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What's Your Tribe?
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Michael



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 10747

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:22 pm    Post subject: long post! Reply with quote

trustedfaith wrote:
Samsally wrote:
Gah, that isn't what I'm saying. Of course some people just don't like everything that is mainstream because it is downright -bad- in their opinions. That is perfectly understandable. I'm just talking about people that choose to dislike something because it is too popular.

thewaitersitsondown wrote:
I don't see it as being cool. It's more like brown bread vs white bread. The more mainstream it is, the more processed it gets, and the less there actually is in it of value. Groups like the Arctic Monkeys are like the just plain brown bread. Technically not MAIN mainstream, but I like the stuff with like seeds and stuff in it.


I wouldn't say that -everything- that gets popular is all as bland and uninteresting as you make it out to be... but I very likely have a different set of tastes than you do. I didn't mean to come off as attacking either, it just sparked my memory.


Actually Josh has a point. A lot of mainstream stuff follows a formula. The formula is a process that has worked in the past for other products, services, or people.

When they continuously use the same formula to produce a successful service or product they're selling -- it becomes processed, or overly done. And at that point, those who like variety don't care for it. It's been done time and time again, yet they'll still beat the dead horse some more to try and get a few more dollars out of it.


People also think the same way. People with no musical training (well, except for being alive, human, and very very interested in music) come up with music that works out very well theoretically. People just come up with the same sort of thing.
I'm not completely disagreeing with you here Jen, just adding that it doesn't always happen that consciously. At least, the musicians mightn't always be aware (or agree that) their songs follow a formula'. Record labels though, tend to search for songs that do, and (pop) producers whole income depends on their own particular formula. Which brings us to

Guccipiggy wrote:
But, the term Indie has evolved and is really a music genre now. If you see all those bands and listen to them, you'll find something in common. What it is, I can't exactly put my finger on it. But there's something in common with all of them.

'Indie labels' (yes yes I know) often specifically select (or just end up with) bands that are notably different. So if there's anything similar in all (most) Indie music it's probably that it's "different". Other than that I don't think there's any sensible criterion other than Andrews Indie is music by a "band [that] is not [signed by] one of the "major" record labels".

Somehow this doesn't feel right either.
On the one hand just 'cause a few new kids are calling themselves 'indie' doesn't change the meaning of the word indie. (a lot of indie kids doing this for years yes, but already?)
On the other hand, Andrews strict definition would mean mainstream artists could suddenly go Indie (like Prince!). And a piece of music could go from Indie to non-Indie without even being re-recorded.
Strict-Indie seems a sensible definition for a band, but for a music style it doesn't make sense. Maybe we can differentiate between Indie-bands: bands that are strict-Indie, and Indie music: the music mostly made by Indie bands. Maybe later we'd have to append this to 'the music mostly made by Indie bands of the nineties'.

Or something
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Marik



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 1234

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: VERNACULAR. UNH. SAY IT WITH ME Reply with quote

Quote:
Hmm, why don't we just say the term has two or more uses: as a descriptive term, and a cultural one.


Because we're watching the vernacular (YES, I GOT LAID) get hijacked by applied usage, which changes the applied and accepted definition of the term.

Already, the default for the 'descriptive' term is "indie label music" hereabouts.

Let's all go to wikipedia, which doubtlessly contains much churl on the morphosyn .. lexic .. morphaw .. syntap .. synapt .. um, changes in definition and usage.

Yup. BEHOLD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indie_%28music%29
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kame



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 2565
Location: Alba Nuadh

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks marik, you just saved us all 5 or 6 pages of bandying about the issue. Very Happy
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Guccipiggy



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 2003

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"What kind of music do you like?"

"Indie"

And they understand what I mean. And also go "oooh do you like [insert indie band I like] here".
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andrew



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 4495
Location: the raging sea

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marik wrote:
Some bands have gone to major labels and are still considered indie. Indie is a scene, indie is a social group, indie is an obscure form of rock which you only learn about from someone slightly more hip than yourself.

It's safe to say that the word is morphing beyond its original and strict translation.


Not true - despite popular belief, indie is not a scene. Where emo has a distinct sound, clothing style and headliner bands, indie has none of these things.

The Wikipedia article linked backs me up completely: the primary definition is "not major-label," and all of the non-related definitions following are considered popular but inaccurate.

The article has this to say:

Quote:
The word "indie" is often used to refer specifically to various genres or sounds in a realm of music that runs parallel to more commercial music...More recently, the word "indie" is sometimes used as a synonym for all "underground" music, similar in the way alternative was used previously before it actually became just a specific genre of corporate, mainstream music in the 90's. Such usages of "indie" may be considered inaccurate for various reasons: for one, stylistic qualities are often not accurately correlated to commercial independence or adherence to indie principles (this is particularly true when a sound becomes popular, its leading exponents are signed by major labels and more success-oriented bands and production teams attempt to imitate the style; this ultimately culminates in commercially driven artists sporting the same stylistic traits the "indie" artists of a year ago had). Secondly, however pervasive any style of music may become at a particular time, it by definition cannot embody all of indie music, as, by indie's nature, there will be indie artists, labels and entire local scenes operating outside of this style and its definitions.


Indie is not, and never will be, a genre of music.
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Halen



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But Andrew, don't you see? I like indie music. So does Guccipiggy.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halen wrote:
But Andrew, don't you see? I like indie music. So does Guccipiggy.


I'm pointing out that your use of the word "indie" to describe the music in question is inaccurate, since there is no such genre.

Unless, of course, you mean that you like music released on independent labels - a valid generalized observation, if you notice that many of the groups you enjoy listening to are found on independent labels - and even then, the use of the term is confusing, since that encompasses SO MUCH.

This is further complicated by the fact that neither of you is a U.S. resident.

But when you say "I like indie music," I have no idea what you mean, since the term "indie" applies to so many different, unrelated genres of music that a generalization isn't possible.

My best guess would be that you enjoy indie ROCK, or alt folk rock, or indie folk, since that's what's popularized at the moment. But it's a square-rectangle situation.
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Halen



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm trying to demonstrate to you that pop culture will find music to slot into "indie" no matter how much you try to throw a dictionary at it. Wooly it may be, but it surely is a genre.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halen wrote:
I'm trying to demonstrate to you that pop culture will find music to slot into "indie" no matter how much you try to throw a dictionary at it. Wooly it may be, but it surely is a genre.


Given that a musical genre is unified by either a similarity in sound, geographic origin, production demographic or any other number of factors NOT shared by indie artists...I'm going to continue to insist that your use of "indie" to describe a genre is incorrect. There is no indie genre.

I'm going to repeat my challenge example:

I wrote:
I challenge you to find any similarity between, for example, Brother Ali and Four Tet. Or between Four Tet and the Arctic Monkeys. Or the Arctic Monkeys and Desaparecidos. Or Desaparecidos and Brother Ali.

Then, having possibly located similarities, ensure that the similarity is consistent for all five artists.

This is an open challenge.


All five of the artists listed are indie artists. Three might be loosely categorized as rock, one as rap and one as electronic.

They belong to their own genres. None of those genres is "indie."
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Snorri



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then what use is the word "indie"? Since I'm never going to classify some of the music I listen to as ''indie", even though they're not signed with a major record label.
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timmccloud



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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Location: Marshall, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gotta remember that when I'm in my local music store that when I'm in the "inde" section, that I'm in a place that doesn't exist, displaying a genre that doesn't exist, and I just might use that at the checkout stand as an excuse for not paying for something that doesn't exist.

Bet it won't work though...
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andrew



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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Location: the raging sea

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

timmccloud wrote:
I gotta remember that when I'm in my local music store that when I'm in the "inde" section, that I'm in a place that doesn't exist, displaying a genre that doesn't exist, and I just might use that at the checkout stand as an excuse for not paying for something that doesn't exist.

Bet it won't work though...


Where is the wallbash emoticon?

The "indie" section in most music stores is used to categorize artists that are on INDEPENDENT LABELS. It has nothing to do with what genre of music they make.

Edit to add:

After all, if the music store has a section for it, it must be a genre, right? Like the "CD Players and Accessories" genre, and the "headphones" genre, and the "International" genre, and the "DVDs/Movies" genre. Oh, and the "Used" genre, that one's my favorite.


Last edited by andrew on Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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andrew



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
Then what use is the word "indie"? Since I'm never going to classify some of the music I listen to as ''indie", even though they're not signed with a major record label.


Indie is useful as a qualifier/descriptor: e.g. indie rock, indie folk, indie hard house, etc.
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Halen



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, then your nitpick is with the use of the term "genre". Your argument above is really only valid if people only use indie in the way you describe, which they clearly don't. Lots of mainstream bands, no longer signed to independent labels, are still described as "indie" the whole world over. I see your point, because you clearly don't enjoy people describing something as a "genre" when you have a clearly defined idea of what a genre is i.e. something that sounds similar or as a unique identifier.

However, how can you explain that when Gucci says she likes indie music, I know I will like the same sort of music as she does, when much of it won't be on an independent label at all?
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
Snorri wrote:
Then what use is the word "indie"? Since I'm never going to classify some of the music I listen to as ''indie", even though they're not signed with a major record label.


Indie is useful as a qualifier/descriptor: e.g. indie rock, indie folk, indie hard house, etc.

But it adds nothing to it? As the difference between "indie" rock and "normal" rock is the money the record label has. This does not affect the music, since it would be a genre if it did.
So you draw a vague line based on your definition of major?
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