First of all, indie nowadays isn’t all about being independent. Of course, it used to be, but that was before it started becoming more, and more popular. Now you can easily see major artists on big record deals like the Arctic monkeys. So being indie isn’t all about shying away from the mainstream anymore. Obviously the people who are into it are proud to be able to distance themselves from artists like Kesha and the general top 40 because, instead of being music, in essence, it has been commercialised, and is fabricated pop which is solely for the purpose to make money. Being exactly what the X Factor is about; telling people what they should like, thus being the perfect business plan. The music produced is produced for the lowest common denominator. For more the most money to be made the music has to be targetted at the most amount of people which doesn’t allow music to have profound effects on a smaller scale of people.
Secondly, the “cooler than thou” image you can somtimes see is just people’s perceptions of their own taste. If being elitist means that you value your own opinion enough to fight for it then surely you have that right. Admittedly it’s wrong to fob off any other music just because it isn’t indie, but if you choose to listen to mainly indie then that’s anybody’s choice.
Thirdly, going against the mainstream, going against X factor creates a greater variety. How do you think the music coming out of the UK would be like if it wasn’t for this rebellion? You wouldn’t in a million years see Enter Shikari come out of the X Factor. So if it wasn’t for the “anti-mainstream” there would be no variety. It would all be manufactured “Cowell” pop.
There are people that pride themselves on collecting “unheard” music, but to me that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about watching a youtube video for the 43,456,213th time, but at the same time it’s not about hearing the band first solely for bragging rights. It’s about finding your own music. If you want to hear more and more music, thus creating a catalogue, then fair enough. It’s always nice to have a greater palette for your own music taste.
And there’s no way to find out the difference between shit and “proper” indie;
it’s just taste.
Although there are phrases like “Landfill indie” why the fuck should it matter? If it’s shit, it’s shit. It won’t get any further. If it’s got quality about it, it will get as far as it should. And thanks to the internet, good bands, and shit bands all have a level playing field. Rather than having to get lucky, and know people, like it was before.
When defining music tastes you can’t see music as either or, this or that
You need to visualize it like one of those cross over charts, Alternative Rock
being the huge bubble that covers a lot of different music. Anyone who claims to like indie music and listens to solely the “indie” bubble, and refusing to listen to all the cross over genres like, folk, pop, metal, grime can’t call themselves music lovers; they are ignorant. But it depends how deep your foundations are, on how far you’re willing to “test the water.”
Being a true elitist is the completely wrong way to go, I mean, imagine being an elitist trying to start a new band. Where’s that going to get you? Apart from the same where you were before.
Its people who go out and make it their own, that really make ground. Those people that create new genres, new sounds. Classic examples like, the Klaxons, the XX, Mumford and Sons, Animal Collective, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cajun Dance Party, The Drums, Fleet Foxes, Foals, Hadouken! and the Temper Trap, to just name a few, are the ones who have made it big as they’ve been brave enough to discover and make new music. Not coming from just indie, but mixing it up with folk and other genres to make their style. Bands, who follow trends set by others, who aren’t different, are the ones who fail. What’re Kaiser Chiefs doing now? They’re not as popular as the Libertines. And Milburn? Just because they sound like the Arctic Monkey’s doesn’t make them as good as the Arctic Monkey’s. And it’s bands like the Arctic Monkey’s which you have to respect. Their first album was a hit, and so was their second. They could have made a third album that appealed to their already strong fan base, but instead they tested new waters and created a new sound. They didn’t sell anywhere near the same amount of albums as the first and second, but they didn’t care. Anyone hoping for a 3rd “Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.” were disappointed, I hope. What’s the point in making similar songs again and again. Music has no scope to progress. And if it wasn’t for these people who discover new music, then where do you honestly see us being now? We would never have had punk, Elvis, anything which makes music today music. So pardon me for wanting to listen to new music, to my own music, and not X Factor’s music. X factor isn’t, and won’t progress.
Another type of person which are just as bad are the hypocrites. They follow what they’re told, by, for example, NME. The people that allow their own opinions to be formed by it. Which is ironic, as they’re doing exactly what they fight against; the X factor.
NME reviewers giving a bad review to bands such as Iron Maiden:
Reviewers will always be biased when reviewing anything, I mean, if I decide to review some screamo/metal I’m gonna give it a worse review than some mediocre indie stuff because i enjoy listening to the mediocre stuff more than the screamo metal. So obviously extreme cross genre reviewing can’t work. In the end there is no point, and thus, reviewers from NME can’t give a valid review on music that Kerrang! review and vice versa. Music tastes are not set in stone. But then, of course, if you refuse to review other music you have no chance of opening your mind, and discovering new genres. So whereas reviewing Genre’s out of your own genre must be done for the progression of music, reviews should always be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s too complicated.
But in the end it boils down to one thing:
Accepting other people’s tastes, and getting on with it.
Because variety and experimentation isn’t always good. You don’t have to accept everything to themselves. The thing is, you can’t alter your opinions because other people like it, as once again, it defeats the point.
But, what you do accept is that other people like it.