Monday, August 9, 2010


This, from Spinner yesterday:

"After playing the revved 'Up in the Dark' from their latest album 'Together,' Newman (of the New Pornographers) asked the crowd, "Are you guys seeing Lady Gaga at Lolla?" It's going to be awful." Not holding anything back, Case took a shot at the diva: "At least I don't wear underwear on my head." Later on, Newman encouraged the crowd to see Green Day because they're punk, but then debated with his cohorts if Green Day was actually punk."

I've been a fan of the New Pornographers for nearly a decade, but this just disappoints me. I don't know if their stab at Lady Gaga was meant as a joke or what, but I wish we could stop pitting "cool, genuine 'indie'" against "shallow, image-conscious pop." I say this because I spent years doing this myself. It took two years writing at a fairly mainstream blog where I had to reign in the snark before I realized, "You know, most pop music isn't bad." At this point, the line between indie and pop, commercial and alternative, is so blurred that the two are nearly indistinguishable.

I wonder how much of this is an age thing? Most of the people I come in contact with are over thirty, the last generation to have gotten their music through more traditional avenues: radio, television, and record stores. When I was a teenager, there was a definite line between what was commercial and what wasn't. If you had the wherewithal to seek out music that wasn't getting airplay, well, you were deemed a person of taste. Now it's not so simple, and when a guy running a small label out of Omaha can have hit records, the playing field has leveled considerably.