Posts Tagged ‘Trainwreck Riders’

Anyone reading yet?

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

The current title, “How are things on the West Coast?” theoretically won’t last, but in the meantime I should give credit where it’s due. I recently got the newest Interpol album Our Love To Admire, and that’s a line that stuck out to me for obvious reasons. I’m enjoying the album, despite middling to “suck” reviews from friends.

I went to a good show last Friday. Some Bay Area bands played a house show in Berkeley. We saw the Botticellis, Trainwreck Riders (second time this fall), and Kapowski (friends of a friend). All around it was a pretty great show, and it had been a while since I’d been to a traditional basement-centric house party, so that was fun and… nostalgic? However, that basement was way too nice (read: clean and dry) to compare to the ones in Kalamazoo. If basement parties are a phenomenon unfamiliar to you (bp3g?), feel free to ask and I can elaborate… Really, people-watching might be one of the best parts of going to shows.

I promise every post won’t be this music oriented, although it’s going to keep going that way this time. But keep reading, it might still be interesting since it’s not about a specific sound or band.

I was hopping around the iTunes music store after work today, in an attempt to check out some music I’ve been thinking and or hearing about lately. Suddenly, I realized that iTunes does something that really gets on my nerves. Have you noticed the “iTunes Essentials” and other pre-fabbed collections on the music store? If you haven’t, I’m sure one will pop up on any search you run. The one that triggered my annoyance today was titled “’00 Indie Rock”.

First of all, the aughts aren’t over yet, so aren’t you jumping the gun on that one just a little, iTunes?

Second of all, half the bands included aren’t terribly indie in the sense of being underground at this point. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite bands are on there.

And third, here’s what most irritates me about the pre-fab music ed phenomenon. Whatever happened to discovering music for yourself? Why do we need iTunes to teach us about worthwhile music? Maybe I’m too old, relatively speaking, but I think what made me fall in love with music was the sense of being the first person to hear a song every time I discovered a new band. Even though I knew this wasn’t the case. All those bands and songs I either discovered on my own or on a friend’s stereo. I’m happy for the artists who grow to be well known on their own merit, and I certainly don’t want to shut people out of a music scene for sake of keeping it in the family, but it’s a lot different to be bombarded with 37 “Essential songs” from a genre that’s still developing. You don’t actually get to know an artist that way.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, iTunes has de-DIYed the DIY indie ethic to a pretty extreme degree by taking away the DIY experience of educating yourself about music. And some poor teenagers somewhere might be missing out on a defining experience of teenager-hood.