Saturday, October 20, 2007

The REAL trouble with indie rock is...

Indie rock has been the subject of mainstream press chatter over the past week. First, New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones announces that the problem with indie is that it is racially biased. Then, Village Voice's Tom Breihan sorta agrees, but questions the generalisation. And later, Slate's Carl Wilson counters by saying that the genre's problems lie not with race, but with class.

They're all totally wrong, of course. Indie rock's problem isn't race, nor class. It's beauty. I mean, c'mon. Indie rockers are seriously butt ugly. Why do you think they don't make their own album covers? Like, why can't the dudes and dudettes that make quality indie rock be regulars on Maxim covers and Vogue centrespreads? They should be shoo-ins to the next Gap billboards and American Apparel banners. That way, no one will care about whether the bands are overly quirky or underly soulful. As long as their asses wiggle like polaroids, we'll pay the gajillions.

To read the New Yorker article, click here.

To read the Village Voice article, click here.

To read the Slate article, click here.

To check out a true hottie, click here.

The Killers - Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll (from Hot Fuss)


Ed said...

Phew...had heard about all those pieces but this was the first chance I had had to know about where they all were, so thanks for highlighting them.

The reality is that indie has constantly redeveloped over time to the extent where the original term has changed drastically. We could sit there for hours pointing to exceptions, and wondering if these challenge or prove the rules.

Music is music, as far as I'm concerned, and as a blogger I write about the music that excites me, whether it's death metal, grime, classical, jazz or-quite often, Indie. The colour of the skin of the person who has made a great record doesn't bother me, just as their sexuality or class background doesn't bother me.

Racism is a real problem in society still, and perhaps how that manifests itself has also changed over the last thirty years. sometimes it can be horrendously blatant, at other times more subtle, and also, worryingly, when people don't realise that they are being racist. I'm a secondary school teacher in Scotland, and I have still to rebuke students for using certain words. One constant reply I get is 'Why is it okay for them (usually referring to people who are non-white) to call themselves that, but we can't use that word?
Reclaiming words does not always help. Yet these are often the same kids who worship 2Pac or Bob Marley.

As to whether it's class...God knows. 'It's not where you're from, it's where you're at.' might be the lesson to learn from all of this.

Sorry for my stream of consciousness rambling. Great blog, BTW.

Ed, 17 Seconds

Anonymous said...

The irony being that all the above articles come from publications which cater to white, middle-class urbane readerships...ho hums...

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