours” and “I’m Sticking With You” as “Twee classics,” p. 113

Violent Femmes, The
            “ rock and roll’s Catcher in the Rye,” p. 140

Vowell, Sarah
            as “Twee tribe hero,” p. 246

Wilson, Brian, p. 38

Welcome to the Dollhouse, p. 247
            Dawn Wiener as “a sort of Norma Rae figure for nerds,” p. 255

White, Jack
            as only person who rivals Dave Eggers as “a twenty-first-century Indie maverick, creator, and operator of his own idealistic microcosm,” p. 293
            as “a modern, real-life Willy Wonka, with an analog-is-better aesthetic and everything made in America,” p. 294

Williamsburg, Brooklyn (see also Brooklyn Flea)
            as “the epicenter of Twee,” p. 127
            Bedford Ave “as crowded on a weekend afternoon as Times Square or Piccadilly,” p. 15

XTC, p. 127
            as “clearly not droogs,” p. 137

Yippies, p. 93

Yo Gabba Gabba!, p. 155

You and Me and Everyone We Know, p. 248

            as separating the boys from the men (and girls from the women), p. 195