Indie rock

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Indie rock
Stylistic origins
Cultural origins
Typical instruments
Mainstream popularity Widespread worldwide in the 2000s.
Derivative forms Post-rock, riot grrl, grindie, Britpop
Garage punk, riot grrl, noise rock, twee pop, grindie, power pop, post-punk revival, queercore, noise pop, folk punk, post-hardcore, dance-punk, New Weird America, Baroque pop, new prog, garage rock revival, lo-fi, sadcore, C86, math rock, shoegazing
Regional scenes
Largely global, EnglandIreland - ScotlandWalesUSACanadaSwedenJapan
Other topics
Timeline of alternative rock, DIY ethic, riot grrl, queercore, new wave

Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that most notably exists in the independent underground music scene. It primarily refers to rock musicians that are or were unsigned, or have signed to independent record labels, rather than major record labels. Genres or subgenres often associated with indie rock include lo-fi, post-rock, sadcore, C86, and math rock, to list but a few; other related (and sometimes overlapping) categories include shoegazing and indie pop. Indie rock artists place a premium on maintaining complete control of their music and careers, releasing albums on independent record labels (sometimes their own) and relying on touring, word-of-mouth, and airplay on independent or college radio stations for promotion. Some end up moving to major labels, often on favorable terms won by their prior independent success.


[edit] History

[edit] 1980s

In the United Kingdom, indie music charts have been compiled since the early 1980s. Initially, the charts featured bands that emerged with a form of guitar-based alternative rock that dominated the indie charts, particularly indie pop artists such as Aztec Camera and Orange Juice, the C86 jangle-pop movement and the twee pop of Sarah Records artists. Some definitive British indie rock bands of the 1980s were The Smiths, The Stone Roses and The Jesus and Mary Chain, whose music directly influenced 1990s alternative rock movements such as shoegazing and Britpop.

In the United States, the music commonly regarded as indie rock is descended from an alternative rock scene largely influenced by the movements of the 1970s and early 1980s and their DIY ethic. In the 1980s the term "indie rock" was particularly associated with the abrasive, distortion-heavy sounds of Hüsker Dü, The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Big Black, and others that populated American indie labels, separating them from jangly college rock bands like R.E.M. and 10,000 Maniacs, who, by the end of the decade, were signed to major labels.

[edit] 1990s

During the first half of the 1990s, alternative rock, led by grunge bands such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, broke into the mainstream, achieving commercial chart success and widespread exposure. Shortly thereafter the alternative genre became commercialized as mainstream success attracted major-label investment and commercially-oriented or manufactured acts with a formulaic, conservative approach. With this, the meaning of the label "alternative" changed away from its original, more counter-cultural meaning to refer to alternative music that achieved mainstream success and the term "indie rock" was used to refer to the bands and genres that remained underground. One of the defining movements of 1990s indie rock was the lo-fi movement spearheaded by Elliott Smith, Guided by Voices, Pavement, Sebadoh, The Grifters, Liz Phair, The Elephant 6 Recording Co., Neutral Milk Hotel and others, which placed a premium on rough recording techniques, ironic detachment, and disinterest in "selling out" to the mainstream alternative rock scene.

[edit] Main indie rock genres of the 1990s

[edit] Recent developments

Indie bands have attracted many listeners, especially among college students. Many indie bands have launched their mainstream careers by offering to perform at free concerts hosted by universities and colleges. Bands such as The Dykeenies, Silversun Pickups, Tokyo Police Club, People in Planes and Maxïmo Park have found their way on to charts this way.[citation needed]

[edit] UK after 2000

With Arts Council funding for some independent bands, and an increasing range of advertising and commercial opportunities to distribute music, few popular acts are wholly independent. However indie music in the UK has perhaps benefited from the relatively broad overlap between 'mainstream' and 'indie' music genres. Radiohead release their music independently, do not accept corporate sponsorship and continue to make music which is experimental. They are also popular and well-known. There are many artists who make original, distinctive music, without aiming for mainstream success, in genres such as grime music. In this sense, the UK retains a tradition of creating original, experimental music, which has one eye on achieving mainstream success without being subsumed by major music corporations.

[edit] Main indie rock genres after 2000

Additional, less clearly defined genres include:

Besides the new genres mentioned above other indie bands not particular belonging to a genre rise. HEALTH, No Age, Ponytail, Nite Jewel, Micachu, These Are Powers, Wavves, The Intelligence, Liam Finn, Abe Vigoda, BARR, Mika Miko, Pre, Women, Ill Ease, Japanther became known acts in the second half of the first 2000 decade. Todd P became an increasingly important promoter which helped the succes of most of these bands in NYC, where places like The Smell in Los Angeles functioned likewise on the other side of the USA. See indie music scenes for more detailed information about local subcultures.

[edit] See also

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f Jon Dolan, Josh Eells, Will Hermes, Jonah Weiner, Douglas Wolk (December 2007). "The 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums Ever". Blender. Retrieved on 2008-02-08. 
  2. ^ "Doves transcend Manchester rock history to make some of their own". Eye Weekly. June 13, 2002. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  3. ^ "Prog rock? Just say yes". Times Online. January 28, 2006.,,22875-2007511,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  4. ^ "There's Nothing Progressive About It". Pop Matters. 21 July 2004. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 
  5. ^ "Pure Reason Revolution - The Intention Craft". Music OMH. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. 

[edit] References

  • Mathieson, Craig (2000), The Sell-In: How the Music Business Seduced Alternative Rock, Sydney, Allen and Unwin
  • Allmusic- Indie Rock
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