Twee - a discussion...

chunter on randomly
Jangloid Mark
Posts: 1458
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 18:38
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/JanglyMark
Location: Swansea, Wales
Contact:

Twee - a discussion...

Post by Jangloid Mark » Fri Nov 30, 2012 01:39

I've been wondering about this for the last 5 minutes or so, so, though I'd open up a discussion / open a can of gummy worms...I will admit, I've also had a couple of cans...

The line of my thinking right now is about going against the grain...and sexuality...and norms of society...

How many times have you heard 'I'm *not* twee / this band I love are *not* twee? By the same token, when it comes to shoegazing (a genre that was ripped apart on national TV by the guy from The Mary Whitehouse Experience, Ride in particular, but shoegazing in general), Chapterhouse and several other shoegaze bands denied being shoegazers...

While I will admit that in both genres, bands that are not of said genre get called so (Boyracer caled twee probably because they relased a couple of singles on Sarah Records, for example). there is, to my mind, maybe more going on...

Lets face it, when it comes to,say, extreme metal, you don't get the likes of Bathory or Slayer saying 'we're not all that hard really...'

Which comes down to the crux of the sexuality element of this....boys seen as a bit a bit twee, a bit fey, a bit...I don't know...sensitive...even in enlightened (and certainly sexually enlightened) havens like this, still seem to have to apologise for the fact, or deny, or cover it up, a little bit of the residue from mainstream society/tabloids/whatever, still permeates....these things, in the words of the Triffids are 'hard to wash off...

Maybe I'm just talking complete bollocks (and I expect that to be quoted at least ten times)....but, right now, I wonder, and am thinking aloud...

Your thoughts....
Love is a weakness in the knees...it's dangerous on the stairs...

Bandcamp : https://janglymark.bandcamp.com/
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/Jangly.Mark
Skype : Jangly Mark (feel free to call me)

indiansummer
Posts: 6658
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 09:52
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/heartsturnblue
Location: from Liverpool / in Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by indiansummer » Fri Nov 30, 2012 02:03

i think there's an element of lads possibly not wanting to be seen as masculine, but also i think 'twee' in its most literal sense is a negative adjective. too sweet. sickly sweet. indiepoppers can reclaim it all they want but redefining in a general context is more difficult.

in the wider context, beyond 'our' world, twee is used in its literal sense: this music is too sweet. too sickly. too... inoffensive? not edgy enough? i dunno. but it comes with a whole raft of signifiers (hairslides, cardigans, vintage dresses, lisps, bowl cuts, etc) that are wholy reductive and miss the point of why the music's exciting

using yr example, the crucial difference is that metal can (i.e. not necessarily) be quite happy to accept the reductive elements - the leather, the hair, the subject matter, the 'heaviosity' - whereas indiepop seems to fight them. 'stop saying we wear cardigans,' say boys wearing cardigans, keen to be seen as more than merely a boy in a cardigan

although equally there are plenty of bands/fans in either scene who don't conform to the (lazy?) stereotypes, who undermine general perceptions and like the music for what it is

who's right? who's wrong? fuck knows. i got bored typing this out ages ago

i suppose the best solution is not to give a fuck of what anyone else thinks of who you want to be

YAWN

in summary mark, get off the weed ;)
halo my middle, a hula hoop hug

Jangloid Mark
Posts: 1458
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 18:38
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/JanglyMark
Location: Swansea, Wales
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by Jangloid Mark » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:30

indiansummer wrote:i think there's an element of lads possibly not wanting to be seen as masculine, but also i think 'twee' in its most literal sense is a negative adjective. too sweet. sickly sweet. indiepoppers can reclaim it all they want but redefining in a general context is more difficult.

in the wider context, beyond 'our' world, twee is used in its literal sense: this music is too sweet. too sickly. too... inoffensive? not edgy enough? i dunno. but it comes with a whole raft of signifiers (hairslides, cardigans, vintage dresses, lisps, bowl cuts, etc) that are wholy reductive and miss the point of why the music's exciting

using yr example, the crucial difference is that metal can (i.e. not necessarily) be quite happy to accept the reductive elements - the leather, the hair, the subject matter, the 'heaviosity' - whereas indiepop seems to fight them. 'stop saying we wear cardigans,' say boys wearing cardigans, keen to be seen as more than merely a boy in a cardigan

although equally there are plenty of bands/fans in either scene who don't conform to the (lazy?) stereotypes, who undermine general perceptions and like the music for what it is

who's right? who's wrong? fuck knows. i got bored typing this out ages ago

i suppose the best solution is not to give a fuck of what anyone else thinks of who you want to be

YAWN

in summary mark, get off the weed ;)
Lol....I hadn't touched it....as said in the OP, my post last night was fuelled by alcohol...
Love is a weakness in the knees...it's dangerous on the stairs...

Bandcamp : https://janglymark.bandcamp.com/
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/Jangly.Mark
Skype : Jangly Mark (feel free to call me)

User avatar
bullyhuff
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 15:39
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by bullyhuff » Fri Nov 30, 2012 17:20

[quote="indiansummer"]
although equally there are plenty of bands/fans in either scene who don't conform to the (lazy?) stereotypes, who undermine general perceptions and like the music for what it is

who's right? who's wrong? fuck knows. i got bored typing this out ages ago

i suppose the best solution is not to give a fuck of what anyone else thinks of who you want to be
quote]

THIS
Most of the friends I know that are either big music fans or in bands generally listen to a diverse selection of music. I think that most people would rather not be pigeonholed or have undue expectations placed on them. I also play in a "Twee" band and have been called worse but it doesn't bother me since I'm so much more than just "Twee". More often than not your tastes in music or anything for that matter change over time but you still have a place in your heart for those records you're embarrassed by now!

User avatar
Trev
Posts: 6877
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:56
Last.fm: lostmusic
Location: Cardiff
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by Trev » Sat Dec 01, 2012 02:27

KILL
not really here

User avatar
jayen_aitch
Posts: 2660
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 00:54
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/jayen_aitch/
Location: sverige

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by jayen_aitch » Sat Dec 01, 2012 07:55

Trev wrote:KILL
Who are you hoping to have expunged here?

indiansummer
Posts: 6658
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 09:52
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/heartsturnblue
Location: from Liverpool / in Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by indiansummer » Mon Dec 03, 2012 09:37

anyway, that's that one solved. NEXT!
halo my middle, a hula hoop hug

User avatar
paulmitten
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2012 03:14
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by paulmitten » Sat Dec 29, 2012 00:35

I think part of the reason is that there's a certain negative connotation to music being labeled these things. I mean, twee pop is something I obviously enjoy, however, when I hear something described as such, I think of bands like Cub (you probably think of other similarly cute bands that are a bit limited) where like part of the charm is their amateur approach to everything. Serious musicians don't necessarily always want their music to be compared to people who can barely play, and certainly many indie poppers are very skilled musicians. I just think that when you hear twee, some people associate that is "not very serious," "amateur," etc. And then people who don't normally care for slightly shitty musicians just would assume that any band that gladly associated with that genre would be equally shitty and record on shitty cassette decks. Unfairly so, but surely so.

Shoegaze, too. There's a connotation that shoegaze is just a bunch of reverb and noise and effects and not much musical content. Those who see more to their music than sounding like MBV (especially their contemporaries) might find that to be quite offensive and so avoid the term altogether.

At least when you get called "heavy" and "speed metal," there's inherently an acknowledgment of competence and positive qualities with people who like that kind of music. So really, for them, it's purely a matter of classification, some might call this kind of metal thrash or whatever, but overall, it's not necessarily offensive to be called one thing over another from a musical competence issue.

I don't think there's a real issue with twee pop having masculinity issues. I mean, the entire genre seems to be quite happy with being seen as not very manly. But I just think the word "twee" has a very specific meaning that goes way beyond lack of masculinity, I think it points to the quality of music as well, and we don't want that. I mean, I never call my band twee but neither does anyone else, it's stylistically not very close at all, but I do call it indie pop and always call my band the wimpiest band in San Diego. Masculinity isn't really an issue for me, but misclassification is. And misclassifications when a word has certain aspersions, I think they get especially annoying.

indiansummer
Posts: 6658
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 09:52
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/heartsturnblue
Location: from Liverpool / in Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by indiansummer » Mon Dec 31, 2012 09:47

i don't think twee necessarily means indiepop to most people; it just means stuff that they find overly wimpy or uncomfortably sweet. in the last few years i've seen Bright Eyes, Evans The Death, Best Coast and Art Brut labelled 'twee', and whatever folk on here think of those bands, i'm not sure they'd be keen to label many of em 'indiepop'

trying to reclaim a negative adjective like 'twee' is just plain daft. you may as well try to reclaim 'shite' for all the good it'll do

just get on with liking boss stuff and let's stop worrying about this bloody word
halo my middle, a hula hoop hug

User avatar
tompony
Posts: 2215
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 08:37
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/lardpony
Location: matlock
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by tompony » Mon Dec 31, 2012 09:49

I've been proudly making shite music for years.

indiansummer
Posts: 6658
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 09:52
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/heartsturnblue
Location: from Liverpool / in Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by indiansummer » Mon Dec 31, 2012 09:52

tompony wrote:I've been proudly making shite music for years.
I BEG TO DIFFER

you do correspond with all the signifiers, of course

i don't know where i'm going with this

errr, LULZ
halo my middle, a hula hoop hug

User avatar
Trev
Posts: 6877
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:56
Last.fm: lostmusic
Location: Cardiff
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by Trev » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:17

KILL
not really here

indiansummer
Posts: 6658
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 09:52
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/heartsturnblue
Location: from Liverpool / in Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by indiansummer » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:22

Image
halo my middle, a hula hoop hug

this clump of trees
Posts: 1040
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 16:14

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by this clump of trees » Fri Jan 11, 2013 00:12

Trev wrote:KILL

noLooking

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by noLooking » Mon Aug 04, 2014 16:26

http://flavorwire.com/461620/the-pointl ... cs-of-twee
I wasn't going to draw any attention to this book, largely because it looked not only harmless but pretty ridiculous (apparently Arcade Fire, Sylvia Plath and food trucks are examples of Twee. Hmmm…), but this particularly vicious review of it I think deserves some attention. Some of the opprobrium directed at the book is probably deserved; it does seem to have a fairly kitchen-sink-throwing in definition of it's subject and, as far as I can make out, it's attempts to translate the idea into a wider cultural phenomenon are pretty fucking shabby. What drew my attention, however, is the peculiar savageness the reviewer reserves for 'twee' (whatever it is) in general and it's practitioners, who she seems to regard as living in some sort of middle-class fantasy world where everyone can be painlessly converted to niceness and there is no crossover with any sort of political activism - connections with Riot Grrrl are conspicuously and deliberately underplayed and DiY is reduced to a form of elitism for spoiled rich kids. Apparently, all identity politics are ignored and the only form of political engagement is Morrissey worship, who's opinions on immigration get a free pass 'cos The Smiths were on an indie label. Probably the most ridiculous accusation is that it denies and avoids dealing with the idea of genuine suffering, exemplified in the book, apparently, where someone says that the Holocaust was an example of 'bullying' (I don't think this guy Spitz does himself any favours). Am I alone in thinking that this is entirely bullshit? The author of the review seems to view the subject through the prism of her own experience, where she once listened to a Beat Happening record for a bit 'cos she was upset and wanted to avoid her problems, and transposes it to the lives of everyone involved in the music, films or whatever else is co-opted into this wider 'twee' concept (god, I hate typing that word).

Where do they get these fucking morons?

User avatar
linus
Posts: 2491
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 17:55

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by linus » Mon Aug 04, 2014 17:58

I find the review way less objectionable than the premise of the book and feel that it actually makes some good observations, the problem with 'twee' is that it's something, a sort of thin obnoxiously scented gravy or jus that's been liberally applied to lots of disparate things that never claimed to be 'twee' in the first place and then spitz, the author of the book, has spread that gravy further still and then we have this huge table top of lots of interesting tasty things (and some flavourless, unappealling crap) completely covered in wet gravy, subsumed by it, and stinking up the place and then the reviewer- because of spitz and his gravy- is reviewing the stink and that's where the problem lies for me

Because the stink is what came after and all this other stuff is now covered in it, tainted by it

Anyway, I have a t-shirt design to produce for Trev, thanks for reminding me

noLooking

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by noLooking » Mon Aug 04, 2014 18:54

a fog of ideas wrote:I find the review way less objectionable than the premise of the book and feel that it actually makes some good observations, the problem with 'twee' is that it's something, a sort of thin obnoxiously scented gravy or jus that's been liberally applied to lots of disparate things that never claimed to be 'twee' in the first place and then spitz, the author of the book, has spread that gravy further still and then we have this huge table top of lots of interesting tasty things (and some flavourless, unappealling crap) completely covered in wet gravy, subsumed by it, and stinking up the place and then the reviewer- because of spitz and his gravy- is reviewing the stink and that's where the problem lies for me

Because the stink is what came after and all this other stuff is now covered in it, tainted by it

Anyway, I have a t-shirt design to produce for Trev, thanks for reminding me
I agree that there definitely a baby and bathwater issue here, and that the premise of the book sounds utterly ridiculous. But basically, the reviewer has used that as an excuse to lash out at everything good and bad - it's telling that she uses the author's unwillingness to tackle Riot Grrrl as an excuse to gloss over the issue herself, giving that bringing that in would severely weaken her argument as regards identity politics, feminism, etc. It's lazy, in the way these things usually are, it reeks of a degree of unthinking prejudice and lack of research and it pisses me off. Though it's certainly fair to point out though that she couldn't do it without Spitz himself being such an idiot to start with.

I think you could make a interesting book that explored the cultural connections between Indiepop, stuff like Final Fantasy and Joanna Newsom and the wider cultural scene (Wes Anderson, Miranda July) which form a similar sort of aesthetic experience, but it would certainly have to stick to that, rather than bringing all sorts of hipster bullshit in and then claiming that 'twee' is saving the world, which is an argument just sitting up and begging for a kicking.

EDIT - "I think you could make a interesting book…" - Having thought about it, no I don't, it sounds really fucking dull, but it would actually make sense, which was the point I was making.

User avatar
stolenwine
Posts: 2071
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 19:27
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/stolenwine/
Location: giddy london
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by stolenwine » Tue Aug 05, 2014 00:12

andyiong wrote:Apparently, all identity politics are ignored and the only form of political engagement is Morrissey worship, who's opinions on immigration get a free pass 'cos The Smiths were on an indie label. Probably the most ridiculous accusation is that it denies and avoids dealing with the idea of genuine suffering, exemplified in the book, apparently, where someone says that the Holocaust was an example of 'bullying' (I don't think this guy Spitz does himself any favours). Am I alone in thinking that this is entirely bullshit?
i don't think the scene (if we're talking about the indiepop scene) denies or avoids dealing with the idea of genuine suffering at all. i mean, listen to the lyrics of a lot of the songs! they're about pain and suffering and heartache and anger and self-loathing! that's the whole reason i even listen to these songs. i agree that some "twee" bands just sing about ponies or whatever but there's a time and place and room for that, right? i don't mind listening to songs about cute dogs or ponies because i like those things too.

i do agree that some forms of identity politics are ignored but that's no different from the rest of the "outside world". i don't think this scene is a utopia that's free from all the other crap in society...it can't be because it doesn't exist in a vacuum and the traditional rules/structures of society still apply. some of those are definitely challenged but not all of them. that's true of most scenes though!

ALSO i'm a long-term morrissey worshipper who doesn't give him a pass but hates that his bullshit complicates this loving relationship i have with his music (and with him...or the version of him i fell in love with when i got into his music). kinda wish i'd never found out about that stuff but the smiths have meant/mean too much to mean on a very deep level and i would find it really difficult to stop listening to them and suddenly start hating those songs. they're kinda part of MY SOUL now. but yeah, someone needs to invent a filter where i never have to know about the bad stuff he says :\
tell me how good it is / to wake from a bad dream / and have someone there and I will tell you / how butterfly wings stay dry in the rain
--
stolen wine social

noLooking

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by noLooking » Tue Aug 05, 2014 00:53

I think the identity stuff tends to be challenged more in indiepop than other stuff, certainly in terms of gender, which is what really annoyed me about the review. If anorak is anything to go by, there's all sorts of shit that people would say pretty unthinkingly In the real world (and certainly on other internet fora) that would rightly get taken up on here. The mistake the guy makes is in trying to take DiY and throw it in with all that Zoey Deschanel, 'adorkable' shit and try and claim it constitutes some sort of big, world changing movement, which is what lays his argument wide open and lets the reviewer get away with all sorts of bollocks. There's some cool politics underpinning indie pop and especially DiY, but they are just records, ace though they may be, and given that, I want ponies too and I don't see why we shouldn't have them.

I really should go to bed.

User avatar
stolenwine
Posts: 2071
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 19:27
Last.fm: http://www.last.fm/user/stolenwine/
Location: giddy london
Contact:

Re: Twee - a discussion...

Post by stolenwine » Tue Aug 05, 2014 01:16

hmmm...yeah except when people on anorak replied to a post condemning someone for saying "people of colour should be limited edition" with "it's just a joke! you're too sensitive!" "this isn't worth falling out with each other over!" "it's not racist, it's the same as people calling each other racist as a joke!" "be quiet about this!" etc etc.

i dunno, i guess things to do with gender get called out but other things don't (the above said about women would definitely not be tolerated on here and for that i'm very grateful). i think when we start getting too carried away with "we're better than other scenes! we have good politics!" it can kinda thwart internal criticism/reflection which i think all scenes could do with. i dunno. i don't really talk about race stuff on here because of how that thread turned into a big mess and for other reasons in general (i can just feel the defensiveness rise in some people as they read this and i already don't want to hit send) but like i said before, this is just an extension of the outside world and i don't think most scenes are immune to it. i'm part of a black feminists group and even *within* activist groups it's acknowledged that it's not a perfect utopia because a lot of crap we internalise/the outside world trickles down into subcultures etc.

anyway, maybe we're going off topic here. i guess twee means different things to different people and people see/understand it in different ways depending on what they think it is/how they've been introduced to it. the main thing that bothers me about a lot of negativity/dismissal of it is that people tend to associate it with femininity and being "un-macho" and use that as a valid reason to hate it. which is kinda shitty.
tell me how good it is / to wake from a bad dream / and have someone there and I will tell you / how butterfly wings stay dry in the rain
--
stolen wine social

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest