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Genre Abuse

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SnowCal, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. I know that a lot of genres get used and abused. It's bad enough when fans misclassify your Beatles tribute band as heavy metal due to the neverending feedback and your guitarist's badly clipping SS amp. But it's even worse when musos do it.

    The genre I see most severely abused is shoegaze. It's not just the amount of misuse, it's also the severity. It's not just frequently abused, it's routinely used to describe things that are nearly antonyms.

    For example, at rehearsal tonight while we're waiting for LG to show up we get a jam going. Real open, spacey, clean, quiet thing. Something that Deathcab for Cutie would want to play. And our drummer gets all excited that it's a great 'shoegaze' groove. Now, I'm not gonna object to saying that this band has a shoegaze influence. It's there, if subtle. But I'm wondering if I need to have an intervention with this guy before we get an interview with Pitchfork and he tells them that our two biggest shoegaze influences are Tegan & Sara and Deathcab.

    Before our last show the opening band told their followers to 'get on their dancing/shoegazing shoes' and come out. Unless they were trying a sly jab at the fan base I can't imagine why you'd say that. They weren't playing music that could remotely be described as shoegaze and I doubt they intended to make fun of paying customers (do they even know what 'shoegazing' refers to?) so I have to assume genre abuse.

    So four questions.

    (1) Should I stage an intervention with my drummer before he tells the world that Tegan & Sara is our favorite shoegaze band?

    (2) How should I intervene. Should I just hand him a few CDs? MBV, Slowdive, APTBS and say 'this is shoegaze'. He's a fan of M83, should I explain to him that their older material is why they're considered shoegazers? E-mail him Run Into Flowers and say 'this is shoegaze'. What's the best way to intervene?

    (3) Do you agree that shoegaze is the most abused genre?

    (4) Any good stories about other genres being abused?
  2. This is perhaps one of the most concise and clearly-written OPs I've seen here. The top paragraph is particularly clever, IMO. THAT said, how important is it that a band is properly labelled? If a huge and paying crowd saw your act, and went away incorrectly feeling that they'd just witnessed the world's premier SG group bar none, would you feel compelled to refund their money and deprogram them?
    I kid(somewhat), but(perhaps)ironically, this is OT. Being music-related, it probably belongs in *miscelleneous* :D
  3. Simo98


    Jun 18, 2009
    QLD, Australia
    I don't think genres make any sense anyway, unless something is really generic it never seems to fit.

    I'm a huge MBV fan, but I still don't know exactly what "Shoegaze" is or where it should be applied. Genres tend to be either so specific nothing fits into them, or so general they lose all meaning. Somewhere in the middle you get a vaguely descriptive term that implies a relationship between certain sorts of music, but it never lasts.
  4. If you're a local band with little exposure, I'd say not to worry about it.

    If you're about to be interviewed by Rolling Stone or some notable publication, definitely straighten him out.
  5. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Funk comes to mind as the most abused I guess... All them slap kids better get off my lawn and come back with some Parliament...
  6. slobake

    slobake resident ... something Supporting Member

    If the shoe fits ...
  7. 4dog


    Aug 18, 2012
    Maybe its my age, (47) but what exactly is shoegaze, how does it manifest in music , and is there a pill for it, so if i catch it , can it be cured?
  8. I think that by far, the most abused "genre" is indie. Obviously, its not really a genre at all, it just means a band is signed to an independent label.

    "oh i love indie bands like death cab that are signed with atlantic."

    Feel free to say something to your drummer, but be nice about it.
  9. I never really understand genres in music except as a marketing tool. Just don't market yourselves as shoegaze and their shouldn't be any confusion
  10. Indie is the new post grunge imo. A new word for radio-friendly rock band..
  11. ACNick

    ACNick Guest

    Oct 23, 2012
    South Florida
    I agree with this.

    For me music is all fun and games till someone comes along and slaps a genre label on it. Suddenly, the "cool, laid-back jam band" I play in becomes "folk country speed djent", and I have to take a step back and think to myself, "is there something here I'm missing?"

    If the music is good, keep playing. If the fans dig it, keep playing. Be careful that you don't become one of those music snobs that no one can stand. :D
  12. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Really? Who uses that term anymore? Ive maybe heard one band in the last 15 years call themselves shoegaze (and it was a previous incarnation of the band Im in now, haha).

    I agree.
  13. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    A few thoughts:

    I once saw an original bar band call themselves classic rock. I wondered how a song that was written 2 weeks prior could be considered "classic." I don't really care what a band wants to label themselves as; it either rocks or it doesn't.

    Back in the 90's alternative rock became mainstream so now you don't even hear the term "alternative" anymore.

    I don't know what shoegaze is, but Arvil Lavigne is punk.:bag:
  14. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Hmmm ... I'm w-a-y old ... shoegaze? Geez, just when I was getting used to open mics with young people and their incessant naval gazing, I learn that they also gaze at their shoes! ;)
  15. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    ...gaze at it?
  16. while I do agree that the term 'indie' is overused/abused ... I have to disagree and say that it is a genre. Sure, it originally meant that a band was signed to an independent label ... but the term has evolved to encompass the sound of said bands.
  17. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    So, what does an "indie" band sound like?
  18. JamesGoodall


    Aug 29, 2011
    Wait...I'm young and have never even heard of "Shoegaze." One of you who seems to know what you're talking about here clue us clueless in!
  19. I guess I would usually use the term as a modifier. I wouldn't usually just say this band is an indie band, but an indie-rock band, or an indie-pop band.

    I'll think about how I can describe what that means for the sound ... I know it when I hear it, but it's hard to explain.
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal