I’m getting pretty tired of hearing that term thrown around for any music outside of the top 40. I guess all this resentment against “indie” music stems from the obnoxious need for some people to one-up their friends by finding the most obscure music possible. Yeah, it’s pretty annoying.
These people (usually termed “hipsters”) might be doing it for the wrong reasons, but they may be onto something. Listening to music outside of your normal tastes can really open your mind and change the way you approach music. I make a point of listening to weird music once in a while. Maybe it’s from a different genre or a different culture. Maybe it’s a new voice; a wobbly, creepy, or way-out-of-tune voice. Maybe the lyrics are profound or maybe they’re mindless babble. Sometimes it’s just the inexplicable feeling you get from a beat that catches you off guard, a single repeated note that is a symphony in itself, or a soaring melody that takes you back to a time and place. I don’t always like what I find. Sometimes weird music is really just weird music. But once in a while I come across a gem. Often times, they’re the ones that require a few doubtful listens.
There’s nothing wrong with top 40 or “mainstream” music. You’re just not as likely to find something new there. If you’re looking for weird music, you might find yourself digging for some hipster shit.
Over time, some of the weird stuff doesn’t sound so weird anymore. Maybe you’ll catch yourself singing along with that way-out-of-tune voice. Don’t worry, you’re not getting used to bad music. You’re not turning into a hipster. You’re just changing.