on being so indie cool

I love music. Always have. I only wish I could express the
depths of it influence without sounding trite like a commercial for
natural fibers. But it’s true: music is the fabric of my life. My
life is but one extended-play soundtrack, with each memory cloaked
in a familiar beat or lyric. Every person that has crossed my path
is categorized in a musical genre; the more influential people are
categorized in my brain by band, album or song title. I cannot
begin to understand people who say they “don’t really listen to
music” or those who limit themselves to one style or era. What an
empty existence that must be, to turn on the radio and not
experience the warm rush of nostalgia that spreads throughout the
body like an audio scrapbook. I attach dates, places, experiences,
and cast members to nearly every song I hear. It would seem so
empty if those memories were silent. I’ve always been broad in my
musical tastes, crossing over to everything from hardcore rap and
rock to a (very brief) stint lovin’ country, and everything in
between. Of course I’m rooted in decades that I’ve spent a lot of
time in — the ’80s, in particular, are a treasure trove of
soothing sounds to me — but in the past five years or so, I’ve
really embraced the indie rock scene. I love keeping up with the
latest to come out of the independent labels and indie musical
havens like Brooklyn, but I often feel like a bit of poseur in my
pursuits. For one, I’m 35. Most indie rock fans have the drawn and
haggard, shaggy-haired, skinny-jeaned look of the 20-something. And
here I am, invading their turf — listening to their favorite
bands, reading their favorite blogs and watching their videos
on YouTube. My own cousin Katie, a mid-20s hip and
effortlessly cool Brooklynite, humors me by sharing music with me,
but I can’t help but be paranoid that she can see me desperately trying
to cling to my youth through these musical pursuits. And, hey,
maybe I am. But for now I’ll prefer to believe that my musical
tastes are continuing to evolve as I do, and although I’m not
exactly a disaffected youth anymore, I would say that my views on
life, politics, society, love and the rest more closely resemble
those indie rockers’ tastes than they do my contemporaries. So who
the heck cares if I have to put on an extra layer of undereye
concealer before I go to a concert at the Marquee Theatre? At least
I’m not sitting in front of the TV watching old Styx videos on VH1
Classic. But don’t get me wrong. I love me some Styx.

One of my new favorite bands is
LA-based trio Best Coast. They embody every
bit of indie rocker cred I wish I possessed: cool, breezy tunes
backed by a cool, retro 1950s SoCal style. They recently upped
their cool quotient in my book — which I didn’t even know was
possible — by making a mixtape (one of my favorite hobbies) for a
UK-based publication. Indie music blog Stereogum is
streaming it
and, much to delight (but not surprise), it
features an eclectic mix of old and new, including longtime favorites Steely
Dan, Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mac, and Valley
favorite, Josie Cotton.

I’m excited to learn Best Coast will be in
Phoenix in November…will definitely stay out late on a school
night with all the other college girls for that one.


One thought on “on being so indie cool

  1. Pingback: on 2010 – my year in review | it's on my mind

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