A documentarian named Brad Katz (also responsible for the reality show Trading Spouses) is preparing for a massive project: a definitive documentary on the history of indie rock called, appropriately, JUST GIMME INDIE ROCK! (via Pitchfork). From the content Katz has uploaded for previews so far, there are interviews with Stephen Merritt (The Magnetic Fields), Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh), J Mascis, Henry Rollins (Black Flag) and Stephen Malkmus (Pavement), and now Katz has launched a Kickstarter in order to see the project to its fruition. “The greatest incentive is to see your whole musical history on film projected into the future,” Katz says in the video, which you can watch above. The idea came from a cheeky segment Katz did in 1999, in which he interviewed fans at shows and bands (including Malkmus himself), to try and lay down a concrete definition about the nature of ever-nebulous indie rock.
The project seems to be happening at a time where people are getting especially reflective and nostalgic for this type of thing. Just last month, in a tribute to Michael Azerrad’s colorful, historical account of the ’80s indie underground, Our Band Could Be Your Life, nine of today’s most talented, indie artists (including St. Vincent, Ted Leo, Wye Oak, tUnE-yArDs and more) gathered at the Bowery Ballroom to play covers by Sonic Youth, the Butthole Surfers, Minutemen and the like. And, according to Katz, “The battle that the punks began 30 years ago has been won.” So what now? Katz feels it’s time to celebrate our winnings. But what’s punk—what’s indie—without adversity? Seems a little defeatist and anti-revolutionary to call the whole thing a battle that’s been won. Still, the way Katz frames the Kickstarter initiative makes funding the project seem like some kind of indie moral imperative: “We just wanted to give it to you guys before we went to the suits,” he says.