I've always hated the term "indie". It's never meant anything close to it's epistemological origin for me. In my opinion, indie describes a hairstyle or maybe someone's choice of t-shirt for a social occasion. You may ask, "but Disaster Amnesiac, what the hell does this have to do with a recording by Moe Tucker?" It's a good question. Let me see if I can clarify, by way of blog riffing to Life in Exile After Abdication.
Here we find a record that features the A List of pre and post Punk creators. Lou Reed, Jad Fair, Sonic Youth, and Daniel Johnston, are all here, not to mention the great Maureen herself. It's a cast that screams out "indie!" This time, I don't use the term for fashion, but for INDEPENDENCE. As in liberated thought. As in creative use of musical instruments with transcendence as a goal. As I type these words, the free-form freakbeat of Chase washes into my ears, coloring my mind and giving me the best kind of vertigo. Tucker's sparse pow-wow drum pounding and swimming cymbal washes. Moore and Renaldos' respective ghost feedback and chiming. This was music created in the spirit of INDEPENDENCE.
Listen to Moe's insights into the realities of working adulthood on Spam Again or Work. These lyrics are not statements about style. No. These are words that strive to express the blues that spring from having to face up to the hardscrabble reality that faces the vast majority of people. Despite all the aggravation, my heroine Moe lifts her voice and expresses the frustration with simple language and lyrical style. You know, Rock-n-Roll! Rock-n-Roll as a medium not just for the Beautiful People, but for all people. Liberated thought. INDEPENDENCE.
Dig the real Human feeling, the tenderness of Andy and Pale Blue Eyes (the best version of that song ever), or Daniel Johnston's Do it Right. Appreciate the unschooled and wonderful strumming of Jad Fair on Bo Diddly. Feel the liberation that comes when people really expose themselves in honest and heartfelt ways. Try not to shed a tear of joy. Do try to shed your pretensions. It's the Rock-n-Roll thing to do. "Indie" don't mean shit. Not to us exiles.