Those of you that have read my blog entries will notice something about them: for some reason a majority of the things I seem to be drawn towards are tied into indie culture. It's got nothing to do with the fact that I like knowing about things that a smaller percentage of people know about or an interest in being a part of the hipster sub-culture it is the characteristics of these indie artists and the things they focus on that just happen to (most of the time) be associated with indie culture. Indie no longer has a meaning in fact the word has become generic and filled with all kinds of sub-genres, especially in music.
Indie is short for independent and I think that all the things that the word is associated with are what make me so often feel drawn to things of the indie variety but, I never stick to just that because that would be close minded and stupid and there are some (only some and defiantly not a lot) popular mainstream artists who deserve the recognition and are actually worthy of respect). Common things that come up in within indie culture: a challenge of the cultural norm, the importance of community, a high level of honesty, and a fearlessness towards experimentation and anything that would cross the boundaries of the audience or reader's expectations. These things come up over and over again in things that are often associated with the word "indie" and this is why I think I often end up paying close attention to it and having high respect for many of the things that often are labeled as indie . I wouldn't dare use the word "hipster", it is in untruthful and that implies a certain level of snobbishness and assumes that I wouldn't ever like something that wasn't indie in fact, I am open to plenty of different genres and labels and look at things in terms of what I view as my own personal classification of good and bad and not what other people have labeled it as and feel it would be so great if we could all free our selves from the notion of image, celebrity, and fame because the world would be a significantly better place but I am pretty much dreaming up the impossible. It is important to be open to stuff because if you are all the great stuff out there you'll find stuff that you never thought would be great but is great and you will be filled with surprises. There's plenty of good mainstream stuff out there that is popular at the moment as well and if I were to weigh on an imaginary scale the number of things that classify as mainstream and popular that (in my opinion don't forget) are high quality and the number of things of the indie variety that are of good quality they would probably weigh about the same. This was a topic that I felt it was necessary to clear up.
While I'm on the topic of Indie culture I'll promote a magazine that has a strong presence in Canadian, indie culture these days that is an important source of things associated with it. They have a section dedicated to some interesting, unique, and challenging indie authors who offer fiction that challenges our expectations as readers and often offers a perspective on things that many writers don't explore. I know that is a generic description but, since none of these stories are in anyways a like I found that was the best possible description for the things that they all have in common. Another feature of Broken Pencil are reviews of zines, books, music and movies, and articles about things associated with independent culture. Broken Pencil calls themselves a "magazine about zine and independent culture" and they are a respectable and insightful source of this subject and have been my number one source of things related to indie culture for nearly four years. This month they are having their annual zine fair in both Toronto, Ontario and B.C. It is called Canzine and it is a fun place to hang out for the day filled with insightful, extremely talented vendors and interesting talks about things related to...well culture and the people who are interested in getting their work out there. I'm extremely grateful for being able to be a vendor, for the first time ever last year because I was able to network and reach out to an audience for the day with my work regardless of how many people were interested in buying the zines I was selling throughout the day. For a bargain price I got my own table and got to set up my own booth for the day, network, and reach out to an audience which was awesome! No, I won't be returning as a vendor this year but I hope to at least stop by. Oh yeah, that reminds me of, and is a perfect example of another attractive feature of the whole indie thing: it's warmth and accessibility for newcomers who want to be active participants in a cultural community and with ideas regardless of how out of the ordinary they happen to be. Here's a link to the Broken Pencil website for those that are interested:
I have chosen to end this entry with a song. Why? Well...it seemed like a good idea, it is at least sort of on the topic because she is considered indie, this song is brilliant so I wanted to share it, and it foreshadows a future blog entry in a massive way (sorry readers no specifics but it's pretty obvious) and well...there are many times in life where I have wished that ending with a song wasn't such an impossibility. It's called "Undiscovered First" By: Feist. The build up is brilliant and it is amazing how well Feist's voice blends with the choir and how awesome it is that this song turns into a belting choir and I at the moment it doesn't really require much more explanation than that. Sorry I couldn't get the video to download to my webpage: it was a technical issue therefore I have included a youtube link to the song instead: