Afternoon, y’all! I keep forgetting how self-righteous music critics can be when it comes to the term “indie,” which was coined as shorthand for “independent music,” or music that is made and released independently of the Big 4.
But as with other words—”gay” no longer means thrilled to be alive, and “damn” will no longer send one straight to hell—the meaning of indie has changed to connote, as often as not, an aesthetic.
No one really agrees with me on this, besides Carles, who agrees ironically. But I firmly believe that this word, if it still exists in five years, will no longer mean what the tofu-eating, burlap-wearing, coke-snorting Amero-Zapatistas had in mind when they coined it in 1812 1968 the late 1970s.
Remember when CNN had that special report called “Inside the Indie Scene”? Yeah. That actually happened. In a 2006 article, CNN wrote, “According to critics, indie is now nothing more than a branding tool: a highly commercial and money-driven movement, more concerned with marketing a particular image instead of culture with a truly independent nature and passion for its art.”
When was indie *not* concerned with paying the bills? When has indie never been about selling shit? Did all these people play every show for free? Give out all their merch for free? Give away their music for free? If they did, and if that was how we defined indie—an extreme allergy to sustaining yourself financially—isn’t it a good thing that’s come to connote a profitable aesthetic?
I was hoping that some of the people who responded to the Monitor Mix survey question, “What does ‘indie’ mean to you?” would agree with me on this. Or, at least agree somewhat that cultural evolution is OK.
But no. The dinosaurs all share a hatred for Kidz Theze Dayz and their insistence on using “indie” to describe the way music sounds or the way people dress or anything other than Fighting the Power.
My own survey question would be: Isn’t it a good thing that a bunch of stodgy critterpoos have absolutely no control over how Kidz Theze Dayz uze wordz?