God Bless the Indie Kids

Earlier this week I had the most fortunate opportunity of attending a rock concert by the inimitably versatile musician Ben Folds. I’m aware that no one under 40 calls a show a “rock concert” anymore, and I’m only using that description here to convey just how terribly bitter and cynical I’ve become toward members of my generation. How terribly homogenized, predictable and apricot-fresh we’ve all become.

Perhaps it’s the abundance of brand name tennis shoes fashioned after bowling sneakers or the ever-so-slightly disheveled DIY haircuts resembling GameBoy characters that make me question whether any of us has more intellectual brainpower than an organically grown soy bean. Sure we’re an educated and enlightened bunch of socially-conscious Power Bar enthusiasts, but we were all reared by the same massive corporation of marketing geniuses who reduced our childhoods to nothing more than indistinguishable moments between bowls of Cap’n Crunch. With no real national tragedy or war to call our own (except, of course, until recently) the only meaningful battle we’ve waged has been against the weakest members of our own tribe: those who listen to crappy music.

No one wants to be accused of listening to, or (gasp!) actually enjoying mainstream music, or music that has made its writers or performers a single penny of profit. It’s an attitude my generation as a whole has come to accept as a truth. No longer is it just the Mods or the Punks who spew such snooty refrains. Anyone born in the 70’s has at least once looked in the mirror and asked herself, “Do I look like I listen to Third Eye Blind?” while secretly and earnestly hoping that she looks like she knows the name of every member of Belle and Sebastian.

I am admittedly the worst of the bunch.

Bands whose music I wouldn’t be caught dead buying in public for an ignorant friend or highly-impressionable youth:

Matchbox Twenty
Papa Roach
Uncle Kracker
Dave Matthews Band
Linkin Park

Bands whose name I will throw around to make it seem as if I am a legitimate indie rocker:

Guided By Voices
Built to Spill
Modest Mouse
Burning Airlines
Death Cab for Cutie
Galaxie 500
Joy Division