Its sound is either acoustic with an irritating high pitched singer with a painfully fake English or American accent (take your pick) with side or boring, repetitively electronic with an irritating high pitched singer with aforementioned accent and a side order of sythpop campness.
Its band names also have to be ridiculously stupid and long, and have to conform to the following criteria.
1) It has to sound like every member of the band sat down and thought of a random word, then they slapped them together and whacked it on the promotional leaflets that the members of said band hand out to people who don't want them.
2 ) It has to be completely unrelated to the bands music, and their personal beliefs.
3) It has to be so ridiculous that ordinary people laugh. This is so that Indie kids can look down on us mere mortals, saying that we are 'scene kids' and that they are 'so unique' when in fact they are conforming to a wider spread class of people anyway, especially since Indie has hit the mainstream.
Its followers seem impervious to the genre's complete silliness, and they generally wear brightly coloured clothes, glasses when they don't need them, especially of the thick rimmed 'nerd' style, which mere years before would have got them a good beating, and have a penchant for cardigans which would, mere years before have got them branded as a homosexual. They refer to slightly more mainstream people than themselves as 'Scene Kids' and express their hatred of them often. They like also to wear t-shirt of band no-one, not even other Indies have heard of. This they think lends an air of legitimacy to their claim to be Indie, even though to everyone else it just makes them look a bit of a wanker.
Other Indie Kid: Wow...have you seen my new Hypocritical Taxidermist t-shirt.
Indie Kid: who? They must be so unique, cos' I've never heard of them before.
Other Indie Kid: Yeah they're kinda like Polka Dot Revival, with some Iranian Giraffe Squad thrown in.
Metal Guy: What a stupid name for a band. And that t-shirt makes you look like a wanker.
Indie Kid: Oh yeah?
Metal Guy: Yeah. But whatever, I'm gonna go listen to some Bloodsoaked Death Spleen.
Indie Kid: What a stupid name for a band.
And so the cycle continues.
History: grew out from 60s garage, 70s punk, and 80s post punk it started in the mid 80s as alternative/college radio music. Once nirvana hit big the alternative genre split: the popular side was just alternative(Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, No Doubt, etc.) and the other half that wasn't mainstream(by choice or not) became indie rock(Pavement, Sebadoh, Built To Spill, etc).
Some bands have signed to major labels but are still considered indie(Modest Mouse, etc.). Go figure.
Sound: In the begining indie sounded like alternative(because it was) but it grew more experimental and weird. In Britain indie has more of a typical sound like Radiohead, Muse, etc. rather than a definition based on 'the scene.'
The scene: if you really think all indie kids do is try to be cooler than other people then... well.. you're mostly right. The main point is, don't take the scene and the whole hipster attitude seriously. No one does. And if you do, well, then I'm cooler than you.
the state of being "indie":
1)being unable to talk to anyone about your music.
2)but knowing that, in the process, you're way cooler than the kids you try to talk to about it.
(Examples of Indie music)
80's- Joy Division, Sonic Youth, The Smiths
90's- Pavement, Radiohead, The Pixies, Happy Mondays (Are they considered dance music or indie rock?).
Now- The Shins, Bright Eyes, Death Cab For Cutie/The Postal Service, Rilo Kelly, Modest Mouse.
Confused FYE Employee- "Uhh, no. We do have a wall of My Chemical Romance albums on the wall behind you".
Indie Kid- "Fuck"
Although this definition is accurate, the word has come to mean more. For many, it has come to symbolize originality and forward-thinking, especially in music and design.
By this definition, indie is any business or designer that is not associated with a large company. Indie can also define the consumer who chooses to support small business, independent record labels and handmade items rather than shopping at big-box stores.