Are you sick of ‘Indie’ or is it just me?


5 Jul 2010, 21:55

I don’t know a lot about ‘indie’ music, although I know enough to understand its inherent and utterly stupid contradictions and false pretentiousness. Neither do I enjoy listening to its ‘generic’ sound, as I will later touch upon. When I first heard about this musical genre a long while back in my infancy, images of Indian/ sitar/psych/drug music captivated my premature, musically uneducated, naive mind, not knowing the real meaning behind the term ‘Indie’. Later, after investigation into this genre and years of experience, did I find that I was obviously very wrong. ‘Indie’ is another term for ‘independent’, In terms of independent record labels becoming prominent and thus signifying artistic revolt against the major record labels and brining control back to the artist. From my understanding, the term Indie is more commonly used today to describe a genre of music and group of bands that emerged in the late 80s/ early 90s that were thinking outside the box, that were ‘independent’, doing something entirely different, intuitive. It went, most importantly, against the major, money making record labels and companies as explained. Quite the contrary today, when the term ‘Indie’ is used I now conjure images of sameness, fakeness, uninspiring, and uncreative, fashionable commodities. I think my thoughts can be exactly applicable to its physical form in music today. I will not name any bands- see if you can maybe point out some of the culprits yourself.

Now, in contemporary Indie culture, I use the term ‘generic’ to brand these bands that perpetuate the connection of the term ‘Indie’ to their music. They are generic, because instead of thinking ‘independently’ as the forefathers of Indie music supposedly projected, the contemporary Indie bands follow a norm from within the genre and this is to 1. sound exactly the same, 2. dress the same, 3. write the same way and 4. act the same way. And this persona they propagate through the media deeply sickens me. Yes one would counter this argument and say that all bands within a genre have a certain sound and style. However unlike other confined genres ‘Indie’ bands look revoltingly polished, uncreative manikins, having an almost commodity like exterior. They seem to contradict the origins and meaning of the genre that they allegedly initially projected. Joining an Indie band is now about being part of the ‘major’ and ‘commercial’, which the Indie scene originally apparently went against. These Indie bands are, in essence, stigmatising their own genre’s founding origins. Indie music is not challenging the major record companies now; in fact Indie bands are a part of the major record companies. The major record companies realise that Indie music is a fashionable thing, thus this initial, almost bland revolt from a music genre, originally against the major music industry in the first place, is in fact now part of the system it aspired to be against.

As I first stated in this article, I know very little about Indie music, but what I have heard and witnessed of it as a genre of music, seems totally hypocritical and contradictory, bland regurgitory, ambiguous and merely just part of popular manufactured culture. I like to call it ‘Mc music’, enjoyed by masses of naïve consumers. What furthermore sickens me is that the individuals within these ‘Indie’ bands call themselves ‘artists’. Let me reassure you, you are not ‘artists’; you are merely another generic popular commodity peddling the same shit. I would define an artist as an individual or group of individuals who attempt to create a piece of work which challenges the norm and progresses with each piece of work, Indie bands on the other hand regress not progress, they are trapped in a never ending, repertoire of uninspiring work/s. Inevitably, music is an industry; the people working in the industry sell the most commercial, easily digestible music and the masses consume it, a natural, acceptable phenomenon in free market capitalist society. I suppose I am attacking the music industry, but I shall spare the reader of an in-depth analysis of the music industry, as I think this article should pay more attention on sending home the message that one must challenge contemporary music that is presented to them by the media and to also think what the genre’s real, underlying motives are- these people are not artists, they are the opposite, they are simply trying to present a generic image, perpetuating sameness in sound and looks- there is no substance, just image. I guess this article is also not just applicable to Indie music. If I didn’t choose to write about Indie music I would have latched onto another disgrace of a genre such as R’N’B. So this article is also a homage to all the so called ‘artists’ who confine themselves to a same look, same rigid musical format and, most importantly, lack of curiosity and experimentation, which can be the birth of new exciting modes of music and ‘art’.

Steven Wilson ;‘Curiosity is one of human beings most underrated attributes’. What I am trying to inform the reader is that I hate to see the media telling the masses what they should look like, what they should listen to and sound like. If people challenged contemporary modern music culture and were a bit more curious, then maybe the world would be a more interesting place.


  • j-pk

    Here here! I try to be open minded but being brutally honest there is a fuckload of boring crap out there that gets passed as music...each to their own though I guess :/

    6 Jul 2010, 11:01
  • HOD2010

    No your English is perfect. I think my tone in this journal is a bit angry. I wrote it two years ago, and there are loads of grammatical mistakes. But i still believe in what i wrote. I agree with you; music is an art form that requires investigation and exploration. The saddest thing is when people only listen to one genre of music. This is, sort of, the message I wanted to portray in this article, that people should explore other genres of music rather than succumb to the mainstream music media. However with things like the internet, the mainstream music media is therefore dying and losing its power. Avant garde /progressive music is becoming more accepted in recent years, but it is still sad that all this ‘x factor’ music culture still regains a lot of undeserving artistic value and credit. Thanks for reading anyway.

    18 Feb 2012, 12:27
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