This is one of those shows where you may start by saying, "huh?" But with any luck, 30 minutes from now, you'll start to say, "Oh!"
I got interested in the word "twee" and in the idea that it's a mostly undocumented cross-platform artistic movement.
There is no question that, in the 1990s, a musical movement called "twee pop" arose, first in England, spearheaded by a label called Sarah Records. Acts like The Field Mice and Talulah Gosh were embraced as twee by fans who wore their twee-ness with pride.
There's a phrase that was used over and over again, but I can't repeat it here. "Twee As ----." The overall vibe was: rock and roll with sweetness and light where the sex and drugs used to be. And that was the limit of the "twee aesthetic" until quite recently, when it started cropping up in movies, commercials and in graphic design. Miranda July, "Juno," Zooey Deschanel. "Moonrise Kingdom."
- David Edelstein is America's Greatest Living Film Critic™
- Kyrie O'Connor is a writer, editor, and frequent panelist on NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!"
- Ian Schlein is a musician and creator of the pop music project known as Musical Chairs
- Marc Spitz is the author of many books, including Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion and Film. His writing has appeared in Spin, The New York Times, Uncut Magazine in the U.K, New York, Maxim, Nylon, and Vanity Fair
- "Step Into My Office Baby" by Belle & Sebastian
- "Heart in Your Heartbreak" by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
- "Between Hello and Goodbye" by The Field Mice
- "Run Down The Stairs" by Beat Happening
- "French Navy" by Camera Obscura