janet reno's dance party

I don’t know all that much about the world of Indie music, but there are a few things I’ve managed to pick up. In a way, really, it’s not unlike a board game. Fans get points for loving bands that no one else has heard of. Bands get points for referencing small unknown diners in the Midwest. “Multiplier” cards are also available, where one’s points are multiplied and then either added to or subtracted from one’s overall score.

For instance, having first heard an obscure band at a hole-in-the-wall club in a city over 700 miles away from your current location takes whatever points you earn from knowing of the band and doubles or sometimes triples them. You also get points for being able to complain that one of your formally favorite bands has sold out (it’s best to remain vague as to what the band has sold out to – something large and corporate is generally assumed).

The “sold out” card is valuable, since if played at a time when someone has just stated that they like said band, that second person’s points are actually reduced, not back to the number that they would have had had they not made the comment, but actually below their pre-liking level, such that they would have been better off had they never mentioned the band at all. Thus, in one Indie play and counter-play, a lot can happen – Person A can gain points by saying he likes an obscure band, Person B can gain points by saying he liked them when he first heard them play in some out of the way club far away, then gain more points by saying he no longer likes the band because they have sold out. Person A then loses whatever points were gained by mentioning the band, and has his point total further reduced on account of still liking a band that has sold out. Thus, in an Indie play initiated by Person A, Person B can actually come out far ahead.

All that for this: how are points distributed when an Indie musician contributes a song to an album produced by a former attorney general? I see your first question is a perceptive one – which attorney general? For Alberto Gonzales, the answer is of course easy – all Indie points lost, game privileges revoked. But what about Janet Reno? As it turns out, Janet Reno has produced an album, a sort of musical history of the United States; it starts with a Lakota dream song and ends with a country-western written about September 11. I first heard of the album a while ago (while checking out a small club just outside the Omaha city limits), but only now got around to actually downloading one of its songs, a World War I classic sung (and whistled) by Andrew Bird. And it’s good. I don’t know whether my Indie points are added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided by listening to a song produced by Janet Reno, but something that feels this good can’t be all that bad.


At 9:11 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

I love Andrew Bird. I don't know whether that's worth any points or not. Probably not, since even if he hasn't "sold out," he's gotten fairly big. Still, I love him. He played in Minneapolis last month, but alas, I was in California.

At 12:06 AM, Blogger T.M. said...

I actually hesitated to mention him as Indie, since I'm not sure if you're allowed to be Indie once a critical mass of people know(s?) who you are. And therein I expose my indaivety (that's the new word for Indie naivety -- go ahead, look it up).


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