Hi everyone. In lieu of our brand new Facebook page and the next step in the life of The Indie Handbook, we’d like to a) invite everyone to become fans and b) give in and let you know what we’re all about. For months you’ve been wondering; your answers are here.
Below you’ll find individual statements from Eric and Kristin, as well as a general statement regarding the purpose of The Indie Handbook (and why they aren’t pretentious bastards for calling it such). As always, if you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, you can email E & K at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any criticisms, please make the ATTN to Eric, as Kristin doesn’t take criticism well and Eric gives wittier comebacks.
A few months ago, I took a quiz I found in an issue of Psychology Today (it was an issue about the psychology of taste) and accordingly, the boffins at PT labeled me a “trendsetter”. Apparently, this means that I enjoy the hunt for new talent and delight in the joy of a new discovery. This much is true. What is not true is that I do this out of some need to be cool. (My coolness is inherent, not dependent upon my discovery of “the next big thing”.)
In fact, many of the things I like are not generally looked upon with any sort of wonderment by the indie intelligentsia. I think the Cardigans’ First Band on the Moon is one of the most brilliant albums ever recorded (and someday I will tell you why). I don’t care that Envy & Other Sins won their record deal on a television show. I think Fleet Foxes are overrated (good, but overrated). And I infinitely prefer British twee and Scandinavian pop over Pacific Northwest navel-gazing.
Do I listen to a lot of bands you’ve never heard of? Yes. But that’s just where the MySpace breadcrumb trail has led me. And if you keep an eye on this blog, I promise, you will know about them as soon as I do (well…almost…).
After much toiling over how to get my point across with the perfect storm of sincerity, snarkiness, and sophistication, I have decided that the best way is by making a list:
1. Sometimes my friends take credit for making me indie. The truth is that I have always been all about good music. I will always know all the lyrics to Don McLean’s “American Pie,” sing Gladys Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia” at the top of my lungs, and idolize David Bowie. At the same time, Belle & Sebastian’s The Boy with the Arab Strap will always be one of my favorite albums of all time.
2. Art, to me, is about connection. In the poetry of every musical element combined, you’ll find people who get it. You’ll come to a greater depth of understanding of yourself and the world around you. I say this over and over again in my reviews. Humans need connection desperately, but we can only find so much of it on top-40 radio. There is so much more that is so much better!
3. Speaking of which, there is probably more that is better playing a show this weekend in your hometown. There is also definitely more that is better playing a show halfway across the globe. Thanks to the internet, all of these are readily available for your listening! And I want to help you find them!
4. I don’t care if you heard them first. xx.
From Both Of Us!
The purpose of the Indie Handbook is a simple one: sharing good music. To us, music is not the currency of coolness. It is not something to be collected, hoarded, and lorded over people like drinking water in the midst of nuclear fallout. It is something to be celebrated and shared, like drinking water in the midst of nuclear fallout.
It is true that people frequently ask us what we are listening to. For a long time, the majority of communication between the two of us was an ebb and flow of band recommendations. This can grow redundant very quickly, and when your tastes change (or when your favorites list multiplies) at the rate ours do, it becomes nearly impossible to keep track of what you’ve shared with whom. This is much simpler.
So this, the Indie Handbook and everything it encompasses, boils down to one simple concept: we like good music, and while good music is meant to be heard, finding it often takes more than turning on your radio. We’ll do the work for you. This blog gets updated frequently (it’s a miracle we keep it to five or so posts a week, really) because there is so much out there to love, as long as you are willing to give it a chance. And that is all we ask of you. Listen. Explore. But above all else, decide for yourself what is cool, because that is what it means to be “indie” and that is why we are The Indie Handbook.