#1
My favorite band is the Smiths, and recently I've gotten into REM and they're one of my top 5 bands. To me REM seems like an American version of the Smiths (in terms of musicality) and vice versa. Morrissey and Stipe aren't similar lyricists, but they are both very good. Johnny Marr and Peter Buck, very similar, but also very different. Does anyone else feel like this? From what I understand the Smiths are the beginning of British Indie and REM is the beginning of American Indie - safe to say?
#2
I know what you mean, but I don't know if that's the whole truth. REM and The Smiths didn't just create indie on their own. A lot of other bands had impact, although it was not until REM and The Smiths Indie music really started to take shape. It's kinda hard to say where American indie and where British indie started, I guess.
#3
Yeah, cos REM had it's influences ( such as The Feelies ) and so did The Smiths so it's more of a progression really than anything else, it's impossible to say that one band really started it I think because Indie itself relies on bands doing their own thing.


I can hear the similarities aswell but one of the great things about both of those bands is that you can hear alot of britishness in Morrissey's lyrics and singing and ( in the early albums ) Michael Stipe's vocal style has that southern hint that sometimes breaks through into the lyrics ( especially on the Fables album ) and this is what really sets the bands apart.
Then they'll take you to Cloughprior and shove you in the ground
But you'll stick your head back out and shout "we'll have another round"!
#4
Marr is light years beyond Buck IMO. I like REM's earlier albums, my favorite being Murmur. What about The Jam?
#5
Indie started with The Velvet Underground.
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#6
Quote by pumpkins_rule
Indie started with The Velvet Underground.



Modern music started with The Velvets.


Anyway I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the difference is between Alternative and Indie ?

It seems that the definitions lead to the same kind of music.
Then they'll take you to Cloughprior and shove you in the ground
But you'll stick your head back out and shout "we'll have another round"!
#7
Quote by The_Big_O
Modern music started with The Velvets.


Anyway I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the difference is between Alternative and Indie ?

It seems that the definitions lead to the same kind of music.

From Wikipedia:

"Alternative rock (also called alternative music or simply alternative; known primarily in the UK as indie) is a genre of rock music that emerged in the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s.The term "alternative" was coined in the 1980s to describe punk rock-inspired bands on independent record labels that did not fit into the mainstream genres of the time."

I don't know, really. According to Wiki indie is just the British word for alternative but that couldn't possibly be true, since the word alternative is used in UK and indie is used in US. I've always seen alternative as a more rock-oriented genre and indie as more melodic. But that's probably just my own perception. I don't think anyone really knows what the diffrence between indie and alternative is anymore. The genre is too broad and like you say, they have grown into eachother.
#8
Quote by The_Big_O
Anyway I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the difference is between Alternative and Indie ?

It seems that the definitions lead to the same kind of music.
I've never noticed a difference excepted that the Alternative label has been way overused. Bands like Nickleback and Three Days Grace get called Alternative
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#9
Quote by element4433
I've never noticed a difference excepted that the Alternative label has been way overused. Bands like Nickleback and Three Days Grace get called Alternative

Not to mention Evanescence. Even they get called Alternative. I mean.. come one? Evanescence? There is nothing Alternative about them.
#10
I'm not sure you'd say the Smiths started indie, but they certainly were incredibly influential to future indie music. If you look hard enough, indie roots can be traced back to the '60s or even late '50s. But there is no doubt that the Smiths opened up a new sound of music to a much wider audience. Most indie bands can say that they were influenced by REM, the Smiths, the Cure etc. It all depends on your definition of indie.
#11
^^but there's also alternative rock which people call the nickelbacks and whatnots, i think? but like someone else said, it's all been meshed and messed over time.
#12
Quote by somewhat_here
^^but there's also alternative rock which people call the nickelbacks and whatnots, i think? but like someone else said, it's all been meshed and messed over time.

Nah. Alternative = Alternative Rock, I think. "Alternative" is just a abbreviation of "Alternative Rock".
#13
i guess it might be different in canada (or america), at least that's the perception i got from listening to top 40 and rock radio stations as a kid. here's an example, a guy i used to work with who was a teenager in 90s said he listened to alternative and stuff like bush and whatnot but says he never heard of dinosaur jr. so i missed that show damnit! so i guess at the end of the day it's just a label that's been used and misused a lot.
#14
Quote by somewhat_here
i guess it might be different in canada (or america), at least that's the perception i got from listening to top 40 and rock radio stations as a kid. here's an example, a guy i used to work with who was a teenager in 90s said he listened to alternative and stuff like bush and whatnot but says he never heard of dinosaur jr. so i missed that show damnit! so i guess at the end of the day it's just a label that's been used and misused a lot.
Thats how it is here too.
*-)
Quote by Bob_Sacamano
i kinda wish we all had a penis and vagina instead of buttholes

i mean no offense to buttholes and poop or anything

Rest in Peace, Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and Eric Garner and Mike Brown
#15
alternative is another silly word like indie.

also the smiths/rem startinging indie is also silly.
#16
I don't like classing groups into particular genres. It's like saying because 2 bands are in the same genre, you're going to like the 2 of them. I always considered alt rock to be the likes of R.E.M./U2/Coldplay/Snow Patrol, etc. Bands that mightn't necessarily 'rock out' the whole time but that use a lot of electric guitar, drums, bass, etc in their music. Maybe I'm way off though.

As far as R.E.M. and The Smiths, Michael Stipe is a huge fan of Morrissey and the two of them are close friends. I never really considered the two bands too similar though. I think R.E.M. are out on their own as being the better band.
#17
^that sounds cool (the friends thing) i bought out of time this spring but i only listened to half of it. i figured if i put up with the 90s rap, i could stop listening without feeling bad.
#18
Quote by European Son
From Wikipedia:

"Alternative rock (also called alternative music or simply alternative; known primarily in the UK as indie) is a genre of rock music that emerged in the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s.The term "alternative" was coined in the 1980s to describe punk rock-inspired bands on independent record labels that did not fit into the mainstream genres of the time."

I don't know, really. According to Wiki indie is just the British word for alternative but that couldn't possibly be true, since the word alternative is used in UK and indie is used in US. I've always seen alternative as a more rock-oriented genre and indie as more melodic. But that's probably just my own perception. I don't think anyone really knows what the diffrence between indie and alternative is anymore. The genre is too broad and like you say, they have grown into eachother.



I always thought that Indie was more melodic aswell and I always thought there was a kind of jangly folky aspect too it but then wouldn't REM fit perfectly into this category?

I think by it's very definition Alternative is hard to describe.
Then they'll take you to Cloughprior and shove you in the ground
But you'll stick your head back out and shout "we'll have another round"!
#19
Here you go


Quote by allmusic.com
Indie rock takes its name from "independent," which describes both the do-it-yourself attitudes of its bands and the small, lower-budget nature of the labels that release the music. The biggest indie labels might strike distribution deals with major corporate labels, but their decision-making processes remain autonomous. As such, indie rock is free to explore sounds, emotions, and lyrical subjects that don't appeal to large, mainstream audiences — profit isn't as much of a concern as personal taste (though the labels do, after all, want to stay in business). It's very much rooted in the sound and sensibility of American underground and alternative rock of the '80s, albeit with a few differences that account for the changes in underground rock since then. In the sense that the term is most widely used, indie rock truly separated itself from alternative rock around the time that Nirvana hit the mainstream. Mainstream tastes gradually reshaped alternative into a new form of serious-minded hard rock, in the process making it more predictable and testosterone-driven. Indie rock was a reaction against that phenomenon; not all strains of alternative rock crossed over in Nirvana's wake, and not all of them wanted to, either. Yet while indie rock definitely shares the punk community's concerns about commercialism, it isn't as particular about whether bands remain independent or "sell out"; the general assumption is that it's virtually impossible to make indie rock's varying musical approaches compatible with mainstream tastes in the first place. There are almost as many reasons for that incompatibility as there are indie-rock bands, but following are some of the most common: the music may be too whimsical and innocent; too weird; too sensitive and melancholy; too soft and delicate; too dreamy and hypnotic; too personal and intimately revealing in its lyrics; too low-fidelity and low-budget in its production; too angular in its melodies and riffs; too raw, skronky and abrasive; wrapped in too many sheets of Sonic Youth/Dinosaur Jr./Pixies/Jesus & Mary Chain-style guitar noise; too oblique and fractured in its song structures; too influenced by experimental or otherwise unpopular musical styles. Regardless of the specifics, it's rock made by and for outsiders — much like alternative once was, except that thanks to its crossover, indie rock has a far greater wariness of excess testosterone. It's certainly not that indie rock is never visceral or powerful; it's just rarely — if ever — macho about it. As the '90s wore on, indie rock developed quite a few substyles and close cousins (indie pop, dream pop, noise-pop, lo-fi, math rock, post-rock, space rock, sadcore, and emo among them), all of which seemed poised to remain strictly underground phenomena.



As for indie starting with the Smiths and R.E.M, I have to disagree. They played a part in it though.
#20
Quote by xX*Zeppelin*Xx



As for indie starting with the Smiths and R.E.M, I have to disagree. They played a part in it though.



Yeah, I think they both just happend to be around at the time that the term became used, because I'm sure the asthetic has always exsisted but it just hasn't always been labled as "Indie".


But anyway......


I think that alot of the bands similarities come about simply because of the guitar work and I think that both bands are equals musically ( if were comparing them ) Morrissey's lyrics were very literate from the first album and though Stipes were interesting they wouldn't become great until he started enunciating. I think that both bands are especially great because they are able to write catchy songs with quite sombre undertones.
Then they'll take you to Cloughprior and shove you in the ground
But you'll stick your head back out and shout "we'll have another round"!
#21
Neither band started "indie" music, but both played a huge part in bringing the American and English scenes respectively to a larger audience.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither... nor women neither.
#22
Quote by pumpkins_rule
Indie started with The Velvet Underground.

Definitely, at least to an extent. They were a underground band, no doubt, and they made original, groundbreaking music and in my book that's what indie music is about. So in a way the first Indie band was The Velvet Underground. Not in the musical way, though. More in the ethical way.
#23
Quote by NoRomancelnChin
To me REM seems like an American version of the Smiths (in terms of musicality) and vice versa.

I just thought the same thing yesterday man.
#24
Quote by The_Big_O
Yeah, cos REM had it's influences ( such as The Feelies ) and so did The Smiths so it's more of a progression really than anything else, it's impossible to say that one band really started it I think because Indie itself relies on bands doing their own thing.


I can hear the similarities aswell but one of the great things about both of those bands is that you can hear alot of britishness in Morrissey's lyrics and singing and ( in the early albums ) Michael Stipe's vocal style has that southern hint that sometimes breaks through into the lyrics ( especially on the Fables album ) and this is what really sets the bands apart.


I agree with you. I do think Michael Stipe has a very American voice. And I guess I might have come off to strong by saying Indie music started with The Smiths/REM; I guess I mean what everyone else is saying - that those two groups were the two who really jump started the whole era.


Quote by .smudged.
Marr is light years beyond Buck IMO. I like REM's earlier albums, my favorite being Murmur. What about The Jam?


I do think Marr is a lot more complicated than Buck as well, using layer upon layer of sound. Marr is my favorite guitarist, but that doesn't take anything away from Buck, he's a great great player.

Quote by pumpkins_rule
Indie started with The Velvet Underground.


You know I'm not sure what to say to that. The Velvet Underground is my second favorite band. They were supported by Andy Warhol for their first album so they weren't strictly 'independent'. I think the Velvet Underground were decades ahead of everyone else, the world was simply not ready for them yet. By the time the Smiths and REM came around, I think music had evolved enough that people would accept them, and that's when the whole alternative/indie era begins. But you are definitely correct in saying they were the first important alternative rock band.

And also I don't think one band is better than another. They are both producers of art, so it's impossible for one to be better than another. I enjoy the Smiths more but that's my personal opinion.