In one of his latest rants, Bob Lefsetz was wondering how The National's new album, "High Violet," made it to number three on the sales charts during its debut week. Prefaced by his trademark "what kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in..." tagline, he implies that the album is an inferior product that has attained its success through a blogosphere conspiracy and that this is the last straw:
"And my ultimate point is I'm now ignoring everything from Brooklyn. It's not the new Seattle, certainly not the new San Francisco. The magazines and blogs need something to write about, and when they trumpet substandard stuff it ends up baffling the audience, makes them play video games or watch TV or listen to the same damn classic tunes over and over again."
This is ridiculous, and not only for being based on the same logic as racism. There is no "Brooklyn sound" like there was for grunge and psychedelic rock. "Indie rock" is not a genre, it's more of an ethic.
Brooklyn is a wonderful place right now for developing bands to hone their chops: there's a preponderance of gig opportunities and plenty of other musicians to play and create with. It makes for some healthy competitive and cross-over opportunities. That's why folks like The National left Cincinnati and that's why the bloggers are here...the music came first.
Give a listen - you'll notice more differences than similarities between these songs, something that can't be said for the Top 10 pop songs during any week. It is highly improbable that you'll enjoy every song on this list, but that's exactly the charm of the Brooklyn indie rock scene Lefsetz is knocking. On any given night, in any given club, you may walk in for a drink and have your mind blown by a band you've never heard of. There are plenty of places to go, both in the flesh or via the web, but you have to keep an open mind.