Cultural Imperialist

"Scathing Spats on Shallow Subjects"


Mon Aug 21




Bands Across America

Indie BandSometime in the early years of the new millennium--I suspect it was after the terrorists nearly destroyed America--an ejaculation of independent music impregnated the ears of young people with emo angst, earnest sentimentality and hipster nostalgia, and eventually birthed the wounded, sensitive psyche of the 18-35 demographic.

The tragic result: a country of mournfully ignorant culture hounds, faux-intellectuals who consider themselves aware because they listen to Arcade Fire, follow the Silversun Pickups, and march to the tune of any Radiohead song.

What passes for depth in the music of these musical druids is the equivalent of glacial melting, with watered-down allusions, overused 4/4 beats, and tunes that only add to the ocean of mediocrity surrounding our mundane techno/cultural landscape. Indeed, the indie musical revolution resembles the explosion of easy-access pornography, coinciding with burgeoning broadband usage in the late 90's, giving bands a more visible platform from which to perform, providing them with more ways to "get their music out."

Just as the porn industry invented and utilized new technology platforms to showcase human perversion and degradation, indie music effectively wrangled technology as grassroots broadcasting. What was once safely ensconced in some poor father's garage and the occasional open mic salon was now given more wide coverage. MySpace and Facebook offered musicians a public space and the means to distribute crap dressed up in espresso coffee sleeves and ironic facial hair with minimal expense.

What makes all this indie music bad? At its core, the bands producing this insipid stuff suffer from authenticity crises. Dandies pimp out their world-conscious lyrics, supported by an eclectic mix of unusual instruments, the use of which is meant to convey authenticity and originality. But guitar-based pop about girls and how they ruin or improve life isn't exactly new.

These bands and their empty music are, like porn, the stinking effluence of a culture that has lost substance or meaning. To paraphrase Bart Simpson, we need another ZOO8 to thin out their ranks.

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