Monday, December 10, 2007

It's a gift from above

Me and Mr Honeypop often have cute rows about music. We start talking about a band and this will sometimes evolve into a plate-throwing, divorce-inducing, full-blown fight about what indiepop means. For years and years, there was no question that what brought us together was our shared love for the genre but as we've been together forever, we are now finding that there might be types of indiepop that one of us don't like while the other will be crazy about. "Give over!", you might say. "This is human nature. You can't always like the exact same things." Yeah, alright, fair enough. But there is something that came up the other day which made me think (woh!).

I have been going slightly crazy about The Deirdres lately. I've always loved them but having finally seen them play live two days in a row a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me that they are one of those bands that come along while no-one's looking and create something so honest and heartfelt that you can't but notice and gawp at and follow. When I saw them at Christmas Twee the other week, Keir Deirdre came to me at some drunken moment and said "Oh God, people say they like us because we are so twee. We hate twee! I mean, I know you like it and all that, but we don't understand it". Well, if you have seen them on stage you'll know that Keir's word don't make any sense. The Deirdres are the quintessence of twee. And yet, as I found out, they don't even know what indiepop is. They are completely unaware of the scene and the history of it, which is not only strange but also brilliant and fascinating. Because essentially it means that indiepop (and that's exactly what The Deirdres are) exists regardless of the scene and the history. As much as I love indiepop musicians who are also indiepop nerds, The Deirdres' innocence is so refreshing. Mr Honeypop thinks that it's suspicious and maybe they are not indiepop. I wonder if anyone sees my point though.

1 comment:

Pete said...

It's like I was saying to you in the pub... and now I'm going to say it on your blog so that other people can read it, because I thought it was quite insightful and it's not often that happens to me!

So yeah. That the Deirdres can create indiepop without knowing what indiepop is shows that indiepop is a wholesome and naturally occurring substance which doesn't have to be created in the lab. I reckon if we hadn't had all the Old Things that people say popmusic depended on for its evolution (you know: the blues, and the Beatles, and all that), then indiepop would still have happened, would still have found an expression, would still have forced its way to the surface somewhere on the planet. Because it's the perfect form that underlies popmusic. It's popmusic taken as far towards perfection as it can be, in the way that Helvetica was modernist mid-20th century typography taken as far towards perfection as it could be. It has that same perfect finality.

Why is this? Because indiepop is an expression of our own urge to purity (even in debauchery). Or of our urge to see beauty and rhythm and pattern and determination in the grime and chaos of our lives. Or because the intervals of the major scale are the intervals between childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Or because of Helen Love's sunglasses.

The Deirdres are more important than anyone realises, and the fact that they realise it least of all themselves is at once both the signifier and the synecdoche of that importance.

I'm going to stop now because I'm sounding like a right wazzock.