Of Dada, Broken Social Scenes, and the Science of Slap

Once upon a LONG time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (that galaxy we often refer to as “undergraduate life”), I had an inspired professor who used a New Order Video to demonstrate Dada art, which he described as the anti-art: a rising art form in the 1980s that challenged the conventions of art as refined style. The video’s intro, which features two oddly dressed individuals slapping each other, has stuck in my head ever since, which is why I like the new Broken Social Scene video for All to All (props to Spinner.com who featured the video on their front page; boos to WordPress, who doesn’t allow more than 2 or 3 embedded video formats, making me use Youtube to show it to you):

What’s ironic is, I’m not even sure how much I like the song…but the video is genius for its perfect refinement of the type of Dada art in music videos that bands like New Order and others started over 30 years ago. I particularly like the way this video mixes classic Dr. Seuss (anyone remember a story about a bug that went Kachoo?) with the Indie music revolution.

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Indie Music not for Jocks or Pretty Girls?

I always like to get your opinions on what Indie Music is and means to you…but, it’s nice to get opinions from the trenches, the people that are defining this new music revolution. I asked Andy Clockwise, whose free download I featured a few weeks ago,  on what Indie means to him, and  here’s what he told me:

1. What does Indie mean to you and where do you see yourself in the evolution of this amazing musical revolution?
Well I suppose it means everything. People finally don’t have to tow the line of the phenomenon of whats happening now, they can create whatever. Anarchy in art is to be embraced and rules are meant to be shunned….. I mean, I can see that sometimes the essence of the term could be bastardized by the powers that be, but the brilliance of the situation is that someone can come along and break it all down once again, thats the beauty of it, we have the tools, the means, the time, the avenues of which people can finally hear something that relates to them, not something that makes the jock or the pretty girls at school feel good on a Friday night. I also love that indie bands are covering such a huge musical and lyrical landscape…. they’re  doing everything that they want to hear…… & it rules!!!!

2. How do you define Indie music and your place in the “Indie sphere.”

Well I think we are delving deep into the arbitrary idea of indie music maybe in the way that they hijacked the term “alternative” in the 90’s. I mean, I suppose what indie has been defined to me over the years reflects me at 13 yrs old, lining up at Waterfront Records in Sydney before it opened trying to get a limited pressing of a 12 inch by some unknown hardcore band. Or sneaking out to festivals, dying my hair that morning and having blue hair dye all over my face. I suppose what we are trying to define is somewhat already done– a DIY attitude to what you are doing, not an obsession with the normal musical landscape but not an entire rejection of it either. Take a pinch of rejection and social awkwardness mix it with some honesty, add a half a cup of irony and sarcasm and mix it around in a bowl of amazing awesomeness…..I’m not sure if I am trying to make a recipe for us all, so we all know what the fuck we are doing!!!?

to the the posed question of where I think I fit in the indie sphere I would have to say I’ve never been much of a sphere guy i’m more into cubist stuff or even a dodechahedranist. 🙂



Good stuff, Andy, you make dodechahedranists everywhere proud!

A Suburban Deal!

Welcome to the show. I’m your Indie Network Shopping host. You know why you’re here. You want good music that’s cheap. You want good music that’s free. You want good music that I’ll pay you to listen to!!!

Well friends, up on today’s Wheel of Fish is an Indie band you know and love. No, they’re not just a good Indie Band, they’re a GREAT Indie Band. And what’s more, they hail from the Great White North, the same wonderful country that brought us Rick Moranis and Michael J. Fox! The same nation that brought us Bullwinkle J. Moose and Dudley Do-Right (and not to mention, one in a long line of forgettable movies featuring Brendan Fraser)! They are Arcade Fire! And their latest album, the Suburbs, a masterful work of the type of Indie mellowdrama that you have come to cherish, has just been released. More than just another set of Indie songs you know your Ipod wants, this album is incredibly deep, with tunes that border “radio-friendliness” (The Suburbs), lyrics that mix themes in modern warfare with suburban innocence, and tunes that even feature roman numerals! This, my friends, is an album that you’ll leave playing all day–at work, at school, in your house while the kiddies play!

Now, friends, how much would you pay for this delectable dish of divine indie…delectability? $19.99? $15.99? $9.99?

How about: $7.99?

That’s right friends, Arcade Fire’s newest album is $7.99 at Target* (o.k., at least it is in the Houston area).

*No, this is not a commercial for target. No Target is not paying me to endorse their sale. Yes, I would like it if they would.