24
Oct 07

International Jet Set

FT1 comment • 490 views

Judging by Technorati, responses to this Carl Wilson piece – “The Trouble With Indie Rock” – have mostly focused on his dismantling of Sasha Frere-Jones’ argument about the lack of ‘miscegenation’ in indie rock. Good old Carl, well said that man, I can enjoy my Sufjan records guilt-free now. I guess most of the people who linked it didn’t get to page 2, where Wilson says some stuff which feels to me more challenging and pertinent (if yr an indie fan) than Frere-Jones’ points:

In the darkest interpretation, one could look at the split [between indie and R&B] as mirroring the developing global split between an internationalist, educated comprador class (in which musically, one week Berlin is hot, the next Sweden, the next Canada, the next Brazil) and a far less mobile, menial-labor market (consider the more confining, though often musically exciting, regionalism that Frere-Jones outlines in hip-hop). The elite status and media sway that indie rock enjoys, disproportionate to its popularity, is one reason the cultural politics of indie musicians and fans require discussion in the first place, a point I wish Frere-Jones had clarified in The New Yorker; perhaps in that context it goes without saying.

Actually singling that paragraph out makes Wilson’s piece seem more shock-tactic and less thoughtful and well-argued than it is, but even so what he’s saying deserves the kind of exposure and debate SFJ’s original essay got.

Comments

  1. 1
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    The SFJ and CW pieces might be worth exposure or debate if they could supply concrete evidence of how and where this “split” is supposed to be happening. Or maybe they just fancied instigating a “split” to give themselves something to do.

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