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reWRITING THE INDIE CONSTITUTION

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

now i'm REALLY getting angry

or is that i'm immensley frustrated?

OK, i know this blog is set out to be tales from an indie boys youth in the 1980's BUT some things need talking about.

you'll recall my little rant about C86 and how it's been mythologised into something that it never was?
well recently i've noticed a rise in the term "twee" to describe a musical genre.
in fact to describe the same musical genre as C86.
and used by the same people.
now, can someone tell me EXACTLY how this works because:

A - the dictionary describes the term twee as:
twee |twē| adjective Brit., chiefly derogatory excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental : although the film's a bit twee, it's watchable. ORIGIN early 20th cent.: representing a child's pronunciation of sweet .

B - there are of course (and have always been) certain bands that could rightfully be described as twee. BMX bandits for a start. or the field mice. there are also, i imagine, swathes of bands alive and well today who've been influenced by sarah records and it's fall-out in the early 90's that may well be a bit twee.
but the problem i'm really having is that, like with the term "indie" in the early 90's someone's created a catchall term and is trying to shoe-horn anyone and everyone who is hip/liked/influential/etc into the catagory of "twee".

HOW ON EARTH are the following bands twee?:

bIG fLAME
bogshed
josef k
june brides
age of chance
a witness
dog faced hermans
fire engines

...and that's just off the top of my head.

swans | public castration is a good idea

does this mean that in the next couple of months SWANS' "public castration is a good idea" live double will turn up as a twee masterpiece simply because it was released in the mid 80's and "twee-pop" kids will be swinging their man-bags to the gut-wrenching sounds of a band going at 2 miles an hour at maximum volume?

because by what seem to be the rules of what makes a band twee, these people SHOULD BE CHAMPIONING SWANS as they were highly influential on the wall of noise that my bloody valentine became.

and i'm told that my bloody valentine are, of course, twee.

(writer scratches head and has to have a sit down).

9 Comments:

  • At 6:39 AM, Blogger Oscar Salguero said…

    Crayola i understand perfectly what you are trying to explain, and you are immensely right, 'indie' as a catchall term does not necessarily mean a certain type of music, and i comprehend that this is NOT a c86 or twee or whatever term BLOG, it is the anecdotes and music of an indie 80s guy, I personally like the kind of sweet music made by field mice or brighter but i dont think of it as twee, also i love the kind of brutal sounds of Swans and big black and that is why i asked you to make a playlist on bands like these, being my objective make people aware about the other side of the indie's 80 (and maybe the most creative). So, please dont get mad and please shut these people's mouth by making a noisy compliation!

     
  • At 7:31 AM, Blogger crayola said…

    hi.
    happy you see my point.
    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).

    :)

     
  • At 8:10 AM, Blogger crayola said…

    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 5:31 AM, Blogger Tom said…

    I think these definitions are written by people who were either not born or were under the age of five in the mid eighties.

    On another blog one of these people wrote that the C86 tape came out of the twee genre. Laugh. I did.

    I notice that more and more people are now writing that Beat happening invented jangle pop, indie pop, twee, c86 and the remington shaver. Okay I made the last one up.

    Still each to their own. We know better. I think!

     
  • At 4:05 AM, Blogger crayola said…

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

    they just make me mad, sad and confused.

    (i left this comment as a reply to someone else earlier because i am daft).

     
  • At 9:52 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    Sorry if i bother you guys, i'm not as learned as you.

     
  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger crayola said…

    sorry.
    i don't know what you mean.
    ?

     
  • At 2:46 PM, Blogger ally said…

    i was once, in another life, the poster git for a melody maker piece about 'cutie'. and you think twee is bad. i didn't think twice when the fucker asked me to put down my beer and fag for the photo (outside the black horse i think )...so ideas of asexuality, innocence and gawdknows what are perpetuated that still seem to have a hold on sweet indie kids today (gawd bless em). i shall rant more on this i'm afraid...

    ally

     
  • At 7:59 AM, Blogger kaplan said…

    people talk & talk...here's the raw deal :
    http://thegreyroom-kaplan.blogspot.com/search?q=swans

     

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