as a scene: people who love indie love it for its music alone. they try to keep it small because they dont want it to be a huge scene, they want to keep it about improving the sound, thats why they know a million bands you've never heard it, they just want to find new things to improve the music, but with anything good, dumb high school kids will ruin it. and most definitions on this site are of those igorant little kids, not indie fans
Instead it is synonymous with the flannel and skinny jean-wearing baby-faced musicians, fitting into the "hipster" subculture, whose testicles are yet to drop. Their instrument of choice is either the acoustic guitar or the keyboard, that adds to their limp and poncy sound.
A: "What is your favourite indie band?"
B: "Anal Cunt"
A: "Aren't they metal?"
B: "Well they have been signed to independent record labels throughout their history, so they are indie"
Modern meaning: bands with <100k likes on facebook and not on any major labels. music they produced and released is considered "indie". But some of these bands are signed to subsidiaries of major labels, ie. Interscope, subpop...etc. In that sense, they shouldn't be considered "indie", rather major label artists with an "indie" aesthetic preference for marketing purposes.
Fortunately, for budding musicians, indie music is so easy to reproduce that most 'indie fans' are in a band within two months of picking up a guitar, or drums, playing various covers by their indie heros.
The main exponents of this art improve little from these meagre beginnings - eventually writing songs of their own, with the requisite 4/4 drumbeat and strummed chords. Those who make it big will be touted by the NME or the Guardian as being 'the next big thing' while getting rave reviews for their university tours of britain. Examples of these can be seen everywhere in Britain from Oasis to Radiohead.
Indie fans will further try to convince people that indie music is original from the introduction of a piano or (ghasp)a clarinet into the formulaic peice or, in the other direction, playing some power chords and sounding like Nirvana. Unfortunately this does little to relieve the boredom in indie music as the same hash is re-hashed again and again.
B: The Toes, they're the next big thing according to the NME. I saw them in the Camden Monarch.
A: Oh i've heard of them. My band does a few covers of their songs. Still don't think they'll beat Radiohead for songs that mean so much to me though.
B: I know what you mean; radiohead redefined music as we think of it.
A: you're right there, mate. Oh i learned a new chord - 'B'
B: Show me.....
The genre should not be mistaken with "indie kids". (Who the hell labels themself as an indie kid, huh?)
Indie music doesn't ONLY consist of acoustic guitar, whiny voices, and shouldn't be mistaken with teenagers who wear black rimmed glasses, put the Juno album on repeat, wear converse, and hang out at Starbucks.
Try some Gregory and the Hawk, he Dreams of Sleep, Robbie Snell, Wesley Bunch.
Today indie music most commonly refers to a genre of music that is heavily influenced by electronic, folk, and rock music. A good and what is probably the best known artist for this genre is Beck.
However the vast majority of indie music today is shit. The main components to an indie band are:
-A singer and a guitarist or a singer/guitarist
-A bass player, preferably a white male or an Asian female
-A guy on a synthesizer
-A drummer who only does 4/4 beats (I got that from another urban dictionary post)
-Some weird, obscure, or just plain obnoxious instrument
In the many horrible "indie music" bands, the musicians barely know how to play their instruments. The guitarist probably only knows the basic kumbayah chords (A, G, E, C, etc.) and power chords.
The synthesizer player will often times only alternate between the same 3 chords throughout the entire song and tune the synth oscillators to a setting that s/he finds the most unique- no matter how horrible it sounds.
And lastly, whatever weird instrument that they have, they will absolutely 100% not know how to play it.
Next are the lyrics which are dreadful. Anyone can write typical indie music lyrics in five seconds. They are usually about a girl with brunnette hair and her surrounding environment.
The brown hair covers your eyes
And I see the ocean behind those eyes
You're like a flower in a vint...