Nov 20, 2012

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Steven Hyden


 "If there are still people left on planet Earth who believe in the sanctity of a thriving underground subculture populated by young, principled artistic types living bohemian lives free of the conventions propagated by lamestream plebs, here is a not-quite comprehensive rundown of pop culture items from 2012 that (intentionally or not) seemed directed at disabusing this idea: Lana Del Rey's Born to Die, the HBO show Girls, the LCD Soundsystem concert film Shut Up and Play the Hits, Bon Iver singer-songwriter Justin Vernon's Grammys acceptance speech, Justin Timberlake's Justin Vernon impersonation on Saturday Night Live, fun.'s Some Nights, New York Magazine cover story on Grizzly Bear and the untenable economic realities faced by high-level indie-rock bands, Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," the white-people-giggling-over-R&B-covers-on-YouTube novelty act Karmin appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone, that good but sort of unlovable Animal Collective album, Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End" appearing in an Axe body spray commercial, this weekend's New York Times piece on "hipster irony." I could go on but, in the interest of space, I won't. Whether those critiques are explicit or implicit, textual or subtextual, sympathetic or sneering, the notion of indie exceptionalism (and its white, urban, and upper-class trappings) was repeatedly questioned this year, almost always by the very people who benefit from it. Indie-ness in 2012's pop culture has been depicted as an outmoded cliché, an indulgence for the rich and deluded, a jokey lyrical reference, a house of cards, and/or a pile of cool clothes for pop stars and corporations to try on and discard." 
 Steven Hyden, Grantland A fascinating thesis, long overdue.

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