An umbrella term for various non-commercial strains of rock and roll, separate from heavy metal's non-commercial artists. Its origins can be traced back to punk rock and post-punk of the late '70s and the early '80s. That non-commercial nature could stem from the outwardly ugly sound of the music, the wishes of the artist, the effeminacy of the music, etc. Indie rock is a wide umbrella, covering music, such as country/western or soft rock, that the punks would have rejected.
Saying that a band plays indie rock really doesn't say much about what kind of music it plays.
by Domukaz March 01, 2007
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Music that Americans CAN NOT MAKE. Interpol, The Killers, The Shins, these are examples of worthless American 'indie' bands. Good indie bands with a message and style include: Babyshambles, The Cribs, The Arctic Monkeys, wow how about that they are all ENGLISH.
Indie rock is the best genre of music these days.
by Urban Dictionary September 12, 2005
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Alternative rock that largely rejects the machismo and polish of post 90's alternative rock and has a quirky, offbeat sound and sensibility that is mostly rooted in the underground and college rock of the late 80's such as The Smiths and the Pixies . Early pioneers in indie rock include Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., Elliot Smith and Built to Spill. In the 2000's bands like The Strokes, The Shins, the Arctic Monkeys and scene veterans Modest Mouse have achieved mainstream success largely due to the internet and exposure on movies, TV and commercials. Contrary to popular belief the term "indie" does not necessarily have to refer to the record labels the bands sign to and in fact has evolved to refer to the DIY, non-commercial and "independent" approach to songwriting that has largely defined indie rock. The Killers, Coldplay, Keane and Radiohead are NOT indie rock musicians and Snow Patrol was only indie on there first album if at all.
The Shins, The Dismemberment Plan, Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and Fugazi are all indie rock bands due to their largely uncompromising and non-commercial approach to song writing and there offbeat sounds and sensibility.
by drogaz March 15, 2010
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Music that tries to be different than any other music while somehow managing to sound like every other indie rock song out there.
It's not that I don't listen to indie rock. All my friends are obsessed with it, and I just can't stand it. It all sounds so whiny and I don't know why. Backtrack instead of fastforward....discover something new that's old!!!! Losers like indie.
by Jesus loves you March 20, 2006
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Indie rock is short for a rock band that's on independent record label. Its not a sound or a music style. The media has apparently confused or brain washed people who don't know what it is to start believing it is tho. Really since the 70s and 80s indie rock bands have gotten mainstream attention without being on a major label. Notable since the 70s to 2000s are joy division,the smiths,oasis,blur,the libertines,arcade fire. Which are all alternative. So when someone says its all the same or is a sound it makes no sense cause theres hardrock bands,heavy metal bands,punk rock bands and more different rock genres on a indie label.
Girl: have you heard indie rock like the killers,death cab for cutie,the strokes? they all have the indie sound. Guy: no those bands are on major labels and indie rock does not have a sound. But I love those bands. Girl: oh!
by sage thunder November 07, 2010
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Any music that, instead of trying to sound like the popular music of yesteryear, tries to sound like the unpopular music of yesteryear.
The list of Indie Rock artists on Wikipedia includes such illustrious bands as The Unicorns, The Hippos, The Cramps, The Frogs, The Invisibles, The Shins, and Zwan.
by Indiemustbedestroyed September 26, 2005
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Generally, if you know about an indie band you are cool, and if you don't you are mainstream or even whitebread.

So you better learn about the latest indie band before you aren't cool.
I told him I liked Lifehouse and Coldplay and he just called a mainstream whitebread. His insults make no sense... he loves indie rock.
by Fuck You Script Kiddies! September 10, 2006
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