On the plus side, we had the day off today. On the other hand, it was an ugly day outside, so we didn’t venture beyond our doorstep much…just shut it down and conserved our energy for the week ahead. We did manage to put up a few pictures, and we just watched a movie: Hollywoodland (imdb | rotten tomatoes). Meh. Not bad, but I’ll forget it by tomorrow.
I’ll do the Toronto Star one better: it’s time to retire the national embarrassment that is Don Cherry. He is far from an impartial analyst (he openly cheers for the Leafs, “good Canadian boys” and anyone who doesn’t wear a visor), and his opinion is stuck in the goonish 1970s/80s.
“If the instigator rule wasn’t in you could get this guy and wipe him out,” Cherry thundered, apparently not sated by the first-period fisticuffs. “This is what’s bad about hockey when you have a little guy yapping around and you can’t do anything about it.”
Indeed. Retire him, CBC. There’re plenty of cavemen on TV to go around.
Oxford American magazine has a great article about the nature of indie music. It intersperses the history of a 2006 buzz band with a description of the tastemaking machine that turns out these hot new things with dizzying speed. It talks about the fever that infects these tastemakers, where the discovery of something new becomes more important than the music itself:
“But the second time,” he went on, “well, now it sold out early, and it’s at a bigger club. And I’m not that guy anymore. I’m not the guy discovering them. I’m just a guy who is with everybody else who also knows who they are.”
The article mentions how Pitchfork likens a band to, among others, Animal Collective. I thought for a long time that I just didn’t get this band, but I think now I do. I still don’t like them; I think I’m just on to the scam. I ranted on my friend Joe’s blog about them a while ago; rather than repeat myself I’ll just paste here what I wrote there:
Animal Collective is one of those bands that indie hipster nerds (by which I mean those people who want the label more than they want to listen to the music) profess to love because they know the band will never be mainstream and no one will, as a consequence, question their indie cred for having once liked a mainstream band. Nobody actually *likes* their music. It’s like a secret indie handshake. “Hey, you like Animal Collective? Yeah? Cool, we can hang out then.”
It’s like film students who claim to love Un Chien Andalou…no they don’t. But no one else ever will either, so they keep it for themselves so they can have their little club.
Indie became a scene not because it was a genre of music but because it wasn’t popular and mainstream. Now that indie music is just as mass-produced and marketed as any other genre, the indie hipster nerds who crave exclusivity more than they crave good music have made the pursuit of the next great secret thing more important than the discovery of a life-changing album. It’s to be expected; whenever there’s a little money or prestige to be had, there’s little that can stop people from trying to be the king.
[tags]hollywoodland, don cherry, oxford american, indie music, animal collective, indie music[/tags]