I make no secret of the fact that I love music. I love all kinds of music. (Well, except the kinds that suck.) I’m not the type of guys to run out and buy gold-plated stereo connectors or insist that every album I own be on vinyl because “it sounds better,” but I’m a rabid fan of music nonetheless.
One of the things I brought away from my relationship with Strutter, in addition to all the introspection and such, was an appreciation for Independent music. Prior to knowing her, I had never heard of most of the artists I listen to now. In fact, I had thought anyone who listened to such music would be one of those unwashed hipsters that sit around at coffee houses and smoke clove cigarettes while talking in mellow voices. I’m not one of those.
Anyway, the reason for this post is twofold. First, it’s because of dooce’s latest song in a series of song songs she’s been posting. I’ve been listening The National a lot lately, and that song is one of my favorites. The second part is that I was sitting in Hardee’s for lunch today, and their in-store music track played Vampire Weekend and The New Pornographers, two other bands that feature regularly in my playlists.
Is Indie music becoming mainstream? Am I going to start hearing The Decemberists, and all of their wonderful songs about death, on the radio? In all fairness, their last album is a lot less morbid and a lot more upbeat. While I love the new album, I still enjoy their old sound. But perhaps their new album is a sign of things to come? Perhaps they will succumb to the call of indie bands that have made it into mainstream. My real question about this, though, is should I be concerned?
For the most part, I hate mainstream pop. And this isn’t some elitest attitude I’m adopting because I’m too hip for mainstream. It’s because all mainstream pop music sounds the same. As much as I want to blame the auto-tuner and all of the talentless vocalists that it’s spawning, it’s been happening long before Cher introduced us to electronic pitch correction. It’s like the music industry picks up semi-talented bands by the handful and throws the same playlists at them until one of them produces a hit single, and then they milk it for all they can while grabbing up more semi-talented bands.
If indie bands fall into the hands of these commercial conglomerates, I think that they are destined to fail. They may stay in the charts for years, but I can not believe that mainstream music is going to let, for example, The Decemberists keep the accordion in their music.
So stay true to your independence, indie bands. Don’t do it for me. Don’t do it for the hipsters, either, who will all call you a sellout. Do it because music deserves to be from your souls.
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