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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone else feel as if the "golden days" of indie rock are almost up? I'm not saying that there will be no more good indie rock records or that the genre can't still evolve and continue, but do you feel as if we've already gotten our great years of brilliant releases?

Personally (many will disagree), obviously we had the 1990s where indie rock basically was born into what we consider it now. At the time, it was extremely underground, and without the Internet, word of great bands didn't spread nearly as quickly. However, around 2000, things changed. And during the 2000s, it started to seem like major publications and rock audiences deemed indie rock as THE genre for popular music enthusiasts. That's evident by looking at nearly any "best albums" lists of the 2000s: they feature the White Stripes, Wilco, TV on the Radio, Deerhunter, Sigur Ros, LCD Soundsystem etc. etc. Now, this may feel premature, but doesn't it feel as if the genre is slowly drifting? Not only have their been less and less "classic" or "brilliant' indie rock records released each year, but the shift of indie aesthetics into pop radio (see Foster the People, Fun, Phoenix) is almost always a tell-tale first sign of a genre starting to lose its momentum (see Grunge).

Now, obviously indie rock is a little different than grunge since "indie rock" is such an umbrella term used now-a-days. Unlike Grunge which describes a typical type of sound, Vampire Weekend sounds nothing like LCD Soundsystem, and Girls sounds nothing like Fleet Foxes, etc... So basically, indie rock has become the new definition for "alternative rock" once alternative rock became the new norm on mainstream radio. So, the question is this - if indie rock slowly becomes the norm for the mainstream listeners, what happens to indie rock? And most importantly, is this quickly happening?

Final note: I'm not saying that indie music going mainstream is necessarily a bad thing. There are bands that I really enjoy that have had "hits" (Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse,) that still are great. Popularity doesn't mean it sucks... I'm just curious as to what your thoughts are for a genre that is now in its third decade.
 

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A music genre never really 'ends'. It loses popularity, but who cares? If you like it, you like it, who gives two fucks if your favourite artist isn't dominating the charts?
 

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If it is coming to an end, that'd be fine by me considering there is so much I still haven't heard. I think we have some hope, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pez said:
A music genre never really 'ends'. It loses popularity, but who cares? If you like it, you like it, who gives two fucks if your favourite artist isn't dominating the charts?
You're right that a genre never ends. But I'm not arguing that it will "end". I'm just asking if you guys believe that we've already hit our peaks years? I personally love "indie rock" and a lot of my favorite records ever are from the genre. It will always be a genre that I really care about.

It's not about popularity, I totally agree with you. I'm just offering up a possibility that indie rock may be on its way out of consciousness and acclaim eventually. Sure, there are still "grunge" records and "garage rock" records, but those genres are relatively dead now. Even "punk" is hardly as active critically as it used to be. I was just offering up something that had been on my mind, since Indie music seems on the rise on American pop charts, but critically it seems like it's slowly on its way out.
 

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1st of all, great read man.  :golfclap:

And now regarding your opinion towards indies decline. I guess you could say that certain aspects of indie music is on the decline (f.e. dance-punk or idm) but indie is such a wide array of sub genres it will not die yet, it is changing but it`s not on it`s steady decline to extinction. But I can see where you`re coming from, music is changing again (it`s a steadily evolving market) and I for one am interested in the rise of popularity of certain indie music sub-genres.
 
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the early 00s was its peak, most acclaimed bands of the 90s dropped the greatest surprises of the 00s, quite spectacular.
 

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Pyramid said:
the early 00s was its peak
Sigur Ros, The Unicorns, Modest Mouse, Wilco, Ryan Adams,  Interpol, Daft Punk, Radiohead....damn that was a good time for indie music
 

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bronsd11 said:
You're right that a genre never ends. But I'm not arguing that it will "end". I'm just asking if you guys believe that we've already hit our peaks years? I personally love "indie rock" and a lot of my favorite records ever are from the genre. It will always be a genre that I really care about.

It's not about popularity, I totally agree with you. I'm just offering up a possibility that indie rock may be on its way out of consciousness and acclaim eventually. Sure, there are still "grunge" records and "garage rock" records, but those genres are relatively dead now. Even "punk" is hardly as active critically as it used to be. I was just offering up something that had been on my mind, since Indie music seems on the rise on American pop charts, but critically it seems like it's slowly on its way out.
Well, look at acts such as Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend...they've only rose to popularity in their recent years. Bon Iver even won two Grammy's for their self-titled sophomore.
 

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this is kind of like one of those things where because something is getting popular you are not liking it as much.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Fudge said:
this is kind of like one of those things where because something is getting popular you are not liking it as much.
I don't really think that's the case. Like I said, I listen to plenty of popular indie acts. In fact, Foster the People's album last year was in my top 50 albums (even top 30 I think). I have no problem with things becoming pop or mainstream. In fact, I'd love for great bands like Vampire Weekend to get on the radio and become as successful as they deserve to be.

I'm just noting the lack of consistently superb indie records as of late, which is what we experienced regularly last decade. That coupled with the fact that indie is finally reaching pop radio (well, indie SOUNDING bands, most of them aren't really indie - FUN), it just feels like the times are changing for indie music. I'm excited to see where the genre is at 5 years from now.

(EDIT: Of course this is all opinion. I know some of you guys probably think the indie releases are still as strong as ever this year.)
 

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bronsd11 said:
I don't really think that's the case. Like I said, I listen to plenty of popular indie acts. In fact, Foster the People's album last year was in my top 50 albums (even top 30 I think). I have no problem with things becoming pop or mainstream. In fact, I'd love for great bands like Vampire Weekend to get on the radio and become as successful as they deserve to be.

I'm just noting the lack of consistently superb indie records as of late, which is what we experienced regularly last decade. That coupled with the fact that indie is finally reaching pop radio (well, indie SOUNDING bands, most of them aren't really indie - FUN), it just feels like the times are changing for indie music. I'm excited to see where the genre is at 5 years from now.
i know that what i was saying is probably not what you are like i was just saying how it came off lol. but either way imo indie rock is as good as it has been and now with social media and the internet it's just spreading to more people. having more people is not going to effect their music at all because most of the bands are signed to indie label's for a reason. so with all the exposure that indie rock is getting, i believe that it may even help the music industry in the bigger scope. although i don't approve of major labels trying to use that indie sound with bands like foster the people and fun.
 

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bronsd11 said:
Does anyone else feel as if the "golden days" of indie rock are almost up? I'm not saying that there will be no more good indie rock records or that the genre can't still evolve and continue, but do you feel as if we've already gotten our great years of brilliant releases?

Personally (many will disagree), obviously we had the 1990s where indie rock basically was born into what we consider it now. At the time, it was extremely underground, and without the Internet, word of great bands didn't spread nearly as quickly. However, around 2000, things changed. And during the 2000s, it started to seem like major publications and rock audiences deemed indie rock as THE genre for popular music enthusiasts. That's evident by looking at nearly any "best albums" lists of the 2000s: they feature the White Stripes, Wilco, TV on the Radio, Deerhunter, Sigur Ros, LCD Soundsystem etc. etc. Now, this may feel premature, but doesn't it feel as if the genre is slowly drifting? Not only have their been less and less "classic" or "brilliant' indie rock records released each year, but the shift of indie aesthetics into pop radio (see Foster the People, Fun, Phoenix) is almost always a tell-tale first sign of a genre starting to lose its momentum (see Grunge).

Now, obviously indie rock is a little different than grunge since "indie rock" is such an umbrella term used now-a-days. Unlike Grunge which describes a typical type of sound, Vampire Weekend sounds nothing like LCD Soundsystem, and Girls sounds nothing like Fleet Foxes, etc... So basically, indie rock has become the new definition for "alternative rock" once alternative rock became the new norm on mainstream radio. So, the question is this - if indie rock slowly becomes the norm for the mainstream listeners, what happens to indie rock? And most importantly, is this quickly happening?

Final note: I'm not saying that indie music going mainstream is necessarily a bad thing. There are bands that I really enjoy that have had "hits" (Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse,) that still are great. Popularity doesn't mean it sucks... I'm just curious as to what your thoughts are for a genre that is now in its third decade.
Nothing is really disappearing, indie is evolving. "Indie" music stopped being completely "indie" a long time ago. The most important indie labels are controlled by major labels and it's all the same business. Thing is, "indie rock" is just becoming "rock", and all those crappy bands like Nickelback or whatnot will soon vanish because there's not gonna be space for overly-cliché post-grunge stuff anymore. I would say bands like Two Door Cinema Club would be a new kind of Nickelback, gathering indie rock clichés and making them more appealing to a mainstream audience.

Now, if we're talking about "indie" in general, it's also the same thing. Electronic indie will become just electronic music, indie rap will just be rap and so on. The tag "indie" will be forever erased unless you actually release an album by having yourself recording it, mixing it, mastering it, packing it and mailing it/selling it all on your own, which is still the case for some bands (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, for example).

It's not that we're getting crap music now anyway. Earlier we had "Funeral", "Is This It", "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", "Agaetis Byrjun", etc. Now we have "Bon Iver, Bon Iver", "Father, Son, Holy Ghost", "Teen Dream", "High Violet", "Fleet Foxes", "Merriweather Post Pavilion" and I could go on but I choose not to.

Trust me, the only thing that's changing is the way we label things.

PD: Indie rock is not around since the 90's, I would go as far as saying "The Velvet Underground & Nico" is totally an indie album, but it wasn't labeled like "indie" because no such thing existed then and no such thing will exist in the future. It's all fashion.
 

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PhilD said:
Ok Daft Punk was a bad example, let`s rephrase it into: Discovery is an album mostly heard by people with an affection towards indie music.
Wrong.
I have many douchey, Jersey-Shore-watching, Tha-Carter-IV-adoring friends that love that album more than they love themselves, plus, it was a really big hit when first released. Hence the low Pitchfork score, but as the years rolled by it gathered an incredible amount of indie cred for reason's unknown, so hence the number 3 spot by Pitchfork on their decade list.
 

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heywhatsup said:
Wrong.
I have many douchey, Jersey-Shore-watching, Tha-Carter-IV-adoring friends that love that album more than they love themselves, plus, it was a really big hit when first released. Hence the low Pitchfork score, but as the years rolled by it gathered an incredible amount of indie cred for reason's unknown, so hence the number 3 spot by Pitchfork on their decade list.
james murphy likes it so pitchfork likes it and when pitchfork likes it it's indie
 
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