Friday, February 27, 2009

Categorisation Deviation II

I came across this interesting article about the classification of "indie."

I do use genre labels a lot. But I absolutely hate it, especially in today's world where one band could have several different influences or sub-genres fused into one. Take Animal Collective for instance. I could label them as avant-garde / experimental / noise pop /freak folk / indie rock / neo-psychedelic. If someone asks me what they sound like, do I whip out that label? It's hard. I can't just call it indie, which is an easy way out. To the average person indie means Radiohead or Arctic Monkeys. That wouldn't even be close to describing Animal Collective.

When people ask the question "What music do you listen to?" I always reply with "almost everything." Partly because it's somewhat true, partly because it's easier than giving a list. But by saying "everything" the whole thing loses depth. Does that I mean I listen to everyone from Britney Spears to Chris Brown? Or Rihanna to Miley Cyrus? Certainly not.

It's problematic, since the various musical distinctions are being broken down. You thought Kanye West was a rapper, and suddenly he sings the whole way throughout his new album. Radiohead has delved into the realms of electronica more than once. Bands like TV On The Radio and (again) Animal Collective defy genre labels. M.I.A. probably deserves her own genre. What about Bloc Party? They change their sound like they change clothes.

If you can have Bon Iver and Foals or Crystal Castles and Glasvegas in the same genre, you know the genre is way too vague.

Signing out

Over and out

Now playing: Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - Lighthouse Keeper
via FoxyTunes

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