How My Indie Cred Has Gone Nowhere But Downhill Since 7th Grade

January 14, 2008

There aren’t many times when I can claim to be ahead of the curve on new music. I don’t think I started listening to New York dance-rock until years after it broke. I just started listening to LCD Soundsystem some 6 months after Sound of Silver came out. And even my fondness for Daft Punk, dating back to 8th or 9th grade, is going to have to be counted a fluke unless people start rediscovering the genius of Rabbit In The Moon and Future Sound of London too.

With this in mind, I was amazed to learn in the past year that Andrew Bird is a widely respected independent musician, since he was the first artist I ever saw in concert. I was 14.

I suppose it might be less impressively hip that I was there to see Squirrel Nut Zippers (this was at the height of the Gap-inspired commercial swing revival) and that I was there with my mother (I was 14). But I was impressed enough with his performance as an opener for the opener that I walked away from The Electric Factory with a copy of Thrills.

Since then the Squirrel Nut Zippers have dissolved and faded into obscurity while Bird has ascended as a respected musician in his own right. Unfortunately, Armchair Apocrypha didn’t rate nearly as high as I expected it to on the end-of-year lists I have read. Even so I am excited to have rediscovered him after so many years, and I look forward to catching him in concert the next time he comes through New York. I’ll probably even go with my mother just for old times' sake.