"He was more rebellious when he had a beard." - Some random girl at a Modest Mouse concert.
During this time, indie was very much, not -indie for a while and it seemed like alternative rock might brake away from it's music snob, hipster niche that now hated these bands since cool kids liked them before they were popular. These indie bands were going to be the "new grunge" and they would change the rules so that pop stars can't have a major hit just by screaming "Yyyyyeahyyyaaa" and "Uhhhhhooooo-kay" over and over again.
But, being naive about pop music is what I do, so of course this didn't happen. Instead, all they really did was make rock music relevant enough for a 2005 where Green Day's American Idiot was so popular the album was appointed Prime Minister of France. The problem is, the only thing indie about Green Day is it's vague reference to Earth Day. The likelihood of the 2004 Indie Spring having any effect on Green Day's success is about as likely as a self proclaimed punk rock band thinking one of their albums would be perfect for a Broadway musical adaptation. Right, because Phantom of the Opera was so punk, the orchestra styled their hair into liberty spikes.
Moments before the 1st chair cellist is called to the stage. Via Wikimedia Commons.
So it comes as somewhat of a surprise to me to find more indie rock-ish sounding songs in the top 100 right now. Granted, these are mostly not bands that already had a dozen albums before having a big hit like Modest Mouse, whom all their new fans probably thought the band was just a side project for Danger Mouse. No, most of these bands are brand new and can only be called indie in that some of them may claim to draw inspiration from Wilco.
One of these bands is Fun, who has that "We Are Young" song you've probably heard 472 times today and only once realized a band named themselves with an adjective. Funny, but my Emo band titled "Sad" didn't do so well. Actually, that's not funny. That's just sad. "Sad" is sad. The first self aware band name since The Who before they got famous.
Another indie sounding artist is Gotye with a song called "Somebody That I Used To Know". That song features a female vocalist named Kimbra who also happens to be a Lion Queen. Also, Gotye is naked in the songs video presumably because he was always pissed about his artist ex-girlfriend never wanting him to pose nude for a painting.
"I refuse to paint his barbed penis."
Those two songs are #1 and #2 respectively (well, they were before they flipped spots), followed by two boy bands because that was a fad that needed to comeback, and of course, the Biebs. Yet, it's to early to argue that a second Indie Spring is underway. The highest an actual indie band is is M83's song "Midnight City", a pretty awesome song that failed to realize MGMT and Passion Pit were popular two years ago. Hopefully those obviously dangerous children in the song's video don't try to throw a squirrel at my crotch with their telekinesis because I just made fun of the band. Hey, I like this song guys and I am soooo jealous about your mind powers that I would drink a glass of french fry grease from a New Jersey Jack-in-the-Box to have what you have.
These kids have such a bright future. Like, killing 30 million people and declaring themselves gods.
A second Indie Spring would be nice though. For all the good that Lady Gaga has brought to pop music (yes, good. I can appreciate her efforts to push pop music into weird, nightmare sex monster territory) it doesn't seem to have had a lasting effect. Pop music went right back into it's usual "lets go to the club, drink, drink, drink, dance, dance, dance, boner, grind, grind, grind, slap, stabbed by boyfriend" routine. Hopefully the standard has been raised by Adele but that requires talent. Something woefully lacking when it's possible to get a hit song by claiming yes, it is hot in HER, taking off all my clothes sounds like a choice idea.
The small but surprising indie trend is certainly worth paying attention too for the rest of the year. I know another Nirvana is never going to come around and make pop music it's bitch, but at least a little variety in pop music would be nice. It gets a little tiresome when you can put the radio on a pop station and hear 4 different Katy Perry songs in an hour. Micheal Jackson didn't have that kind of overplay and he straight up thrilled all night.
Disclaimer: This article is satirical and hipsterish. My musical tastes are better than yours. Who do I like you ask? Please, you haven't heard of them.
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