Here are a few bullet points:
* Music isn't found on MTV or the radio (unless it's a local or amateur station)
* Does not have concerts taking place in Stadiums or huge Arenas where you pay 50-80 dollars to get in.The city government do not close roads and check your bags like at a U2 concert.You don't need a pair of binocuolars.
* Will not be found in small(ish) chain record stores.You might find some in larger places in HMV if it has some signifigance but Tower Records is ussually better for that kind of stuff.
* Music in which singles are not released on widely available Compact Discs featuring 'Radio Edits','Album Versions','Remixes' or 'Music Videos.Instead are released on 7 inch Vinyl Records(7").
What mainstream listeners don't know is that in fact Vinyl Records are NOT something that people stopped listening to in the early 1980s and that throughout the 90s,Vinyl was the norm for most bands,ignoring shoddy cheap CDs and today in the age of itunes it is still being used.
* Music in which when the artists tour,they not get by in Fancy tour buses but in vans - ussually where the band will struggle to pay gas.Accomodation ussually consists of the band sleeping on somebodys floor and not in a 4-Star Hotel.
* Music which does not appear on the cover of next months Kerrang!,Total Guitar or Rolling Stone with an 'exclusive interview'.
Because we'd rather read self-published Fanzines used with a photocopier.
* Music in which Concerts are not advertised taking up whole pages in the National Newspaper.Something more along he lines of the band handing out flyers for their next show.
* Music which isn't recorded at fancy studios with famous producers like Flood.
* Music that isn't signed to a sublabel of the loved-to-be-hated Warner Music Group,Sony,Universal,EMI with big Epic sounding names like 'Atlantic','Capitol','Epic'.Nothing that calls themselves a 'Music Group' or 'Corporation'
Ussually smaller labels set up by bands who release stuff by other bands and don't give loads of crap about Copyright on the CD or Record.Simple and modest,and not scaring people telling them they will be jailed,sentenced to death,Burnt at the stake for public broadcasting,lending,unauthorized copying etc.
A Good example of a band who are into this thing are Godspeed You! Black Emperor.If you don''t know of this band or the 'post-rock' genre,please,keep reading.
* Music that doesn't have music videos shot for every single released.As when it comes to underground,a single is not much more than a 7-inch with a song on each side.Often never connected to albums.
Music videos are just a way of marketing.Most of favourite bands only have one or two music videos of songs that weren't even released as singles.And thats only the ones that are on the successful end of Underground.
* Music that will not have live footage shot professionally but by members of the audience who will always be close enough to the band to produce a good video.
The reasons why mainstream artists need pros to tape their concerts are
a) The majority of people filming use their phones
b) The crowd don't know how to shut up,thus blocking the sound on the camera
c) The people have such a bad taste in video.They'd rather watch what is basically a music video rather than how someone in the audience would see it (and hear it).
d) It can pass as 'commercial',release it on a DVD or sell it on itunes so the music industry will earn another few million.
person#1:Guess whats ironic? None of those 7 people over there have heard of Hawthorne Heights? They must be Underground!
person#2:So Fucking what?
They still appear in Kerrang!,the Warped Tour,and Virgin Megastores.That's NOT underground music!