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8/28/2003

An amusing article about the life of a speed-metal lover amongst the indie rock snobs. But it's a bit of a straw-man's argument, really. To begin with, indie rock snobs, given their endless love of kitsch, uniformly (proclaim to) love schlock like Def Leppard (not speed metal, I know -- but wait for the article's punch line, it's relevant). Black metal, grindcore, etc., are currently soaring in popularity amongst the Aquarius-and-Other-Music set. And anyway, doesn't Salon bear at least some responsibility for indie rock hegemony? True, recent features are admirably diverse (spanning Warren Zevon, Neil Young, Led Zep, Benny Carter, Beyonce, and a curiously two-years-late piece on mashups). But if Salon isn't as insular as Insound, its recurring "What We're Listening To" music previews doesn't exactly cover the full spectrum. Recent picks like T-Love, Watchers, Antipop vs Matthew Shipp, Califone, Yo La Tengo, Willie Nelson, Smog, Les Nubians, Gravy Train, Deerhoof, et al, seem to speak to exactly the same self-congratulatory, edgy-as-NPR "aren't we all tasteful now" mentality. Don't see much Burzum in there, for instance, nor Dizzee Rascal (who, let's face it, has been adopted to support an entirely different hegemony of taste), nor Soundmurderer, Amen Andrews, Plastikman, Ellen Allien, and so on, and so on.

I salute Tom Bissell for his piece; it's spot-on and funny to boot. And I salute Salon for printing it. But they'd go along way toward helping avant-yobs like Bissell and me come out if they'd grant a few more column inches to our deviance.

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