The 10 Things That Are Killing Indie Music in 2011

You may have noticed that we love indie music here at Flavorpill. And by “indie,” we don’t necessarily just mean music released on independent labels (a term that’s becoming increasingly meaningless these days anyway). These days, “indie” has become similar shorthand to what “alternative” meant in the 1990s: music that exists outside the world of the production-line chart pop that major labels really wish we’d still shell out $25 a CD for. Anyway, definition-based quibbling aside, indie music is a subject that’s dear to our heart — without it, we’d be forever marooned in major label hell, and thus we get upset about the things that we feel are undermining its health. Like the 10 things you’ll read after the jump, for instance.

Suspicion of intellectualism

In his fine piece on cultural blind spots yesterday, our own Jason Bailey noted that these days, any semblance of intellectualism — or any divergence from popular opinion, for that matter — tends to get you labelled a “hipster.” The message is clear: hipsters are pretentious and think they’re smarter than you, and we can’t be having that, can we?

This is symptomatic of the general anti-intellectualism that seems to have infected US culture over the past several decades — we’re increasingly suspicious of clever people, it seems, perhaps because of the constant diet of determinedly idiotic political discourse we’ve been fed since the Reagan administration. Whatever the case, we’re left with a culture where both intellectualism and its attendant polemicism are largely absent. People marveled at PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake this year because it actually said something — but it was very much the exception to the rule. Which brings us onto the next point…