R/E/P Community

R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => j. hall => Topic started by: j.hall on April 22, 2004, 12:37:03 pm

Title: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall 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.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Fabricoh35 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
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: gasman 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
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: spankenstein 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.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Consul 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
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall 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...

Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Meriphew 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.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: spankenstein 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.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: natpub 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.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: takeout 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*
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall 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.  
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: testtone 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.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall 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......

Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: spankenstein 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.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: drew 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
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 23, 2004, 02:26:56 pm
drew wrote on Fri, 23 April 2004 13:07

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



which one did you do?

i'll decide how many cookies you get....hahahaha
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: drew on April 23, 2004, 02:42:39 pm
Jawbox-"For Your Own Special Sweetheart" recorded and mixed. Also some earlier singles and a few songs of the "self titled" album.
drew
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 23, 2004, 02:51:42 pm
well done!!  easily my favorite jawbox record!
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: drew on April 23, 2004, 03:07:23 pm
mine too!! thanks
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: grock5 on April 23, 2004, 05:28:24 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 17:53

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



Don't forget the Buckle Shoes! Losuy Pilgrims they are.

Quote:


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



At what point does "indie rock" become "punk"?

Quote:


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



Amen.
You're either making records for love, or making them for money.
You can't do both, unless you love money.
then your fucked.

If your making them for love, you can put them out yourself, or you can be a dildo and wait for a label.
Put in some work!
Jeez, there are so many lazy kids waiting for record contracts.

You have either independent bands, or hopeful- yet- unsigned major label bands.
Punk is not a purgatory between unsigned and signed.
Anything else is like saying your fasting inbetween your breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Quote:


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.



I've talked with a few engineer's who were like this.
The "underground" is MTV2 to them.
They just don't get it.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 23, 2004, 05:42:54 pm
Gary Longest wrote on Fri, 23 April 2004 16:28


At what point does "indie rock" become "punk"?



that's a tough one for me.  punk is such a blurred line anymore.  i mean, good charolette?  gimme a break, dress em up for the "prom" and we call em punk.  after the epitaph thing exploded in the mid late 90's the majors did their thing and gobbled "punk rock" up and turned right into corporate sludge for mass marketing to all angst ridden teens on mother earth.

we once had minor threat, the sex pistols, etc.....

now we have blink 182, and good charolette

i think real punk morphed into indie rock and what remained is now pop.  i don't know man.

Quote:


I've talked with a few engineer's who were like this.
The "underground" is MTV2 to them.
They just don't get it.


i'm glad they don't get it, seriously.  one can't exist with out the other.  i get sick of indie rockers complaining that more people aren't into it.  WHY?????  diversity is the fabric of life man.  if every creed lover on the planet was a flag waving fugazi fan, what would be the point?

my favorite example of the dual meaining of indie rock is this:
i'm talking on the phone with a friend who works on major label records with a moderate amount of sucess.  he says, "man, why don't you just transition into major label work, just move to the coast, and start going for it, you're doing indie projects now."

i say, "man, i'm not sure we are talking about the same thing here, no offense, but i don't think you understand the world i circulate in"

"hey, i do indie records too"

i just said, "that's cool man, i'll think about it"
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: aeser on April 23, 2004, 08:55:59 pm
it's kind of ridiculous to think of grindcore or death metal as being in any way related to indie rock. i like all 3 but they're worlds apart, and far from in any way being subgenre's of eachother.

but again, semantics.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: pipelineaudio on April 23, 2004, 10:28:13 pm
I say most death metal is indie rock

but then again I say Sloppy Seconds is indie rock

and now we have this new emo deathmetal that mostly has 80's gothic new wave type fans...like new romantic blink 182 thompson twins death metal. Im doing a bunch of these bands and I have no idea how to even describe the weirdness
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: aeser on April 23, 2004, 10:36:46 pm
i don't know, death metal and grindcore split off the family tree long ago and started sort of in parallel with what would come to be known as indie rock, not really having any traceable roots having anything to do with eachother since like the 70's, even then it's a leap. it's like calling hip hop indie rock, or new age or something.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: pipelineaudio on April 24, 2004, 12:58:51 am
In the early 90's death metal, or whatever they wanted to call it was really the only place for hardcore punk lyrics, and a lot of the bands gravitated there. Funny thing tho, they never seem to come back
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: grock5 on April 24, 2004, 04:12:44 am
j.hall wrote on Fri, 23 April 2004 17:42



we once had minor threat, the sex pistols, etc.....

now we have blink 182, and good charolette



Woah there.
Think about it, Blink 182 and Good Charlotte have NOTHING to do with the the former. Minor threat didn't have radio play. Dischord bands weren't selling out arena tours. Label-wise, They don't even compare...

To the pop world, Blink 182 seems interesting and original.
To me, Blink 182 is like an asshole with a time machine, going back in time and inventing air travel. They were bland before they went major.

WE don't have blink 182. THEY have Blink 182.

I can see the comparison for the Sex Pistols, and honestly, I don't consider them to be a punk band, atleast in my world. Sure, they influenced a lot it, but they never had a thing to do with a sustaining DIY scene. They were a rock 'n roll band. Hell, The Who was probably closer to a punk band than the pistols.

In my mind, Punk has to do with a certain spirit, a bit to do with sound (more aggresive than "indie rock"?), but most importantly, the two-way communiation process that comes with an independent music scene. Anything else is just wearing it's old clothes.  

Quote:


i think real punk morphed into indie rock and what remained is now pop.  i don't know man.



There are some damn fine punk bands around today. Tragedy, World Burns to Death, Damage Deposit, Decontrol, the list goes on ...And none of these are even remotely close to pop. Alot of them are even putting their records out themselves. And the scene is even bigger around the world.

You should definetley check some of these out. I dunno if you'd like them musically, but I think you would appreciate their honesty and execution.

- Gary
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 24, 2004, 04:33:30 pm
my minor threat to blink 182 comparison was simply to compare what we called punk then, and what the kids call punk now.

that's all......i was saying, punk has become a mainstream term for a visual aesthetic more and semi fist, distorted guitar, whiny vocals type music.  which has little resemblance to real punk other then traces of similar (yet mostly wrong) fashion.

hell, i saw a avril lavigne on TRL when she broke.  she said something sort of un-PC and the idiot interviewing her says, "avril, you're so punk" (and to her credit) she replied "No man, i'm not punk at all!!!"

i'm not sure about death metal and grindcore.  although i remember the introduction of death metal in the early 90's.  now a days napalm death is thought of as an indie rock band in some circles.....hahahahaha

hardcore unquestionably grew from the punk and indie rock scenes
i remember when helmet was consider the most ground breaking hardcore band on the planet.  now every rap-metal band to come along rips off helmet so bad i think page hamilton to be sitting in a court room full time for the next ten years collecting millions in copyright infringement.

the basic idea here, is that underground rock music exists.  and it does so in great force, with huge numbers of people participating, and patronizing it.  "our" world has very little to do with the mainstream that exists right over our heads.  go read Jules' post about indie rock in the UK.  we're being watched, and we've been watched for years.  i really think in the next few years we're going to see indie rock be redefined as the majors desperately look for something sell-able to the masses.

Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: nobby on April 24, 2004, 05:51:58 pm
Consul wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 17:46

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.




Exactly. Like if you go to an indie film festival, they'll be showing comedy, tragedy, film noir, documentaries, whatever. The common thread is that they are produced independently of and not beholden to the big studios, and, presumably, on a limited budget.

One thing to consider is that if you scratch the surface (deeply enough) you will find that many of the so-called "indie" labels are owned by the majors.

BMG for example says they own more than 200 labels. They only list 9 on their website.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Jules on April 25, 2004, 07:33:38 am
What chaps my ass is indie rock community convienly posturing that "making it "is a sell out..

Great ! - Put a ceiling on popularity - nail it RIGHT down why dont cha!

Art for the people?

Bull.....

It's art for the people that still have old sub pop t-shirts!

Fuck that.

Give me STARS!

Give me PERSONALITIES!

Give me a ZEITGIST!

Whats that spell?

Er.......?

Frustrated 70's guy 44 NS GSOH seeks social change movement  +quiet nights in +  occasional rioting in the streets.





Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Fletcher on April 25, 2004, 11:15:02 am
Punk Rock ended in 1980... right around the time when it became "cool" to wear CBGB's T-shirts... all that remains is Punque Rock which is a commercial product sold in stores rather than a unique lifestyle lived in small circles.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Fibes on April 26, 2004, 12:32:30 pm
Fletcher wrote on Sun, 25 April 2004 11:15

Punk Rock ended in 1980... right around the time when it became "cool" to wear CBGB's T-shirts... all that remains is Punque Rock which is a commercial product sold in stores rather than a unique lifestyle lived in small circles.


For the most part yes, although I dug the Candy Snatchers quite a bit, real fear happening at their shows and they definately lived it. Real punk has been squashed by the Punques but it ain't dead, it's just wriggling around on the outskirts with it's head cut off.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Meriphew on April 26, 2004, 01:39:40 pm
I think the band The Vapors released "New Clear Days" around '81. They're prolly my fav punk'ish (though they are pretty melodic) band aside from The Clash. Sigh.... will there ever be another band as great as The Clash?
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: natpub on April 27, 2004, 01:02:13 am
maybe indie rock could be defined as music made with the least degree of mook interaction per capita? Laughing
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: grock5 on April 27, 2004, 01:31:52 am
Fletcher wrote on Sun, 25 April 2004 11:15

Punk Rock ended in 1980... right around the time when it became "cool" to wear CBGB's T-shirts... all that remains is Punque Rock which is a commercial product sold in stores rather than a unique lifestyle lived in small circles.


1980? Crass had not released their best records yet, Discharge was still doing singles, Black Flag hadn't released "damaged" yet, and Minor Threat and Bad Religion didn't even have records out. (where they even together yet?)

Though the mall-purchased "punque" may have destroyed the name, The scene is still available and to many folks the name is just as valid. The interested folks stay interested, and perhaps dive into it's roots, possibly to stay enthusiastic about it for life. The idle folks will move on to the next "hot" thing that they are sold.

Kinda like cigars and motorcycling...
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 27, 2004, 01:45:57 pm
you know....fletcher actually brings up a good point

his generation saw the actual begin of "punk"

my generation saw the continuance, and most likely, the changing of punk.  maybe not it's ideals, but it was packaged differently and sold to a whole new group of kids

all the crap we sling to the younger generation, maybe this is just the new face of indie rock

i truly hope not, but maybe....

Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Fibes on April 27, 2004, 03:38:19 pm
Yeah J. The 70s were the time.

The first wave (and some second) of CBGB bands is what i think of when i think of punk. Television, Patti Smith, Jim Carroll, RFTT, Ramones and even Richard Hell (Sorry RL) all formed my foundation of what punk was about. It had a huge impact on me and still does to this day. The later waves haven't stuck with me in the same regard. Maybe it's because i'm getting old or that listening to pissed off people screaming without much to say reminds me of visiting family. Just my .02.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: spankenstein on April 28, 2004, 12:37:58 am
I think the 70's stuff was the foundation but punk, at least to me, is defined by the bands j.hall mentioned. Black Flag, Bad Religion, Minor Threat. 80's were punk as in punk.

Punk has definitely "broke" as far as that goes. I was a huge pop-punk fan forever then it just got so lame. After New Found Glory (who I do like) it's all just been the same. Everything is so slick and produced to perfection that I can't even stand it anymore. The angst is all gone and it's just fashion now, it's like hair metal was a good way to be cool and pick up chicks. A LOT of bands I see seem to give off that vibe. They're clawing to "make it."
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 28, 2004, 10:04:33 am
spankenstein wrote on Tue, 27 April 2004 23:37

 They're clawing to "make it."


that's what i find funny......where are they trying to make it to?

i ask bands that all the time, "where are you trying to get to?"

i haven't had one answer.

"i don't know, famous?"  thats always the answer i get.  

how can you get anywhere if you don't know where "where" is?

most bands haven't a clue what they are doing, or what direction they need to go in.  

marketing starts from day one.  and the first thing is, know your market, and decide where you want to go with it.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: spankenstein on April 28, 2004, 10:46:13 am
j.hall wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 09:04

spankenstein wrote on Tue, 27 April 2004 23:37

 They're clawing to "make it."


that's what i find funny......where are they trying to make it to?

i ask bands that all the time, "where are you trying to get to?"

i haven't had one answer.

"i don't know, famous?"  thats always the answer i get.  

how can you get anywhere if you don't know where "where" is?

most bands haven't a clue what they are doing, or what direction they need to go in.  

marketing starts from day one.  and the first thing is, know your market, and decide where you want to go with it.



How independent are they at that point? I understand wanting to do something with your music but if it's for the love of it then what's it matter?

It's this point that it becomes a fine line I think. Making music or making business.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 28, 2004, 10:56:17 am
spankenstein wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 09:46


It's this point that it becomes a fine line I think. Making music or making business.



that's the thing, even in this giant discussion of what indie rock is and isn't.....making music IS business

you can't remove the business from it.  it's just a matter of what business you are trying to get, maintain, and create.

i have not once met an artist that didn't want at least one other person (outside their band or engineer) to hear the music.

music for the love of music is fine, and i'm sure it exists some where, but i don't ever see it.  for that to TRULY be the case, that "artist" will never leave their home with the intention of performing the music, and never once consider, or want to, record it.  it's simply music that exists out of loving music solely.  as far as i'm concerned, that just doesn't exist in my world.

so the inverse must be true.  music is business.  as soon as you play a gig, record a demo or record, make T-shirts, stickers, buttons, and/or flyers, you've started your business.

what i'm saying is that you have to have some idea of where you want that business to end up.

denying the fact that art is business, IMO, is simply ignoring the entire scope of the process.

this is true for all forms of art.  at least, i whole heartedly believe this to be true, and i have yet to be convinced otherwise.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Fibes on April 28, 2004, 12:10:32 pm
spankenstein wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 00:37

I think the 70's stuff was the foundation but punk, at least to me, is defined by the bands j.hall mentioned. Black Flag, Bad Religion, Minor Threat. 80's were punk as in punk.

Punk has definitely "broke" as far as that goes.


I'm not trying to bust your balls but the "california" punk you talk about was in many ways the first wave of commercial punk. Not to downplay their importance but in a nutshell Iggy wouldn't have survived if Bowie hadn't bailed him out. The NYC shit just didn't sell until the Pistols and the Clash began their strokes at album sales and packaging the "movement."

Do you own Marquee Moon, Horses, Raw Power or any of Richard Hell's stuff? Hilly thanks jeebus for that shit...
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: grock5 on April 28, 2004, 01:00:09 pm
Fibes wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 12:10

spankenstein wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 00:37

I think the 70's stuff was the foundation but punk, at least to me, is defined by the bands j.hall mentioned. Black Flag, Bad Religion, Minor Threat. 80's were punk as in punk.

Punk has definitely "broke" as far as that goes.


I'm not trying to bust your balls but the "california" punk you talk about was in many ways the first wave of commercial punk. (snip)




Commercial punk? I don't get it.
Those are the bands along with the Dead Kennedy's, GI, Bad Brains, that really set the situation for a workable DIY community by releasing on small record labels. or their own, as in the case of MT, BR, DK, GI. I don't see how that is in any way commerical. Any mainstream press that they did receive was fairly incidental.

-- Gary
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 28, 2004, 01:01:04 pm
to clarify, i'm talking about mainly about the DC movement and not the cali one

minor threat
dag nasty
government issue
rights of spring
soul side
the list goes on......

outside of DC i can think of
dead kenedys
agent orange
bad religion
black flag

to me, that was the second movement

the cali thing was straight up commercial from the get go, the intent might have been there, i don't know.

Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Fibes on April 28, 2004, 01:46:26 pm
j.hall wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 13:01

to clarify,the cali thing was straight up commercial from the get go, the intent might have been there, i don't know.




I'm glad you see it that way too J.

Slash recs. did a wonderful job picking up where Malcolm Mclaren left off.

Once again, I'm not trying to diminish what the bands were doing, just that they were plugged into the machine. It was an era when we weren't so hip to the workings of it but it was still there.

Camper Van Beethoven were true indy pioneers. Why that band isn't as well loved as REM still bothers me to this day. Maybe it's the sense of humor, the true indy aesthetic or the fact that they all learned how to play their instruments at some point. Is this heresy from a Georgia boy? Maybe.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: jakabo on April 28, 2004, 02:16:33 pm
Just a quick chime in...I finally got around to reading it when my partner loaned it to me somewhat recently.

But topically, this is a good read. "Our band Could be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991" by Micheal Azzard.

http://www.twbookmark.com/books/35/0316063797/


ken

Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Bo on April 28, 2004, 03:01:24 pm
for me, indie rock is about creative control.  making art for its own sake not for financial gain.  If it's accepted and one gains success - cool.  But art is at mercy of the almighty dollar, and that's a shame upon the industry.

Bands that got me into indie music: starflyer 59, pedro the lion, braid, get up kids, at the drive in, fugazi

My fav indie bands (condensed version): fugazi, unwound, lewis, at the drive-in (all but 1 release were on small labels), dreaming of the fifth, death cab for cutie, fletcher, bosque brown, and the appleseed cast.

 

Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Fibes on April 28, 2004, 03:15:45 pm
jakabo wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 14:16

Just a quick chime in...I finally got around to reading it when my partner loaned it to me somewhat recently.

But topically, this is a good read. "Our band Could be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991" by Micheal Azzard.

http://www.twbookmark.com/books/35/0316063797/


ken




Great book, the drama surrounding the omissio0n of CVB is pretty fucking weird however.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: spankenstein on April 28, 2004, 04:26:22 pm
j.hall wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 09:56

spankenstein wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 09:46


It's this point that it becomes a fine line I think. Making music or making business.


what i'm saying is that you have to have some idea of where you want that business to end up.

denying the fact that art is business, IMO, is simply ignoring the entire scope of the process.

this is true for all forms of art.  at least, i whole heartedly believe this to be true, and i have yet to be convinced otherwise.


I'm well aware of the business of it, I guess I worded it wrong... My intention was whether the reason was truly the music or the money.

I play and record because I love it. I play it for people because I truly want to share it but it's not free. You pay for the show, the time, the CD, the packaging, me running from place to place to get things done. It's not free for me so it's not free for you.

In other words is it where you're going or the getting there that  is more important.

Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 28, 2004, 05:07:04 pm
spankenstein wrote on Wed, 28 April 2004 15:26


I'm well aware of the business of it, I guess I worded it wrong... My intention was whether the reason was truly the music or the money.



i see.....thanks for clarifying.

Quote:


In other words is it where you're going or the getting there that  is more important.



that seems to be symantics to me....

and it hits on my point, tons of bands don't have a clue where they are going, but they want the same destination.

importance of task is for each artist to decide.  getting there is my focus.  i want the art to grow, to become better and better, more focused.  so in my case, getting there is rather important

i also want more people to hear my art and to take something from it.  from that stand point, i have essentially decided to start a business.  "getting there" is very important to me as i feel i have a good message to spread.

but i can't do any of this with out "knowing where i'm going"

one relates to the other.

function over form, or form over function......i want both.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Fibes on April 28, 2004, 05:28:22 pm
My mantra to bands is that if you decide to leave the garage you should do everything you can to get people to come hear your art.

It's funny how that can be misconstrued to mean, sellout, dumb down or whatever. The fact is in my burg half the bands don't even flyer or contact the local weekly. One of my best friends has to freaking bug the bands for bios so he can cover a group that is worth seeing. The whole anti-hero thing died long ago in the cred circles. If you think people will like your music and take it out of the garage you owe it to yourself and the people like you to make them aware of it. Word of mouth is a powerful thing in this age, funny thing is it all starts with yours.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Zoesch on April 28, 2004, 08:55:16 pm
Fibes wrote on Thu, 29 April 2004 07:28

My mantra to bands is that if you decide to leave the garage you should do everything you can to get people to come hear your art.

It's funny how that can be misconstrued to mean, sellout, dumb down or whatever. The fact is in my burg half the bands don't even flyer or contact the local weekly. One of my best friends has to freaking bug the bands for bios so he can cover a group that is worth seeing. The whole anti-hero thing died long ago in the cred circles. If you think people will like your music and take it out of the garage you owe it to yourself and the people like you to make them aware of it. Word of mouth is a powerful thing in this age, funny thing is it all starts with yours.


True...

The problem you have is of public and media perception, all the fanzines and the fans are quite eager to see the next underdog rise so they can shoot them down in flames.

You're not leaving the garage to see if there's someone on the street and then coming back... you are leaving it because the garage is too small for you and you need a bigger venue to express yourself.

Funny, I've never heard anyone say that Frank Black or Bob Mould sold out, so there's a treshold that once reached, makes you immune to criticism (And I love the work from both BTW).

Oh and Fletcher... about Punk Rock's timely death... I still reckon it died the day Crass said "Punk is dead"
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on April 29, 2004, 10:28:36 am
frank black and bob mould remain in the clear cause they have done nothing to draw negative attention to their music.

i still believe you could be a HUGE indie rock band and maintain a lot of cred.  it's all in how you handle yourself.

are you on TRL every other day, or not?

Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Fibes on April 29, 2004, 10:48:35 am
Frank is da man! I did a tune for the first online compilation at his fan site. We did it in about three hours. It was a blast.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: bloodstone on April 30, 2004, 03:57:10 pm
Clever music recorded poorly by artists who sing and play badly well.

Examples:

Pavement
Liz Phair's early work
Swell Maps
The Fall
Geraldine Fibbers
The Silver Jews
Pere Ubu
Sebadoh



Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: lucey on May 23, 2004, 05:12:00 am
Indy Rock used to be a band that was about the music and nothing else.  It was a branch of punk, in that sense, with a different sound.

Then it became about the sound and the attitude.  Any band that's either too full of themselves to admit they want to be popular, or too shy/drunk/lazy to care about anything very much, was indy.  Anything low-fi on purpose or by necessity was indy.

With some exceptions ... Indy has become another lame fashion statement full of cliques, trends and an insular, insider aesthetic.

Indy rock, like punk, used to mean something ... now it's a label without a reality.  A soul without a body.



Sub Pop and Touch and Go are hardly Indy labels of note ... Sub Pop invented the thing laer called Grunge and sold it off asap (see:Hype) while Touoch and Go has a haught couture too-cool-for-school attitude about their "sound"  ... it's just GOTTA be low-fi.

It's all so sad.  I went back to Ohio .... but my city it was gone ...




There is no new indy rock that's respectable, anything credible has been around a while.  Now it's just more politics, posing and the economic stylization of creativity ... the very thing the indy and punk kids were not about.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on May 24, 2004, 10:09:01 am
lucey wrote on Sun, 23 May 2004 04:12


There is no new indy rock that's respectable, anything credible has been around a while.  Now it's just more politics, posing and the economic stylization of creativity ... the very thing the indy and punk kids were not about.



i agreed with you until the quoted paragraph

simply not true......

put a time frame to "been around a while"

5 years? 1 year?

you put a time frame to it, i'll name some creative, respectable indie rock bands that fit in your time frame.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: lucey on May 25, 2004, 10:03:37 am
j.hall wrote on Mon, 24 May 2004 09:09

lucey wrote on Sun, 23 May 2004 04:12


There is no new indy rock that's respectable, anything credible has been around a while.  Now it's just more politics, posing and the economic stylization of creativity ... the very thing the indy and punk kids were not about.



i agreed with you until the quoted paragraph

simply not true......

put a time frame to "been around a while"

5 years? 1 year?

you put a time frame to it, i'll name some creative, respectable indie rock bands that fit in your time frame.



Great ... I'd love to know the are out there.

In my town, it's not there in reality ...  the appearance is there, but at root, it's very commercial in nature.

Lot's of ass kissing or dissing, lots of "next big thing" that never happens.  Bad bands are now good, average bands are now great.






So in the last 5 years, what do you like as honorable indy?


Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on May 25, 2004, 11:34:51 am
lucey wrote on Tue, 25 May 2004 09:03


So in the last 5 years, what do you like as honorable indy?



oh man, you made it easy on me.

first off.....i think all local scenes are like that.
and i get really sick of the terrible bands that every one says, "they rule"

i think the good musicians say that sarcastically as they are not threatened by the bad band.....then all the kids hear that being said and conform......bada bing, we have a popular band that shouldn't even be playing shows.

anyway......5 years

burning airlines
karate
john vanderslice
pretty girls make graves
mum
the casket lottery
fire theft
kid dakota
icarus line
pernice brothers

trying to list some various styles there.....and i have my specific tastes that i keep listing the same bands all over this forum

man, i keep trying to listen to new bands.....i just don't have the time to go looking for em.

i'm starting a project from san fran (mixing) pretty soon....i think this guy has some cool ideas.

i'll see if he'll let me post some mp3's
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: John Ivan on May 26, 2004, 11:28:44 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 11:37

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.



I have never,nor do I now understand what Indi means. I like some of the music that people call indi rock but, ALL of this music is just plain old rock and roll to me. Is every rock band an indi band until they get signed? I don't know. I have no idea what any of this means. But I'm sorta old.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: John Ivan on May 27, 2004, 12:15:18 am
Gary Longest wrote on Fri, 23 April 2004 16:28

j.hall wrote on Thu, 22 April 2004 17:53

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



Don't forget the Buckle Shoes! Losuy Pilgrims they are.

Quote:


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



At what point does "indie rock" become "punk"?

Quote:


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



Amen.
You're either making records for love, or making them for money.
You can't do both, unless you love money.
then your fucked.

If your making them for love, you can put them out yourself, or you can be a dildo and wait for a label.
Put in some work!
Jeez, there are so many lazy kids waiting for record contracts.

You have either independent bands, or hopeful- yet- unsigned major label bands.
Punk is not a purgatory between unsigned and signed.
Anything else is like saying your fasting inbetween your breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Quote:


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.



I've talked with a few engineer's who were like this.
The "underground" is MTV2 to them.
They just don't get it.



There are plenty of REALLY REALLY talented folks who make records because they love their music and at the same time want to make as much money as they can. I just don't buy this whole concept about "selling out" In the 90's,I almost got out of this biz because of this attitude. If a record sold a bunch of copies, the folks who made the record were selling out. On top of having to deal with this incredibly uninformed thinking, the level of musicianship went straight to the shitter. This was also a period of time when having chops based in old school soul music was something the kids just thought was NOT COOL!! The rock bands that came out of this time period were for me, A real bummer. Out of tune playing, badly recorded,fucking horrid singing and so on. This music turned into a HUGE commercial success and I don't think people come into this biz hoping they don't make any money. For me, twelve tones on the guitar through a distorted amp with a drummer playing in four is just rock&roll. There is a very very short list of people who have done interesting things with this idea,and that was a long time ago. None of this INDI stuff has anything that hits me as being even remotely new.

That's just my take on this whole "INDI/credibility/sell out/Punk/metal/death metal/emo/?>@#$% It's rock music period. And wether or not something has credibility will change from one person to another. Labeling music in this way has always puzzled me and I'm glad I listen to almost every style of music in the world or I would go to sleep.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on May 27, 2004, 09:33:12 am
ivan40 wrote on Wed, 26 May 2004 23:15


That's just my take on this whole "INDI/credibility/sell out/Punk/metal/death metal/emo/?>@#$% It's rock music period. And wether or not something has credibility will change from one person to another. Labeling music in this way has always puzzled me and I'm glad I listen to almost every style of music in the world or I would go to sleep.



labels exist for communication, and clarification.  a world with out labels and categorization would be very difficult to navigate when trying to communicate your thoughts to another person.

see this thread, http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/600/23/?SQ=c4dc 7fb76b8a345df226f23ed77fef64

for my comments on this subject......
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: John Ivan on May 27, 2004, 12:45:40 pm
Hey J::

Yeah ,I read the thread. Interesting set of ideas. I understand the concept of needing a way to communicate ideas and styles to one another verbally. I guess for me, Classical,Blues,jazz,R&B,Soul,Folk, And what I call American Modern covers it :-}.{see,I had to make one up which sorta proves your point}. I'm just saying that most stuff I hear that is referred to as indi/or/alternative, is just the same stuff I was learning in my basement when I was a kid. I don't mean to imply that I don't like some of it because I do. It's just that if we keep on insisting on a new label for everything within a style {R&R} people will strive to be that,or not be that..I think this can hinder creativity. If a kid is writing a tune with his band and the drummer says,"dude, this is to nu-metal!" he will be like " oh no, I don't want to sound like nu- metal!!" It would be better if he could forget about what people call the stuff and just write the damn tune..


I have some hard stuff that I dig. I think older Sound Garden was fucking great. "Rusted Cage". I thought Black hole Sun was great too, {very Beatles sounding}. I had some very early But Hole Serfers stuff and thought it was cool. I thought Rage against the Machine was great shit. That stuff pined me to the wall. For me, I want the players to kick ass in a big way. After the writing, the most important thing to me is mad mad skill on the instruments. But it's all rock and roll. I put Sound garden and Rage in the same box. Rock and Roll
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on May 27, 2004, 02:42:33 pm
ivan40 wrote on Thu, 27 May 2004 11:45

If a kid is writing a tune with his band and the drummer says,"dude, this is to nu-metal!" he will be like " oh no, I don't want to sound like nu- metal!!" It would be better if he could forget about what people call the stuff and just write the damn tune..



exactly.....just write songs, whatever they turn out to be

not enough people write for the song, they write for an agenda....

Quote:


I have some hard stuff that I dig. I think older Sound Garden was fucking great. "Rusted Cage". I thought Black hole Sun was great too, {very Beatles sounding}. I had some very early But Hole Serfers stuff and thought it was cool. I thought Rage against the Machine was great shit. That stuff pined me to the wall. For me, I want the players to kick ass in a big way. After the writing, the most important thing to me is mad mad skill on the instruments. But it's all rock and roll. I put Sound garden and Rage in the same box. Rock and Roll


yeah, well......rock is an all encompassing title....it all breaks down from there

i think there are plenty of indie rock bands that are doing something you've never heard before

sure, some influence is in there, but it's not all just regurgitated songs.

check out burning airlines.....i think you'd dig them
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: John Ivan on May 27, 2004, 06:44:41 pm


yeah, well......rock is an all encompassing title....it all breaks down from there

i think there are plenty of indie rock bands that are doing something you've never heard before

sure, some influence is in there, but it's not all just regurgitated songs.

check out burning airlines.....i think you'd dig them
[/quote]


Oh, I have no doughts that there are great creative things going on out there. I don't mean to imply that all these bands are regurgitating rock songs either. I'm just saying that if we keep chopping the name of rock and roll up I wont be able to keep up :-} They have done the same thing to roots music too. Some of the music that they call jazz anymore is some kind of bad joke. I love great rock and roll music and I let the individual bands make their statement in my mind for me. And if I had to figure out what to call everything,I'd go nuts. Zep is just that,Zep. the stones is the stones. It already has a name.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: grock5 on May 28, 2004, 01:01:51 am
ivan40 wrote on Thu, 27 May 2004 00:15


There are plenty of REALLY REALLY talented folks who make records because they love their music and at the same time want to make as much money as they can.



And they are two completely different things... Music & Money.

Not every band plays clubs with the hope of playing somewhere bigger.

Not everyone with a guitar wants their face in times square.

Some folks play for now, not for future deposit.

Quote:


I just don't buy this whole concept about "selling out" In the 90's,I almost got out of this biz because of this attitude. If a record sold a bunch of copies, the folks who made the record were selling out.



In my mind "selling out" means compromising the ____ of your music for money.
(insert beliefs, integrity, ideologies, art, longevity, style at "_____")

If you've been in a band with an anti-major label agenda, signing songs about how everyone should boycott GE because they manufacture nuclear weapons, then sign to sony and play SNL, you just sold the fuck out.

If your in a band whose "day-to-day" has always simply revolved around trying to get a hit, and getting signed, then you won't sell out, you can't sell out, EVER.
Unless by chance you accept money to shut up and walk away, which IMO, is what they should do to the majority of the bands on majors today...

Quote:


This music turned into a HUGE commercial success and I don't think people come into this biz hoping they don't make any money.



Most folks I know hope to simply break even. They run small labels and put records out themselves because they have a sick passion for it, they want to get the music out.

Not everyone playing songs and releasing records views their activites as being part of the ""biz". It's more of an addiction to communicate. Because thats what they need to do.

Myself, I record these motherfuckers for money. I play music because it's fun and I've got songs...
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: John Ivan on May 28, 2004, 10:42:26 am
I found out at a very early age that I loved playing music more than anything else and then, realized that if I wanted to do it every day and get better at it, I had better learn how to make money at it. So, wether I'm playing a show or recording a band, the money part has to be there or I don't get to do it. I don't think about money when I write songs though. Of course, I haven't made any money as a writer yet either.{except for writing some jingles} If I had my way I would do something else for money but At almost 40 years old, I made my bed and sleeping in it isn't as bad as I let on sometimes. The thing I would love to do is engineer full time but as you all know,this is no easy thing to get done. Everyone wants to do this and there are a lot of talented engineers out there.


Money has always been part of what I do. The more ,the better.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: Jbuntz on May 28, 2004, 12:42:46 pm
I didn't read this whole thread so I apologize for the possibility of redundancy.  Historically, indie rock means independent obviously which usually goes hand and hand with those bands that do not get signed to major labels which means they usually don't have a lot of commercial appeal.  Those of which who don't have the commercial appeal but are talented and/or orignal become influential in cult circles.  Now it is also associated with certain genres typical of non-commercial but successful bands and the stylistic term for "indie" has become about as vague as "alternative" or "emo" has.
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: j.hall on June 01, 2004, 02:44:21 pm
we're crossing lines here, which is fine by me.....but we need to see the lines, IMO

in our society, money is required to survive.  this is not up for debate, it's a cold hard fact

sure, you can live in a box, and beg for food....don't give me some extremist pile of crap

money is required......

the only thing we can do for money is offer our time and expertise at something specific

if you are and artist, and you are entertaining some one, money is what you are entertaining them for......that is in fact, what we all need to survive.

so, feeling bad, or justifying the act of seeking money as an artist seems silly to me

the underground, as a whole, judges the pursuit of money so negatively, it drives me CRAZY.  we can't keep doing all this if we don't receive enough money to at least break even.....i've lost SO MUCH cash just maintaining my instruments it's silly......
Title: Re: define indie rock...
Post by: John Ivan on June 02, 2004, 03:31:39 am
Right on. I would love a world where we didn't have to worry about money but,we do. I can dig the cost of keeping the instruments happening too. Man, we're going out for a few weeks and some of it is drive dates and some is fly dates. The gas is going to kick our ass on the drive dates and it wont be long before airline tickets go up. We are getting slightly nerved out about this.