In response to Noisey’s “Do We Really Need an Indie Rock Revival in 2017?”

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In response to Noisey’s “Do We Really Need an Indie Rock Revival in 2017?”

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Ben Gibbard is a cry-baby, but we love him anyway because he looks so dang cool in his skinny jeans and short-sleeved button-ups. Mopey boys with side bangs have only ever been cool while holding guitars. Take away the strings and all you’re left with is a sad high schooler with a handful of mixtapes featuring Defeater.

But Gibbard and his soft-rock cohorts aren’t just bummed out teenagers smoking cigarettes in the high school parking lot; They’re accomplished musicians with fan bases to prove it. So why are some people in the music world trying to take away the only thing that separates the indie rock men from the indie rock boys?

An article published by Noisey titled “Do we really need an Indie Rock Revival in 2017,” gained some traction earlier this year, because apparently, indie rock’s moment is over. Granted, the author of the piece does not exile the denounced genre to whenever it was cool to like Cake, but she makes it pretty clear the genre’s moment has long passed.

Maybe she’s right, but how sad it would be if talented artists stopped making music because they had reached their pop culture expiry. Indie rock has been important to somebody somewhere since its inception. Are we really so authoritarian to take that away?

I love “The O.C.”‘s Seth Cohen because, well, partly because of that charming smile, but mostly because he loved Death Cab For Cutie. “Garden State” isn’t famous because it was a good movie, it’s famous because The Shins are dope. Indie rock is the trend setter.

I get it, times are a-changin. People’s interests are becoming increasingly eclectic. It’s not just womanizing radio DJ’s who have good music taste anymore (can you believe that was ever a trope?). Moreover, pop music as a whole is reaching further into the pockets of the resident “cool kids.” It’s now “in” to like Selena Gomez, and I know I do.

That said, if someone claims to be a Pitchfork cultist but has never listened to “Either/Or,” how can they be trusted? Indie rock is the foundation for our generation’s music elitists, and for good reason. Indie rock was our first indicator of cool. It was the difference between Britney Spears and Fiona Apple, between Justin Timberlake and Jeff Magnum. It was our first taste of a nuanced approach to rock and roll.

So, the question: DO we really need an indie rock revival in 2017? Probably not. But wouldn’t it be fun?

 

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