I mention this because I haven't been getting on well with one aspect of my musical past, Britpop. It may seem a baffling revelation, given everything I've just said, but I have been feeling uneasy about it for a while. For all the genres I do like, there is nothing as contentious, nothing as contextually provocative as Britpop. To produce podcasts on the subject introduces so many questions of clarification and classification. What was once a rolling field for discovery has since become a place where we argue about the purported breadth of the genre.
I understand that if I am to be a purveyor of decent music, I should present it in a way that is true and accurate. Slapping the descriptor "Britpop" on a product generally suggests that said product should contain moderate chunks of actual Britpop. Blur. Oasis. Supergrass. Pulp. Elastica. There is that implicit freedom of showcasing lesser known Britpop artists. Salad. Gene. Menswe@r and the like, but it all seems so insipid to me. Why should I feel compelled to put you through that? Simply because they reveled in the latter-day popularity of the coveted Britpop tag?
The prospect of finding a song that fits into the narrow definition of Britpop has put me off constructing that kind of podcast altogether. Perhaps it is the prospect of getting told off by those who know more than me. Perhaps I have grown tired of the genre. In truth, I certainly hope I don't really mean that. It was the genre we once swooned over. We analysed it endlessly and we understood it to encompass far more than that handful of bands in the mid-90s. We saw the tag as descriptive, not prescriptive.
I am not really bothered to make any more Britpop podcasts, not for a little while yet anyway. I'm sorry if this disappoints listeners, but I am not so inclined to promote that what everybody seems to know about already. Neither I am so inclined to include token obscurities to fit the bill. In its place, I will produce a broader, "Indiepop" podcast which will obviously betray my Britpop tendencies but also contain memorable pop from other locales and eras. I do so in a cursory acknowledgement of that thankfully unexplored argument of "what is indie?".
I hope I will restore my relationship with Britpop in time, only because it is important to remain on good terms with it. I don't wish to be so caught up in the definitional issues of the genre anymore, just as I don't wish for it to be a platform to assert cultural superiority. That's not how we should listen to music. For all of the misdefinitions, misrepresentations and misunderstandings, all I ever wanted to do was share good music with you. I'm sorry if it caused offense.
Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Indiepop Podcast #26
Ingeborg Selnes - Open Your Heart
The Drums - Let's Go Surfing
Indochine - Miss Paramount
Mason Proper - A Chance Encounter
This is Ivy League - London Bridges
Malajube - Montréal -40C
The Chills - So Long
Cut Copy - Take Me Over
The Bird & The Bee - Man
Gyllene Tider - Det är över Nu
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