It seems that the key to earning a place among the high-society hipsters of my former tiny liberal arts college was to know, or at least pretend to know, every indie artist, song and mixtape that exists today. “Oh God, I can’t stop listening to Local Natives new single. You know the one, it was released yesterday.” No, I don’t know ‘the one,’ but I find myself nodding enthusiastically in agreement, my black coffee fueled nerves desperate to make sure I make myself known as a true hipster (or non-hipster, because labels are so passé) instead of a poser (an actual non-hipster.) Cigarette in hand, I am suddenly struck by a numb hollowness that accompanies a disturbing realization. I herald myself from a society in which I desperately attempt to individualize myself as ‘not a slave to the societal constraints and expectations,’ that ‘everyone else’ adheres to so pitifully. Yet here I am, in this ‘pseudo-indie-world,’ in which in order to be a true individual who scoffs at society, I have to make sure I follow closely the constraints that this new society of ‘individuals’ has built. It’s all rather backwards and confusing, isn’t it?
All through high school I stayed up-to-date on emerging new artists and talented old artists who have been tossed to the wayside. I was The Girl to turn to when it came to updating your music library to satisfy the current ‘cool’ quota. The effort to collect new music was the purest form of curiosity and most genuine source of pleasure for me at the time. My inner curmudgeon had no desire to garner respect and awe from my classmates. I graduated high school without a single person knowing I was a very successful Youtube ‘music poster’ whose videos have hundreds of thousands of views. No, I was, simply put, an Indie Indie music researcher. I was so excited to enter a new world in which I knew ‘my people,’ my fellow indie music appreciators, thrived. I never expected for ‘my people’ to suddenly become the perfect mirror-image of the entitled, selfish, self-important, excluding ‘foes’ from back home. I had spent the last four years avoiding being sucked into their tiny pretentious universe and here I found myself in the process of doing just that in a parallel universe.
The Indie music scene has been corrupted. Fascinating artists are simple toys used by hipster’s for their self-aggrandizing campaigns to make themselves important. After a post or two on their Twitters, Tumblrs (sry), and news-feeds, they are tossed aside like a sticky, saliva-soaked popsicle stick. I find myself scrambling to maintain a hold on the simple and true innocence of the indie music scene. Here I Am, making myself known under a comfortable cloak of anonymity, with a simple desire to appreciate these singer-songwriters, bands, musicians, artists, and performers. These hard working innovators and music warriors are fighting their way through the tangled and overgrown jungle that is the indie music scene. I simply hope to create a stable outpost for these artists to find true and meaningful recognition.
Apologies for the hypocritically pretentious tone of this post- I got carried away.
Photo of Paul Dixon, also known as Fyfe. A link to one of his songs can be found in the previous post.