by carl wilson

Indie-Rock Wars (Except that Wars, I'm Told, End)

Sasha's slow pole-dance teasing with an imminent definitive attack on indie-rock is making me both queasy and thirsty. In part because I was allowing myself a midsummer blog slowdown while I do stuff like listen to records, go to shows (like the crazed midnight High Park pond-wharf Ninja High School cluster-scream-macarena orgy on Saturday) and figure out what part of "podcasting" I might give a shit about, but in part because I am wondering what good can come from this. (Apologies in advance to those of you who hate interblog debate; the rest of you come on into the pool, the water is only mildly infested with amoebic bacteriophages.)

Franklin's pre-emptive strikes, besides seeming like evidence that he is unfortunately bored on his France-England trip, are good and very much in the spirit of last week's Intonation-review-brouhaha in Zoilusland. I wish Sasha would clarify what his point was with the opening marshalling of sales statistics, because if Pavement (whose sales were better than I realized) doesn't qualify as 1990s indie rock, then I think the category kinda collapses. Surely they're the exemplar. It's like discussing R&B; while ruling out Beyonce and Usher as "not what I mean by R&B;," isn't it? Using indie's name literally as referring to autonomous-labels has never worked aesthetically because of course people traipse back & forth over that border all the time. (And besides, is Sasha really about to go after Fugazi, or what?) Sasha acknowledges that the confusion between aesthetic, economic and social definitions of the genre exists - I'd actually say it's severe enough that the whole notion of an indie genre is questionable and that attacking "indie" therefore almost automatically finds you setting up housekeeping in a Potemkin village. Especially in the 1990s - "indie" right now (in the O.C. sense) has a bit more to answer for. (As I said here at the top of the year, albeit perhaps a bit more blithely than I ought to have done.) And then there's the stuff that Franklin's saying and that we have previously said that not being populist does not in fact make you automatically elitist or indictable, even if a disproportion of indie-istas have in fact been trust-fund-elitist-idiots. Basically I want to know what generalization SFJ can throw out that is not equally or more-so directable at, say, contemporary poetry. But because Sasha's still inching down his G-string we cannot yet say what's in the package.

The Writ | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, July 26 at 1:50 PM | Linking Posts

 

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Zoilus by Carl Wilson