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Monday Mix

Monday Mix: Promises of Fame, Promises of Fortune

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Promises of Fame, Promises of Fortune

In my opinion, the landscape of the independent music scene in recent years has been largely shaped by the events and circumstances described by Ohmpark:

For someone who is, say, twenty years old right now and living in the United States, the backdrop to growing up has been 911, eight years of Bush disasters and wars capped off by a few years of a horrible economy and government dysfunction. Politics and the news have been beseiged by an intangible turmoil for a decade now, and it’s hard to ignore how this has affected the psyche of people growing up in this environment, even if those people are apathetic to these phenomenons. And really, If anything, these events have helped bolster the apathy of the youth for the world around them; this generation has a strong desire (which some may describe as a sense of entitlement) to skip all the bullshit and just be happy.
And this isn’t just about politics. As technology continues moving ahead at an unyielding pace, not everyone adapts to the change and embraces it. Globalization and the ever increasing complexity of the world around us can create a yearning to return to a simpler time. There is an anxiety about the current state of things, and this can help establish a feeling of nostalgia for the past, when times were perceived to be better.
And that yearning for the past and simplicity has pervaded the fashions of music. Everything popular now is lo-fi or rips offs of styles decades old. Many people want to write off the 2 year running chillwave fad as just a blip, but its really a telltale sign of what’s happening across all of music, the convergence of all of these trends. It’s the ultimate escapism into simplicity and nostalgia, and that is what 2010 in music has been all about.

If 2009 was the Year of Chillwave and 2010 was the Year of Escapism, 2011 has proven to be the Year of Blog Rock. Once only common to the major media outlets, independent bloggers now seem to have opted to report quick tidbits instead of actual stories. With more and more sites just regurgitating PR announcements, The Economist reporting that the advent of social media has created a “new, improved hit machine”, and the likes of Pitchfork falling prey to marketing ploys such as Lana Del Ray, music blogs appear to have become over-saturated with mediocre material.

As a result, major media sources have claimed that 2011 simply wasn’t a very good year for music. However I, like blogger Andrew Dubber, believe it also wasn’t a very good year for music journalism. Which problem came first? It doesn’t really matter. The politically, socially, and economically volatile times in which we live will no doubt produce poignant music worthy of coverage, and it’s up to music journalists to find it.

So with 2012 now underway, I hope to update Indeed Indie with the following in mind: If it’s not interesting, I won’t cover it; If there’s nothing interesting, I’ll find something that is. In 2011, I did the former and wrote quite scarcely; This year, I plan to do the latter as well. To start things off, in lieu of a Top Ten Records of 2011 list, here is a mix I compiled to describe the many trials and tribulations that come with being an independent musician. Remember: Blog Rock is over if you want it.

Download the mix as one mp3 above, or as separate songs below:

1. The Radio Dept. – “Heaven’s On Fire”
2. Black Mountain – “No Hits”
3. These United States – “The Business”
4. Pavement – “Cut Your Hair”
5. Okkervil River – “Pop Lie”
6. The Smiths – “Frankly, Mr. Shankly”
7. Detachment Kit – “Hell Machine”
8. Port O’Brien – “Pigeonhold”
9. Archers of Loaf – “Plumb Line”
10. The Sandwitches – “Mr. Promotion”
11. Belle and Sebastian – “Seymour Stein”
12. The Mountain Goats – “Anti-Music Song”
13. Destroyer – “The Bad Arts” (Excerpt)

Promises of Fame, Promises of Fortune: An Indeed Indie Mix.


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