Although it certainly rings true, when American Music Club references those “Anonymous scenes of disaffection, chaos and torture” in their song Johnny Mathis’s Feet, it’s really only a half-truth. For one thing, the little scenes I remember were anything but anonymous. While they certainly were a bit on the disaffected side and most assuredly peppered with elements of chaos (re:disorganization) and torture (for the most part self inflicted delusions of “oppressed” youth), they were far from “anonymous”. One of the best things about the little DIY punk/alternative subcultures was how they morphed into a community, with their own sort of family-like intimacy and togetherness – even if it was a fatally flawed version. They rejected the plastic surgery disasters of commercialized schlock forced on them from corporate interests (who were intent on dumbing down artistic expression for the purposes of ushering in cookie-cutter formulas designed to line their pockets) in favor of something more organic, that may show itself warts and all, but whose warts inevitably become an integral part of the overall beauty.
The Indie Archives – my attempt at capturing a piece of this – will endeavor to chronicle these not-so-anonymous scenes of disaffection, chaos, and torture that birthed art that is real, not plastic, not contrived. To that end, you will NOT see bands featured here that are “indie” purely in their “unsigned” status as they search for a major label to propel them to rock-star status, all the while parroting the latest businessman-concocted trends. When I say “indie”, I’m talking independent of all of those characteristics. What I hope to bring is the antithesis of all of that garbage – artists that manage to keep the spirit of the DIY ethic whether or not they are on a label or recorded in their living rooms. They may at times have reached a polished sound to be admired by the most arudent studio aficionados, but the spirit of the music remains as lo-fi as any garage band.