Wednesday, February 07, 2007

now i'm getting angry - postscript

in case people don't read some of the comments left on this blog - all of which are always great and gratefully received, and because i think we could start a good debate on all this stuff, here's some extra thoughts:

i'm not having a dig at anyone in particular, it just gets so boring trying to navigate around tags for musical types all the time.

the bottom line, to me at least, is that all this music is pop music.
the dictionary again:

noun (also pop music) commercial popular music, in particular accessible, tuneful music of a kind popular since the 1950s and sometimes contrasted with rock, soul, or other forms of popular music.

because let's face it - all music is to some degree commercial or at least attempting to be.

maybe not commercially viable, but that's a completely different kettle of fish.

as soon as music is created and someone has bought it/heard it/hummed it/danced to it surely it's a piece of pop music.

ALL the music one can hear today (and as we all know there's a hell of a lot of it) can be traced back through popular music - taking in rock, punk, electronic music, rock & roll, skiffle, blues and further.

and of course people are always going to create catchall terms for types of music.

what i think annoys me most is that the term "twee" is derogatory - not in the way that the term "punk" was derogatory, but in an affected, knowingly coy, way that removes any notions of empowerment or action from the scene that might grow up around it.
the term "punk" for example, though it soon became used to describe a sound rather than a political understanding, at least had drive and excitement naturally attached to it, purely because of the connotations of the derogatory term "punk".
the "twee" on the other hand simply removes any sense of edginess, experimentation - it creates a safe and fluffy cushion on which people can comfortably sit without rebellion.

(excuse the convoluted sentences above - comes from thinking as i type. but i think my point's been made).

please bear in mind i'm simply trying to open a debate here.

personally i believe we should all be trying to reclaim the term indie so it can be used in it's proper form.
because independent has ALL the right connotations to empower us all as both listeners and creators of music.
and let's face it, 99% of the music we all love has that in common.

the fight starts here!

think i need a bit of a lie down.


  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger lostmusic said…

    who knows how stuff gets names coined and they stick? Indie for me translates as indiepop these days. The noiser stuff is noisepop. The dreamier stuff -- dreampop. I know it doesn't work. C86 was never a sound. It was just a cassette with some bands on it. Some could be described as twee. Others most definetely not. So. The term indie has been stolen by major labels and production line indie. The ethos of indie for me is best described by a DIY ethos. Like a cottage industry. I dunno. This kind of exists these days. Just below the surface. It's fun to watch the hip kids squirm as there latest 'underground' favourites cross over to mainstream indie. Dis-owned, instantly? For sure. Sometimes. I ramble.

  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger crayola said…

    you see, that's why i almost never read any other blogs.

    they just make me mad, sad and confused.

  • At 3:57 AM, Blogger lostmusic said…

    mad, sad and confused @ blogspot.com coming soon to an indifferent net soon.

  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger jessica said…

    so, i agree. everything really is 'pop'. i mean, even something weird like brainiac i would call 'perverted pop'. but i'm not sure if i necessarily agree that twee is a derogatory categorization. when i think of twee i do indeed think of a lack of edginess, a particular fluffiness, and oftentimes (female) vocals that are just a little flat... but i don't think this is a bad thing. not all music has to be edgy or rebellious in order to contribute something new and good and valuable. i might be yelled at for this, but i like to think of belle and sebastian as twee, and they are certainly adding something new and really good to the music scene.

    that being said, i thing genres in general are restrictive. i dislike them. the entries in my genre section in itunes are just wrong. "alternative"? what the hell is that?

  • At 10:43 PM, Blogger crayola said…

    "not all music has to be edgy or rebellious in order to contribute something new and good and valuable"

    - that's very true and my point is that there are bands - modern, now bands - that call themselves twee.
    that is fine - as long as i don't have to hear them.
    but trying to make bands "twee" by calling them so by working backwards through influences from today's bands to bands of the 80's and earlier is simply WRONG.

    i hope he doesn't mind me mentioning this but, i was speaking to phil of the june brides about this the other day and he was HORRIFIED that people were calling the june brides a twee band.
    he started a band because of punk and post punk and would have called himself such at the time.

    i think belle & seb are twee too. but then i also loathe and detest their indie-by-numbers lack of imagination.
    (i['ll probably get shouted at for that, but it's my blog so, nyah).

    "that being said, i thing genres in general are restrictive. i dislike them. the entries in my genre section in itunes are just wrong. "alternative"? what the hell is that?"

    - and there in a nutshell is exaclty my point and my problem. "alternative" means alternative to chart music (for example) right?
    but that means that someone who loves chart pop is listening to alternative music when surrounded by a crowd of death metal fans aren't they?

    this could go on forever, and i've spent most of my life concerned with this kind of utterly pointless musical argument.


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