Blake, why do you think that Radiohead tolled the death of indy? Because they started small with an indy feel and went supernova? Because they taught all the other pale, depressed, whiney b's out there that they could be millionaires if they didn't suck?
no, it's actually because i found their music rather boring (interesting in ways that are not the same ways that i like to listen to stuff).
i do allow for band's to grow. i'm an old school indie rocker. there was a certain type of sound that drew me in. i allow bands and genres to grow, but not if it causes them to lose the characteristics that drew me in in the first place.
i also feel there were better bands that went out on a limb without losing the "rock factor" in their music. honestly, i never really liked radiohead, so it's not like i used to like them and dislike them now, i just always at best thought they were okay and having people try to tell me they're the best band ever gets old.
my early indie rock favorites were bands like archers of loaf, jawbox, pavement, sebadoh, polvo, superchunk, rodan, small 23, built to spill, crain, sunny day real estate, fugazi (if you count them as indie rock), velocity girl, slint, unrest, thirty ought six, tortoise, antioch arrow, etc.
basically, chapel hill, d.c., chicago, and louisville scenes w/ a few outliers.
my own tastes have evolved, but they have become even more and more specialized while i key into those magical factors that make me like what i like. most of my favorite bands are bands that are either pushing the envelope in a hybrid genre or bands that i see as having the best characteristics of the said sound.
what i see as the death of indie rock is when there stopped being different sounds and just ended up with a crapload of bands that all sound like a heartless version of pavement. pavement wreaked of apathetic genius, so when you get more heartless, it's like wtf. at least pavement was funny and brilliant.
there has been a lot of trickledown because of radiohead. the best effect was wes borland leaving limp trizkit. the worst effect was people thinking that interpol was really good.
i try to always gauge bands based upon what music was like at that time, and when they entered my life. it is unfair to expect someone well-versed in modern music to accept sunny day's diary with the same kind of feelings as those of us who picked it up back in '94.
the sad part of it is that i can hear a song and go "wow, the critics are going to crap themselves and have to invent a new way to describe an average song as the best thing since toilet paper." if someone likes radiohead and interpol, i can always pick out a ton of other stuff they like.
it's gotten cliche to the point where there is regression in the bands making the music.
imo, blonde redhead is one of the most prominant examples of this. if someone likes blonde redhead a lot, we probably share some bands in common that we both like, but their top 10 list is probably bands that i hate and we will end up on some conversation where they tell me that losing the rock factor from music is an evolution. (this is the second most accurate indie rock test to rocket vs. jehu).
bands that get too many accolades:
bats & mice
q and not u
the dismemberment plan
tapes and tapes
three mile pilot
the reason why it is frustrating to me, is because bands like faraquet, giants chair, north of america, under a dying sun, etc. who were infinitely more talented than a lot of bands break up because their music goes unappreciated.
the thing that has really gotten me interested in bands in the past few years are hybrid genres. the problem is, very few can appreciate these bands because they aren't "pure" enough to please either of the fans of the genres being combined, and because of that, they gain no accolades and fade off into the sunset.
i have gotten some retribution though through all these retro-active reviews of records that happens nowadays. all music went through and re-reviewed a lot of indie rock classics from the early 90's... that got mediocre reviews upon release but were often amongst my favorite records at the time. now in hindsight they give those same records 5 stars.
i'll write more later.