How Well Do You Know Your Indie Rock?
So you love indie rock. You basically breathe Nirvana, and a day without Radiohead is a day without sunshine. But how well do you really know your music? Here's a list of fun facts, amazing underground bands, everything indie you can imagine - and maybe some you can't.
1. The name "indie" rock comes from the movement of dedication to independence in bands.
Here's a fact about indie music all fans should know - the name "indie" is short for "independent." The genre came about when alternative rock and counter-culture began to lose their grip on the people. Despite the overwhelming growing influence of pop culture, many bands stayed dedicated to their independent status - thus, indie music emerged as a genre.
2. At Nirvana's release party for their album Nevermind, the whole band got thrown out - three times.
On Friday the 13th, Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl threw a party for their album release, which would later go on to sell over 10 million copies. An hour into the party, Novoselic threw a tamale at Cobain, Cobain hurled back some ranch dressing, and the party turned into a full-fledged food fight celebration. But their celebration came to a startling halt when a bouncer grabbed the three artists and threw them out of the club. At that point, the band relocated to a friend's place, where the party continued - until Cobain shot a fire extinguisher, and the party was evacuated. But that wasn't enough for the rowdy band members - they ended yet a third after-party after record plaque for the band Nelson in the microwave.
3. Radiohead and the Arctic Monkeys don't like each other very much.
Thom Yorke of Radiohead said of the band: “The fact that poor Arctic Monkeys are getting so much attention is purely based on the fact that the mainstream music business is such a bunch of fucking retards as far as I’m concerned.” Matt Helders responded that he, "nearly fell asleep at the wheel after listening to a Radiohead album."
4. However, Thom Yorke really loves this underground indie band.
They're called Throwing Muses. Check them out here.
5. Indie Underground is one of the best indie rock blogs out there.
With everything from interviews with artists to great playlists to articles on music premieres, Indie Underground has got everything you need. They even break their site up into different categories, in case you're more into alternative R&B, or love everything electronic. I would highly recommend their Best Songs of 2016 playlist.
6. The Killers' first name was.....
The Genius Sex Poets. Seriously, check out the bass drum in the Mr. Brightside music video.
7. Arcade Fire works hard to improve healthcare for poor people around the world.
The band continues to donate money to Partners in Health, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to building sustainable healthcare systems in poor countries such as Rwanda, Mexico, and Haiti. At Arcade Fire concerts, you will also find a booth for PIH, to educate fans on their mission.
8. This underground band is taking the Bay Area by storm.
9. Real indie rock is NOT dying.
As indie rock grew, it became more of an umbrella for many different sub-genres. Pop culture took advantage of this fact, and before indie fans knew it, the pop-culture "guy with a guitar" genre had emerged and murkied the waters of indie music so much that fans could no longer find anything new of substance amongst the piles of major-label-sponsored "indie pop" guys with guitars.
However, indie rock is NOT DEAD. It refuses to die. True fans may need to look harder, but good music is still being made by underground artists dedicated to their independence and creating good music. So, your homework is to listen to some real music. Get inspired. Check out some of these bands for more fantastic indie artists that prove the genre is still very much alive.