Okay, given that it's very easy to go against the grain with criticism, especially if a(n) album/movie/book is praised to death and one expects perfection, but hears/sees/reads something far from perfection. (I do offer a bit of an apology to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.) And I sort of don't want to be that guy who says indie stuff is pretentious... but, well yeah I do. Because it is. A lot of the time. And people know it. "Independent" music now just means "unusual" -- so the label itself is (or implies) pretension to begin with; indie pop, rock, folk, hip-hop isn't just stuff resigned to independent labels (I'm not going to go into faux-indie stuff now [your Fall Out Boys, uhh, etc.]) anymore, which, yeah, it doesn't really matter. But this trend isn't reserved for the major players -- dozens of promos I get are "indie" and "pretentious" to the extreme and it's sickening. I don't really care. Whatever.
Just give me The Hold Steady. Are they pretentious? Well, they did diss pretty terribly on the dance-punk bands of NY... that's okay, guys.
(Well, it's not even late, but I can't think straight because I'm tired. And fishy. Just understand that Illinois is, well, ... "precious" at times.)