And it's always a particular type of person that cares for these classifications. I look around, and none of my schoolmates who used to discuss music with me for hours on end actually give a shit anymore. They're sensible enough to acknowledge that if something's visually/ aurally appealing, it's probably a good investment to make sure the artist makes a few bob out of it so he can make more cool shit again. Stuff they can pick up at one of Tesco's 8000 convenient locations, along with their groceries. Stuff the Mrs. won't mind on the stereo on the drive back home, stuff that won't wake up Junior, dozing contentedly in the back of their brand new SUV, paid for by that timely -and no doubt, well-deserved- promotion.
People like me on the other hand, we tend to get stuck. We tend to travel and temp and drift and meander when everybody else was working their assess off to be able to afford travel and meandering later. Till one day, we realize the meandering has become kind of a routine, just another 9-5 gig without the dental plan. Because nothing really is that temporary. Ultimately, everything you do becomes you. Do nothing, and well...you do the math. It's all quicksand. It swallows you whole. Once you've had that realization, you start taking stock. Let's see: nothing there, nothing here, nothing anywhere else, and suddenly, we find that all we have left is an inflated sense of integrity, of keeping it real, of keeping real an 'it' that was entirely imagined and not at all real to begin with. The hallucinatory fug of a teenage mind and too many chemicals.
Still. There's always formerly-indie bands to thumb our noses at. It's our way of blaming school friends for moving on, for growing up. It's how we chastise our parents for letting us make our own decisions. When a 27 year old, beer-bellied, nicotine-stained, single man talks passionately and loudly about the sad demise of guitar music, you should know it's not the music he's mad about. That's not chart music he's angry at, or Adam Sandler movies. He's just a poor general who's only just looked back and realized his men have all fallen by the wayside. The enemy is now a civilian, and all those battles he thought he'd won were as Pyrrhic as they come. The war, my friend, the war is lost. So do him a favour and just let him loathe himself in peace. Buy him a Big Mac, tuck some loose change in his pocket. Because someone's gotta pay for those sleeping pills.
*Image (Jack Black as Barry in High Fidelity) courtesy: Andy Whitman