Twee, then, is a symptom of profound cultural exhaustion, a pop-cultural response to the death of grand narratives and radical politics: too weary to fight the corporate capitalist machine, the twee instead create hyper-stylized alternative worlds in which kittens play, ukuleles sound and childhood is eternal. Their basic disposition is melancholy rather than angry, and they will always opt for owl-print wallpaper over kicking against the pricks.In this week's TLS, Anna Katharina Schaffner discusses Twee. [more inside]
After eight years, 57 releases, and a successful kickstarter, the purveyor of soft and sweet indiepop music WeePOP! Records is closing shop today. To celebrate, they've put together a retrospective mix in two parts for your enjoyment: Part 1 and Part 2. [more inside]
Another day, another Wes Anderson film parody trailer -- this one's for a tasteful, adults-only offering called The Grand Sausage Pizza. (The NSFW tag is for dialogue and premise, rather than nudity.)
Wes Anderson's The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders Last night Ed Norton hosted Saturday Night Live, and this short film trailer parody was the standout. [more inside]
In the 1980s, there were twee bands, and then there was Trixie's Big Red Motorbike. Formed in Shanklin, Isle of Wight in 1981, TBRM were brother and sister Mark & Mel Litten, sometimes assisted by Jim Bycroft on sax and Jane Fish (of The Marine Girls — whose most famous alumna you would have heard if you were alive in the 90s [previously]) on backing vocals. Their sound, lofi, their artwork handmade. Their first single was sent to John Peel [passim], who proclaimed they'd “wipe the floor with the competition” and had them in for two sessions. [more inside]
In China, hipsters are called “cultured youth” when they're not being called "dumbassess", that is. [more inside]
My Life as a Girl - Why Stephen Burt likes dressing up as a woman.
Kitten Painting's site has wonderfully evocative descriptions of the front line of the 1980s indie/anorak/C86 scene. (Not sure what 'twee' is? Try here, have a listen to C86, or download from here. )
Indiana's Sardina. The New Pornographers of the '90s, the Sardinas released two fantastic albums full of mixtape fodder. Now everything they've got, including some live gems, is up online.
Waaaaaah! was an early 90's indie label of with an ever-changing number of a's in it's name. The owner of the label has put the entire catalog onto his site for download in mp3 format. He indicates which songs he likes the best by putting a very, very tiny picture of a kitten next to the songs. Artists include The Field Mice, White Town, They Go Boom, BMX Bandits, Dufflecoats, The Bedfloweres and Strawberry Story. You can see pictures of the bands on the site. If you spent your youth saying things like "this is pure, perfect pop music, why isn't this on the radio" then you've probably already clicked the link.
as often nostalgic and sad as they are summery and blissful, indiepop songs have long been the refuge of popkids the world around who embrace DIY but reject the rebellion of punk and pretentiousness of indie-rock. Over the years the regional focus has shifted from the twee bands in the united kingdom in the 80s to australia in the early nineties, to the northwestern united states, and to strangely.. sweden. Maybe its the combination of warm scarfs and good social services, but for whatever reason sweden's young generation has embraced the genre and, armed with casios and knit sweaters, have set about reminding the rest of us how truly wonderful and affecting it can be