To most people, Amazon.com is the Costco of the internet. They tend to have EVERYTHING - and at a fair and reasonable price (never mind that the company started off some 15 years ago as the online bookstore). And, yes, I find it very convenient that I can buy a T-shirt, a James Joyce novel, and the Pixies' Doolittle (on vinyl) all on one transaction. Not to mention that the site's "Recommended For You" section helped turn me on to dozens of records I may not have ever heard otherwise, and for that I am eternally grateful.
The website may have gotten a little full of itself as of late, as today it featured a section called "The 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums of All Time." As a guy who reads way too into things involving music, I was somewhat perplexed by this list. First of all, the best album according to those fellers is Guided By Voices' Bee Thousand. A good record? Yes. The GREATEST record? I think not... especially given the explanation by the uber-site:
"The term "Indie Rock" is undeniably tricky. We challenge anyone to definitively define what is and what is not indie rock--you will fail. For the purposes of compiling this list we've decided to use a combination of hard and fast rules and gut instinct. Our hard and fast rules are listed below, but as for gut instinct--you just kind of have to know. For example: John Oates put out a rock record called Phunk Shui on an indie label, however, in no way should Phunk Shui be mistaken for indie rock. Likewise, Black Flag put out many seminal punk albums on SST, but we're not talking about punk or grunge or classic post-kraut-rock, we're talking about indie rock. Are Black Flag really indie rock? Not to our ears."
Black Flag is still a bit overrated in my book anyway. Of all the entries, this one confused me the most:
#5) Imperial f.f.r.r. - Unrest
What the fuck is this? I don't even care that I've never heard it, I just want to know where it came from! It reeks of pretension, and I refuse to listen to it. Not to mention that it clocks in at number five. Ahead of:
Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted (#6),
The Pixies' Surfer Rosa (#8),
Husker Du's Zen Arcade (#30),
and The Replacements' Let It Be (#32).
Ummm? At least they included these albums at all, because (for some reason) Husker Du seems to get no love ever - and that constantly irritates me. I guess their 'gut instinct' also makes them put Animal Collective's new album in the top third of the list. Ugh, I'm frustrated. Check out the entire list here if you so desire.