Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Final Assignment Abstract: Indie is Not a Genre

This past week the New York Times and The Atlantic reported this has been the first time global music sales rose since the conception of Napster.

Therefore, with the advent of anti-piratacy legislation, improved technology (namely, smart phones), and the subscriptions to streaming sites/applications such as Spotify or Grooveshark, illegally downloading music is becoming obsolete.

Whether it is a Top 40 hit or some underground band from Austin, TX, it has never been so easy to find the music catered to a listener's taste.

This past week the band Fun. received a Grammy for Best New Artist, as the Los Angeles Times reported, the "indie trio" performed their hit "We Are Young." While Fun. releases their music through Fueled By Ramen records, which is a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, they also distribute through Atlantic Records. Both of these enterprises are major labels.

This assignment will be looking at groups dubbed "indie" while distributing music through major conglomerates such as Time Warner.

But what does "Indie" mean?

Indie is short for independent. It takes the "Do-It-Yourself" ethos in marketing and distributing one's own music, while remaining independent from the major record labels domineering an artist's direction. Yet, looking through the bands performing at the 2013 Grammys, when bands such as Fun. under Fueled By Ramen records or the Black Keys under V2 (of Universal Music Group), are dubbed indie but the word takes on a different meaning.

Thus, through the portrayal of indie music in mainstream media (Grammys, selected samples from major publications such as the LATimes) in tandem with the advent of streaming applications, smart technology, and anti-pirate legislation, the label "Indie" is has transformed from a category describing music independent from major record labels to a constructed consumerist genre in order attracts a particular market of young listeners.

This year 2013's "Indie" doesn't mean what it once meant in 2003.

Thank you for reading. And please, feedback, suggestions, and inquiries will be very much appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Did "indie" evolve from "alternative" in the '90s? And what are you saying about music or the culture at this moment in time with your argument?