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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone else agree that Alternative Rock music is just pop/rock that isnt on the radio or mainstream? If not, PLEASE tell me what you think. I just want to know exactly what alternative music (the genre) is supposed to sound like & what the definition of it actually is. It just seems like such a broad category....
 

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slanted and disenchanted
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imo, i think the term 'alternative' has become entirely meaningless by this point. it lost most of its meaning in the early 90's when music that was considered 'outside of the mainstream' (i.e. an 'alternative' to mainstream pop music) started getting play on mtv (i.e. 'alternative nation'), radio, etc... and then 'alternative' eventually became a mainstream term used to describe increasingly mainstream music.

same with 'indie'. a lot of bands that people consider 'indie' are actually on major labels by this point. most music classification terms are created by the press so that they can better market to certain demographics.

i hope i'm not coming across like an a-hole or some smug know it all. in all honesty, i know next to nothing and will be the first to admit it! i just think most labels, in general, (and not just in terms of music) have become totally arbitrary. at the end of the day, music is music, so i think people should just like what they like without focusing too much on classification. but i totally understand your confusion! :)
 

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When I was growing up, alternative bands were like Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, Jane's Addiction. I also want to say Soundgarden. It is a very distinct sound to my mind because of that. It's not rock, it's alternative. "What kind of music do you listen to?" "Alternative."
 

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Alanis Morisette, duh. ...and anything else they have on those TV commercials selling "Best of the 90's" CD's. You know, that "I smell sex and candy" song. That's what people liked in the 90's.
 

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Alternative to me generally meant anything that wasn't played on regular Top 40 or abum rock radio. Of course, we didn't actually call it alternative back then. And that gradually evolved from bands like The Smiths, The The and Fishbone to bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. And then it became Collective Soul and Blink 182 somehow. I stopped listening at that point.
 

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That's one "music term" I never got. Still don't. Alternative to what? It doesn't seem to be a genre in itself, rather just a big bucket to dump anything you want into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree with all of your points. I just wanted others opinions on what they think "alternative" & "indie" really means.
 

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I loved the then newly defined alternative genre in the early 90s. I dont know what it means now. To me, the song that defines that time is Rusty Cage by Soundgarden. That was the sound of the times. And it was great.

Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Bush, Jane's Addiction.... great time to be alive and listening to music. :)
 

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Tremelo pretty much summed it up. I can't think of any time I felt the terms "alternative" or "indie" were of any use, since artists classified as such could range from anything to jangly depressing rock, to poppy electronic stuff, to ultra-noisy punk, etc, etc.
 

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Does anyone else agree that Alternative Rock music is just pop/rock that isnt on the radio or mainstream?
I disagree. Alternative rock is a broad term, kinda like Heavy metal, that's usually referred to many different rock genres. The bands can be mainstream or indie. Rage Against The Machine for instance is classified as alternative rock and their albums sales would make Snoop Dog jealous :lol
 

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For some reason when I hear the expression alternative rock I think of Mindless Self Indulgence. I don't really know why.

 

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If you're going to categorize a band, I prefer terms that actually refer to the sound of the band (dancepunk - punk you can dance to, baroque pop - pop influenced by classical music/spectoresque, noise pop - pop that's been lovingly, systematically ****ed up by effects).

The only "alternative" scene that's stayed pretty cohesive is alternative country. This is probably because alt-country is still very much alternative to mainstream country. It really hasn't been able to blend into the mainstream like alt-rock.
 

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slanted and disenchanted
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Tremelo pretty much summed it up. I can't think of any time I felt the terms "alternative" or "indie" were of any use, since artists classified as such could range from anything to jangly depressing rock, to poppy electronic stuff, to ultra-noisy punk, etc, etc.
exactly. just meaningless umbrella terms. another one that really burns my toast - 'electronica'. wtf is that even supposed to mean? just another way to lump completely unconnected artists/styles of music together so that it is all more 'palatable'.
 
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