The State (and Idea) of Indie Music

October 7, 2011

I want to get one thing straight before I go any further:

“indie” = independent. “Indie” is the umbrella term that encapsulates many bands that people don’t try hard enough to categorize.

That being said, indie music will never die. There has always been at least one guy recording guitar/kazoo duets on his tape recorder in his parents’ basement, and there will always be at least one guy looping his own farts and auto-tuning bad lyrics over it for the denizens of the Internet to hear.

And, as long as Waldo is alive, Hatebeak will continue to exist. That’s how things go.

Not much of it sells, but oh well.


Indie music, on the other hand, will have its time in the sun and will disappear soon. Why? Because the moniker is not specific enough. ‘Indie music’ is like a catch-all put in place by the lazy to identify bands that started out indie and then hit it big.

“What are they?” “Indie.”

Don’t get me wrong. It works. It’s like how, in the 1960’s, ‘pop’ meant just about any kind of music, stuff that would now be considered rock, pop, country, R&B or even Indie.


There is still a weird crossover of indie and Indie. Indies that used to be indie are sometimes discovered, but still do all the music themselves. Bands like The Decemberists, Bright Eyes and The Flaming Lips developed enough of a following to receive backing from record companies. What happened after that?

They all kept writing, playing, recording and doing whatever they wanted with their music. It doesn’t happen much, but sometimes… it does happen.

As with everything else, however… some people go off the deep end.

I’m looking at you, Flaming Lips.

For those of you that know me personally, you probably know that I am a tremendous fan of the Flaming Lips. I’ve seen them in concert, I owned all their albums (but I’ve lost a few now), I have all the DVDs and a couple shirts, and without sounding like too much of a hipster… I own some of their stuff on vinyl.

And while the last couple albums have not appealed to me as much as In A Priest-Driven Ambulance or Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, I’ve still kept tabs to see what is going on.

Well, I’m not sure how to say this, but…

everyone involved with the Flaming Lips has gone batshit insane.

The Lips decided to release one song a month for the year. That’s a good goal of indies to have.

Then, they decided that one of the songs would be available only on a jumpdrive which is embedded in a fetus made of gummy bear stuff.

Soon, they released a song that is 6 hours long.

Next month, a song that is 24 hours long and only available on a hard drive encased in a human skull. 

I can’t say that all indies do such things once they get money, but I can always hope.



This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Leroy, stop doing this to me. You feed me great things, but they always make me want to go way over 500. I feel like I just got started on this one.

Also, thanks for still my idea, jerk. Because you are such a jerk, I thought I’d place a link to your blog here.

Also also, give me more challenges. The well is dry. Get a hose.

Truly ghjr.


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