Tumblr-Wave: A ‘Genre’ of Music That Must Be Killed Before It Begins

There is no such thing as Tumblr-Wave. There is no such thing as Tumblr-Wave. There is no such thing as Tumblr-Wave.

The reason people invent sub-genres of music is because, quite frankly, they’re too stupid to describe the sound of something in anything other than terms they just invented. Often redundant, insufferable terms that somehow end up proliferating among a small group of people into a mode of branding by a larger group of people, that corporations then co-opt for the sole purpose of producing and profiting meaningless mass-manufactured culture. Shitty culture. 

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Take “emo,” for example. Is most music not inherently emotional? (It is.) And yet, someone decided that something was “emo,” and so it was, because we’re all idiots. Or “indie.” How can a band be independent (“indie”) of anything when they are already a group of people aligned with each other? Or, for that matter, signed to a record label?

They can’t, but because English-speaking human beings are creatures who care not for the beauty and brilliance of language so much as the convinence of what Orwell rightly predicted with the advent of Newspeak only a little over half a decade ago, Hipster Runoff—at its best, an unimpeachable satire on contemporary youth culture—was able to create “Chillwave” and get every music writer on the planet (including one at the New York Times) to use it, which is to say nothing of “Witch House” and furthermore, “Rape-Gaze.”

And so we arrive at the juncture wherein someone has taken it upon themselves to devote time and intellectual capacity to a page on Wikipedia documenting “Tumblr-Wave,” a genre that takes its name from that of the microblogging platform adored by melodramatic teenagers and incestuous media types everywhere.

Yes. This is something:

Forget the fact that plenty of artists prior to the three that the creator of this page singled out have strewn their music with references to Tumblr long before this, and that those same artists have often “allude[d]” to “90s culture and pop culture” in their music, and all of the people who also make music with Macbooks—the specificity of which is admittedly hilarious—and synthesizers (which is in all likelihood redundant, save the few fans of these artists who know what a real synthesizer actually is, but it might not be).

You can even forget the fact that proper nouns really have no place in genre-naming unless we’re talking about the various movements of great late 20th century ice cream artisans.

And still, the reality of the painful realization that someone was stupid enough to make “Tumblr-Gaze” manifest in the form of that I’m-Beginning-To-Question-The-Beauty-Of-Its-Democratic-Nature human endeavor Wikipedia is simply that this must be the work of a sole madman or madwoman, a rogue etymological terrorist who must be stopped, and easily can.

As such, this writer endorses the unequivicoal deleting of “Tumblr-Gaze” from human existence, save that screengrab, which could serve as a lesson to us all about the way stupid ideas can hatch into things that burst from the chest of collective human intelligence like an alien bent on killing all aboard the spaceship of modern civilization’s progress.

UPDATE: It appears someone has already started The Work to Be Done.

Godspeed them.

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek

Tumblr-Wave: A ‘Genre’ of Music That Must Be Killed Before It Begins