Author Topic: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant  (Read 7108 times)

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Offline achtung child

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Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« on: March 11, 2009, 01:01:13 PM »
I'm sure this topic has been brought up before, so please redirect me if it has.  Does anyone else find the term "indie rock" irrelevant?  What does that even mean anymore?  I get really frustrated when I see (some) younger music fans following all of these "indie acts" like lemmings to the sea.  I live in Chicago and I get really annoyed with the pompous attitude from pseudo emo/hipster bands; as if they are part of this superior/innovative movement (where everyone looks the same).   To me, the "indie rock" movement is the biggest sham in the past 20 years based on nothing more than a confusion of fashion for substance.   When it's really nothing more than a really terrible/ lazy rehash of the 70's blended with 80's new wave.  Maybe a more apt label would be industrialized pop.  A flannel and a bad haircut does not make a sophisticated/ sensitive individual.  It started out promising with bands like The Strokes, The White Stripes, (Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs), etc.  I was excited by the fresh and raw attitude.  But then everyone with a bad flip, tight jeans, and sweaters named The (Insert Name) was putting out and selling records.  Granted some of it is great music, but it's nothing we haven't already heard.   I can hear the difference between Neil Young (i.e. Harvest) and a cheap knock off (some of Wilco's work).  For a following that considers itself intellectually/musically superior to the masses, why do they continuously buy into and sell the lie that their music is hip and trendy when it's a bad imitation of everything that has come before. But mainly I'm irritated by the arrogant attitude of scoffing at the "corporate predecesors" (Led Zepplin, The Beatles, The Faces) who made the music they're ripping off: BETTER.  I'm curious to know others thoughts on this. 



Offline Nielsen

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 01:03:45 PM »
Ironically, "indie" is short for independant......

jimyjazz

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 01:53:42 PM »
Indie rock is a relevant term but anyone who uses it to describe a type of music is a moron because it refers to they type of label.  Generally bands on indies make less commercial music, and aren't part of the loudness wars.  "Indie rock", if it used as genre description, should be shorthand for "more adventurous".  And Wilco are not a bad rip off of Neil.  They are fully awesome, and are no more a bad Neil rip off than U2 are a bad Joy Division rip off.

Offline achtung child

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 01:55:39 PM »
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 And Wilco are not a bad rip off of Neil.  They are fully awesome, and are no more a bad Neil rip off than U2 are a bad Joy Division rip off.

Fairly spoken.

Offline Spaceman

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2009, 02:28:20 PM »
The biggest sham in the past 20 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you crazy!!!?? There's been far worse scenes in the past 20 years!! Far from being the worst, the indie rock movement (if that's what you want to call it) to me is the best.

And words evolve man!  ;)

Indie did (and probably still does to some) mean an independent label. But to others it's a genre of music and a scene. I don't have a problem with that. And I don't agree with any of the original post AT ALL. I love indie rock. I loved it long before the White Stripes or the Strokes came along so how could it have started with them??!! The indie rock movement has been going strong in England long before Jack White even picked up a guitar!

If people want to call it indie rock then so what!

And this 'movement' has serious style OK! The indie rock movement look cool!
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 02:33:01 PM by Joe90usa »

Offline achtung child

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2009, 02:41:06 PM »
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The biggest sham in the past 20 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you crazy!!!?? There's been far worse scenes in the past 20 years!! Far from being the worst, the indie rock movement (if that's what you want to call it) to me is the best.

To each their own, and apologies for overreaching generalizations.  However, when I say the biggest sham; I mean in terms of the falsehoods that can sometimes plague the whole scene.  Yes glam rock, plastic boy bands, and disco can be argued as terrible.  But it appeared those scenes were very self aware of the campy image and sound that was being bought and sold (with few exceptions i.e. Michael Bolton, Wilson Phillips).  Whereas, the appearance and sound that can sometimes prevail in the indie scene is an arrogant sense of originality that speaks nothing new or particularily profound.  This is my main frustration with the whole thing.  I really do think some of the music is great.  But I might be able to tolerate the scene a bit more if it had a sense of humor about it's own irony and hypocrisy.  Many music historians point to this as key for Nirvana's success.  And their are some current examples (MGMT).  I'm really curious to gain a deeper perspective on this whole issue. 

Offline EdgeLike

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2009, 03:05:21 PM »
Not really. Indie rock was such a stupid name to come up with in the first place. Too bad it has no relevance now.

Oh and I despise the kids who listen to indie rock and say that it's better than everything else. Indie annoys me. I find the music to be bad as well.

jimyjazz

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2009, 03:26:26 PM »
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Not really. Indie rock was such a stupid name to come up with in the first place. Too bad it has no relevance now.

Oh and I despise the kids who listen to indie rock and say that it's better than everything else. Indie annoys me. I find the music to be bad as well.

Sad that you're limiting your musical horizons so much.  The majority of good music out there is not put out by major labels.

jimyjazz

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2009, 03:29:04 PM »
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Not really. Indie rock was such a stupid name to come up with in the first place. Too bad it has no relevance now.

Oh and I despise the kids who listen to indie rock and say that it's better than everything else. Indie annoys me. I find the music to be bad as well.

I highly recommend Metric, Apostle of Hustle, Menomena and the Phantom band.  You won't be disappointed.

Offline Whoah10115

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2009, 08:00:57 PM »
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Indie rock is a relevant term but anyone who uses it to describe a type of music is a moron because it refers to they type of label.


Thank you. The idea of it is nauseating because they're usually pretentious hipsters.

Offline sceptic prophet

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2009, 09:16:28 AM »
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I'm sure this topic has been brought up before, so please redirect me if it has.  Does anyone else find the term "indie rock" irrelevant?  What does that even mean anymore?  I get really frustrated when I see (some) younger music fans following all of these "indie acts" like lemmings to the sea.  I live in Chicago and I get really annoyed with the pompous attitude from pseudo emo/hipster bands; as if they are part of this superior/innovative movement (where everyone looks the same).   To me, the "indie rock" movement is the biggest sham in the past 20 years based on nothing more than a confusion of fashion for substance.   When it's really nothing more than a really terrible/ lazy rehash of the 70's blended with 80's new wave.  Maybe a more apt label would be industrialized pop.  A flannel and a bad haircut does not make a sophisticated/ sensitive individual.  It started out promising with bands like The Strokes, The White Stripes, (Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs), etc.  I was excited by the fresh and raw attitude.  But then everyone with a bad flip, tight jeans, and sweaters named The (Insert Name) was putting out and selling records.  Granted some of it is great music, but it's nothing we haven't already heard.   I can hear the difference between Neil Young (i.e. Harvest) and a cheap knock off (some of Wilco's work).  For a following that considers itself intellectually/musically superior to the masses, why do they continuously buy into and sell the lie that their music is hip and trendy when it's a bad imitation of everything that has come before. But mainly I'm irritated by the arrogant attitude of scoffing at the "corporate predecesors" (Led Zepplin, The Beatles, The Faces) who made the music they're ripping off: BETTER.  I'm curious to know others thoughts on this. 


Back in the 80's the term "indie" was already used, at first to identify bands released by so-called "independent" labels (meaning "not major"). You had "indie" charts, for instance, where the likes of New Order would rule. Labels like 4AD or Factory or Mute were highly regarded, and although there was definitely some sense of "fashion" and "hipness" about them, the music had substance and that's what finally put them on rock's history books. Like so many other things, the term has eventually lost much of its sense with time...

Offline Spaceman

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2009, 09:38:31 AM »
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I'm sure this topic has been brought up before, so please redirect me if it has.  Does anyone else find the term "indie rock" irrelevant?  What does that even mean anymore?  I get really frustrated when I see (some) younger music fans following all of these "indie acts" like lemmings to the sea.  I live in Chicago and I get really annoyed with the pompous attitude from pseudo emo/hipster bands; as if they are part of this superior/innovative movement (where everyone looks the same).   To me, the "indie rock" movement is the biggest sham in the past 20 years based on nothing more than a confusion of fashion for substance.   When it's really nothing more than a really terrible/ lazy rehash of the 70's blended with 80's new wave.  Maybe a more apt label would be industrialized pop.  A flannel and a bad haircut does not make a sophisticated/ sensitive individual.  It started out promising with bands like The Strokes, The White Stripes, (Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs), etc.  I was excited by the fresh and raw attitude.  But then everyone with a bad flip, tight jeans, and sweaters named The (Insert Name) was putting out and selling records.  Granted some of it is great music, but it's nothing we haven't already heard.   I can hear the difference between Neil Young (i.e. Harvest) and a cheap knock off (some of Wilco's work).  For a following that considers itself intellectually/musically superior to the masses, why do they continuously buy into and sell the lie that their music is hip and trendy when it's a bad imitation of everything that has come before. But mainly I'm irritated by the arrogant attitude of scoffing at the "corporate predecesors" (Led Zepplin, The Beatles, The Faces) who made the music they're ripping off: BETTER.  I'm curious to know others thoughts on this. 


Back in the 80's the term "indie" was already used, at first to identify bands released by so-called "independent" labels (meaning "not major"). You had "indie" charts, for instance, where the likes of New Order would rule. Labels like 4AD or Factory or Mute were highly regarded, and although there was definitely some sense of "fashion" and "hipness" about them, the music had substance and that's what finally put them on rock's history books. Like so many other things, the term has eventually lost much of its sense with time...

Well put.

I think what's happened over time is people have started to associate bands with a similar sound to these early 'indie' bands as being 'indie rock' regardless of what label they are on. And I really don't see the problem. I love indie, rock, dance, emo, punk, pop. It matters not to me how irrelevant the term is. It's what you associate with that term that matters to you. I associate loads of bands with the term indie rock even though they are probably not technically an indie band. SO WHAT! Who cares??

I don't think it makes the term irrelevant. I think if anything the term indie rock is probably used more today then it ever has been. I think that makes it very relevant.

Offline emalvick

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 09:25:01 AM »
Indie Rock is a stupid way to classify music but it is hardly a genre.  Look at the broadness of what has been indie in the past or the fact that the more mainstream bands emerge from it to bigger labels.

Heck, R.E.M. was indie for quite a while and they were/are a fantastic band before and after those indie years, yet they didn't really change besides the growth that typically accompanies a band over the years.  I think of Document vs. Green since one album was "indie" and the other wasn't. 

The only thing I can really see defining the term "indie" vs. the mainstream levels is the refinement in the albums and their production that often follows leaving the indie labels, but these days that isn't obvious anymore since many of the smaller labels are seeing more success thanks to this so-called indie movement.

I'll admit that most of my favorite music these days is coming from indie labels although I don't like to classify it that way because the music varies so much.  Can you really group the White Stripes, Andrew Bird, Calexico, Modest Mouse, and Sufjan Stevens into one group other than they are or were all on independent labels?  Could you call Radiohead indie since In-Rainbows was essentially released without a label or perhaps Nine Inch Nails? 

The term really is irrelevant.

Offline Mr. BonorFLYd

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 11:27:17 AM »
it's become just another stupid term to throw around. It should just mean 'Independent' but it's become another joke phony 'alt' culture. Pitchfork.com and other magazines/sites are trying to capitalize on it. And of course some of the bands are selling this as a lifestyle. Lol, SPIN just rides any wave out there and they are trying to be 'indie' 'alt' whatever.

I like some 'indie' bands but most of it is just copying off each other with 'freak folk' and so many bands trying to be a combination of Bruce Springsteen and Talking Heads with some hippy shtick thrown in. Or just copying Beach Boys melodies and throwing on tons of reverb. Or, you've got the rip off of African Pop music w/ groups like "Vampire Weekend" which is just dumb. Actually Coldplay did a much better job (cant believe i'm complementing them) with the song "strawberry Swing' incorporating it into their own style.  Funny thing is, most of the people who try to be 'indie' and worship Springsteen didn't even know who 'The Boss' was until The Killers and Arcade Fire started copying his stuff. And the market/media try so hard to make people buy into this lifestyle, lol,  they even try to make you look 'indie' or 'alt'  ...every 'indie' site has to have an 'american apparel' advertisement.

what's most amusing is that generally people who want to think they're 'indie' or whatever usually (not all) act like they're so cool and blase and denounce 'mainstream' music or anything that they think is mass-marketed or that a lot of other people like. And yet, they are also following a 'brand-lifestyle'. it's so contrived. ugh  :P

and if you're really interested in how these 'brand-lifestyles' catch on particularly 'indie culture' this guy does some crazy analysis on this (i think he has a point but he's CRAZY  :P ) He did an entire scientific analysis on how the band 'Animal Collective' were solely invented for internet and 'brand lifestyle' marketing. HERE'S THE LINK: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 11:50:34 AM by Mr. Bonorfied »

Offline achtung child

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Re: Is the term "Indie Rock" still relevant
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2009, 01:23:16 PM »
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He did an entire scientific analysis on how the band 'Animal Collective' were solely invented for internet and 'brand lifestyle' marketing. HERE'S THE LINK: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

And this is my point precisely of referring to "indie" music as industrialized.  Many of these bands are so precise and predictable that they seem fresh off the factory lines of production: like robots.  One can argue rightly, "well that's what happens when the media gets its hands on the underground; but it's the fact the music is not made on a corporate label that counts".  Fair enough.  But how much of that is truth and just plain romance to sensationalize an empty movement?  If that's true, then okay; I've started my own label.  I record, burn all my music produced by my friends on an eight track recorder.  I'm officially "indie".  But who's going to hear it?  The twenty people on my myspace page? The thirty people who might show up at my gig in a bar?  I need help, and I need to get on the radio.  More importantly I need somebody's money to do that.  Enter the producer and recording executive.  I have a few congas and tenor guitars in my songs, and I am fittingly innovative.  Now I have a manager handling the direction of my career.  Career? Wait a minute, I thought I was "indie". My look is carbon copied on models and ads in every shill store in the outer reaches of the suburbs.  Movies, i.e. Juno, fittingly place beautiful people in my old pair of jeans and flannel because they're the trampled,outsider types.   Now everybody is wearing the jeans I've had for a year. And it's totally different and superior to those over-commercialized rockers (like U2..ick). Record producer and executive or happy they have a new product they can copy and sell to those ignorant and hopeful enough to believe they've discovered something special.  Anybody have any differing perspectives to offer?