Alternative Rock music that didn't cross over into the mainstream(by choice or not) after the "alternative revolution" of the 90's. Typically, the music is relased on small "indie" labels. Indie Rock bands do music that doesn't necessarily appeal to wide mainstream audiences. There are a variety of reasons for this but some of the more common examples are the sound being to raw and abrasive(i.e to much distortion/feedback), the lyrics being to cryptic and abstract or the production and musicianship being to amateurish. In more recent years however some indie bands such as Modest Mouse, The Shins and The White Stripes have found some mainstream success. These bands however are still considered indie because they still have a decidedly non-mainstream sound.
90's indie rock-Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, Neutral Milk Hotel, Fugazi, Modest Mouse, Radiohead(controversially)
2000's indie rock-The White Stripes, The Shins, The Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, The Strokes, Artic Monkeys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
90's-lo-fi, emo(went mainstream in 2000's), post-hardcore, noise pop, dream pop, neo-psychedelia, shoegaze, indie pop
2000's-garage rock revival, post-punk/new wave revival, freak folk, new weird America, dance punk, indietronica