hey you, trendy ...

They're everywhere these days: spikey haired blond guys, short bobbed blond girls, all wearing big baggy pants and Airwalks or Vans. Girls really too heavy to be wearing midriff baring tank-tops are anyways, and the guys have their pants so low down that we're seeing way more of big-gutted boys than we ever wanted to.

It's the invasion of the trendies. Still.

This is a trend that's been going on for a while. From the "alternative" craze on through to punk and then ska. Soon they'll be in swing. Yes "they" are annoying (see my 'punker than' piece), but you know what? They're not all bad.

The whole thing about trendy is that you're doing it to fit in, because it's what's popular. Then you move on to the next thing, and the thing after that. But what I think a lot of people overlook is that some people do stick around. And say it's a matter of liking a band - a lot of people wouldn't have known about that band had they not been 'trendy.'

An example. A phenomenal band from Oregon - Everclear. Has a "hit" with "Santa Monica" in 1995. People went out in droves to buy Sparkle and Fade, the song was everywhere, and people claimed to have known them from way back when. So of course the "old" fans (most likely Portlanders) get angry, feel like something's being taken away from them. Yeah a lot of people are probably just into the band because their song is everywhere. But until that time, the band hadn't had that kind of exposure. How was someone supposed to become a fan, if they'd never heard of the band? It's the same thing with the Goo Goo Dolls and "Name."

This is where I see the upside of 'trendy.' I'm a Santa Monica era fan. I heard the song, and I got hooked. Here it is, three years later, and I'm still a fan, with quite a cool collection, I might add: rarities, live boots, previous bands' works.
I was on the reverse side for the Goos. Being in their hometown, here I was seeing "my" band being exploited by the masses, and everyone's so quick to yell "sellout!" about everything. Somehow you feel like your band is being devalued, having everyone like just that one song. But maybe they got the CD now & are loving that other track that will never get released as a single. Maybe now they're digging through the discount bin, hoping to catch that elusive first release of a band they now love.
Sometimes I still feel a little selfish and want to keep the band here, but a lot more times I'd love so much for everyone to hear this great song by this phenomenal band, and to love them like I do. (Talking about any little 'unknown' band here, not the goos or EC in particular!)

But that's where it stops being trendy: when you stick around. There are upsides: material is more accessible, there's a chance they'll actually come to your town, you might even find a new band that you like. Since good and bad are always there together, in everything, the downsides include: people not in for the long haul, increased prices, the band itself is less accessible (instead of playing that little club and hanging out with the crowd, they're on a stage that looks real tiny from your place in the back of the packed crowd at the new mega stadium).

Sometimes it's even commercial radio that you can thank for introducing you to a band. They can make you like almost anything (except Sarah McLachlin or Alanis Morrisette - I turn the radio off every time they come on!). Some other bands I love that I found because they (or their style) were popular: Hootie & The Blowfish, Backstreet Boys, Matchbox 20, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Mad Caddies, Reel Big Fish, Fastball, Semisonic. And it's 15 years later, but I finally like "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" by the Police!

I hate seeing some kid at some show, obviously there for the first time, and hearing all the 'trendy,' 'poser,' 'mainstreamer' comments. Oh, sure, it's not you, I think, you were born punk. Sigh. I know that's what they're thinking too ;). But seriously, everyone gets into different things at different times, and it doesn't make someone more or less of a fan how long they've been into it, how many albums they have, whether or not they like your favorite band, how many shows they've been to. Give someone a chance, ask them who they like, recommend some bands. Better yet, make 'em a comp tape. And see where they are 6 months, a year down the line. If they're into the 'next big thing,' call 'em what you want. But if they've developed a passion for the former fad, shut your mouth and check out that next big thing yourself. Who knows? You just might like it.

by jennie

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