Every other Tuesday, Pooch, one of the three heads behind Thisbonustrack.com will be writing for you about what warrants his “Props.” This can be anything from a musician to a program to a label/studio or ANYTHING, but at the end of the day, this column is nothing but a long-winded recommendation or rant of sorts.
I guess as of this week I’m starting my own little dictionary. This has been a long time coming as for the past two or three years, I’ve developed my own vocabulary that one of my best friends coined “Poochenomics”. It might not be a consecutive article kind of thing, but every so often I’m going to define something different in the music industry or pertaining to culture or whatnot. I’m not saying that it is something everyone is going to carry around in their pockets like Mao’s Red Book, but hopefully my explanations will help clear somethings up for you so that there isn’t that cloudiness in your brain anymore. Also, my definitions might stray from the beaten path, so don’t hate on that, but if you disagree, feel free to comment on how you think the terms could or should be considered.
Sure there are many of you who think that you know what “Indie Music” is. You probably do. But I might have a different take on the more widely understood term. First off is the understanding that indie music is like a do-it-yourself genre where the artists will do it all on their own. From the writing, recording, producing, releasing and promoting, artists are on their own for the most part, using their connections and the social networking to get their music put together and out on the internet for all ears to listen to. That to me is the most important and dominant aspect of indie music.
Next is the sound. Yup, i consider some music that is produced and recorded on major labels to be indie because they stick to their roots, staying true to their original sound. Bands start up, they put out their music and if they get lucky by making a good impression with the major labels they might be picked up. A lot of times, these artists get screwed over by “making it big” because the labels will impose their will-sound-wise and content wise. See: Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers and Lydia’s article with that. I know its hard to stay true to your roots when the person signing their name on your paycheque is asking you to do it their way, but somehow, certain bands have remained grounded in their history. Case in point the golden children of indie music: The Arcade Fire, who did their own thing with Arcade Fire EP. The promise shown there landed them a deal with the major label (that somehow is “independent” by nurturing bands’ natural musical feel) on which they released their next three albums, Funeral, Neon Bible and The Suburbs.
Lastly is the overall feel. I don’t know about you, but there are independent artists who put out music that i would classify as rock or pop or anything else. There maybe DJs that fly under the radar that put their stuff out their and do their thing, there can be rappers who aren’t just hiphop and rap, but they bring in the indie side too, producing their own stuff, mixing and remixing and whatnot. I would consider those rappers (that aren’t college-rappers) to fall into the category of alt-rap or indie rap. Theophilus London being my major example there.