Great post at Moistworks today. ESPECIALLY the comments. READ 'EM.

My two cents (and I realize that I'm horribly undermatched, compared to all those professionals): Stephen Malkmus made an interesting distinction in a recent interview, something about the difference between Pavement-style indie and what he called (to paraphrase) the "Rilo Kiley, Myspace-era indie". (He called it that elsewhere, I think. Don't remember the source. I'll look for it later.)

Mostly, I just think this whole discussion shows that what "indie" has turned into, as a signifier, is mostly comical in nature. Like someone in the comments said, the only anti-mainstream thing about indie anymore is that the anti-mainstream stance itself is a method of induction, it's a cultural signpost, a badge of authenticity. But isn't the idea of an annual "indie"-themed FESTIVAL, like Pitchfork's, for instance, kind of in direct opposition to the values "indie" originally held? I think it goes without saying that "indie" has by and large shedded both its initial values and aesthetics, but the reasons still don't seem clear. Maybe it's not so much about the mainstream stealing "indie"; maybe it's "indie" trying to steal the mainstream. That would better explain the monumental changes to both the economical and aesthetic traits "indie" started with.


Clay B. said...

the indie scene isn't the first scene to use anti-establishment as a qualifier of being part of the "in-crowd." you can look at the hippie generation, the punk generation, generation x, it always exists.
the funny thing is that i can't decide which is more important to the vitality of sincere art and culture- acknowledging that it is fucked and dumb and poop or just ignoring it completely and doing what you want. its pretty tough to do one exclusive of the other.
i think i might lean towards the latter...

Clay B. said...

but then again, i have a music blog.