Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Indie fun

The Brampton Indie Arts festival was this weekend, and after last year's show, I had a little trepidation about going. It's always a mix, of course - but the 30 minute Jazzercize routine sort of put me off.

It has looked like the downer of the evening was going to be "cowboys and indians", an improvisator combination of indian classical dance, jazz piano, and mime. Yes, mime. However, this turned out to be the highlight! It was brilliant - an entire hour of incredibly complicated storyline, played out in multiple characters by one brilliant physical actor, Anand Rajaram, with a narration and piano by former Blue Rodeo member Bob Weisman. Go figure that.

The one thing I don't get about indie is the appeal of low production value. It seems inherent in the genre that things be rough, unpolished, and occasionally amateurish. I understand the desire to get away from the capitalist oppressive music business, but I don't see how that means accepting things that simply aren't there yet...Still in developmental stages. I'm not saying that all of it is like that, but there is an appreciation for the half-hewn I don't get yet.

The other thing that seems prevalent is a desire for the childish. There is an innocence about indie, a unadalterated joy, while battling with a "I'm more indie than you" attitude which must always be projected. The yearly MC for this festival is curtains, the loveable puppet. It's pomo at it's best - a juxtaposition of incredibly random elements, that come together to make....indie.

This will take some more exploration, but those were my initial thoughts.

Oh, by the way - check out Friendly Rich and the Lolipop People. Rich organizes the festival, is totally brilliant and deranged at the same time, and the band is the indie/classical music geeks dream come true. An 11 part band with harpsichord, bassoon, drum kit, and banjo. What could be better?


margaret kelley said...
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margaret kelley said...

I know there's a cellist in this group, but please tell me there's a dulcimer thrown in there as well... that would make my day for reasons i know not...