Author Topic: How do you define alternative music?  (Read 1489 times)

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How do you define alternative music?
« on: March 05, 2015, 05:26:10 PM »
So some guys at work were having a discussion about what bands/sounds are considered alternative. We were specifically talking about the 90's rock scene like Bush, Nirvana, NIN and the like. Someone mentioned they thought Alternative was Beck and "crap like that" someone else said no it was Marylin Manson and someone else said it was just a fancy word for grunge. I never realized how divided people could be on alternative music. I used to listen to this one alternative radio station years ago and always assumed everything that they played fit the bill until I heard Beastie Boys on there and had to rethink what I considered Alternative music.


What are some other thoughts on this, like what bands or sounds do you consider alternative? Does it have a different meaning to you than just anti-establishment or underground? Is Nirvana or Marylin Manson alternative and if they are both how can that be they are nothing a like.


Feel free to discuss.
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Offline NWR_insanolord

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Re: How do you define alternative music?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2015, 06:36:36 PM »
I've always found genre labels in music to be fairly fluid and arbitrary. A lot of the time things don't really fit neatly into one category, and especially something like "alternative," which I don't think ever had anything even close to a real definition.
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Offline Wah

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Re: How do you define alternative music?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2015, 06:42:06 PM »
Well, on my ipod it says Breaking Benjamin and Nirvana is alternative, WTF?
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Offline BranDonk Kong

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Re: How do you define alternative music?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 06:54:42 PM »
Ninckelback is an alternative TO music.

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Re: How do you define alternative music?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2015, 04:43:23 AM »
I guess I never realized there was this much contention I always had a certain sound in my head and just assumed everyone agreed.
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Offline Ian Sane

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Re: How do you define alternative music?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2015, 06:57:13 PM »
In the 80s alternative meant non-mainstream rock.  Like if you didn't like the bands getting mainstream radio airplay, these more obscure bands were your alternative.  In the 90s alternative seemed to mean mainstream rock music made by acts that either weren't mainstream in the 80s or didn't exist in the 80s.  I'm trying to think of what rock in the 90s was not described as alternative. U2?  Bryan Adams?

It seems to be a catch all for grunge, bands inspired by grunge, industrial metal, groove metal, funk metal, punk revivalists, and whatever the hell bands like the Spin Doctors were doing.

Personally I haven't used the term since I was 14.

Offline UncleBob

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Re: How do you define alternative music?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2015, 07:04:28 PM »
In the 80s alternative meant non-mainstream rock.  Like if you didn't like the bands getting mainstream radio airplay, these more obscure bands were your alternative.

So... hipsters?
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Offline Shaymin

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Re: How do you define alternative music?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2015, 07:37:23 PM »
The same way I define RPGs or porn.
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Offline BranDonk Kong

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Re: How do you define alternative music?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 08:01:09 PM »
Yeah alternative rock was just the brand name for commercial rock in the 90's. These days it's probably bands like Arctic Monkeys and other garbage that's somehow "indie" but played on the radio non-stop. Who cares what it means, don't listen to the radio and find music that's actually good.
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