Thursday, February 04, 2010

Indie Music, RIP

A provocative question, posed (and tentatively answered) by Rachael Maddux of Paste: Is Indie Dead?

My take? There's no such thing as "indie" music; there never was. The closest you'll get to independent music is me, strumming my guitar in the bedroom with the door closed. Performers, whether they're stand-up comedians, musicians, fiction writers, etc., depend on their audience. When an artist messes with that relationship, they becomes "independent" -- and obscure, if not irrelevant.


yahmdallah said...

Well, my definition of Indie music is an artist who truly breaks through on their own without the initial help of a label. So, by that definition British Pop Tart Lily Allen would be indie, because she broke herself through her facebook page.

That said, I more or less agree with you, that the definition most think of as indie doesn't exist.

Whisky Prajer said...

Hm. "Indie breakthrough" works for me, although there are many listeners who would howl with protest. Maddux has a lot of fun anticipating howls of protest, actually. I went ahead and bought the magazine off the rack and have given her essay a slightly closer look. Worth the read, I think, even if it's a bit long for the subject matter.

paul bowman said...

Caught this while in the car a little while ago, and recalled (vaguely) this post.

(Never could get through that Paste article, by the way, though I went at it a few times. I've never been that audience, that culture, in spite of appeal for me of a lot of the music & its associations. Odd man out, here as much as anywhere.)