“…the sound of Satan’s scrotum emptying”

“If we end up with 20 years of Tory government, it’ll be The Pigeon Detectives’ fault.”

The Independent has called time on “mortgage indie”. In a wonderfully cussing article, they talk about those festival mid-slot acts as “indie landfill”, amid what is essentially it’s a right ol’ rant, written in words we would have cobbled together…

“As in every musical era, one style dominates the hearts and minds of our nation’s youth; it dictates their fashion sense, their relationship with their parents and, quite possibly, their personal-hygiene regimen. These days, it’s indie that’s the cholesterol in the veins of popular culture, and we need to start thinking about a crash diet.

You know who they are, these smooth-chinned strummers, with their smart-arsed, self-admiring band names almost invariably prefaced by the definite article: The Kooks, The Courteeners, The Holloways, The Rascals, The View, The Wombats, The Automatic, The Pigeon Detectives, The Hoosiers. Their turgid, tuneless banalities use all the oxygen between ad breaks on XFM; they mop up the soggy midday slot on the main stage. Indie is the 30-year-old genre that gave us The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Blur and Arctic Monkeys. But in that period it has also produced Ocean Colour Scene, Menswear and Joe Lean and The Jing Jang Jong.

John Niven was an indie fan in the 1980s, an A&R man in the Britpopping 1990s, and is now the author of Kill Your Friends, a sadistic satire of the record industry of which he was once an enthusiastic member. “..It’s such a ball-less, soulless, generic whitewashed indie sound. You could probably take a member from each band and throw them together in a new group and no one would be able to tell the difference. They’re completely interchangeable. Scouting for Girls are like the sound of Satan’s scrotum emptying. They’re abysmal.”

[…] For many acolytes of the original indie scene, the saddest by-product of its decline is the state of the NME, formerly their paper of record. The organ’s journalists were once so passionate about the integrity of the genre that they threatened a schism over the inclusion of too much hip-hop on their pages; now it, too, has become a corporate entity.

“I recently saw an interview with Conor McNicholas where he was talking about ‘growing the brand’,” Niven recalls. “The editor of the NME using the expression ‘growing the brand’! It’s hardly Nick Kent sneaking out of the office to run down Carnaby Street and score smack, is it?”

Published in: on July 20, 2008 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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