99% of indie pop is good- you just havent heard most of it yet

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
glad to see someone mentioned screenprints.got their comp. perfect city,if it wasnt for the dodgy production,..it would be one of the most perfect albums ever.

strange that spearmint werent mentioned on the 99% of indiepop is crap.they're one of the best indiepop bands ever(i like using that word).

goldrush-same picture was one of the singles of 2001,..shame theyve gone downhil since.

actually i dont agree with my statment "99% of indie pop is good". 99% of any genre of music being good is impossible.But it's utterly wrong saying that only 1% of indiepop is good,you're vastly underestimating indie pop.havent any of you heard of kicker or saloon?or the track and field and fortuna pop labels?

p.s.please dont put me down for say "one of the best..ever" etc..

Myles-IndieKid, Sunday, 5 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Spearmint is one of the worst bands ever. Sweeping the nation is so corny I want to cry. I feel ill just thinking about it.

Marc, Sunday, 5 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

using spearmint as part of your argument is a bit spurrious as they are mostly nonsense, a bit like shack.

keith, Sunday, 5 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

glad to see someone mentioned screenprints

Oddly enough, I just heard something by them for the first time, "Her Name I Don't Remember." Pleasant.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 5 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Screen Prints rox0r. They can be a little patchy, but their sound reminds me of hearing the Clientele for the first time. Like cotton balls straight out of the dryer.

electric sound of jim, Sunday, 5 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

You didn't understand why I said that 99% is crap. It is because I have heard soooo much, and sooo much that is wonderful already! I haven't heard anything really really good for many many months. I was grouchy. I do think that indiepop kids are very uncritical and everybody goes around saying everything is good. I don't want to waste my time or money on anything that's less than good, so I want to know what's GREAT.

Anyway, I also think Spearmint are dodgy at best. Screen Prints approach perfection. I haven't heard the new Saloon and Dressy Bessy yet.

I want to hear a song that's going to stick with me for years. A new classic. Like Edson "Sunday Bloody Sunday" which is only a couple of years old.

Marianna, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The Saloon album is really cute, I like it. Good music for Spring.

Dare, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I can't speak for other indiekids, but I'm incredibly critical. But probably in a different way to you. I'm quite happy to hear the same thing done a hundred times as long as the tune is good and it makes my ears happy..

electric sound of jim, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I can listen to one song a billion times, sure. The symptom of saying everything is good can be seen in most indiepop zines and discussion forums - and mailorder shops.

There are few people who I can trust if they recommend something. Generally, I buy loads of new stuff, listen once, and then file, and it makes me feel like i'm just getting loads of average stuff, when the reality is that i probably haven't listened enough (or bought the wrong thing).

I need someone to play DJ to me and tell me what the "hit" song is on each of these discs. From my experience on this list, there are a couple of people that seem to have the same taste in indiepop stuff as me - and unfortunately, electric sound of jim isn't one of them, i think keith is though.

I need a new band to get excited about. Bear in mind that I heard the Screen Prints and the Clientele way back in 1999. It's time for another one to get excited about.I sometimes dig up old stuff from the 80's that I haven't heard (LTM reissues etc), and I'm going to pick up a few Sarah things. I have heard some positive things about Florian and a few other Swedish bands, but can you trust the recommendations?, and what I've heard of Safe Home, I like OK. But it isn't enough, and I've found myself listening to Indierock and alt-country stuff in the meantime.

Marianna, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Marianna, you should have a chat with that Pete Hahndorf fella. He's ultra-enthusiastic, but hyper-critical at the same time. And very good at sorting the wheat from the chaff, if indie's your bag.

harveyw, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Failing that, find a new genre.

harveyw, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"Sweeping the nation" is absolutely fine, but only in the context of old dance-craze records, i.e. "It's the new sensation / That's sweeping 'cross the nation". If a dance-craze record lacks that line it's not a proper dance-craze record in my book.

Martin Skidmore, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Failing that, buy fewer records & listen to them more often.

harveyw, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Buy no records and listen to nothing!! It's the best of all by far!!

mark s, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

nine months pass...
The recent indiepop love over at Pitchfork (1st a glowing review of the Boyracer album and now the Aisler's Set - what happened to the days when Brent D took every available opportunity to bash Wolfie?) made me want to start a new thread, but then I decided that I'd attempt to revive an old one instead?

Are there any other recent indiepop albums to get excited about? I love both the Aisler's Set and Boyracer records (the Boyracer would have made my year end list if it wasn't for the fact that I was convinced at the time that a record with that many covers on it couldn't be great - I was in denial). That said, I have no clue what else, if anything (as suggested in the 'racer review) is worth seeking out.

Also, since the indiest of indies has said it's OK to like indiepop, I think it's time for everyone to step up and profess their love.

Those who do not respond hate fun.

Miranda, Friday, 21 February 2003 22:34 (seventeen years ago) link

Methinks there are some questions in that post that aren't questions and some statements that are. Oh well.

Miranda, Friday, 21 February 2003 22:36 (seventeen years ago) link

I meant everything I said in that review about indiepop as a concept having gone sort of unfortunately up its own ass, though I know there are others here -- Mr. Grayson Lane, Marianna Maclean -- who are still paying close attention and finding things they like. Boyracer are still banging around a different era and concept of how this stuff works, a model that maybe has more to do with early Wedding Present than the ultra-slick ultra-rudimentary Spanish pop we're getting now. That Moshi Moshi comp had some wonderful things on it but the end message I took was "you no longer need to pay much attention to this stuff."

It's mostly standouts and things around the fringes that get me now, non-indiepop bands in the indiepop world: the Chicago expatriate axis, which I keep trying to track down (Toulouse, I think, are particularly fantastic), some of the indie-synth-pop stuff (My Favorite, Figurine, etc.).

I loved Wolfie like I love my own mother.

nabisco (nabisco), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:40 (seventeen years ago) link

hey, I've ALWAYS been an avowed indiepop fan, regardless of whether it's currently trendy or not. Right, Marianna? ;)

mike a (mike a), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:41 (seventeen years ago) link

Juniper Moon - El Resto De Mi Vida
Sinking Ships - Out of Key Harmony

jel -- (jel), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:41 (seventeen years ago) link

Ha, actually I think Marianna influenced that review quite strongly, having been the first devoted indiepop fan I've encountered who was willing to agree to the obvious: that indiepop kids are tight-knit and self-congratulatory and not very critical. This is a great thing compared to crossed-arm hipster sneering but not always good for the music.

(Re: Pitchfork -- I've been thinking over there that when indie rock enters a strongly "rock" phase, as it is now with post-punk grottiness, indiepop becomes more important. This is one reason I was very happy to big up Boyracer, who in my opinion have just made one of their first full recordings that people outside of the genre can prima facia love. Also the Marine Girls cover is ridiculously good.)

nabisco (nabisco), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:45 (seventeen years ago) link

casiotone for the painfully alone!!!!


(also: rocketship, rocketship, rocketship)

gygax! (gygax!), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:49 (seventeen years ago) link

oh and I like the one Black Tambourine song I downloaded, but they are from ages ago I think.

jel -- (jel), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:51 (seventeen years ago) link

(A Certain Smile... is surely one of the genre's top ten. Is Dustin still doing anything, though? The Garden of Delights thing was a bit of a throw-away, and while I don't really check Indiepop Network News each morning I haven't heard about anything in progress.)

nabisco (nabisco), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:52 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, yeah. All the people I know love indiepop are posting, but I want to see some love from those who haven't yet professed it. And does anybody else think that most bands within "the scene" kind of lost the thread. I lost interest when all of the Belle and Sebastian worship started (much as I love B&S). Seemed like a lot of the heart went out of it because everyone decided they needed to sound fey and pretty, but maybe I'm just not paying attention. I want to start paying attention again.

I'm playing Wolfie now. Makes me want to jump up and down on my bed. (damn you, low celings!)

Finally, I'm going to check out the jel recommendations. The Poison love baffles me and intrigues me and makes me want to hear everything else suggested.

Too many people posted before my finally. The world needs another Rocketship record!

Miranda, Friday, 21 February 2003 22:53 (seventeen years ago) link

Figurine and Freezepop, I like them.

jel -- (jel), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:53 (seventeen years ago) link

Indiepop is either great or awful with me. Love Poundsign, hate Masters of the Hemisphere; Love the Softies, hate Trembling Blue Stars; love Red Sleeping Beauty (favorite indiepop group ever), hate Orange Cake Mix.

Aaron A., Friday, 21 February 2003 22:58 (seventeen years ago) link

and finally, from last year I liked "spring came, rain fell" by Club 8.

ESOJ, have you heard of Sarah Sarah? Are they any good?

jel -- (jel), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:58 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, Miranda, I think some of the organization of the scene creates this big fence between the people on the inside ("kittens!") and the people on the outside ("kittens??"), when there's really no division at all: most people who didn't already have some preconceived idea of what "indiepop" was all about would listen to Boyracer or the Aislers set and just hear particularly hook-oriented rock records. Which side of the fence you get put on seems to have more to do with your approach to the industry and the company you keep than anything about the music itself (cf, umm, indie).

nabisco (nabisco), Friday, 21 February 2003 22:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Possibly obtuse questions: So do you think anyone is going to email Stewart and pick up the Boyracer record based on your review? Does the fact that you pretty much have to email Stewart or go to one of the mailorders that specializes in the stuff to get the record make the scene mostly impenetrable?

Also, I like the idea of "kittens!" but I don't like kittens in reality. Does this have anything to do with my relationship with indiepop?

Miranda (Miranda), Friday, 21 February 2003 23:09 (seventeen years ago) link

The mail-order thing and dearth of store-stocking is definitely an issue for the scene: accessing it requires conversion to this whole new model of relating to the artists. This is part of what I meant in the review about its being a great experiment in "indie" models of artist/listener relationships -- just as young top 40 fans have to discover all these new routes to being involved in indie music, even today's indie fans would need to dig in and shift gears to get to this stuff. (And just like regular old indie when a lot of that stuff had to be mail ordered, the division winds up affecting the content and the nature of the music itself.)

That's not really an answer, I guess. I was trying to write to people who don't care about indiepop, in order to offer them some interesting new things to look into. A lot of people read Pitchfork, so I imagine a few of them will figure out how to order it. Plenty of them will find at least one copy in their local stores; maybe enough others will ask about it to get more store buyers to try and order copies. But yeah, a lot of them will just go through the next few years thinking "Boyracer ... I think I read a positive review once, but I've never seen their records anywhere."

nabisco (nabisco), Friday, 21 February 2003 23:28 (seventeen years ago) link

(This will all change when I start my worldwide chain of electro / twee / OuLiPo literature / sneakers / Ethiopian food outlets and boutiques.)

nabisco (nabisco), Friday, 21 February 2003 23:32 (seventeen years ago) link

555 records are easily obtainable. sure, i can't buy one at a 7-11 or wal-mart, but...

spam to thread!



msp, Saturday, 22 February 2003 00:04 (seventeen years ago) link

555 records are easily obtainable...so buy them all (even that Cex ep).

Miranda (Miranda), Saturday, 22 February 2003 00:11 (seventeen years ago) link

The 555 compilations are superb (excepting maybe that one w/ all the remixes, and even that's pretty damn good), and paints as open-minded a picture of what indiepop is & could be as those oh-so-seminal collections from Sarah Records did back in zee day. I'm supergeeked about the newest comp, because it contains FIFTY FIVE songs (not counting the bonus disc w/ about 20 extra tracks).

David R. (popshots75`), Saturday, 22 February 2003 00:38 (seventeen years ago) link

(nabiso: w/r/t rocketship: they were reuniting every year for the annual popfest festival that happens in SF but i haven't gone in a few years.)

gygax!, Saturday, 22 February 2003 01:57 (seventeen years ago) link

drive-in claims they will be releasing several projects by rocketship this year. there is also a rocketship/trace split cd that omnibus records claims to be releasing soon.

the boyracer album is just wonderful, something about the speed at which stewart strums his guitar is thrilling to no end. and the aislers set album is just incredible, amy linton is the smartest pop chick(oh no i said pop) on the block.

keith (keithmcl), Saturday, 22 February 2003 02:47 (seventeen years ago) link

"I have heard some positive things about Florian and a few other Swedish bands"

Well i like FLorian a lot have done it for a few years now...

Jens (brighter), Saturday, 22 February 2003 10:00 (seventeen years ago) link

(Special note to all those who saw the "comment on this band biography" thread where I said that indiepop is inextricably linked with the word "brighter": show all details on last post!)

nabisco (nabisco), Saturday, 22 February 2003 20:04 (seventeen years ago) link

I am currently satiating my indiepop needs with Birdie and the Go-Betweens new ones (and My Favorite "Burning Hearts")

The number one band in the indiepop list poll this year was the Funday Mornings, so me and a few others i know scrabled around to find their records. As Pete H. says on twee.net it's straightforward Fat Tulips esqe fun pop, and it's OK, but it's not mind boggling good. So I'm still waiting for a best new band to come along. And I've been signing on to the tape-swaps just waiting for them to jump out at me.

marianna, Saturday, 22 February 2003 20:36 (seventeen years ago) link

Also Nitsuh, as your boyracer review was posted to the i-pop list, the ilxor.com board was mentioned, so maybe that'll get some good indiepop love flowing.

Marianna, Saturday, 22 February 2003 20:39 (seventeen years ago) link

erm...no (this to the orig q).

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 22 February 2003 21:28 (seventeen years ago) link

Julio, unless you want throngs of angry indiepopers besmirching your freejazz threads w/ claims of "OH GOD THIS SUCKS FUCKING ASS", I recommend not poking a sleeping bear, no matter how cute & cuddly it seems.

David R. (popshots75`), Saturday, 22 February 2003 21:53 (seventeen years ago) link

jel, how did you hear about Sarah Sarah? um, i haven't heard them yet and i can't say i'm all that keen to..

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Sunday, 23 February 2003 04:00 (seventeen years ago) link

(and My Favorite "Burning Hearts")

*drools* what an amazing song that is

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Sunday, 23 February 2003 04:01 (seventeen years ago) link

julio is right, because no matter what sort of music it is, it is impossible that 99% of it could be good -- it dont matter if its free jazz, indie pop or whatever.

jack cole (jackcole), Sunday, 23 February 2003 04:24 (seventeen years ago) link

I just started listening to Blueboy, and am so very very happy for it.

derrick (derrick), Sunday, 23 February 2003 07:49 (seventeen years ago) link

jim, they were in an online catalog, and I just saw that they were from Melbourne. And they have songs called Dawsons Creek and Together Forever (which I'm supposing is a cover of the Kylie and Jason song).

jel -- (jel), Sunday, 23 February 2003 10:39 (seventeen years ago) link

''Julio, unless you want throngs of angry indiepopers besmirching your freejazz threads w/ claims of "OH GOD THIS SUCKS FUCKING ASS", I recommend not poking a sleeping bear, no matter how cute & cuddly it seems.''

I do not care if braindead indiepop fans do that david (free jazz threads only ever get 5-20 replies anyway). I have heard indiepop and most of it has nothing going for it.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Sunday, 23 February 2003 11:12 (seventeen years ago) link

I do think that indiepop kids are very uncritical and everybody goes around saying everything is good. I don't want to waste my time or money on anything that's less than good, so I want to know what's GREAT.

Doesn't that approach kind of miss the point? I should really stay out of this.


fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Sunday, 23 February 2003 11:19 (seventeen years ago) link

"The number one band in the indiepop list poll this year was the Funday Mornings" >

I arranged their first live show, they are really nice 15 year olds
you can get their 7" from www.benno.com or maybe www.normanrecords.com
or maybe www.roughtrade.com

You´ll like it if you like the likes of Fat tulips, Talulah gosh, Twa toots...

Jens (brighter), Sunday, 23 February 2003 11:47 (seventeen years ago) link

I like Fosca a great deal. Scarlet's Well is coming off pretty well, though I've always viewed Bid as slighly inconsistent.

And Orlando is hot, even though they are only a pretend indie band.

Luke Broster, Thursday, 25 March 2004 06:24 (sixteen years ago) link

new scarlet's well in a month or so. new clientele ep which i haven't got my hands on yet. dickon edward's involvement in scarlet's well worries me... he's ace, but you don't mess with perfection.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Thursday, 25 March 2004 07:45 (sixteen years ago) link

> Architecture in Helsinki

i've heard the lp, courtesy of melbournian friend, and is one of my favourites of last year. and they made it into peel's festive fifty with that song about the owl (or something). remind me a lot of bearsuit and hyper kinako if that helps, like the indiepop version of melt banana - little bitty pop songs.

oh, here we go, festive fifty 2003: (http://infoman16.tripod.com/festive50/festiv03.htm)

5- Bearsuit - Itsuko got married
(A-side of limited edition single)
29- Architecture In Helsinki - The owls go
(from Fingers Crossed)
44- Hyper-Kinako - Tokyo Invention Registration Office
(B-side of Car And Kettle) (Demo)


koogs (koogs), Thursday, 25 March 2004 16:35 (sixteen years ago) link

the owls go is the worst song on that record. "kindling" and "souvenirs" are far better and far less irritating

the surface noise (electricsound), Thursday, 25 March 2004 22:23 (sixteen years ago) link

is the new bearsuit LP out?
also, where do i get a copy of hyper-kinako? i heard an mp3 (some song about a frog princess) and loved it.

phil-two (phil-two), Thursday, 25 March 2004 23:27 (sixteen years ago) link

new scarlet's well in a month or so. new clientele ep which i haven't got my hands on yet. dickon edward's involvement in scarlet's well worries me... he's ace, but you don't mess with perfection.

He was invited to write for the fourth album too, but he neglected to get anything put together. I think the two of them are on a similar wavelength, though, so it shouldn't affect the style much. Besides, it isn't as of non-Bid material has never been featured on a Scarlet's Well album. If Dickon even writes anything, that is.

But at the same time, I can see what you mean. The subject matter is so outlandish that it'd be easy for it to fall into self-parody without some careful rules set into place.

Luke Broster, Friday, 26 March 2004 01:19 (sixteen years ago) link

is the new bearsuit LP out?

Comes out the middle of the next month, but you can get it early from their website now.

Ryan WS (fffv), Friday, 26 March 2004 01:46 (sixteen years ago) link

I guess it's not a good idea to be too superstitious about the creative process. I just like the records so much!

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Friday, 26 March 2004 01:56 (sixteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
That Hyper-Kinako song "Don't Delete my Frog" is out now on Purr and, incredibly, was lat week's single of the week in Kerrang!

Ben Dot (1977), Tuesday, 13 April 2004 21:40 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I heard "Stowaway" by Tullycraft on Play It As It Lays, a radio show on KUCI, yesterday. It was good.

youn, Thursday, 19 May 2005 02:35 (fifteen years ago) link

is it a new song? i always found tullycraft very difficult to bear, almost 100% because of the guy's voice.

shine headlights on me (electricsound), Thursday, 19 May 2005 02:41 (fifteen years ago) link

i finally heard Girlinky and i like them a lot

shine headlights on me (electricsound), Thursday, 19 May 2005 02:44 (fifteen years ago) link

It's a song from their latest album. His singing is prominent on it, so maybe you won't like it. (xpost)

youn, Thursday, 19 May 2005 02:45 (fifteen years ago) link

i probably should have said "often" rather than "always" because there are a small handful of their songs i like.

shine headlights on me (electricsound), Thursday, 19 May 2005 02:47 (fifteen years ago) link

the young tradition album 'northern drive' is elegant and beautiful, like a sunny pop band whose favorite band is blueboy. it doesn't sound like blueboy. i am sure they are blatantly aping some 60s band but it's wonderful all the same.

keith m (keithmcl), Thursday, 19 May 2005 03:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Also great this year: the Voxtrot 7", the Math & Physics Club EP.

mikef-who-mostly-lurks (mfleming), Thursday, 19 May 2005 04:49 (fifteen years ago) link

That Hyper-Kinako song "Don't Delete my Frog" is out now on Purr and, incredibly, was lat week's single of the week in Kerrang!
-- Ben Dot (wearethedot...) (webmail), April 13th, 2004 10:40 PM. (link)

Is that about a certain ringtone on a phone?

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 19 May 2005 07:38 (fifteen years ago) link


I think The Pipettes should do a song called Wing'd Defenestration (Song For Sweety The Chick).

(Do you know, I've never heard the Pipettes, I would have done but I went to see Vichy instead along with a TRAMP and a drunk - oh that drunk was me looking in the mirror, oh well).

Lucretia My Reflection (Lucretia My Reflection), Thursday, 19 May 2005 08:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Indie Kind Myles sent me the funniest hate mail ever after this thread by the way! It was fantastic, thanks Myles!

Lucretia My Reflection (Lucretia My Reflection), Thursday, 19 May 2005 08:18 (fifteen years ago) link

i heard them over the phone the other day. sound quality wasn't great.


shine headlights on me (electricsound), Thursday, 19 May 2005 08:18 (fifteen years ago) link

The Girlinky single seems decent. New band out named Hookers Green No.1's debut album hearkens back to the first Beta Band LP, with mixed results so far (like a dour, British Plus-Tech or Cornelius). The last Thrills single was...actually good. The Japanese band, Neil & Iraiza, are perfect, occasionally experimental, sunny-to-pensive indie pop. Seriously. The song I put on the song request thread by The Boy Least Likely To seems to have gone quick, and I already know I'm not the only person here who likes them. I doubt I'll hear a better indie record all year. You should grab the Bronze Age Fox track I put on the same thread - indie Prince, y'all!

The Irrelevant Man (Negativa) (Barima), Thursday, 19 May 2005 08:28 (fifteen years ago) link

five months pass...
Revived in Honor of Pitchfork's "Twee As Fuck" article.

The complementary ILM thread: "99% of indiepop is crap" is where most of the deep thinking that maybe was where Nitsuh's essay developed from, but its tone is a little cantankerous, so I thought I'd bring this one back first.

Anyway, thank god for filesharing networks or else the recommendation to check out Blueboys 'If Wishes Were Horses" would have driven the ebay prices way out of my budget.

marianna (mariannapm), Tuesday, 25 October 2005 16:30 (fourteen years ago) link


vacuum cleaner (electricsound), Tuesday, 25 October 2005 22:05 (fourteen years ago) link

i can't stop listening to "pop songs your new boyfreind's too stupid to know about"

(that said, im fairly certain im the guy he's singing about. or at least i was two years ago, im better now. hopefully.)

JD from CDepot, Tuesday, 25 October 2005 22:13 (fourteen years ago) link

that was a very good article! just like the author I've also always had this feeling that in general modern day indie fans in the us and the uk never make a real distinction between indie pop and indie rock(whereas atleast in sweden there is a divide between pop kids and rock kids). nabisco explained that very well imo.

btw you should have put a My Favorite song on the mix tape!

Lovelace (Lovelace), Tuesday, 25 October 2005 22:25 (fourteen years ago) link

I just upload this song for a friend who requested it. thought maybe there is someone who might be interested, even though I assume most people have already heard it.


emma's house

Lovelace (Lovelace), Tuesday, 25 October 2005 22:31 (fourteen years ago) link

it's a trend, this article and the one a bit back on the cutie club. nostalgia running rampant. could have gone on about how indiepop luminaries are taking over the world. or could have added some stuff on the importance of mail order places like roundabout and parasol. but i thought it was great.

keyth (keyth), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 01:15 (fourteen years ago) link

the thread title sounds like the opening line from an IQ test gone horribly wrong...

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 14:58 (fourteen years ago) link

the thread title sounds like the opening line from an IQ test question gone horribly wrong...

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 14:58 (fourteen years ago) link

the thread title sounds like some kind of mission statement for the NME "99% of indie pop is good, we just hype the 1% that isn't".

login name (fandango), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 15:02 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah - way to go, nabisco - good article! its gonna get me to check out wolfie and rocketship; a friend recently suggested them, but the landed squarely on my musical backburner.

petesmith (plsmith), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 15:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Any fans of The Feelings from Portland, Oregon? Me, at the very least.

Confounded (Confounded), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 15:59 (fourteen years ago) link


Paranoid Spice (kate), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 16:07 (fourteen years ago) link

just like the author I've also always had this feeling that in general modern day indie fans in the us and the uk never make a real distinction between indie pop and indie rock

And yet I object to using the term "indie pop" to describe what is essentially a quite narrow category of music that might more aptly be called "twee pop." As much as the terms "indie pop" and "indie rock" often overlap, I still have a sense of what "indie pop" means when it's used: in a contemporary context, it's bands like Belle & Sebastian, Stars, Of Montreal, etc. It's not Interpol, Xiu Xiu, or the Hold Steady.

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 16:25 (fourteen years ago) link

But J, "twee" is a very poor substitute, especially when half of the bands involved aren't any more "twee" than the acts in indie's pop mainstream. Rilo Kiley vs Boyracer! The problem is that the things that draw these divisions aren't about sound or even necessarily ideology, but more about placement in music as a business or a community -- the bedroom/7" models of the popscene, the levels of locality and intimacy in the records, the ways they're distributed and talked about. I agree with you about indie pop, definitely, which is why I originally wrote the article using the one-word "indiepop" -- some small typographical distinction between the popscene and the indie mainstream -- but Pitchfork's style guide must have said otherwise.

What we actually mean when we use these terms ... that's something I could have written several other pages on. Hopefully some of my thinking about that made it through onto the page: the way that the indiepop model was just what "indie" meant for much of the 80s; the way bands like the Swirlies or Versus or Unrest could kind of float between those notions in the 90s; the way ideas from indie's pop side, punk-rock side, and ambitious-professional side have split off from one another at various points and then basically rejoined to create the mainstream-indie we still have today.

I don't know whether it's a good or a bad thing for people to make big distinctions about this stuff. I like the fact that loads of people can enjoy something like the All-Girl Summer Fun Band without thinking of it as a genre exercise or part of a specific history. But it also seems like the pop part of indie is getting blurred out of people's official histories and grand narratives, and in the process I think a lot of context is getting lost, context that's useful for getting at a lot of bands and a lot of ideas. More importantly, I really do think there are certain listening mindsets, certain tricks and ways of understanding things, that make indiepop so lovable to its fans, and that a lot of the scene can be accessed as a genre -- i.e., turning on to a way of thinking/hearing that makes big chunks of the stuff make sense.

Pete: sweet, Wolfie and Rocketship albums are two of my favorite recommendations on there. And Wolfie relates strongly to that last sentence: I, and some other people I know, hear total wonderfulness in this band; people who don't go for it seem to just hear a regular, lousy band. This is unusual: they don't think it's super-godawful, or fakey, or too-weird (as people often will with bands you think sound "special"), but rather just cruddy, plain, and irritating, unremarkable. There's some kind of "trick" there, surely, some way-of-hearing thing? (And with that first Wolfie the best I can figure is that people think they're trying to be cute, whereas actually they're kinda trying to be AC/DC -- they're all adorable on their own!)

The Feelings were pretty alright: I was just listening to Dearling Darling the other day!

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 26 October 2005 18:21 (fourteen years ago) link

It's a good article, though a couple of points, if I may, regarding the UK-in-the-80s bit, because that's the bit I know something about.

1. Politics: the UK in the 80s was a political place and indie was particularly so. It was an uncomfortable politics and not an especially active one, but everyone I knew felt they were politically engaged, and if there were right-wingers they certainly kept quiet about it. Certainly some thought of Rock and Thatcher as linked, things to be opposed. 86-87 was also a time of a sense of hopelessness for the left, the miners long defeated and Thatcher's apparently unstoppable charge to the 87 election landslide. The loser pose makes a certain amount of sense in that context. (I think Reynolds has something interesting to say about this stuff in "Against Health And Efficiency" but it's been a long time).

For some of us who took some time away from indie in the 90s, coming back to find that sound (and to some extent, the look) had become the noise of choice for a constituency of intelligent, wealthy American right wing College types was a real shock.

2. Punk Rock. The UK indie scene in the mid-1980s was obsessed with punk. Many people saw themselves as the true standard-bearers of the spirit of Punk, claiming a lineage which went Vic-Dan-Edwyn-and-so-on. You heard tales of Primal Scream in '85 going round after their jangliest shows asking People Who Knew "was that Punk Rock"? It was crucially important and we all made sure we hated hippies, even though we barely saw hippies ever. We'd have to make up hippies to hate (in one of the "Communication Blur"s, The Legend! and Alan McGee famously laid into the El records lot as 'short haired hippies').

Hm I could say more about this but I should leave it for now.

Tim (Tim), Thursday, 27 October 2005 09:03 (fourteen years ago) link

And then there was their patron saint, Steven "All reggae is vile" Patrick "Of course, to get on Top Of The Pops now you have by law to be black" Morrissey.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 27 October 2005 09:06 (fourteen years ago) link

the noise of choice for a constituency of intelligent, wealthy American right wing College types

The "right wing" is a little out of place there; indie is the American noise of choice for a group that trends left, in a kind of rote post-collegiate way. That's true of the Friendster set, anyway; as you move younger into new-convert fans of big mainstreamed indie bands (Strokes, Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand, Death Cab) I think you might find something more politically neutral.

ponypoop (ponypoop), Thursday, 27 October 2005 14:35 (fourteen years ago) link

Marcello, I don't understand the relevence of the Morrisey quote. He may have been a patron saint to armies of folks back then, but not of this particular scene.

The true patron saints were the punk lineage that Tim mentioned, which also stretched way back before Vic, Dan and Edwyn to Jonathan, Lou, Iggy and Rory. The fact that he's moaning about not getting on TOTP is telling, since the very pervasive punk ethic of time meant that most indie bands couldn't have cared less about TOTP or daytime radio.

everything, Thursday, 27 October 2005 18:19 (fourteen years ago) link

I'd say the twee pop fans in the US in the mid-90s were less right wing than they were kind of politically indifferent. Most of the hostility I encountered when nattering on about political stuff in a pop context wasn't disagreement with my positions but "why do you want to talk about that?"

Of course we could have all been escapists escaping from different things... living in Texas, punk politics was an escape for me at the time.

Indie rock is maybe assumed to be left-wing probably because it's strongly associated with being in college? But I knew plenty of folks growing up who loved punk and indie rock because of how it sounded and just totally disregarded (or made fun of) its politics.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Thursday, 27 October 2005 19:00 (fourteen years ago) link

I did get my copy of 'If Wishes We Horses' last week. Filesharing has really dropped the price of these old Sarah records. There was something fun about the striving to find and buy these things at a reasonable price, now it's just too easy.

marianna (mariannapm), Friday, 4 November 2005 14:19 (fourteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

[reads last post and sobs]

Evan, Friday, 22 May 2020 21:56 (one week ago) link


devvvine, Friday, 22 May 2020 21:57 (one week ago) link

Rereading the Twee As Fuck piece from 2005 because I've been geeking on this stuff again (+ the American take on this that sometimes has a little Sonic Youth or Dino Jr mixed in the recipe. Like Versus). Wondering if anyone else that's still here loves it too?

Evan, Saturday, 23 May 2020 18:17 (one week ago) link

I still love Versus - and their many side projects are all great, too.

The "Scared To Get Happy" and C86-C89 comps are full of gems and are a ton of fun in general.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 23 May 2020 19:29 (one week ago) link

Yes! Love that Saturnine tape in particular!

I think my favorite early/legendary comp for this kind of music is the Corrupt Postman tape if you're familiar.

Evan, Saturday, 23 May 2020 20:20 (one week ago) link

Never heard of that tape, downloading it now, thanks for the tip!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 23 May 2020 20:27 (one week ago) link

You're welcome! Enjoy!

Evan, Saturday, 23 May 2020 20:29 (one week ago) link

yeah, the Stars are Insane remains a great album

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Saturday, 23 May 2020 20:46 (one week ago) link

It is! But imo I can't say they have a stand out album... all of their 90s material is top notch.

Evan, Sunday, 24 May 2020 13:22 (one week ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.