UK Indiepop Dark Ages

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by linus » Fri Oct 15, 2010 13:14

well... surely that's it, will? what purpose does a timeline serve? a chronological list of records and bands immediately becomes like an approved list of 'yes, this is indiepop' and what happens to what's left out? who decides what goes in the timeline and what doesn't? and wouldn't it just become one of those dreadful airless tickbox exercises in cataloguing and filing and so on

I think, as far as I can gather, that the argument against all that is that it's essentially a rather deathly exercise... it's boring, it kills the thing it intends to bring to life

it might help me get my memories in order but, y'know, nostalgia as a warm and fuzzy dip in the streams of remembering can be quite nice over a cup of tea or a pint but when you start wallowing in it and attempting to make some official history... well, it's just a bit dry and gives one the droop

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by Klove » Fri Oct 15, 2010 13:18

Interesting thread. I was wondering if maybe the Indiepop Dark Ages represents an actual falling off in indiepop activity as people moved on to other music or dropped out of music as they got older. The revival then maybe is akin to other retro scenes (like mod or psych revivalism) - young people trying to recapture something from the past they like the sound of, older people trying to relive their youth.

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by indiansummer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 13:22

fogofideas wrote:well... surely that's it, will? what purpose does a timeline serve? ... well, it's just a bit dry and gives one the droop
ok, i can understand that

i think for some of us youngers/born-too-lates, it sometimes seems a bit overwhelming though, and it'd be nice to know how it all fits in and where...

what seems like closing the book in terms of drawing up a timeline is (i think) supposed to be a means of learning more about it to try and open up the past as much as the present or future, for those of us not in the know (or less in the know. or whatever)

i can see how it's not appealing anyway. that clears it up a bit more

in summary: no idea
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by indiansummer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 13:25

what would be ace, though, would be if someone would write an indiepop equivalent of Our Band Could Be Your Life

i think that might be a bit better; something enthusiastic that explains it all whilst pointing to where things came from and where they might go
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by linus » Fri Oct 15, 2010 13:27

Klove wrote:young people trying to recapture something from the past they like the sound of, older people trying to relive their youth.
I suspect that is quite likely the case in many instances but for a lot of older people it's a merely a continuation of what they've been listening to and doing all that time anyway, it's just that indiepop is (or was) a bit voguish at the moment

there are some tangible links (most often in the personalities involved) between what I listen to now and what I listened to then and before then but there's also stuff that has no link to that old stuff but fits a similar model (if you like)... or a similar approach or feel or sensibility, nothing in that sense has been revived

however with all these old bands reforming one could well perceive there to be a revival circuit afoot

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by ian » Fri Oct 15, 2010 13:33

Klove wrote:Interesting thread. I was wondering if maybe the Indiepop Dark Ages represents an actual falling off in indiepop activity as people moved on to other music or dropped out of music as they got older. The revival then maybe is akin to other retro scenes (like mod or psych revivalism) - young people trying to recapture something from the past they like the sound of, older people trying to relive their youth.
Klove wrote:Interesting thread. I was wondering if maybe the Indiepop Dark Ages represents an actual falling off in indiepop activity as people moved on to other music or dropped out of music as they got older. The revival then maybe is akin to other retro scenes (like mod or psych revivalism) - young people trying to recapture something from the past they like the sound of, older people trying to relive their youth.

What's interesting too, I think, is that different people have a different idea of when the Dark Ages actually were. Humblebee's Dark Ages, for example, were just starting when mine was coming to an end. So really it's all utterly subjective - of course - and impossible to pin down.

Re the timeline thing, I can actually see both sides of the argument. Pop should be of the moment, and being a music fan shouldn't be akin to being a butterfly collector, I agree. But I also like knowing when stuff happened, and trying to see how it fits (or not) to other similarly minded stuff and into a wider context. Also I forget stuff all the time, so it's nice to have a reminder. For me, knowing when a song was released does not tie it to that particular year. Music is timeless man, and we all discover it at different points.

Maybe the problem - and we're riding the rollercoaster of farce at full speed here - is the concept of a timeline. Maybe like a timeweb would be better - sprawling, interconnected, etc, etc. A bit like afogofideas's excellent post earlier in this thread.
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by ian » Fri Oct 15, 2010 13:34

indiansummer wrote:what would be ace, though, would be if someone would write an indiepop equivalent of Our Band Could Be Your Life
I sometimes think I'd like to do this.
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by indiansummer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 13:55

ian wrote:I sometimes think I'd like to do this.
i'd read it!
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by tonieee » Fri Oct 15, 2010 14:58

indiansummer wrote:what would be ace, though, would be if someone would write an indiepop equivalent of Our Band Could Be Your Life
I've never read that but I've often thought an indiepop equivalent of Please Kill Me would be nice.

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by indiansummer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 15:05

i presume that's the same sort of idea... OBCBYL tied together a lot of threads between early American hardcore punk and the 90s indie rock boom to paint a picture. it was interesting to see how it was all interlinked, and for my money, pretty well written and enthusiastic too. for all i know, it might well seem wrong or full of holes to those who were there then, but it joined a lot of dots for me, and i've been able to fill in some of the gaps since then by listening to/reading about other stuff
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by linus » Fri Oct 15, 2010 15:13

please kill me was more gossipy... and potentially unreliable

it's a good fun read though

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by andyroo » Fri Oct 15, 2010 16:24

fogofideas wrote:please kill me was more gossipy... and potentially unreliable

it's a good fun read though
Dunno about you, but that's precisely why I would like to read an indiepop Please Kill Me!
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by Jangloid Mark » Fri Oct 15, 2010 19:26

I'm not sure that there was a 'dark age' as such. As already said, different people had their dark ages at different times.

From a UK perspective, I don't think indiepop truly went away...it's always been a fairly niche thing, but, for a while back then it was less visible. Still there, but, you had to be more in the know.

The space between the demise of a (genuine) indie chart (can I mention The Chart Show here?) and when the internet took off...

As someone who discovered the web very early on, it kept me more in the know....as did mix swaps. My first internet mix swap will be 14 (I think) years ago next month.

Unlike some on this thread, I would love indiepop to be in the mainstream. That doesn't mean it has to be tainted by the mainstream....but, for me, in a perfect world, The Dierdres 'Milk Is Politics' (brash, noisy, catchy) should have been a top ten hit...'Let It Slip' by The School is a huge catchy POP!!!! hit that should have been...if it had been released sounding more or less the same but by a major artist, it WOULD have been.

When I'm shopping (or indeed anywhere that has a radio, I want to hear music *that I like* rather than a Mariah clone warbling or some soul-less X-Factor pap.

It would be nice to mention The Bobby McGees and for people to actually know what you're on about....

Finally, on a similar note, can I offer up a defence of Britpop? Not ALL britpop, but, Pulp, Blur, Boo Radleys, Edwyn Collins and more put out excellent records....of course, there was a lot of shite as well, but, surely that comes with any genre?
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by a layer of chips » Fri Oct 15, 2010 19:51

Boo Radleys weren't Britpop for a start. And as much as I'm no fan, I'd guess devotees of Edwyn Collins would say the same thing. Just cos a record was released around the time of Britpop, doesn't mean it was a Britpop record. This goes back to the pointlessness of a timeline. LOL at that.

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by linus » Fri Oct 15, 2010 20:59

that's the thing, isn't it? paperhouse and creation (and it's offshoot, august) had this sort of indiepop-rock thing going on, I'm thinking of bands like velvet crush, boyfriend, 18 wheeler, perspex whiteout, the bmx bandits, captain america/eugenius... now, arguably if you want to be very tight on your definitions that wasn't indiepop (as many would have it), but some of those records are proper pure indiepop to me, 18 wheeler's 'nature girl' for example, and a number of those bands had their roots in C86 and sarah and so forth

but, y'know, when you write that down it becomes a bit dull and academic, I know I loved a lot of those records at the time (although some make me wince at the very memory of them)... but attempting to justify their place in some 'history', well, I don't know, I lose the will to carry on a bit

I think in respect of the period of time that ian and pete mentioned early on ('91-'96) it'd be interesting to identify what bands/labels were putting out uk based indiepop at that time...

I've mentioned vinyl japan already and a quick glance over on twee-net and the discography there shows they released stuff during that time by the hit parade, the bmx bandits, the haywains, saturn v, northern picture library, strawberry story, the carousel, the mctells and gregory webster (amongst others)... now some of these were re-releases and compilations admittedly but some was fresh poop f'sure

also, the magnificent damaged goods was putting out releases by helen love and the melons

I'd make a case for the pastels putting out some particularly choice items in this period, '91 saw the release of 'speeding motorcycle' and 'thru' your heart', '93 'thank you for being you', '94 'yoga' and '95 'mobile safari'... I saw them play with comet gain and huggy bear with a dj set from st etienne in '92 at the powerhaus in islington, it was a brilliant show- the sort of night that keeps you on your wayward path for another 10 years, one of those nights where you feel like the cosmos has finally aligned in a satisfactory, winning order... I'd say the pastels very much kept me afloat in the nineties... and then I'd remember that there was lots of other great stuff too

like wiiija records... consider the line up of bands they had: the already mentioned huggy bear, cornershop, voodoo queens, blood sausage and- let's not forget- heavenly... alright some of them might not be anyone but my idea of what indiepop is or was or should be but I'd make a case for it however futile because those records, those bands had the same life affirming feel as any of the best indiepop stuff... it all rubs happily together impossibly for me, it's all from the same urgent pot, it all makes you carry on obstinately, chuntering on into the void over fifteen years after it first tripped you up and made you think 'by crikey, yes! there has to be another way and this could well be it or something like it!'

and then there were the other riot grrrl/boy bands and associates like mambo taxi and linus... yeh, it's not all 'skipping thru' the flowers, sha la la' jingle jangle but as I've said already in that way I say things over and over seemingly without tiring it all seems to spark and fizz from the same half of the brain/heart...

what am I rambling on about? I don't know... nurse! nurse!

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by linus » Fri Oct 15, 2010 21:09

and there should really be mention of the fat tulips and heaven records who were doing their thing regardless of fashion and whether we were listening to austrian techno or rolling drum and bass at the time, it's probably a bit remiss that they've not been mentioned already

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by aorta » Fri Oct 15, 2010 21:50

I thought this was a renaming of the pop recession thread at first.
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by Trev » Fri Oct 15, 2010 22:06

fogofideas wrote:so why get hung up having timelines and documenting and cataloguing all that... surely a record hits you in the moment... knowing all that other stuff just makes you mike read or paul gambicini
Because it is interesting to know?

I don't know why people get their knickers in a twist over some people wanting a timeline. Seems, like people, for whatever reason are scared/anxious over a timeline. Sigh. Get over it, everyone.
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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by linus » Fri Oct 15, 2010 22:17

I'm not anxious, perhaps you can tell us who is anxious? I think some misgivings have been expressed about a timeline and that's about it and then people who like rock family trees and catalogue numbers and all that have got their knickers in a twist and got shirty, not the other way around... I've droned on enough here in a very gambo style 'and then there was this and also this' and bored myself silly... and I did all that to prove a point (possibly)

while we're at it, what is the point of this thread? is it to identify strands of indiepop that occurred in the nineties when some people were looking the other way or have we moved on to some notion of creating a historical document and looking for continuations and whatnot

I'm perplexed

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Re: UK Indiepop Dark Ages

Post by Trev » Fri Oct 15, 2010 22:26

But you are anxious! I know I appear to be, too, but I can't get over all these precious proclamations that a timeline would kill something. That is utter nonsense. Some people like reading facts and figures and somehow, some people here don't want that to happen and they're the people that have shouted loudest about it (until I opened my trap, it seems): Saying it would be dull, it would kill the music (man), it would serve no purpose la la la.

I find this all completely perplexing, to nick your theme. A timeweb (nice one, Ian) would or could be a fun reference thing for people who would like it, y'know some people like to know the facts, to put stuff into a context, history isn't all about now - it's about why things happened at a certain time and how they linked to other things happening at the same time. I know it's not going to happen because it would just descend into a bitter discussion of what is/isn't indiepop - but that's usually down to the narrow view taken by some of what can be called indiepop. Irk the fucking purists, I say.

Now, what was this about a dark age?
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