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Merch table

Let's see what the cool kids are lining their merch tables with.

Independent bands, huh? Well, perhaps we should begin by collectively admitting that the definition of independent is a little murky these days. People often mention bands like the Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, The Strokes, Death Cab for Cutie, Franz Ferdinand, Neutral Milk Hotel and even Oasis as being independent. What - you haven't heard of any of those? Oh god, where have you been? Living under a rock I presume.

No, I'm just kidding. Chances are good that you've at least heard of most of those even if you haven't listened to their music (who cares about snooty hipster indie music anyway). So yeah, I guess if you don't have a major label contract or if at least some facet of your band operation is completely DIY, you could be considered independent. It seems like fewer artists are really relying on record deals anymore anyway (strange, I thought vinyl was resurging). Then there's also a difference between being independent and the genre classification known as indie. We could be here all day. Let's not even go there.

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Bon Jovi

Some of their album covers feature great, simple designs too.

For many, Bon Jovi is a guilty pleasure they don’t like to talk about or fess up to. It’s like that glasses-wearing metal mouth down the street with a bad perm that everybody likes to make fun of, only it turns out she has a killer bod. This is starting to sound like a bad 80s teen comedy.

Speaking of the 80s and bad perms, Bon Jovi has managed to sustain their popularity for the better part of 30 years now, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they sold out to the country music scene. Pisha! As if that wasn’t a cash-grab. Come on, get real.

But you know, if they were still playing hair metal, you know they wouldn’t be on Ellen. Don’t get me wrong; they still play the hits, and they still have some rockin’ guitar riffs, but their sound has unquestionably changed with the times. If you want to play the game, you’ve got to modernize. It’s like how Vanilla Ice would never make it in today’s music industry. Oh, how naïve we were…

But hey, who wants to make the same album over and over again? Oh, right. AC/DC, Nickelback, Coldplay… Never mind. Some bands have made a career out of it.

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