alternative rock

alternative rock - page 3

late 1970s > jangle pop

jangle pop:

stylistic origins: pop rock
cultural origins: early to mid-1980s, United States, United Kingdom

Jangle Pop is a Rock music sub-genre with roots in the Post-Punk explosion of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Influenced by 1960s Folk Rock artists like The Byrds as well as the Power Pop of groups like Big Star, Jangle Pop is characterized for merging the sound of chiming, “jangly” guitars and Pop-oriented melodies with a somewhat rawer musical approach and production values. The genre found its greatest critical and mainstream popularity in the mid-1980s, with bands like The Smiths, R.E.M., and Felt.

The Californian Paisley Underground movement, which emerged during the mid-1980s, is considered a derivation of this style, while also incorporating Psychedelic Rock influences.1 “Jangle Pop Music — Listen Free At Last.Fm.” Last.Fm, 2018, https://www.last.fm/tag/jangle pop.

The Smiths – This Charming ManFelt – Sunlight Bathed The Golden GlowR.E.M. – Losing My Religion:

subgenres: paisley underground

derivative forms:  indie pop, indie rock


early-1980s > American Underground

At the dawn of the 1980s, as the first wave of punk bands began to play themselves out and the burgeoning alternative rock scene became increasingly dominated by British post-punk groups and polished new wave acts, a number of American bands began making new music that was a deliberate reaction to these developments.

While weaned on punk, the American underground bands tended to favor a broader musical palate (hard rock, psychedelia, roots rock, folk-rock, and country-rock influences were the most common), though they continued to be dominated by electric guitars and a lyrical perspective that reached for intelligence without outward pretension.

The Meat Puppets, Husker Du, Dinosaur Jr., and other key bands who pushed the outsider’s aggression of punk into new and provocative directions. The Midwest proved to be a potent breeding ground for the American underground, with Minneapolis’s boozy but heartfelt the Replacements and Chicago’s brutally loud Big Black and Naked Raygun winning sizable cult followings, while Sonic Youth and the Swans were the rulers of a dissonant East Coast enclave, Texas’s nomadic psych-noise merchants the Butthole Surfers were leaving a trail of terror across the country, and Boston’s Mission of Burma proved both powerfully influential and prescient during their short lifespan.2“American Underground Music Genre Overview | Allmusic”. Allmusic, 2018, https://www.allmusic.com/style/american-underground-ma0000012062. Accessed 24 June 2018.

Sonic Youth – Kool Thing; Velvet Underground – I´m Waiting For The Man; Dinosaur Jr. – Watch The Corners:


1980s > indie rock

indie rock:

stylistic origins: alternative rock / college rock / post-punk / indie pop / jangle pop
cultural origins: late 1980s, US and United Kingdom

Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1980s.

As grunge and punk revival bands in the US, and then Britpop bands in the UK, broke into the mainstream in the 1990s, indie identified those acts that retained an outsider and underground perspective.

In the 2000s, as a result of changes in the music industry and the growing importance of the Internet, some indie rock acts began to enjoy commercial success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term.

Sometimes used interchangeably with “guitar pop rock”, in the mid-1980s, the term “indie” (or “indie pop”) began to be used to describe the music produced on punk and post-punk labels.

During the 1990s, Grunge bands broke into the mainstream, and the term “alternative” lost its original counter-cultural meaning. The term “indie rock” became associated with the bands and genres that remained dedicated to their independent status.

By the end of the 1990s, indie rock developed subgenres and related styles including lo-fi, noise pop, emo, slowcore, post-rock and math rock.

In the 2000s, changes in the music industry and in music technology enabled a new wave of indie rock bands to achieve mainstream success.

In the early 2000s, a new group of bands that played a stripped-down and back-to-basics version of guitar rock emerged into the mainstream.

The commercial breakthrough from these scenes was led by four bands: The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Hives, and The Vines.

Emo also broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s. By the end of the 2000s, the proliferation of indie bands was being referred to as “indie landfill”.

Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good on the DancefloorThe Strokes – ReptiliaRadiohead – Karma Police:

indie rock subgenres: chamber pop, indie pop, lo-fi, math rock, post-punk revival, sadcore, slowcore, post-rock

fusion genres: alternative dance, alternative R&B, grindie, indie folk, new rave


indie rock > 1980s > indie pop

indie pop:

stylistic origins: alternative rock / indie rock / pop
cultural origins: 1970s, United Kingdom

Indie pop (indie-pop or indiepop) is a subgenre of alternative rock or indie rock that combines guitar pop with a DIY ethic in opposition to the style and tone of the mainstream pop music. It originated from British post-punk in the late 1970s.
Indie pop was an unprecedented contrast from the gritty and serious tones of previous underground rock styles, as well as being a departure from the glamour of contemporary pop music.

Vance Joy – RiptideOf Monsters And Men – Little TalksLloyd Cole And The Commotions – Lost Weekend:

indie pop subgenres: chamber pop, twee pop

local scenes: Dunedin sound


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