Sunday, February 12, 2006

fuck your indie cred.

I just got finished defending the silly little mall store I work at in a post over at Stereogum. Would someone please explain to me why indie rock kids are so snobby? I mean sure, I think it's funny that the Hot Topic head honchos think "indie" involves lots of eyeliner, body jewlery, and black clothing. But the level of hating on the company that signs my checks is silly. How ridiculous is it for these so called indie purists to sit around making fun of people for being mall goths? I mean, who cares what other people are wearing or listening to? If you want to listen to your "super-underground-lo-fi-no-one-has-ever-heard-this-band" indie rock and read pitchfork all day, go ahead, but what point is there in making fun of anyone else who isn't doing the same? The people who do so are just as shallow as the people they're laughing at. I say, like what you like because it moves you, and forget about trying so hard to be "cool". Word.

(and hey sara, you should change my link in the sidebar, because I deleted my typepad account. I'm at now)


Blogger Sammy said...

i think the problem with indie kids is that they don't listen to enough metal..haha.

6:59 AM  
Blogger shannon said...


9:30 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I think people in general take themselves far too seriously.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Brett Roman said...

"indie" doesn't mean what it use to mean, if it ever ment anything. god I hate labels.

1:39 PM  
Blogger shannon said...

on most levels i agree that labels are stupid. And yes i think at one time 'indie' did mean something, just like 'alternative' did. Alternative was literally an alternative to the mainstream. It didn't define a particular sound so much as it said "this is stuff that doesn't sound like vanilla ice or paula abdul or janet jackson...etc". Then the big record labels and media latched onto it, and the word 'alternative' ceased to have any meaning. I think this would be a nice example of irony. ...indie, when i started listening to lots of indie stuff, meant bands on independent labels. Again, not a particular sound. Any genre could have been considered indie, so long as they weren't on a major label. This too has been taken way out of context and no longer has much meaning. But when I say "indie", I'm specifically thinking of a group of little hipster/scenesters, or alternatively, snobby music nerds. The kind of people who sit around complaining about the mainstream to the point that it just becomes ridiculous. I don't really care for labels much, but at the same time, when you're trying to describe something it does help to give a frame of reference. I hear people complaining about using labels when something is called 'indie' or 'alternative', but i never hear anyone complain about calling something 'country', 'rap', 'metal', 'blues' on and so on. I get your point about 'indie' not meaning the same as it used to, but I don't really see the problem with giving something a name. I think calling someone an "indie rock snob" gives you a good idea of the kind of people I'm talking about. They're usually the same ones who hate labels. :-)

9:42 PM  
Blogger Brett Roman said...

Like yourself, I always used the term indie to describe music on independent record labels which could range from lo fi stuff on Matador to west coast punk on Lookout. So the genre was wide open and not restricted. I wish that I had a chance to hang out with young people and see what is going on in their heads, because I had no idea that there were “indie rock snobs”.

The reason I say I hate labels is because I look at it from a music biz point of view of having to describe my own band, which I really have trouble with. Sort of like how I am incapable of writing my own band bio, my brain just locks up when describing my own work, some visual artist may have the same problem.

I enjoy your points and arguments; we are obviously close to the same age and have fought similar battles.

9:05 AM  
Blogger shannon said...

your reason for hating labels is the same reason that I hate them (although it sounds like I'm saying the opposite in my comment, note that the first line says that I agree on many levels that labels are stupid). I have the same problem on my mp3 blog when it comes to trying to describe the bands that I write about. I wish I could be as articulate as chris jay, haha!

yeah the whole "indie snob" phenomenon is bizarre. Chris summed it up well when he said that people take themselves too seriously. These are the same people who complain when their favorite small band signs to a major label. I could go on and on about how annoyed I am by people misusing the term "sell-out"

i just looked at your profile and you're right, we are the same age...i'll be 32 in a couple of months...i think it's safe to say we have indeed fought the same battles.

10:10 AM  

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