Featuring Neon Indian, Mannequin Pussy, Say Sue Me, Beach Bunny, Jubilee, Foxes In Fiction, Cate Le Bon, Alex Cameron, and art by The Valdez.
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Towards the beginning of this decade, I started a music blog during a two-year stint teaching English in France. Finding my footing in a small French city was hard—despite my protestations to the contrary, a lot of the people I met seemed to assume that all Americans, myself included, loved George W. Bush—and blogging became a way of coping with loneliness, a lifeline to people all over the world who shared my love for crazy-sounding underground music. Fast forward to the end of 2019, and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where I would actively look forward to logging on to the Internet at the end of the long day. I’m lucky if I can carve out an hour every evening without it (usually while cooking dinner, though that’s also my favorite time to listen to music on Spotify), and I’m constantly fighting against the self-destructive urge to take in everybody’s opinion—on everything in the world—all of the time.
I could fill a book with all the ways the Internet has ultimately been a less-than-savory development for under-ground musicians and underground music critics and underground music labels and the fabric of our day-to-day lives. (Who knows? Maybe I will in the 2020s). But if there’s one silver lining in our overly connected exis-tence, it’s the sheer volume of music that we can access at any time, art that offers a window into the lives of the individuals who made it. We become better people when we hold space for the struggles and dreams of other young people around the world, and AdHoc 29—which features everyone from South Korean surf rock band Say Sue Me, to Mexico-born synthesist Neon Indian, to Welsh songwriter and producer Cate Le Bon—is our attempt to celebrate that. It’s also our last issue of the decade, so if you’re feeling a little nostalgic, don’t forget to give our 2010s indie music trivia crossword a whirl.