Smells like indie spirit

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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by Rigsby » Tue Feb 08, 2005 4:20 am

Indie as music for me was all stone roses and happy mondays and all that, or was that baggy? whatever, it's just a title/label, but i respect the idea of indie as in independent: i want to do something and so i'm going to do it, that's cool, me too, good for us. I don't think independance is about being different, it's about doing the thing you want to do and doing it or organising it yourself.
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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by bobbydj » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:28 am

Rigsby wrote:I don't think independance is about being different, it's about doing the thing you want to do and doing it or organising it yourself.
But that IS being different! Instead of thinking you have to tread the path of yore (3 song demo, targetted at Big Label "X," play toilets in the capital, etc. etc.), you think otherwise. Like you said, organising it yourself. Organising a scene, maybe - i.e. not just forming a band and being all red-in-tooth-and-claw "let's be the best-shit-rock-band-in-town" about it. Finding someone that has a room that will do regular live slots, contacting bands from out of town, putting them on, getting local bands to support them, then doing a return gig. All that good shit. I know to a lot of us that seems un-different. But you'd be surprised how many people getting into bands for the first time view things in the terms of rock-star cliches - the demo targetted at Seymour Stein or who ever the fuck his equivalents are these days.

But I took your quote literally. I think I should've interpreted it as "I don't think independance is about SOUNDING different." And if this is what you meant, I agree. I agree that "indie" isn't really about a particular sound. Although we all pretty much do, from time to time, use it in that sense too. When we do, we probably mean "under-produced, awkward sounding, where's-the-chorus-gone complaint-rock." Or else bowl-headed cutsie-pie anoraks with a Belle and Sebastian fixation. That kind of thing.
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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by Don Shumai » Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:32 am

Indie has become a marketing term unfortunately. I flew on Northwest recently, and they had a music channel called "independent spirit." Most of the bands weren't actually on independent labels, but they were the ones being pimped as "indie." What was really upsetting to me was that I then went home and picked up the new copy of Magnet, and every band that was on "independent spirit" was reviewed in there, just proving to me that it's all about the publicists these days. Maybe it always was and I just wasn't paying attention.

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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by Rick Hunter » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:17 am

Mr PC wrote:I think that labels like "indie" and "grunge" are useful for a very short period of time. As soon as everyone has digested it and the term has a positive connotation, people start throwing it around and it loses it's meaning. Think about it, "grunge" is a nice word to sum up what was coming out of Seattle in the late 80's/early 90's.
I still tell people I am in a grunge band. They look at me funny and ask me who we sound like.

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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by joelpatterson » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:23 am

soundguy wrote:whats wierd is that somebody made a show about orange county, thats wierd.

I saw anthrax last year somewhere in orange county. wierd.

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Tell me about weird... I grew up in Orange County. That was when there were still orange groves. And I watched as the orange groves were gradually slaughtered to make room for housing developments. At the time, my friends and I had no idea we were at the nexus of anything, it was embarassing to have to say "Orange County," if only we coulda been from Newport Beach! Laguna! Anywhere!
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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by T-rex » Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:21 am

I hope this doens't stray off topic too much. . .I love the independent spirit and here are a few things that I think really take away from it:

I am so sick of the whole scene thing in general. Here the scene is so pitiful, it's really not about great bands it's about people in bands who know the most people. I see horrible bands with great draws and it always amazes me. Then I will see these amazing bands that are a bunch of outsider kids and they barely get a draw or when they play with a band with a good draw, the majority of kids could care less.

Secondly, the local "cool" record shop used to be my dive. I used to love it and it had this great aura about it, but now that I am older and I can't even go in there. Everyone has the same piercings, the same tat's, the same neatly messed up haircuts, it's just depressing. I was in there buying some "antisocially acceptable indie rock" and while I was there I was going to pick up the new Kelly Clark (or whoever the first idol chick is) CD for my niece. Now I knew this would happen but the "punk" behind the counter looked at me like I was an alien. You know what, if you are that much of an elitist you need to work in a record store that doesn't sell Kelly Clark. You should start your own store and only sell Dischord stuff, for no margin, just out of the kindness of your heart.


Finally, I agree with theistheman, there's only music you like and music you don't. I may love some sugar pop song on the raido or I may love some obscure noise band that I saw once in Lexington. That's me. But if your record sits in the indie bin at every record store on the planet, than people are going to consider you an indie band. It's a label, it's marketing but that's the reality of playing in a band. I love and appreciate good artistry, but if you make an album that you are not going to give away free, then you are gong to have to live with the music business. Just because Van Gogh's Sunflowers painting is on every post card and cheesy calender on the planet doesn't make it any less of a painting. . .
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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by kayagum » Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:24 am

T-rex wrote:I hope this doens't stray off topic too much. . .I love the independent spirit and here are a few things that I think really take away from it:

I am so sick of the whole scene thing in general. Here the scene is so pitiful, it's really not about great bands it's about people in bands who know the most people. I see horrible bands with great draws and it always amazes me. Then I will see these amazing bands that are a bunch of outsider kids and they barely get a draw or when they play with a band with a good draw, the majority of kids could care less.

Secondly, the local "cool" record shop used to be my dive. I used to love it and it had this great aura about it, but now that I am older and I can't even go in there. Everyone has the same piercings, the same tat's, the same neatly messed up haircuts, it's just depressing. I was in there buying some "antisocially acceptable indie rock" and while I was there I was going to pick up the new Kelly Clark (or whoever the first idol chick is) CD for my niece. Now I knew this would happen but the "punk" behind the counter looked at me like I was an alien. You know what, if you are that much of an elitist you need to work in a record store that doesn't sell Kelly Clark. You should start your own store and only sell Dischord stuff, for no margin, just out of the kindness of your heart.


Finally, I agree with theistheman, there's only music you like and music you don't. I may love some sugar pop song on the raido or I may love some obscure noise band that I saw once in Lexington. That's me. But if your record sits in the indie bin at every record store on the planet, than people are going to consider you an indie band. It's a label, it's marketing but that's the reality of playing in a band. I love and appreciate good artistry, but if you make an album that you are not going to give away free, then you are gong to have to live with the music business. Just because Van Gogh's Sunflowers painting is on every post card and cheesy calender on the planet doesn't make it any less of a painting. . .
Don't give up hope. Any scene that can spawn the likes of Squirrel Bait and Antietam can rise from the ashes again. This is a national problem. It's almost like it's 1973 all over again, and we're just waiting for the next Patty Smith.

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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by toog » Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:39 am

What is the average age on the Tapeop board? I'm beginning to think it's much older than I orginially would of guessed...

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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by chris harris » Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:43 am

even more annoying than endless subgenres is the band/artist who says "my music defies categorization" and then when you hear it, it totally doesn't.

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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by moschops » Tue Feb 08, 2005 8:47 am

subatomic pieces wrote:even more annoying than endless subgenres is the band/artist who says "my music defies categorization" and then when you hear it, it totally doesn't.
http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=2618

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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by Rigsby » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:34 am

GingerBaker wrote:
subatomic pieces wrote:even more annoying than endless subgenres is the band/artist who says "my music defies categorization" and then when you hear it, it totally doesn't.
http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=2618
That was fun reading, thanks for posting that.
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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by jv » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:39 am

subatomic pieces wrote:even more annoying than endless subgenres is the band/artist who says "my music defies categorization" and then when you hear it, it totally doesn't.
There was an epidemic of this during the grunge boom in Seattle. In interviews, bands would always say, "we're not grunge, we're doing something different". Then you'd hear them, and they were totally trying to sound like Mudhoney, Nirvana or Soundgarden. I don't remember any band ever actually calling themselves grunge here.

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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by Rick Hunter » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:41 am

toog wrote:What is the average age on the Tapeop board? I'm beginning to think it's much older than I orginially would of guessed...
I am 25. I think trashy is 50, Soundguy is like 500, and Joel is 229.

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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by Everybody's X » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:46 am

I always just say we're a rock band. Sure you may be able to categorize it in 2 seconds with the word "suck" or "butt" or whatever, but that's your problem not mine.
I write songs I like and that's the end of it. If you like it to that's great.

We sold 5000 copies of our CD's that we record ourselves and sold out the 1500 seater in our town and did it with no label support and very little radio.
That makes us "indie" right?
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Re: Smells like indie spirit

Post by JGriffin » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:51 am

Rick Hunter wrote:
toog wrote:What is the average age on the Tapeop board? I'm beginning to think it's much older than I orginially would of guessed...
I am 25. I think trashy is 50, Soundguy is like 500, and Joel is 229.
i'm 36.
soundguy wrote:In the early 90's when I was primarily playing in a band, and all my friends were in bands and all my friends friends were in bands, the catch word was "alternative" which later transformed into the catch phrase "grunge". At no point did myself, my friends or my friends friends ever refer to our projects as "alternative" or "grunge". I saw people get into fist fights over labeling back then.

Today it seems to me, living in NYC, the place where the indie scene went to die, there is this unabating current of bands, friends bands and friends of friends bands that are absolutely vying for the "indie" label and celebrating it like a science fair prize when they get it. I dont know if Im totally exposed to %100 morons or something but I cant even tell you guys how many times Ive heard guys in bars saying "yeah, Im in this indie band". Maybe my memory totally sucks, but I never went around saying "Im in this grunge band".

totally totally totally different tide. Alternative and Grunge were really nasty meaningless labels back then. I see the word indie as just another useless label created by the music press which has ZERO meaning to me (unlike say METAL which kinda brings an image to my mind) but yet, the people involved with it are attracted to that word like a bug to a bug zapper. Oddly enough, all the "indie rock" I hear all sounds the same to me and has about the same emotive level and attention to detail (and NOT in a punk rock way) so maybe it all makes sense. Celebrate the label, wierd.

maybe Im totally off base, Im sure someone will let me know.
actually, I think you're pretty right on. I had a similar experience, but you and I are older...it's the younger folk, it seems, that are clinging to the "indie" title and aesthetic as if it's anything other than yet another marketing term, or in some way different philosophically than any rock music movement of the last four decades. Nothing wrong with that; I think I thought that way when I was 22. Now I'm old and cynical.
Last edited by JGriffin on Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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