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Author Topic: What is "Indie"  (Read 6258 times)

Hank Alrich

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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

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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
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Andy Peters

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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
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Andy Peters

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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
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fiasco ( P.M.DuMont )

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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.
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j.hall

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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!!!!!!!!


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Andy Peters

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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
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DarinK

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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.
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j.hall

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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.
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RSettee

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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.
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RSettee

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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".
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Andy Peters

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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
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