So Matos and I got to chatting yesterday, prompted by Maura’s “O.O.P.” entry on Unrest (a band both of us really dislike), which led us to talking about his own last installment on Imperial Teen’s Seasick (a band he loves and I like just fine), which led (somehow) to him mentioning that he thought 1998 was his most “indie rock” year, i.e. the year that indie rock releases filled up his own personal Top 10, squeezing out the rave and the rap and the whatnot. And then we started wondering how the rest of Idolator’s readership feels about the question. (By which I mean Matos said we should do a poll.) So we want to know what year your own list of favorites was dominated by indie rock records to the exclusion of all else. Which is, of course, just another year of saying what year was the best year for indie rock.
The idea for this poll came up just a few days after someone else had commented on how much indie rock I seemed to be listening to over the last few years, as if it was some shocking revelation. Among our friends (and a few not-so-friends), Matos and myself are both kind of known for a certain … combativeness about indie rock’s ubquity among online (and otherwise) journalists that (for me anyway, I won’t presume to speak for M.) is born out of equal parts love for the music and a deep, deep suspicion of the critical cant that can go along with it. (At the end of the day I’m more pop-punk/emo than indie rock. And c’mon, that’s totally not hairsplitting.)
So on one level I’m just having fun with expectations. But it’s also a way for me to answer a question that’s been rumbling around in my head since I started here (especially after the comments box explosion that was the “Pitchfork reviews This Is Next“ post): Even with all of our Britney shenanigans and Kanye handjobs and disco foolishness, just how much of an indie rock-listening audience makes up Idolator?
And of course, I’m really just curious about the answer to the secret question: What do you guys think was indie rock’s best year? Or at least your favorite, if you have to make that kind of distinction. The 1986 start point is not random, but my reasoning is too convoluted to get into here. Oh, and comments box explanations for your personal pick are pretty much required. Defend those choices! Arguments about the definition of “indie,” and which bands fall into it and which don’t, are also encouraged if only because they tend to be hilarious–just keep it polite, folks.
P.S. If the last option ends up actually winning, I’m taking you all out for ice cream.
P.P.S. Mine is ’94. Or maybe 2007, at the rate I’m going.