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Slanted and enchanted : the evolution of indie culture
Oakes, Kaya
Adult Nonfiction E169.12 .O18 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this lively and highly literate explication of various American indie scenes and art forms, Oakes argues for the value and importance of a lively, community-based do-it-yourself tradition. In discrete chapters on zines, small presses, comics, independent music labels and numerous other subjects, Oakes focuses on a few exemplary artists or companies that embody the integrity that she lionizes. Her focus on independent publishing and writing-she is a cofounder of the eclectic Kitchen Sink magazine-provides a worthy parallel narrative to Michael Azzerad's essential indie music history, This Band Could Be Your Life, with which her book shares some heroes, most notably the affable Mike Watt of the Minutemen. Oakes begins the book with a much appreciated primer on some of the intellectual forebears of her book's central characters, including the poets Frank O'Hara and Allen Ginsberg and the revolutionary street theater group the Diggers. She ends it with a mournful chapter on the co-opting of indie culture by companies like Urban Outfitters and the TV show The O.C. The complex effect of the Internet on traditional indie culture is given relatively little space, which weakens the book's effectiveness as a guide to current trends and artistic networks, but as an explanation and excavation of the already fading recent past, it is essential reading. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Indie culture exists outside of and often rails against mainstream culture-independent record stores in opposition to Best Buy, crafts festivals instead of Ikea, zines as opposed to Rolling Stone. As a corollary, poet Oakes (writing, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Telegraph) reminds us, indie culture has a strong history of reciprocity between producer and consumer; it is a creative community that should produce an equal amount of inspiration and consumption. Oakes locates the evolution of this idealism in the cultural explosion that occurred in the 1950s and 1960s. Covering musicians, zines, comics, independent presses, and homemade crafts and events, Oakes uses the concept of a creative community as a mediating theme to illustrate how indie culture has oscillated between the music and literary scene throughout the last few decades. Ultimately, she questions the future of indie culture in its currently oversaturated and corporate form. Recommended for all public libraries; this will particularly appeal to artists, musicians, writers, and kids with thick-rimmed glasses.-Joshua Finnell, McNeese State Univ. Lib., Lake Charles, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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