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Indie = Local

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You know when we write, we're not aiming to please. It's from the heart, and if it pisses people off, so be it. We also always hope to send our editors into conniptions at the same time; so in that spirit, here's the longest, most bitter, most hopeful thing that's ever been written on an *ist site. (It's a list of local LA bands we love, in case you wanna just click past the preamble.)

Our devotion to rock 'n roll is mean and true. And the musical gods in our storied pantheon and the genius of their thousands of songs may never fade. But having played in enough bands and hung out with enough hot new kids, we've developed sort of an attitude toward bands that make it big in the modern, cut-throat music industry. No matter how good their songs are, how ferocious their delivery, we can't help thinking of every new band on KROQ just how many dicks they sucked to get that little slice of faux-fame they can't wait to leverage by banging as many underage girls as they can cram into their tour bus before their fifteen minutes are up.

Maybe we're just getting older. But it's terrible, because the current climate of naked greed nearly turned us off completely from new music, and new music is what we love best. Gone are the days when a struggling new band could be the young braves we were rooting for, who promised to turn the dirty record industry upside-down. Now no matter how "indie" they are, they're just a rip-off of this, or a tribute to that, and you gotta think about all their enormous egos, and how long they argued about what their "look" should be, and how smarmy they sound once they finally figured it out. What's worse, the companies have taken to turning bands over so quickly that the kids have no time to mature anymore before they're boiled down into OC sludge and ladled out to fourteen-year-old girls -- the largest sector of the consumer pop market, who coincidentally know the absolute least about what good music actually consists of. So now you find yourself wading through a thousand giggling nymphettes with braces, just to hear a band who rightly should have struggled another couple years in front of smaller audiences, and the looks you see on the those rockers' faces are so plastic that you can't appreciate the music, you can't pick out anything but the dollar signs behind their beady eyes.

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So it's all a major downer, but we can't turn ourselves off from new music, either. Instead, we've done what all aficionados do, when the major leagues become cluttered with high-priced asswipes. We've turned to the local arena for signs of intelligent life, and lo and behold, we've found it. LA has an incredible wealth of small, struggling bands whose integrity (until they get big) and honesty put those perfectly coifed MTV sycophants to shame. We don't intend to make a comprehensive list of it, but we'd like to share with you some of the hard-workin' local kids we've found who're still making top-notch music, untouched by the wrinkled hands of baby-boomer greed, kids whose music we can love without the shameful feeling of shopping for CDs at Wal-Mart.