Indier Than Thou

The San Diego Indie Music Fest was held March 3 on seven stages located in North Park. Seventy artists played, but guitarist/singer/drummer Jordan Thomas says he isn't so sure about the "indie" label.

"It is a word that people throw around a lot in order to grab people's attention, but it doesn't necessarily hold any water," says Thomas, half of a "power duo" named Tropical Depression. "It seems like it was put on by a bunch of managers and agents who got together and put something together, not the artists in this community."

So, less than 50 yards from a Music Fest stage, Tropical Depression and three other bands put on a free show at Planet Rooth Studios, an art gallery.

"They charged $23 admission," says Gustav Rooth. "What is 'indie' about that?" Rooth organizes the free monthly Ray at Night event (an art walk that incorporates musicians and performance artists).

Thomas says the Music Fest's "...spirit was good, but the consensus of local artists was that nobody has ever heard of any act on the bill."

Music Fest organizer Esta Browning explains, " 'Indie' just means these artists are not signed on a major label; that they are making it on their own." She says most of the artists "were local or regional, from Long Beach or L.A.... I think $20 to see continuous music on seven stages is a good deal."

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