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What is this 'indie' music that the cool kids talk about?

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In an exclusive interview, EW.com has learned that indie music labels will join forces to produce a series of compilation CDs similar to the Now That’s What I Call Music brand. They’ll feature songs from artists like Bloc Party, the Shins, Air, and Cold War Kids and will be aimed at the Target or Wal-mart customer instead of the slightly brooding kid in the hoodie. (Speaking of which, The O.C. totally had this idea first.)

But um, yay for soccer moms and everything, this is kind of a huge f— you to people who actually bother to seek out cool music themselves. I mean… I’m not even die-hard indie and my initial reaction to this news was that it makes me want to crawl into a sewer. Because then I’d be underground, man… and no one could ever find me. Maybe I just need some time.

Where do you fall on the issue? Would a Now-esque indie compilation strike you as an apt, and frankly quite convenient way to showcase lesser-known artists, or would it make you want to die inside? And what “essential” indie tracks are sure to be on these things?

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