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“New York Independent Lo-fi: Focus on the Complexities First”

Wow, it seems like longer than two-thirds of a decade since the wondrous, labyrinthine sounds of the likes of Battles, Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors inundated our concept of pop music with bulbous, buzzardly bliss.

The trend now has overwhelmingly been toward the simple and poppy: see the burgeoning Best Coast, the direction of The Go! Team, and also the primary culprits, Brooklyn’s own The Men.
I was just in the library letting my eyesight pointlessly graze over all these showcased books on this isolated shelf, which was a shelf all about sports, and one of the books was called something like Golf: Learning the Basics. See, I don’t believe in this. I believe in learning the complexities first. Got a five year old son who doesn’t know a golf club from a charcoal lighter? Good. Let’s get him out there, plant him straight in some weed-grown rough, and make him try to ricochet it off two trees and then onto the green. Everything in between he’ll learn himself, and it’ll be in his own style, too.
This should be the “approach,” no pun intended, in indie rock too. Go weird or go home. The Men, though not being the worst band in the world, strike me as the type of band that “learned the indie rock basics.” There’s no modulated voice going “bonefish,” there’s no vocal wailing on the discussion on cannibalism, no seven-minute xylophone-and-clave tours-de-force.
And lest we should fall into the trap of actually likening music with competing in American corporate society, which the sometimes repugnant pitchfork seems prone to doing, I would like to remind everyone that MUSIC HAS YET TO BE FULLY DEFINEd. If it is defined, then it no longer exists as art, it’s just like everything else that’s stupid, and next thing you know Real Estate will be deploying troops overseas to clear out new terrain for a PBR brewery. I hope it gets nice and sun-scorched.

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