My Indie-pendent weekend in the Big Manzana

My Indie-pendent weekend in the Big Manzana

I’ve ragged my cousin in Jersey so much about his independent ways and eccentric tastes, that I felt I had to see for myself what all the fuss is about. My cousin, Tesh, is an avid, almost maniacal fan of Indie-rock music. He is so infatuated with this genre of music, that he has even recently started planning his life around concerts. Is he somewhat of a musical extremist (or as he likes to put it “a music snob”) or am I just missing the boat??? So, I made my way to the Big Apple a month back to live the life of an Indie-rocker for one weekend. The whole trip was centered around the Siren Music Festival which is sponsored by the Village Voice paper in NYC and held in Coney Island every year. In addition to that, my cousin had also planned for us to go to McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn to be in attendance for another concert (both concerts were free).

So, I found myself inundated by Indie-rock bands and Indie-rockers alike on a Saturday in Coney Island. When we first arrive, the atmosphere was more relaxed than chaotic and the crowd was filled with more passerbys than hardcord rockers. But the night illuminated the real fans of this genre of music and the crowd was electric, as were the bands that performed in the evening. M.I.A.’s concert was so packed, I could barely see her from where I was standing (nearly 100-150 feet away). We saw a few other bands (Cursive, New York Dolls, etc.) before we departed for the train and back to MacDougal Avenue for a falafel or two and a kati roll before we headed home. I have to say that my experience was unique and entertaining. Had I suddenly become an Indie-rocker myself or at least more than a marginal fan, at best?? No. But I can now view the world my cousin lives in with a little more insight, knowledge, and understanding.

I still don’t really understand why Indie-rockers pride themselves on being so unique and independent of the mainstream media and culture. I mean, my cousin claims that he isn’t influenced by what people like, wear, and/or listen to. He just marches to his own beat and taps his feet to his own rhythm. But, I don’t think so. I think that if anything, Indie-rockers/hipsters follow the mainstream trends more than anyone because they have to know what NOT to wear and what everyone in the mainstream is wearing. They are influenced by the mainstream because they have to know what is mainstream in order to dress appropriately and differently. I mean, even music is the same. If they find out a band has gone mainstream, then they will stop listening to that band. That, to me, makes no sense. If you like something, you like it, regardless of how popular or unpopular it is. I mean, it isn’t as if some Indie-rock band out there is saying “I don’t want to become popular, make more money, get more women, and have more fame because I want to stay Indie”. I mean, cmon. I have told my cousin countless times that it’s cool to be different than the norm, but when you are just being different to be different, then that registers very hollow with me. Be different because that is who you are, not because you just don’t want to be someone else. Then again, those are just my two cents…

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