A couple of weeks ago I was scanning the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times and came across an interesting article about "private indie rock concerts" hosted by entitled Los Angeles teenagers in their backyards. I was not sure what to make of the article at the time, but for some reason the story bothered me to no end, so I saved the paper. Basically, the article describes a growing trend of private, intimate concerts in the backyards of the rich and famous, and the increasing popularity to "go indie" as opposed to "mainstream" for Encino, and Beverley Hill's Hollywood spawn. The piece delves deeper into the privileged teen's obsession for everything indie by talking about their parent's involvements in their musical endeavors, including inviting music producers to the house (these are well connected kids, make no mistake about that) and even copy writing their child's music. I could not help feeling a bit disgusted by what seems to be the new helicopter stage parent, but instead of pressuring their kids to go on American Idol, or go to acting auditions, they are encouraging them to be the next big indie act. The other thing that really nags at my conscience are the private indie rock concerts that are hosted in their backyards, since when did indie music become an exclusive club? The appeal of indie music was the grass roots movement of many musicians to stray from the mainstream and break out on their own, with no help from mommy or daddy, and to gain respect by producing great music, as opposed to having a record producer stroll into their house. I am not saying that these teens are not talented, and I can't make that assumption given the fact that the Times did not mention any of the kids' bands in the article. However, it seems as if the true meaning of "indie" has become lost and muddled. Since when has indie music been associated with the privileged and connected? If these kids are really eager to break into the scene the only way to gain respect is to make it on their own, to perform gigs at local clubs, send mix tapes and EPs out to local record labels (with no knowledge of their famous and powerful parents) and to really try. That means they have to make an effort to have their music heard, to fight for their voice, not allow their parents to do it for them.
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