So I saw Scott Pilgrim VS The World a few weeks ago. Was it a great movie? Absolutely. In fact, I even ended up buying the soundtrack. And I like it well enough; it’s almost as indie as another particular movie with Michael Cera (although frankly I was paying more attention to Ellen Page at the time). And as with every indie soundtrack, it’s led to a whole lot of exposure for bands that haven’t had it before, and in this case it’s Plumtree, who wrote the song “Scott Pilgrim”. And a lot of Plumtree fans like that this now-defunct group is getting attention.
But others don’t. They get snippy and holier than thou because they’ve heard of the band for years without some stupid movie. The same thing happened with Moldy Peaches fans back when Juno came out, too. In some circles, there’s a sense of elitism within indie music communities; the more obscure the music is, the cooler you are. And once that music is put in a venue that’s easy for everyone to find, well, then it’s not very obscure anymore. Really, there’s a general disdain for discovering music through a popular medium.
In a way, it’s almost like back when Guitar Hero/Rock Band first became relevant. Even if you’d discovered all sorts of great music through those games, you didn’t dare say a word of that to your music savvy friends. Hell, I’ll own up to being one of those people. A friend of mine mentioned a song or two by someone way to the left of what he usually listened to, and I looked at him with a sneer and said “You found them through Guitar Hero, didn’t you?” There can be a perceived “cheapening” of the music when it comes through a video game instead of a band’s MySpace.
But that shouldn’t matter. Because at the end of the day, if you get music that you heard on MTV or from your indie buddy’s laptop, it’s still the same music. Fact of the matter is that no matter where you get it, you’re still listening to it and loving it. That’s the great thing about music, it can be a communal experience for a whole theater or stadium, or an immensely personal affair kept to yourself. It can be both at the same time.
So who cares where you hear it from?