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.
British Indie is sort of a mix between mod and punk. The style of a mod and the attitude of a punk. The music listend to is the smiths, blur,the cure and bands which are heavily influenced (by agian, mod and punk bands) like the libertines, the others, the cribs, the coral, the paddingtons and bloc party amoungsed many others.
mum: No, he thinks he's Joe Strummer!
gran: look at ya with ya scruffy jeans and messy hair. in my day you'd get a good sound thrashing if you went out like that!
Wannabe 'Never heard, Oh but I love Arctic Monkeys.
Indie 'You dick, I told you about them about three fucking years ago, go and listen to The Courteeners, quick!
Wannabe 'Okay, I'm really sorry.'
contrary to what most people say about indie kids, they're actually very nice people.
there are a few indie kids who look down on others because of their "exclusive tastes in music and culture".
but generally, most indie kids are "indie" because they are INDEPENDENT and dont care what others think. they're nice people who will hold a conversation with anyone about anything, not just music.
not all "indie kids" have wavy hair and wear converse. indie is whatever you want it to be. its about being true to yourself and the things that you truly enjoy.
I think you can be indie in many different ways when you
- don't do something just because everyone else does it.
- create your own favourite style in music, clothes, ...
- build up your own opinions and stand behind them.
Indie Kid: Oh, there are many styles I like... i think Franz Ferdinand are very catchy at the moment...
Cool Kid:I think the new album by Good Charlotte is awesome.
Indie Kid: I used to listen to this band when I was 13, but now I'm a bit outgrown.
- silence -
Cool Kid: I heard you are also into Indie?
Indie Kid: ...
Cool Kid: I recently bought some CDs by Adam Green, he's so cute and so indie... But his music is really lame, I think.
So do you want to have them?
Indie Kid: (chuckles to itself) No, thanks.
The art of listening to such obscure bands that the next step in Indieness is listening to non-existence itself, Very few have acheived this.
The art of drinking starbucks & once that becomes mainstream home-growing your own organic coffee beans.
The art of extreme self-denial, A true indie must learn to let go of his or her favourite obscure band once they cross into being a well known band & then rant at how they sold out from their roots.
The art of feigning intelligence, To be a real indie one must watch foreign independent films, possess but not necessarily read or understand influential books (see Ulysses/Walden/Communist manifesto & others) & be able to act intelligent on a subject for a minimum of five minutes over a cup of coffee before your true knowledge on the topic is shown to be extremely limited & flawed
The ultimate paradox, of claiming to be unique & not following trends. Yet then adhering to the above statements
How many indies does it take to change a lightbulb? Hint: its some really obscure number you've probably never heard of