The rock critic Robert Christgau gave an interview last month to the Web site popmatters.com. Mr. Christgau, who was recently dismissed from The Village Voice after 37 years, talked a little bit about recent history. But he also talked about an old obsession of his: the decline of truly popular music.
â€œWhen I grew up, there was a monoculture,â€ he said. â€œEverybody listened to the same music on the radio. I miss monoculture. I think itâ€™s good for people to have a shared experience.â€
[…] It wasnâ€™t supposed to turn out like this. Only a few years ago, the Internet threatened to blur boundaries of genre and culture making it easy for listeners to fill their iPods with whatever caught their fancy.
But listeners of all sorts like having what Mr. Christgau called a shared experience. Thatâ€™s why the old monoculture flourished in the first place. And todayâ€™s indie-rock fans have something thatâ€™s smaller yet similar: a mini-monoculture. That is, a robust infrastructure of Web sites and blogs, along with a (necessarily vague) consensus about what indie-rock sounds like.