A misnomer for a particular style of music. It formerly was used to correctly classify music that was "underground" and not supported by major music labels. Popular thought in recent years has been that it is itself a style of music, usually 80's throwback, alternitive-style music.

Any band in any style of music can be indie by virtue of not being signed.The style is not important; it is independence from major labels that makes a band independent, or "indie". This idea has been lost due to the popularity of the term indie as it is used today.

The reason it became so popular is because to like indie music, in its correct sense, was respectable because you're bypassing the corporate music machine and finding music that you like on your own. As more and more hipster-type kids wanted to appear as deep as possible, they would answer the question "What kind of music do you like?" with "Indie." As time went on, this answer became so popular that the music that many of them listened to started to be referred to as indie. After a while of this, bands that are on major labels started to be absorbed into this pseudo-genre, rendering it an oxymoron.

Since the loosely associated music that is referred to as indie cannot properly be grouped and classified, a more appropriate label for what is erroneously referred to as indie would be "scene." The scene kids are often more concerned with being opinionated and elitist about their music choice than they are about the music itself. Scene fashion trends include tight pants, square-rimmed glasses, tight vintage-looking t-shirts, newsboy caps, military-style caps, and tattoos of stars, guns or bullets, and especially birds. Making the "scene" (i.e. a concert),being popular, and being narcissistic are the main motivations of scene kids. They often do their best to display that they possess these qualities on social networking sites like MySpace.
Jim: You should check out this band.
Frank: Oh yeah? What kind of music are they?
Jim: Indie.
Frank: OK, so they're not signed... I mean what genre are they?
Jim: Dude, I told you. Indie.
Frank: You're such a tool.

Billy: Oasis is like, the coolest indie band ever.
Mark: Man, you are totally clueless.
Billy: Please. Music is my life. I would die without music. My taste is superb. How dare you criticize me?
Mark: Wow. You're hopeless. I'm leaving.
Billy: Good. I have to blog about how awesome the concert I went to last night was and post the 30 pictures I took of myself there on MySpace.
by SmashCrab March 12, 2008
Photos & Videos
(n) an obscure form of rock which you only learn about from someone slightly more hip than yourself.
Modest Mouse, Built to Spill, Rilo Kiley, etc.
by kidAndrew July 19, 2004
indie is cooler than emo.
indie is > emo for sear.
by ace March 23, 2005
The term: Short for independent rock. In terms of music it would be independent of major labels/mainstream stuff.

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.
just gimme indie rock
by tori January 03, 2004
independent music. The anti-"emo". (well, maybe like emo's second cousin twice-removed with more talent, skill, and IQ)

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.
indie kid: The Shins(before garden state)? Muse? The Snake The Cross The Crown? Pedro the Lion?...anyone? Bueller? anyone?
by golden_touch167 March 08, 2005
A gloriously vague term for Independant Music. Basically unsigned or more obscure bands (It's odd that Radiohead and REM are considered indie...). While the indie scene is known for it's jackass elitism, this doesn't spill over and hurt what's most important....the music. One of the few generas left that can at least carry a fucking tune without screaming like a retard or crying.

(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.
Indie Kid- "Do you guys carry Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain by Pavement or Closer by Joy Division?

Confused FYE Employee- "Uhh, no. We do have a wall of My Chemical Romance albums on the wall behind you".

Indie Kid- "Fuck"
by The Dude December 18, 2004
1. Music released on an independent label
2. Any music slightly left of mainstream
3. Not always about lost love, sometimes about Christmas in Zoos and other things often seen while smoking funny stuff
"Yeah, Im into Indie"
"You don't look it"
"Do I have to?"
by Melchett May 02, 2004
According to the dictionary, 'indie' is an informal version of the word independent.

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.
I can't wait to attend the upcoming fashion show- there will be some great indie designers there and I'm looking for something unique!
by CraftRevolution June 07, 2005

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from daily@urbandictionary.com. We'll never spam you.

×