I’m about to paint myself into a corner but so be it. Hoping to avoid making circle arguments on the definition, wasn’t the first attraction to the strange category of indie its promise of musical scope, of everything that was not caught up by that big machine? Doing some light research on indie blogs, from the popular to the not so, I can’t help getting frustrated by the over-exposure of synthesized, big, atmospheric soundscapes, the heavy reverberation and electro-acoustic blends that increasingly seem like the one way to be “fresh”, “deviant”, “experimental” etc. Saying this, I do love some electronica and have a long-lasting love for electronic music. But to “go electronic” should not be a quick fix in order to “go interesting” (don’t lose faith in your songwriting, colleagues!), should it? Old dog as I am, I can’t help thinking about my all-time favorite, Beefheart’s Trout mask replica. There’s strangeness and originality for you coming from a traditional rock band line-up. Well,, you may say, that’s just preference (and dangerously close to orthodoxy) but what of conformity in that once promising category? If you brand yourself as a writer dealing with indie bands, why not write about synth pop, the popular blends etc. together with the remaining great manifold of styles? After all, it’s the writers (too) that substantiate the genres and categories by their joint activities. Give back to the performers/artists the romantic belief that indie is an extensive category, indicative of beautiful deviance, musical independence and progressive musical attitudes. Blogs like “Indie is not a genre” already stress the point. I may be naive (hello business-people), childish, or maybe I just don’t want to be in the tumbler-drier. Or maybe just both. Indie is not a machine. Or a genre. And that’s my monthly (?) letting off steam. Discouraged I needed to wine a bit. Boohoo and see you next time.
Just had to see this chest-warming documentary again. One could take away the legendary artist-status from Bill Wither’s name and still get a film inspirational and educative, life-preserving inside the down-to-earth realistic approach of the protagonist. Some people seem to act out their art in every gesture effortlessly. “Still Bill” manages to integrate a number of themes; American history, songwriting, life-philosophy, the music business, love and friendship, family relations, all seen from the lens of one Great human being. Perspective, watch it and get a fresh one.