Thursday, April 15, 2010

On Being An Indie Wanker

I'm going to put it out there: I talk about music a lot. I can't help it, it's a subject that really interests me. I also know a preposterous amount about it, which helps. Unfortunately for everyone I talk to, I don't own a radio or generally pay attention to the outside world (much) so the only music I listen to is stuff I've found on the internet. And that's okay, the internet is an acceptable tool to use for that nowadays, there's a lot of great music out there that most people otherwise wouldn't be hearing. And hey, they play some of it on the radio too. But I'm a bit adventurous and experimental in everything I do and, ok, admittedly, sometimes I look up bands because I like their names (I still maintain - Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin are actually a good band). As a result, I've become so obscure that people now haven't even heard of the genres of the bands I listen to. On a personal level, I'm okay with that. I really enjoy the music I listen to. But sadly, if you start talking about a new Swedish folktronica band (seriously though), people will almost definitely think you are a wanker.

To be fair, I'm not denying that I'm an indie music wanker. But I have a little story that I think you should know before you judge me too harshly.

When I was a kid, my parents won a lot of raffles. They were just those awful, lucky people who win everything they enter on a whim. I can remember them winning a 'Mystery Flight' which turned out to be to Perth (gee whiz guys, why'd you make that one a mystery?), and a chocolate bunny one easter that was as tall as I was. There was also a movie/soundtrack pack that they'd won at the local Video Ezy - Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. My parents sort of put it aside and forgot about it. Then one day, maybe a year or so later, I was looking through their cd collection and picked up that soundtrack. I started listening to it and well, I really liked it. It got put on my regular rotation. But then our house got broken into and they stole a bunch of cds, including that one. Or so they thought. The cd was still in the player because I listened to it a lot, they'd just taken the case. Take that, crime!

I kept listening to that compilation, liking it more and more. I was just a kid and the only other music I knew was whatever was being played on the radio. Nothing else I'd heard was really like it. But because I didn't have the case and google wasn't really a thing yet, I grew up not knowing who performed some of my favourite songs.

I looked up that track-listing today. Of the songs that I can remember being my favourites, there was a Swedish alt-rock act who list the Pixies and the Go-Betweens as influences, an experimental dream-pop singer who was also Swedish and, of course, Radiohead. And not even Creep or Karma Police, it was an obscure b-side. Smackie Onassis, age 10, indie wanker.

I'm not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, this confirms that I always have been and always will be a total indie music nerd. On the other hand, this also confirms that it's not because of society, I am actually just like this. And there's probably nothing any of us can do about it.

Look forward to many more years of obscure mix tapes, my friends.

-Smackie Onassis

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