It is hard to say exactly when I started listening to indie rock. I think it was when I worked at a record store in Eugene, Oregon. Indie bands were coming up. The Modest Mouse, the Polvo, the Blonde Redhead. It slowly started brewing up in the shop and over at friends houses.
Eugene is a small college town. We were all pretty much friends and would hang out here and there. We would listen to music and drink. I had an allotment of CD’s and records I could borrow from the music store at a time. It was almost criminal how much music I listened to.
At the time, I needed something from music. As a musician, I needed to feel accepted for what I was and as listener I need to feel close and included. Indie rock included me. It made me feel like these new bands were friends. Personal friends that I could hang out with find my high and relax.
I was flawed, I was tired of trying to be perfect. Indie rock wasn’t perfect. Indie rock wasn’t pretentious. It wasn’t bigger than life. It wasn’t polished and overproduced. It was real!
I needed real . . . not the big budget perfect studio recording, not the dry contained predictable music. Something real. Indie rock was next door music. It gave me the excitement that punk rock gave me. It gave me the freedom to be me.
I played in a band called Trampled by Elephants at the time. We played one show, then I quite. I would take my guitar to the CD shop and play in the back, or downstairs sometimes. It was always raining in Eugene. When the sun came out it shocked everybody. They would stare at it and say “Oh my God, What is that”. It was a fun, but dark time, my early twenties, and the Indie Rock help me feel included and comfortable in my skin and not act like a pretensions nut. Eventually I moved up to Portland . . . that’s a whole different story I’ll talk about another day.
Please leave comments below of how you got turned on to Indie Rock. What are your favorite Indie Rock songs and bands?