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Indie Rock Education!

Discussion in 'Punk Rock/Garage Rock/Indie Rock' started by Magic, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    What is Indie rock?
    Why is Indie Rock considered a music genre?
    Why is Indie Rock on a Classic Rock forum?


    These are questions you may be asking, and I will try to answer them.

    Let me start off with the last question: Why is Indie Rock on a Classic Rock forum? To trace down the origins of Indie Rock, you will have to go way back to 1967 and take a look at possibly the first Indie Rock band; Velvet Underground and their self titled debut album. This album had a ton of influence on the wave of Indie artists of the 70’s and 80’s. This album is what Indie Rock is all about: experimenting with music sounds and controversial subject matter, not having the desire to be mainstream but rather to explore a band’s musical talents, and not letting the influence of big business dictate a band’s musical career. If my calculations are correct, this puts the roots of Indie Rock right in the midst of the Classic Rock era.

    So, what exactly is Indie Rock? Hell, I don’t even really know the answer to that, and as sure as I give a definitive answer, someone will dispute my answer. What I will do is try to explain where Indie Rock came from and where Indie Rock has gone today. The simple definition of Indie Rock is music which is distributed by an Independent music label. But honestly, this doesn’t do the genre any justice and really doesn’t explain what it is.

    Indie artists typically start out on a small budget, and their main focus is music. The artists don’t really focus on “meeting the masses” on their sound and lyrics, but instead they focus on a principal that the band believes in……and their creativity. Commercialism doesn’t interest an Indie artist. Which is probably a reason why Indie artists come and go so quickly, but a lot of these artists do gather quite a large fan following and some of them do go onto larger more commercial music labels.

    Indie Rock encompasses are wide variety of music styles; testosterone driven noise to soft and melancholy tunes, from weird to delicate, and from dreamy and hypnotic to angular and abrasive. Some say that Indie Rock falls short in its production and appears too fractured in song structure, but this is also what appeals to many Indie Rock fans. At one point Indie Rock was considered Alternative Rock, but this classification has now been redefined into its own genre.

    In the beginning of Indie Rock during the late 60's, you had the focus on psychedelic music and garage rock, where in the 70’s the focus was on Punk music and the anti-establishment movement, then on to the 80’s post-punk “let’s make some noise” alternative rock and guitar rock. The Indie Rock scene really began to blossom in the late 80’s and early 90’s when the genre expanded to include the Grunge movement, hardcore punk movement, Emo , Screamo, post-rock, and electronic music.

    Today the genre of Indie Rock has become ill-defined because of the growing popularity of all these combined music styles. A great many Indie artists become popular and go on to major record labels relatively quick, mainly due to the growing number of Indie radio stations and the large number of college stations dedicated to Indie Rock. The internet has had a huge role in catapulting Indie artists careers, with more and more people turning to the net for music discovery and more artists using the net for promotion.

    Now the finale question, Why is Indie Rock a music genre? Good question! I don’t have the answer to it either. But my best guess would be because it is music you either love or hate and some expert said “lets make this underground movement a genre”, and like all things these days, it has to have its own label, therefore, all unheard of bands and independent label bands are now a genre.
     
  2. Oblivion

    Oblivion Senior Member

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    Here's a list of "known" indie artists :) (The list was bigger but I deleted the bands I didn't know myself... so that I could say the following:)
    I have music by each and every band on the list so if you are curious or want a good place to start... just ask.


    * Arcade Fire
    * Arctic Monkeys
    * Babyshambles
    * Belle and Sebastian
    * Black Box Revelation
    * Bloc Party
    * Blonde Redhead
    * Bright Eyes
    * Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    * The Courteeners
    * Death Cab For Cutie
    * Dinosaur Jr.
    * The Decemberists
    * The Flaming Lips
    * Franz Ferdinand
    * Guided by Voices
    * The Last Shadow Puppets
    * LCD Soundsystem
    * The Libertines
    * Melt-Banana
    * Mew
    * MGMT
    * Pavement
    * The Pigeon Detectives
    * The Pipettes
    * Pixies
    * The Postal Service
    * The Rascals
    * The Rakes
    * Razorlight
    * Sonic Youth
    * Spoon
    * Tegan and sara
    * The Sunshine Underground
    * The Van Pelt
    * The View
    * White Lies
    * The Wombats

    I wish I could say that the above bands have certain qualities that make them indie... but I can't. And alot of ppl would disagree on some of the bands in the list... but who cares :D It's all goooood music.
     
  3. CP/M User

    CP/M User Ace in the Hole

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    I'm only familiar with the 60s Rascals group which were also known as The Young Rascals, I wasn't sure if we're talking about the same group though. Looking at Wikipedia I see The Rascal added some Punk to their Repertoire - must have been later on cause they went til 1972.
     
  4. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Nice list OB. I will refrain from my True opinion of the "Indie" description of bands,,,Magic's summation pretty much covers everything anyway.
     
  5. Oblivion

    Oblivion Senior Member

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    I thought my summation was best... :wtf:
     
  6. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Nothing wrong with yours either OB, but you Know how I feel about the Rampant Overgenrefication of all music that seems excessive these days.:D
     
    Old Dude likes this.
  7. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Magic:

    I have some very real problems with the indie designation. Quite simply, Fat Possum Records is about as non-major a label as can be found yet most people who use the indie designation for bands, including yourself, exclude Fat Possum artists such as R.L. Bernstein, Charles Caldwell and Little Freddy King. Go figure. I mean do you want indie or not?

    :rolleyes:
     
  8. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Nobody has excluded any band Fox,,,if you think Fat Possum records stable of artists are all Indie bands then let us know and we'll move them in here.

    Simply start posting the bands you think deserve indie status in here, how hard is that?
     
  9. Flower

    Flower retired

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    I have tickets to see Tegan & Sara in early 2010 .. they sold out quickly .. I'm excited to be able to see them.

    :grinthumb
     
  10. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Of course we want Indie!!!

    Post those bands in this forum, foxhoud. Fat Possum Records is exactly what I mean by a non-major record label. I have not excluded any band from the Indie forum, but just because the band's label is not a big corporation, doesn't mean the band isn't popular or liked by its fans.

    Post 'em up! That is why I have this forum here :D
     

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