You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

March, 2010

Is Indie Dead?

A discussion on the state of 'indie' music and its relationship with commercialization.
When I picked up this Paste magazine article titled "Is Indie Dead?" one night before bed at SXSW I was pretty sure I would had it. I didn't (though there were some parts I found a bit over the top). More than anything else, I found two points from the article stuck with me: First,

In a world where a car commercial or Target ad could feasibly "break" a band, it's fair to be somewhat suspicious of palatability, which can be just as easily feigned as the sound of a calculated chart hit, especially when certain tastemaking pockets begin to establish their preferred sound--like the unknown, just-barely-off-kilter singer/songwriters picked to soundtrack the earliest seasons of Grey's Anatomy, or the sassy, exuberant kitchen-sink pop recently favored by Apple to sell its iPods and iPhones. This kind of artist-driven calculation might be even more dangerous than the mainstream calculation we're used to. At least mainstream pop is generally marketed and approached under the default assumption that it's dross, with any arguments for "authenticity" hashed out only after the fact--and in that way it's more artistically honest than most modern indie music.
March 18, 2010
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.