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Posted by Hartley On Mar 30, 2009

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This week the Big Apple Circus made its way to Ludlow St.

"It just seems like there are too many mopey, whiny indie bands out there now." — The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' in defense of their "dancey" new album [Guardian UK]

Really? Is this actually true? I mean I realize the whole whiny white-boy thing was a big stereotype of what "indie" music was supposed to sound like years ago. However, in actuality how many successful bands actually fit this bill anymore? For instance, are MGMT whiny? "Electric Feel" is hardly that. Or how about the poster boys of cardigan-wearding indie culture, Vampire Weekend? "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" was whiny!? OR how about the swooping the Balkan folk of Beirut? Whiny? No. Or the avant-keyboard pop of High Places? Or the proto-grunge shoegaze of SXSW faves, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart? None of this is particularly whiny to me.

So. Can we please kill this silly old stereotype already? I mean not even singer-songwriter folk shit that supposed to sound "whiny" sounds "whiny" anymore: Bon Iver is SO NOT whiny. And look - The OC is no longer on television. Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie married the hottest babe in existence and Elliott Smith is dead. Of course, sad mopey indie rock will always be with us, but more importantly perhaps the new face of indie is uptempo dance music made by bearded post-hippies hoped up on coke and neon colored American Apparel tights. Oh, and wearing headbands too. Natch. The reason the Yeah Yeah Yeah's made an electronic dance-pop album isn't because they are responding to a lack of fun electronic music everywhere - it's for precisely the opposite reason. Namely: everybody is making uptempo club friendly dance songs so we should probably do that too - afterall, our record label would love for us to make them some bread in these hard economic times. Plus, people want to dance when they are going financially bust, so we must feed this cause....and think of all the awesome remixes we could release...virally....

But anyways...

Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes supposedly is the "king of whiny." He has a new record coming out on Merge soon. I'd post a track from it but our crack technical staff at Bank Robber has failed to procure what will surely be a very non-whiny/whiny new release. Instead I'll post a song from his very good older record in anticipation. Enjoy "NYC - Gone Gone" off Conor Oberst (Merge)