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Author Topic: define indie rock...  (Read 12617 times)

j.hall

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define indie rock...
« on: April 22, 2004, 12:37:03 pm »

we went through this every now and then in the recpit version of this forum.  this is a new place, let's discuss it again.

let's add a twist though.

give me your definition of indie rock, and then list a handful of bands that you think defined it, or started it, or both.
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Fabricoh35

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2004, 02:19:52 pm »

I'll say good quality songs dispite limitations be they performance, budget, or production.

Bands I think define indie...Pavement, Guided by Voices, Polvo, Death Cab for Cutie, Built to Spill...etc
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gasman

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2004, 05:15:11 pm »

Whaddup J...nice new digs ya got here...ya ever get yer mix room setup?

"Indy" (meaning independant from labels, and preferably yet doubtfully free of financial motivation) rock to me is ANY genre of louder-type live musics, featuring but not limited to guitars and drumkits in instrumentation, by bands that are NOT signed at all, selling their home-screened shirts and burnt CD's out the back of their ford econoline. Punk. DIY. Dirty. I'd like it if sweater/shoegazer/emo pussy shit would be excluded, but alas...Indy emo acts abound. No accounting for taste.

GM
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spankenstein

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2004, 05:32:18 pm »

I never really mixed punk and hard music.

Historically I never thought of indie as hard music at all.

I have no idea what to call anything any more. It's all rock to me I think... that however doesn't pin it down when describing a band. I generally use other bands as reference when describing a band. May be lame but I can't think of anything better to use.
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Consul

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2004, 05:46:49 pm »

To me, indie music is a political definition rather than a genre definition. It means someone who plays music, any form of music, that are not tied and/or tied down to music publishing company.

I have the same issue with people defining electronic music as a genre. It's a method, not a style. However, styles seem to grow out of methods and perhaps indie music/rock is a style growing out of a method.

Personally, I'm big into progressive rock, most of which tends to be indie, and none of it fits into any of the pigeonholes I see listed above.

By way of introduction, I'm Darren and I hung out in Harvey's forums on the old RecPit. I must say, so far I like these new forums. I play drums mainly, with experience on keys and some guitar (nothing fancy). My goal is to have my own music studio and to release indie music.  Very Happy
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Darren Landrum

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j.hall

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2004, 05:53:22 pm »

the problem with using other bands to describe a relatively obscure band, is that you end up using other obscure bands as the reference, and it doesn't get you anywhere in a discussion.

the "underground" has become so riddled with sub-genres it's gotten out of control. sweater-rock and shoegazers, spun off from emo, grind core, hard core, death metal, blah blah blah.....

indie rock to me isn't even a genre, it isn't if you are signed to a label or not, and it doesn't stand for independent any longer.

to me, indie rock is an attitude toward music, that generally leads to a general sound.  i've always thought of it as music to serve a purpose, to support a view point, to define a "lifestyle".  

in recent years i feel like the meaning of indie rock has been lost as the younger generation came in unaware of bands like fugazi, drive like jehu, superchunk, slint, big black, and so on.  

now we have a bunch of un-informed kids buying over priced "vintage" clothes, and white belts, with bad haircuts, running "our scene".

right about now i look like a flag waving weirdo for some concept that is almost impossible to pin down.

i think indie rock can be really heavy (refused)
or really mellow (sparkelhorse, codeine)

but what indie rock is not, is an independent band seeking a major label contract.  many people in our industry use the term, "i work on indy records as well as major label", this is completely different from what most of here think of as indie rock.

influential bands "in the scene":
Fugazi
Jawbox
Drive Like Jehu
SuperChunk
Slint
Polvo
June of 44
Shudder to Think
Boys Life
Rocket From the Crypt
Refused
Sunny Day Real Estate
Afghan Whigs
Guided By Voices

the list goes on

labels of significance:
Dischord
SubPop
Touch and Go
Merge
Matador
Crank
Headhunter/Cargo

and others...

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Meriphew

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2004, 06:26:40 pm »

To me, indie means DIY, experimental, bend the rules, and fuck the majors - this record will be a clear representation of our vision, not the version the record label is forcing us into.

spankenstein

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2004, 11:15:36 pm »

What a list!

I'm only 25 and seeing the generation gap. Some of the people I know are really into emo and have never heard Fugazi! Or are from KC and didn't even know The Get Up Kids were from here. Forget about them knowing Boys Life or Giant's Chair. I was so into to punk rock that I watched those two great bands over and over without paying much mind and as I go back and listen now... I wish I would have paid more attention.

As far as a philosphy, I guess to me, now, indie is making music because YOU want to. Making the noise you want and sharing with who you want. Doing it yourself and doing because you love it, because that's all that you can do.
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natpub

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2004, 12:49:11 am »

I often see the phrases "Indie rock" and "College Radio" going hand in hand. That may be one way to measure it.
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takeout

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2004, 10:10:42 am »

Ahem:

j.hall wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 22:53

...what indie rock is not, is an independent band seeking a major label contract...

influential bands "in the scene":
...
Jawbox
...
Shudder to Think
...
Refused
...
Sunny Day Real Estate
...
Afghan Whigs
...
Guided By Voices
...



All of those bands have or have had major label releases.  Just sayin'.

*devil's advocacy*
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j.hall

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2004, 10:50:58 am »

i defined that rather poorly.

matchbox20 was an independent rock band for a while
creed
sister hazel

hopefully that clears things up

indie rock, to me at least, has little to do with what label you are on.  it has much more to do with what you are trying to say musically and lyrically.

boy's life and giants chair.....man those bands were incredible.
the boy's life records have faded a little in their timelessness to me.  i put on the giants chair stuff a few months back before and after they played a quick "re-union" show.  that stuff is as fresh and inventive now as it was 10 years ago.  

to me, being an active participant in the indie rock community (and many are not active, just enjoy the music and buy records) you have to know the roots.  you can't possibly have perspective with out understanding where all this came from.  and really, we're not talking about back tracking 50 years.  this whole thing is really young, knowing at least one fugazi record should be easy.

it's like "takeout" says at band practices and sessions we do together, you can rip off led zep all you want, but at least know you're doing it.  you don't have to own the discography, or even own a single record.  just understand the impact that certain bands had.  
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testtone

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2004, 10:55:04 am »

I saw this quote on epitonic.com and i think it's a good summary:

"Indie rock is like pornography in a way: most people can't tell you exactly what it is, but they know it when they see it. Er, hear it. It's loud and obnoxious (or quiet and polite), careless and sloppy (or meticulously composed), complex and pretentious (or simple and unassuming), and, to its fans, cooler and more relevant than any other style of music. It's impossible to list all of the bands who have been influential to indie rock -- doing so would require more space than we have here and would undoubtedly start some petulant silent feuds. One thing's for sure: it's cool."

i think there is a notion that "indie" was defined by alot of bands in the 90's (pavement, GBV, etc. and by certain labels - Merge, Matador, etc.) But there are things going back decades that i would still consider "indie" - like Captain Beefheart, Suicide, or even the velvet underground.
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j.hall

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2004, 11:10:03 am »

there is no doubt that indie rock's roots began decades ago with bands you listed and so many more it's silly.  

i think it really took shape in the very early 90's when DC, san diego, chicago, chapel hill, NY, and austin all started moving in a different direction then standard three chord punk.

that epitonic quote is really good.

it actually makes me want to start a list of influencial indie rock bands......

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spankenstein

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2004, 11:35:18 am »

Like a required listening thread. This is where it comes from. The Giant's Chair reunion was really good.
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drew

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Re: define indie rock...
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2004, 02:07:18 pm »

cool. I did one of the ones on the list. do I get a cookie. Very Happy
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