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Author Topic: What is "Indie"  (Read 6250 times)

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

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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...
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Philip

rankus

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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!

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RSettee

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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.
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fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

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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

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Philip

j.hall

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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"


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j.hall

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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.


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j.hall

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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.
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rankus

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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.

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Daniel Farris

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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
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Chris Moore

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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.
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Chris Moore

0dbfs

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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
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fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

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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.
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Philip

fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

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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".
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Philip

Bill_Urick

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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?
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j.hall

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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.
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