Indie Rock: Too Much Parody?

Indie rocker Bon Iver
Indie rocker Bon Iver

By Brendan Taylor

All music comes from some other form of music, it’s just that simple. Every band has a list of influences, however long or short. But what happens when a genre of music becomes so homogenized that it is difficult to tell one group from the next? I’ve been finding this to be a problem as a fan of “indie rock”, which many naysayers of the genre would say is nothing more than dudes with week-old beards who look like they stole their sister’s jeans crooning over guitar riffs that are as tired as they are used up. I get that people want to be part of a scene, or perhaps music community is a better term. But when I hear that yet another band is from Brooklyn or Silver Lake or wherever, I feel myself immediately starting to think “Here we go again.”  This probably isn’t very fair  just because  you’re from one of those (or any other number of) cities, doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically sound a certain way. But one does notice that when asked about their favorite records, these indie bands all seem to love T. Rex or Slint or some other variation of the same bands we’ve heard a million times over in an interview. Their press photos are always trying a bit too hard to look apathetic, in a “We really do care how we look” sort of way. They seem to care less about playing their instruments and more about making sure their lyrics are confusing in the most annoying way possible. I guess more than anything, I’m just waiting for that next band to come along and shake things up…to totally go a different direction and start something new.

Maybe I’d just settle for being able to tell when my iPod is playing Super Furry Animals vs. Wild Pack of Canaries.

You can catch Brendan Taylor on WCRX FM every Tuesday afternoon from 3pm to 7pm.


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