Image by IndiePics!

I think @BuzzSonic tweeted both of these stories.

What I like about them is that they discuss what it was to be an indie before the means of distribution became available to all. In fact, any artist who signerd to a label – as they had to in order to get to make a record and have it put on sale (with a few very notable exceptions) – wasn’t really ‘indie’ at all.

Yet, it still mattered! The cool kids only wanted to back bands that were ‘indie’…and, for many, that remains the case.

Well, what could be more truly ‘indie’ then being a diy musician??

I’ve often wondered why people prefer independent labels but have no concern over the nature of ownership of publishing companies or booking agencies. The idea of independence being about labels is a fascinating one because it reveals that the chief concerns are issues of autonomy, artistic control and rejection of the establishment. If an artist has signed a contract with a label of any sort, independent or major, they have given up control and it really is a matter of the specific practices of the label how much of a good or bad thing that turns out to be. Independents are viewed as having less marketing power and fewer financial resources, leading to the assumption that they give artists more control and greater ownership – but that isn’t always the case.

Read the Guardian article on why ‘indie doesn’t mean independent record label anymore’ here.

The digital revolution has caused the mostly Anglo-American music calling itself “indie” since the early 1980s to change at an accelerating pace over the past decade in several interrelated ways. Because it is easier than ever before to record and distribute music cheaply or for free, the sheer number of “indie” artists producing popular music has skyrocketed. On the listening side, the Internet has made almost any recording instantly accessible, along with huge quantities of information about artists, genres and labels. This implies profound shifts for a subculture founded upon record collectors’ encyclopedic knowledge of pop and rock history as well as up-to-the-minute connoisseurship.

And get the In These Times piece on the ‘end of indie’ here.