90s in 90 Days #14: The culture of indie credibility

90s in 90 Days #14: The culture of indie credibility


Unless you were Steve Albini or connectable-to-Tortoise within two people or less, it was hard to be truly credible in Chicago during the 90s.
“Indie credibility” was a measure by which all artists and people associated with the art and business of music were gauged.   “Selling out” was an abstract infraction placed on the same level of horror as serial killing and treason.  People weren’t just judged by what they did, they were judged by who they did it with, and what their possible motivations were.
The easiest way to respond to that level of peer pressure?  Run the other way.  And some bands did, leaping into the waiting embrace of Major Label U.S.A.
Other hangers-on…myself included…tried to pretend that there weren’t stacks of Rush and .38 Special CDs in their apartments.  Screw classic rock!  Tell me more about that Thurston Moore guitar solo!  What’s going on with Acetone? What did Malkmus say?
Shame on me and others for even trying to angle towards indie credibility.  It’s like a Scientologist trying to reach the level of “clear.”  Not gonna happen.  It’s all a scam.
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90s in 90 Days

Over the course of 90 days (not consecutive, though I’ll try), I’ll be offering up a capsule look at something about Chicago music from the 90s.  It could be a radio memory.  Thoughts on a song, show, band, or album.  Maybe a review aided by hindsight.  Whatever it is, it’ll be original content just for this site, and not found in my book.  

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