R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Down

Author Topic: What is "Indie"  (Read 6260 times)

Bill_Urick

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1626
What is "Indie"
« on: September 21, 2008, 08:40:40 am »

I've always though it just meant an artist or music on an independent as opposed to a major label. It seems to also refer to a musical style, but I'm not sure what the definition or scope of that style might be.
Logged
Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

rankus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5560
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2008, 01:31:07 pm »



I would say loosely defined as "College Rock"  with a very "organic" and "real instruments" vibe.

But confusingly also refering to "independent" acts as you note Bill.

Logged
Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 437
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 07:22:14 pm »

Although I think the term "Indie" did refer to music offered by a non major, the moniker has been turned into a marketing scheme. Just like everything else.

I feel at the base, independent music should denote music that is trying to offer something outside of the norm.
The norm being typical music being developed and offered via typical means.
Logged
Philip

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 437
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 07:26:52 pm »

rankus wrote on Sun, 21 September 2008 13:31



I would say loosely defined as "College Rock"  with a very "organic" and "real instruments" vibe.

But confusingly also refering to "independent" acts as you note Bill.




While I agree with you Rankus, I consider bands like Skinny Puppy and Godflesh to be Indie, and they are hardly "organic".

Perhaps it is more of an attitude for me. Like Punk.
Logged
Philip

Greg Dixon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 791
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 10:30:09 pm »

I remember when U2 won the award for best 'alternate' act at the grammys sometime in the early '90s. Bono accepted the award and was having a little chuckle about being alternate. It seemed like quite a joke for the biggest band in the world to be alternate, but compared to most of the other winners that night they really were alternate.
Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2008, 01:00:05 pm »

as i understand it.  "indie rock" as a term came up (at least in my world) as punk rock expanded it's horizons musically.  i first heard "indie rock" as description or "genre" back in 92.  it seemed that the underground rock scene was shifting into new musical areas.  the "attitude" and "life style" hadn't changed, but the music did for sure!

the best i can put my finger on it is that "indie rock" denoted a general sound or musical direction, and it also denoted a "moral code" if you will.  the thing i never was clear on was "emo".  i first heard that term around the same time i heard "indie rock" and it seemed as though the terms were interchangeable for the longest time.  then something happened a the more poppy, cry a river about my ex-girlfriend type bands got the "emo" moniker.  then it shifted again and "emo" was a bad hair cut, really expensive clothes that are meant to look like thrift store clothes, put with ultra modern guitar sounds and some overly thin kid screaming and yelling opposite the vocal melody in the choruses.

i think anymore, whatever "indie rock" and "emo" once was is a thing of the past.  i think it had everything to do with the grunge era explosion and was a sort of counterculture to all that.  it was birthed out of the punk rock ethos into the "modern age" of rock and roll, and personally i believe it served it's purpose quite well.  growing up in all this i might have a unique perspective into it.  however, i look around now and only see tiny fragments of what i've always considered "indie rock".  musically i hear it everywhere, but the "culture" has faded into clothing company's marketing schemes.
Logged

Fig

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1186
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 05:46:08 pm »

j.hall wrote on Mon, 22 September 2008 12:00

and it also denoted a "moral code" if you will.  


Good summary J!

I think anything that would keep a band off a major label (but not... you know... sucking, like pop) helped build the genre(s) - which can vary from hip-hop to post-grunge, IMO - including some really good 'tweeners, too.

If you say "indie rock," though, I know what we're talkin' about... usually.

I think its folks that ain't sold out, yet, Bill.

$0.02,

Fig
Logged
The easiest thing to do is the thing most easily forgotten.

rankus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5560
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 07:14:44 pm »


Well I work in these genres every day.  They are definitely defined genres.  Emo (short for emotional) can be summed up as a lyrical and singing style, with the lyrics generally about the hurting side of love "you hurt me and I want to hurt you back, but not before I cut myself to prove my love" ... With the vocalist usually pushing into the upper end of their range in order to sound strained.  It can be very hard, almost metal, to light pop musically.

Also there are several sub-genres of Emo such as Screamo, Emo-Core, Emo-Pop etc.

Please take some time to listen to the links I’ve posted below, you will see where it’s going.  As I say I’ve been working extensively, almost exclusively, in these genres for the last while and have a pretty good handle on it.


EMO:

Some luminary's in the Emo world include:


Tokio Hotel: (yes that is a boy singing)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llH13hboNYA

Angels And Airwaves:  (fella from B182 side project)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bFvDAng3sA

Saves The Day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPqgXquPN8Q

If you listen to these clips you will see a definite common thread ... Emo more a "style" than a genre proper.. but nonetheless a defined movement.




INDIE:

While it's true that in the 90's the term indie meant "independent from a label" or an extension of the "alternative" movement, these days it is a defined musical genre. It defines a College Rock ethic that would have included bands like REM….  If they came out today, they would be pinned as “indie”....

As I mentioned above, the vibe is that of more organic rock without hyped mixes... a band in a room type sound... often using cheaper "character" instruments and being played in chilled out vibe. Some clips of top bands at the moment in the genre include:


Death Cab for Cutie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq-yP7mb8UE

My Morning Jacket:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzdoOGUsEKg

Band Of Horses:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuZo7pLnL7c&feature=user


So in summary “Indie” no longer means “unsigned band”  the term that is appropriate for that now is “unsigned”

For a regular look into this world I suggest "Spin Magazine" as a starting point... it covers this generation of music and fashion quite well.




Logged
Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

rankus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5560
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 07:20:26 pm »

Fiasco wrote on Sun, 21 September 2008 16:26


While I agree with you Rankus, I consider bands like Skinny Puppy and Godflesh to be Indie, and they are hardly "organic".




Skinny Puppy is definitely not Indie... they bill themselves "Industrial".    Godflesh list themselves as "Industrial Metal"  

Both perhaps "independent" bands that should refer to their status as "unsigned"

We gotta change with the times guys... Each new generation rewrites the code book...  Smile

Indie no longer refers to the Nirvana /Sub Pop "alternative" styles of bygone eras.

Logged
Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

grantis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1407
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2008, 08:49:23 pm »

What about "alternative"?  Does that include everything that's not "pop" or top 40?  
Logged
Grant Craig
Nuovo Music (Me)
Skiddco Music (Where I work)
Work History (Well, some of it anyway)

RSettee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6796
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2008, 09:10:50 pm »

Indie--what used to be indie--I think, it originally was the precursor to the Pitchfork crowd....but in between the "REM as god" in the late 80's thing, and the Pitchfork propagation of modern indie.

I sort of see the late 80's/ early 90's indie band as jangling in an REM way, twee pop, etc. But somehow, I think that Pavement was the ultimate indie band....ie: Velvet Underground, HUGe Lou Reed influence, songs vaguely tossed off for the hell of it, etc. You could probably put Guided By Voices in there too....early GBV, anyways. I think the whole thing about early indie stuff was that it was done lo-fi, maybe on a 4 track (see: GBV again), real music made by real non-rock star types (also see: Helium, Cat Power, early Liz Phair, pre "Bandwagonesque"--and maybe even including "Bandwagonesque"-- Teenage Fanclub). Or perhaps Superchunk, I think they were put in that category, too (out of tune vocals, ragged jangly guitars, etc).

Then as alternative rock grew in the 90's, labels like Matador grew and expanded and got more popular and got more budgets, and the old template of what was considered indie (especially as recording technology developed), you were no longer listening to bedroom or lo-fi 4 track recordings done on shoestring budgets. On a somewhat newer scale, there was nothing really "indie" about bands like the Arcade Fire, even when they weren't known....but due to the Merge affiliation and perhaps due to rock critics' tendencies to throw around terms that bands may not even want levelled at their music--it stuck with them. "Indie" is largely a critic or record label or music bio sort of reliance now, to describe new bands that would have fit into that sort of thing way back then.

Now that I think of it, bands that could be considered "alternative" or "modern rock" in the late 80's or maybe 1991 or so (ie: Grapes of Wrath,) were thrown in that category, too.

Now that I think of it, pick up almost any Matador recording from about 1990-1994 and that's pretty much "indie". Or the initial/ old/ early quintessential version of it, anyways.

I generally hate labels (I loathe the term "post rock" just as much), but that's the best that I can describe that whole indie thing.

And I almost forgot to mention--there was a period in the early 90's where bands would stress that they were "unsigned", NOT "indie". Because indie tended to emphasize (whether intended or not) that the band was purposely straying away from the major label route. I don't know how much credibility any intentional indie thing had, because even Matador was affiliated with Warner by (or around) 1994, and Guided By Voices had eventually made records with big engineers and producers like Ric Ocasek. Even Bob Pollard said that he was "sick of this 4 track shit". He recorded on 4 track because it was all he had....alot of listeners and fans think that it was intentional, but it wasn't--he always had a big major label spirit beating through those early recordings like "Propeller", it's just that he had no budgets, no recording skills, no record label.
Logged

el duderino

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 792
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2008, 09:20:59 pm »

Fiasco wrote on Sun, 21 September 2008 19:22


I feel at the base, independent music should denote music that is trying to offer something outside of the norm.



This is what i think too fwiw, but i dont think how its developed or offered makes a difference really.

unless of course its a mp3, or cd by the winners of a tv show that comes with a big mac or something.



Logged

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 437
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2008, 06:57:46 am »

rankus wrote on Mon, 22 September 2008 19:20

Fiasco wrote on Sun, 21 September 2008 16:26


While I agree with you Rankus, I consider bands like Skinny Puppy and Godflesh to be Indie, and they are hardly "organic".




Skinny Puppy is definitely not Indie... they bill themselves "Industrial".    Godflesh list themselves as "Industrial Metal"  




I guess I still consider "indie" to be an asthetic as opposed to a genre.

Exsisting (somewhat successfuly) outside the mainstream.
Logged
Philip

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2008, 04:33:52 pm »

rankus wrote on Mon, 22 September 2008 18:14



INDIE:

While it's true that in the 90's the term indie meant "independent from a label" or an extension of the "alternative" movement, these days it is a defined musical genre. It defines a College Rock ethic that would have included bands like REM….  If they came out today, they would be pinned as “indie”....





when i first heard the term "indie rock" (as noted in my previous post) it had VERY LITTLE to do with being independent and EVERYTHING to do with the "fabric of your life" and the "sound of your band"

when "indie rock" was first being birthed some of the top bands to be placed in this "new sound" were:

slint
fugazi
jawbox
shudder to think
polvo
drive like jehu
boys life
giant's chair
superchunk
girls against boys
jesus lizard
aminiature
rocket from the cript

just to name a few.....

chicago, DC, san diego, chapel hill, austin and to a lesser extent, KC.  

like i said, as some one deeply rooted in this scene when it was in it's hey day, it pretty much doesn't exist anymore outside of urban outfitters and a fairly established name for a genre of music consisting of bands that get college radio airplay.


Logged

rankus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5560
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2008, 05:47:25 pm »

I agree with you J. Semantics aside, It is a term perverted away from it's origins. I think this is one of the main points of confusion with it's current meaning... (I was loosely describing the origins... I forget that everything is taken literally on the net)

Being in the Pacific Northwest I was heavily involved in that scene through the 90's myself.

Gotta love the English language. It's a moving target.

I suppose the bands you mention would be under the heading "Alternative" these days as noted in my post.  Would you agree?  I'm getting confused as to what to call that old genre these days, "grunge" perhaps?

Damn kids/marketers are stealing our culture!

Logged
Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 437
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2008, 06:01:05 pm »

rankus wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 17:47

  I'm getting confused as to what to call that old genre these days, "grunge" perhaps?

Damn kids/marketers are stealing our culture!




I referred to the types of bands J referred to as "Hardcore". As in hardcore punk... ish.

Not to be confused with what is considered hardcore today.

Damn kids...
Logged
Philip

rankus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5560
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2008, 06:17:20 pm »

Ahh.  Here in the northwest, in the 90's, Indie referred more to grunge rather than the hardcore scene... DOA, Pointed Sticks, etc. were referred to as hardcore punk in that era.  

An aside:

Vancouver Hardcore is seeing quite a resurgence too... I just re-mastered two Death Sentence albums for release on Cargo...  Many of those bands are bigger than ever.

 DOA just played the Commodore (1000 seats) on friday night and brought the house down... still rocking hard at 50... go Joey go!

Logged
Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

RSettee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6796
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2008, 06:51:38 pm »

j.hall wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 15:33

rankus wrote on Mon, 22 September 2008 18:14



INDIE:

While it's true that in the 90's the term indie meant "independent from a label" or an extension of the "alternative" movement, these days it is a defined musical genre. It defines a College Rock ethic that would have included bands like REM….  If they came out today, they would be pinned as “indie”....





when i first heard the term "indie rock" (as noted in my previous post) it had VERY LITTLE to do with being independent and EVERYTHING to do with the "fabric of your life" and the "sound of your band"

when "indie rock" was first being birthed some of the top bands to be placed in this "new sound" were:

slint
fugazi
jawbox
shudder to think
polvo
drive like jehu
boys life
giant's chair
superchunk
girls against boys
jesus lizard
aminiature
rocket from the cript

just to name a few.....

chicago, DC, san diego, chapel hill, austin and to a lesser extent, KC.  

like i said, as some one deeply rooted in this scene when it was in it's hey day, it pretty much doesn't exist anymore outside of urban outfitters and a fairly established name for a genre of music consisting of bands that get college radio airplay.





I'd agree with your list of bands to a certain extent in that they fell under the "indie" banner or were "indie friendly"--but I think that those are mostly either post punk or post-hardcore or what critics and fans were terming the bands as (Jawbox, Shudder To Think, Polvo); Math Rock (Slint); Drive Like Jehu were in between genres of some sort of post-rock math rock hardcore thing; Rocket From The Crypt was always too rooted in traditional rock n' roll and punk (Stooges, MC5, Chuck Berry) to really be indie.

I'm a huge fan of most of those bands, and to be perfectly clear, there were huge divisions then in their subgenres. I mean, we could go one step bigger and say "rock" or "music"--in which they're all music and rock, but some of those fans of those genres were pretty specific of not getting much peanut butter in there with their chocolate. I know plenty of people that like RFTC but not Jehu and vice versa, because RFTC violated the rules of indie rock of that time (too "rock", too much posturing, etc). Most of the bands you list were on Dischord, and by that time, Dischord and Don Zientara had built up a reputation as being more post-punk and proto emo. Jawbox were an incredible band....but they were more influenced by Joy Division and Fugazi, a harder edged version of technical sort of punk/ melody. With those sorts of off kilter rhythms (even in Fugazi), that sort of leaned towards a math rock thing, rather than indie rock.

I still say Guided By Voices and Pavement were the quintessential ones--you know, slacker culture, extremely lo-fi, kind of poppy, jangly.  Anything that tends to be still heralded incessantly on Pitchfork is still what I consider to be the templates for indie--which is why I pretty much don't like Pitchfork, because I usually know that what they rave about is trying to replicate that early indie Matador sound, which has been done to death (cute songs, cute vocals, nice and friendly, don't rock the boat). They don't come right out and say it, but their mission statement should state, "hey, we're trying to promote the spirit of Matador bands circa 1990-1994".

Dischord and Touch and Go (and other "indie friendly" labels like SST) were still too on the outer fringes of what they dealt with; Matador was pretty friendly, accessible, poppy. The Jesus Lizard was much too abrasive and metallic to really be technically defined as "indie"....to a casual observer maybe they were, but even when they were tagged "alternative", that wasn't doing them justice.

And bear in mind that I detest the term "post rock" and most labels....it's just that I know the quintessential bands of what falls under that banner because I haven't even gone looking for it, it's just what i've grown up with in the last couple of decades' worth of label marketing/ fan terms/ critic terms. I even hate the word "emo", but some of the Dischord stuff would lean much more towards the emo sound/ ideal (ie: no drinking, vegan/ vegetarianism, etc). To the average person this all sounds RIDICULOUSLY overanalyzed....but i've tried to be in between tons of these sub-groups and i'm always the guy that's like "can't we all just get along?". Even in the garage rock thing that came to a head of popularity maybe 5 years ago, you'd have a zillion sub-groups in there that wanted nothing to do with the others' bands or fans.
Logged

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 437
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2008, 07:56:25 pm »

rankus wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 18:17

Ahh.  Here in the northwest, in the 90's, Indie referred more to grunge rather than the hardcore scene... DOA, Pointed Sticks, etc. were referred to as hardcore punk in that era.  

An aside:

Vancouver Hardcore is seeing quite a resurgence too... I just re-mastered two Death Sentence albums for release on Cargo...  Many of those bands are bigger than ever.

 DOA just played the Commodore (1000 seats) on friday night and brought the house down... still rocking hard at 50... go Joey go!




Wow, DOA, you just brought me back.

If interested check out this list of bands (all "indie" in my opinion) that played the Jockey Club here in my area.

Several of these shows I played as well. Unfortunately not much billing on the site, but we were local and somewhat sucked.

Bad Dream was our band.

http://home.fuse.net/hohorecords/jockeyclub_calendar.htm

Logged
Philip

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2008, 10:37:36 pm »

rankus wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 16:47

I agree with you J. Semantics aside, It is a term perverted away from it's origins. I think this is one of the main points of confusion with it's current meaning... (I was loosely describing the origins... I forget that everything is taken literally on the net)



yeah, the internet.....the place we come for all things true....>HAHAHAHAHAHA

Quote:


Being in the Pacific Northwest I was heavily involved in that scene through the 90's myself.



i think that location specifically makes it harder to distinguish some of this stuff.  you lived in ground zero of a massive musical and culture shift.  i can see where your perspective would be different from mine in slight ways here and there that add up to minor communication problems.  no worries.

Quote:


Gotta love the English language. It's a moving target.



well, no language is static.  that's what makes them awesome.  language evolves with a people.

Quote:


I suppose the bands you mention would be under the heading "Alternative" these days as noted in my post.  Would you agree?  I'm getting confused as to what to call that old genre these days, "grunge" perhaps?

Damn kids/marketers are stealing our culture!




i would not call any band i listed, or all the others i enjoy from that time period "alternative".  that's what the mainstream marketed pearl jam and stone temple pilots as and the term really turns me off.

i still call them indie rock bands.  i guess now i might say, "OG indie rock"


Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2008, 10:40:10 pm »

Fiasco wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 17:01

rankus wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 17:47

  I'm getting confused as to what to call that old genre these days, "grunge" perhaps?

Damn kids/marketers are stealing our culture!




I referred to the types of bands J referred to as "Hardcore". As in hardcore punk... ish.

Not to be confused with what is considered hardcore today.

Damn kids...




NO WAY.  hardcore back then would have been:

DOA
slapshot
suicidal tendencies
sick of it all

hardcore has actually changed very little.  it's just gotten heavier in tone and a little watered down in politics.


Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2008, 10:46:57 pm »

from 90 - maybe 98 here is a short and incomplete list of the various genres punk rock gave birth too (some are sub categories of indie rock) that i heard, used, and was aware of.  (i'm no authority on this matter, but i was intrenched pretty deeply back then)

Indie Rock
Emo (and all the various sub genres starting with "emo-")
Sweater Rock
Hardcore
Shoe Gazer
Grunge
Alt Country
Rockabilly

add to this please.
Logged

rankus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5560
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2008, 01:54:11 pm »



Agreed on all points J.  I was thinking that these terms were more regional back in the day before the internet was so popular too.  I will brainstorm and try to add to your list:

"Psycho-billy"  (a sub-genere though) was pretty popular on the west coast back then, and seems to be making a bit of a comeback.

Logged
Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

Daniel Farris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2439
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2008, 02:45:59 pm »

j.hall wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 19:46


Alt Country


...most succinctly referred to as "yallternative."

DF
Logged

Chris Moore

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 429
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2008, 03:42:56 pm »

rankus wrote on Mon, 22 September 2008 19:20

Fiasco wrote on Sun, 21 September 2008 16:26


While I agree with you Rankus, I consider bands like Skinny Puppy and Godflesh to be Indie, and they are hardly "organic".




Skinny Puppy is definitely not Indie... they bill themselves "Industrial".    Godflesh list themselves as "Industrial Metal"  

Both perhaps "independent" bands that should refer to their status as "unsigned"



Well, Skinny Puppy were on Capitol Records in the US...hardly indie or unsigned. Godflesh I think had some major support or distribution at some point, but I can't remember exactly.
Logged
Chris Moore

0dbfs

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 405
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2008, 04:56:49 pm »

Bill_Urick wrote on Sun, 21 September 2008 08:40

I've always though it just meant an artist or music on an independent as opposed to a major label. It seems to also refer to a musical style, but I'm not sure what the definition or scope of that style might be.



When they say F*** YOU! and mean it (doesn't really matter if they are signed or the style of music)?

Cheers,
j
Logged
Jonathan Burtner
Music is Everything!
Audio is Everything Else!

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 437
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2008, 05:43:19 pm »

j.hall wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 22:40

Fiasco wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 17:01

rankus wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 17:47

  I'm getting confused as to what to call that old genre these days, "grunge" perhaps?

Damn kids/marketers are stealing our culture!




I referred to the types of bands J referred to as "Hardcore". As in hardcore punk... ish.

Not to be confused with what is considered hardcore today.

Damn kids...




NO WAY.  hardcore back then would have been:

DOA
slapshot
suicidal tendencies
sick of it all

hardcore has actually changed very little.  it's just gotten heavier in tone and a little watered down in politics.





Perhaps I was quick to lump your initial band list into hardcore, but I definitely consider Fugazi and Jesus Lizard to be hardcore.
Logged
Philip

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 437
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2008, 05:51:54 pm »

c17 wrote on Wed, 24 September 2008 15:42

rankus wrote on Mon, 22 September 2008 19:20

Fiasco wrote on Sun, 21 September 2008 16:26


While I agree with you Rankus, I consider bands like Skinny Puppy and Godflesh to be Indie, and they are hardly "organic".




Skinny Puppy is definitely not Indie... they bill themselves "Industrial".    Godflesh list themselves as "Industrial Metal"  

Both perhaps "independent" bands that should refer to their status as "unsigned"



Well, Skinny Puppy were on Capitol Records in the US...hardly indie or unsigned. Godflesh I think had some major support or distribution at some point, but I can't remember exactly.


Chris, I refer to those two bands not because they were signed or unsigned or had distribution deals,
but because they became popular without airplay and without fitting nicely into an established niche.

If there was marketing for either, I never heard or saw a lick.
For me it was entirely word of mouth. Which is what I always considered "Indie".
Logged
Philip

Bill_Urick

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1626
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2008, 09:45:19 pm »

0dbfs wrote on Wed, 24 September 2008 16:56

Bill_Urick wrote on Sun, 21 September 2008 08:40

I've always though it just meant an artist or music on an independent as opposed to a major label. It seems to also refer to a musical style, but I'm not sure what the definition or scope of that style might be.



When they say F*** YOU! and mean it (doesn't really matter if they are signed or the style of music)?

Cheers,
j


Would they be directing that to me personally, or to society in general?
Logged
Good sense is, of all things among men, the most equally distributed; for everyone thinks himself so abundantly provided with it, that those even who are the most difficult to satisfy in everything else, do not usually desire a larger measure of this quality than they already possess.

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2008, 11:21:33 am »

c17 wrote on Wed, 24 September 2008 14:42



Well, Skinny Puppy were on Capitol Records in the US...hardly indie or unsigned. Godflesh I think had some major support or distribution at some point, but I can't remember exactly.


so did:

drive like jehu
rocket from the crypt
shudder to think
jawbox
girls against boys

back then, "indie rock" had very little to do with what label you were on.

hell, the list i just made makes up some of the largest influencers of the genre.

Fugazi, hardcore?  far from it.  minor threat and rights of spring could be considered hardcore, but i've always called them punk.
Logged

Hank Alrich

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 656
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2008, 10:47:23 pm »

j.hall wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 19:46

from 90 - maybe 98 here is a short and incomplete list of the various genres punk rock gave birth too (some are sub categories of indie rock) that i heard, used, and was aware of.  (i'm no authority on this matter, but i was intrenched pretty deeply back then)

Indie Rock
Emo (and all the various sub genres starting with "emo-")
Sweater Rock
Hardcore
Shoe Gazer
Grunge
Alt Country
Rockabilly

add to this please.



Rockabilly is out of place on that list, having preceded punk by decades.

From Wikipedia"

"Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, and emerged in the early 1950s."

It's a read you would enjoy, J:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockabilly

Lots of names in there you'll recognize.

Andy Peters

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1124
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2008, 03:47:03 am »

RSettee wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 15:51

I still say Guided By Voices and Pavement were the quintessential ones--you know, slacker culture, extremely lo-fi, kind of poppy, jangly.


You forget Sebadoh, who definitely meet that description.

And on the first two tunes from Bubble And Scrape, "Soul And Fire" and "2 Years 2 Days," Lou Barlow tapped into some raw emotional vein that's just stunning. Too bad the rest of the record kinda falls flat.

I remember them touring behind B and S, and Lou made a significant change to the lyrics of "Soul And Fire." On the record, the last line of the chorus is "I think our love is coming to an end." Between the recording and the tour, something must've happened, because he sang it as, "Call me if you want to start again."

Talk about putting the knife into your chest, and then twisting it. I cannot imagine how he could sing those lines every night for a year of touring.

Quote:

The Jesus Lizard was much too abrasive and metallic to really be technically defined as "indie"....to a casual observer maybe they were, but even when they were tagged "alternative", that wasn't doing them justice.


Those of us who saw them (and we had them in Hoboken like every four months it seemed, back in the day), the term that gave them justice was "The best fucking live rock and roll band you'll see."

-a
Logged
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band."

Andy Peters

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1124
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2008, 03:54:50 am »

j.hall wrote on Tue, 23 September 2008 13:33

when "indie rock" was first being birthed some of the top bands to be placed in this "new sound" were:

slint
fugazi
jawbox
shudder to think
polvo
drive like jehu
boys life
giant's chair
superchunk
girls against boys
jesus lizard
aminiature
rocket from the cript

just to name a few.....

chicago, DC, san diego, chapel hill, austin and to a lesser extent, KC.  


You forgot Squirrel Bait, without whom you'd not have yer Slints and yer Bastros and yer Bitch Magnets.

I suppose we should include Mark Robinson's Teen Beat, whose roster included Mark's Unrest, Versus, Eggs and others.

One of the weirdest things I ever saw was Unrest opening for Fugazi at Roseland in NYC. The kids were crowd surfing to Unrest ...

-a
Logged
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band."

Andy Peters

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1124
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2008, 04:07:12 am »

Fiasco wrote on Wed, 24 September 2008 14:43

Perhaps I was quick to lump your initial band list into hardcore, but I definitely consider Fugazi and Jesus Lizard to be hardcore.


I disagree on both counts ...

Fugazi were (are) too smart to be limited by hardcore. Certainly one considers Minor Threat to be hardcore as well as the template for straight-edge, but their direct predecessor bands Embrace and Rites Of Spring (you can draw your "Emo" line directly back to both) had already discarded both the testosterone and the rigidity of hardcore aesthetics for something a lot more, well, interesting.

The Lizard were just too mathy to be hardcore and the rhythm section was a lot more precise in their bone-crushing than any hardcore outfit. Mac didn't have to play at machine-gun speeds to kick your ass, and Duane's riffing was waay too fucking jazzy to be limited by the pejorative "hardcore." Yow, in his cowboy boots and jeans, was a much scarier frontman than any tattooed bald guy fronting a generic hardcore band.

-a
Logged
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band."

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 437
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2008, 06:26:33 am »

Andy Peters wrote on Mon, 29 September 2008 04:07

Fiasco wrote on Wed, 24 September 2008 14:43

Perhaps I was quick to lump your initial band list into hardcore, but I definitely consider Fugazi and Jesus Lizard to be hardcore.


I disagree on both counts ...

Fugazi were (are) too smart to be limited by hardcore. Certainly one considers Minor Threat to be hardcore as well as the template for straight-edge, but their direct predecessor bands Embrace and Rites Of Spring (you can draw your "Emo" line directly back to both) had already discarded both the testosterone and the rigidity of hardcore aesthetics for something a lot more, well, interesting.

The Lizard were just too mathy to be hardcore and the rhythm section was a lot more precise in their bone-crushing than any hardcore outfit. Mac didn't have to play at machine-gun speeds to kick your ass, and Duane's riffing was waay too fucking jazzy to be limited by the pejorative "hardcore." Yow, in his cowboy boots and jeans, was a much scarier frontman than any tattooed bald guy fronting a generic hardcore band.

-a



Well put.
I suppose I never viewed hardcore as a "dumb" format.

Of course, it was just my perspective.
Logged
Philip

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2008, 10:46:06 am »

Andy Peters wrote on Mon, 29 September 2008 02:47



Those of us who saw them (and we had them in Hoboken like every four months it seemed, back in the day), the term that gave them justice was "The best fucking live rock and roll band you'll see."

-a


INDEED!!!!!!!!


Logged

Andy Peters

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1124
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2008, 01:20:30 pm »

Fiasco wrote on Mon, 29 September 2008 03:26

Andy Peters wrote on Mon, 29 September 2008 04:07

Fiasco wrote on Wed, 24 September 2008 14:43

Perhaps I was quick to lump your initial band list into hardcore, but I definitely consider Fugazi and Jesus Lizard to be hardcore.


I disagree on both counts ...

Fugazi were (are) too smart to be limited by hardcore. Certainly one considers Minor Threat to be hardcore as well as the template for straight-edge, but their direct predecessor bands Embrace and Rites Of Spring (you can draw your "Emo" line directly back to both) had already discarded both the testosterone and the rigidity of hardcore aesthetics for something a lot more, well, interesting.

The Lizard were just too mathy to be hardcore and the rhythm section was a lot more precise in their bone-crushing than any hardcore outfit. Mac didn't have to play at machine-gun speeds to kick your ass, and Duane's riffing was waay too fucking jazzy to be limited by the pejorative "hardcore." Yow, in his cowboy boots and jeans, was a much scarier frontman than any tattooed bald guy fronting a generic hardcore band.

-a



Well put.
I suppose I never viewed hardcore as a "dumb" format.

Of course, it was just my perspective.


I'll now contradict myself ... there's a lot of hardcore that is not dumb. It just takes smart people to transcend its inherent limitations. I mean, for example, Jawbox, Jawbreaker, Die Kreuzen, Husker Du and arguably the Replacements all came from hardcore, learned its lessons and moved on.

I suppose when you learn how to play your instrument, those limitations seem to melt away.

-a
Logged
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band."

DarinK

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 410
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2008, 08:11:29 pm »

This discussion is kind of cracking me up, and I don't mean that disrespectfully at all.  I was a college radio dj in the late 80's-early 90's, so it's just that I've heard this conversation in one form or another for literally decades now.  There's always subgenres, there's always retro-active re-labelling ("punk" used to mean tons of music that it does not refer to anymore), and commercial co-opting of a term.  "Alternative" was the catch-all in the mid-to-late 80's for anything that was an alternative to music then played on commercial radio & regular rotation mtv, but then the combination of some of those bands (REM first, later Sonic Youth & Nirvana) moving to mainstream radio & sales and mainstream marketing of the it all in general killed the term for those in-the-know, and Indie took over as a catch-all, before it became attached to specific sub-genres like indie rock or indie pop.  Kinda like "punk" - in the mid-to-late seventies "punk" was a very wide-ranging term, at least in the U.S., but now we look back and give different, more specific labels, to many of those bands.  
Sorry if I'm not adding much here.  Years ago I chose to mostly step away from worrying about labelling - it mattered when I was in my teens & twenties, but it doesn't matter to me at all now if one person's "indie" is another person's "alt" is another person's "punk".
I do feel what someone (j?  sorry, don't feel like rereading the whole thread) said about attitude or morality or whatever.  There's always the sense that the punks/indies/alts/etc are not "selling out" (regardless of actual sales), and if they're following a trend it's not a conscious decision.  After working with bands from punk to jazz to metal to folk, I have to say that I've met maybe two groups total that actually were selling out, though, in the sense of not really being totally sincerely into their music.  Some were certainly more interested in selling, period, though, and that sort of interest is generally frowned upon in whatever independent realm it is we're talking about.
Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2008, 09:18:20 pm »

nice post!  at some point (probably a combo of getting older and what i knew indie rock to be fading away) i just stopped caring about "labels"

if i like it, great.  if it's good, i'll admit it.

honestly, the best example of this time period i've been able to find is the book, "Our Band Could Be Your Life" by Michael Azerrad.  it doesn't really get into the "indie rock era" it actually focuses on the top bands of the 80's punk scene in the US.  however.  if you are wondering what the indie rock ethos is, this book will certainly outline it for you.  and it's really well written, and funny.  it's also a great book to have on the studio coffee table.
Logged

RSettee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6796
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2008, 08:32:02 pm »

Andy Peters wrote on Mon, 29 September 2008 03:07

Fiasco wrote on Wed, 24 September 2008 14:43

Perhaps I was quick to lump your initial band list into hardcore, but I definitely consider Fugazi and Jesus Lizard to be hardcore.


I disagree on both counts ...

Fugazi were (are) too smart to be limited by hardcore. Certainly one considers Minor Threat to be hardcore as well as the template for straight-edge, but their direct predecessor bands Embrace and Rites Of Spring (you can draw your "Emo" line directly back to both) had already discarded both the testosterone and the rigidity of hardcore aesthetics for something a lot more, well, interesting.


Agreed!

Quote:

The Lizard were just too mathy to be hardcore and the rhythm section was a lot more precise in their bone-crushing than any hardcore outfit. Mac didn't have to play at machine-gun speeds to kick your ass, and Duane's riffing was waay too fucking jazzy to be limited by the pejorative "hardcore." Yow, in his cowboy boots and jeans, was a much scarier frontman than any tattooed bald guy fronting a generic hardcore band.

-a



Agreed again! I wondered if anyone would point that out, I left that one open to see if anyone would jump in with it. The only thing that you omitted was Yow's nudity and "inventive scrotum techniques", which resulted in him stretching his balls across the mic grille (one more reason why it was always good to have the JL as headliner...). They were very metallic and sludgy at times, as well....but your average metalhead was left scratching their head at the artsy metallic onslaught; they were too abrasive for your math rock types that could appreciate the off kilter rhythms. Plus, if you factor in the drum machine on their first EP, there was some definite industrial grind not too far removed from, say, a Godflesh, or a more art rock influenced Ministry.
Logged

RSettee

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6796
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2008, 08:39:25 pm »

Andy Peters wrote on Mon, 29 September 2008 12:20



I'll now contradict myself ... there's a lot of hardcore that is not dumb. It just takes smart people to transcend its inherent limitations. I mean, for example, Jawbox, Jawbreaker, Die Kreuzen, Husker Du and arguably the Replacements all came from hardcore, learned its lessons and moved on.

I suppose when you learn how to play your instrument, those limitations seem to melt away.

-a



The Replacements are a great example--I can't really listen to "Sorry Ma...", and thought that they got brilliant a few albums down the road when the sarcastic veneer of bored youth started to get old to them and wear off. Same thing with Husker Du (though I do very much listen to "Zen Arcade" and listen to "Metal Circus" and "Everything Falls Apart"), I can absolutely not listen to "Land Speed Record".
Logged

Andy Peters

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1124
Re: What is "Indie"
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2008, 02:22:16 am »

RSettee wrote on Tue, 30 September 2008 17:39

Andy Peters wrote on Mon, 29 September 2008 12:20



I'll now contradict myself ... there's a lot of hardcore that is not dumb. It just takes smart people to transcend its inherent limitations. I mean, for example, Jawbox, Jawbreaker, Die Kreuzen, Husker Du and arguably the Replacements all came from hardcore, learned its lessons and moved on.

I suppose when you learn how to play your instrument, those limitations seem to melt away.

-a



The Replacements are a great example--I can't really listen to "Sorry Ma...", and thought that they got brilliant a few albums down the road when the sarcastic veneer of bored youth started to get old to them and wear off. Same thing with Husker Du (though I do very much listen to "Zen Arcade" and listen to "Metal Circus" and "Everything Falls Apart"), I can absolutely not listen to "Land Speed Record".


"Land Speed Record" was the Husker's "Confusion Is Sex."

Or something like that ...

-a
Logged
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band."
Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Up