Every [two weeks?] Jamie Hale takes a long, hard look at the music industry and the blog scene that feeds it. Here, he releases those findings and makes snarky, sarcastic remarks. Admittedly, both Jamie and Knox Road are a part of this scene. So sue us.
I have an addiction. It’s a horrible, all-consuming addiction to new music. I sometimes think about the consequences of falling into a coma. One of my first thoughts is always “Awwwww I would be SO behind on new music!” I even find that I feel bad if I miss one week of new releases and I always end up making excuses for my knowledge of music: “I write for a music blog so, you know, I HAVE to know. It’s kind of like my job.”
This addiction realization took form last week when I was at a local bar’s weekly vinyl appreciation night. I brought my recently-purchased clear copy of Panda Bear’s Tomboy and handed it to the DJ. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: “So have you heard it yet?”
DJ: “No, no I haven’t.”
Me: “It’s pretty good! It’s not as good as Person Pitch, but it’s still really good.”
DJ: “Right on, right on. You know I don’t think I’ve even heard of them at all.”
Me: “Oh, yeah, well he’s just part of Animal Collective, do–do you know Animal Collective?”
DJ: “Nah, what kind of stuff do they do?”
Me: “Well it’s like experimental psychedelic indie music. You know, stuff Pitchfork really likes.”
Me: “Yeah, you know, the website?”
DJ: “Yeahhh I don’t really know that either.”
Me: “Well, yeah, sure. Um–it’s just like–reviews and stuff. Like–indie music, you know?”
Ohhhhh my face was covered in eggs, my friends. Nothing’s more embarrassing than being discovered as an indie music freak, and I had been outed. I hadn’t even thought that a DJ in a hip bar in the middle of Idaho wouldn’t know some of the most famous indie artists. But if you don’t frequent indie music blogs and obsessively listen to every new record, you’re in the dark.
In bigger cities like New York or Austin or Portland, your percentage of indie music aficionados rises drastically, but even then how many people are well-versed in Chancho Via Circuito or Family Portrait? Once in the machine, I’ve learned, it seems strange that every other music fan isn’t as obsessed.
The present state of indie music, in which any musician in the world can self-release the next best album ever, creates an ocean-sized pool in which to fish. Only, we’re all trying to catch as many fish as possible, and it takes a 24/7 attention span to even think about fishing. And amid it all there’s the inevitable boat-sinking douchebag: “Oh, you haven’t heard of Blazeldee Bloo? Well I guess you’re not really in touch with new music. Why don’t you go home and keep listening to Wavves or whatever.” Spirits. Destroyed.
What’s so disheartening is that most of us don’t even listen to indie music for the bragging rights! We’re addicts because we love the music and we’re excited for new records by new artists of interesting and emerging sounds.
The most concerning part of the whole thing is that I don’t even really care that I’m addicted. I’ve thought Could I go cold turkey, not listen to any new music at all for a week? A month? A year? My conclusion every time? No. No I could not. And you know, I think I’m just fine with that.