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mteutsch's avatar

What is Indie?

Asked by mteutsch (177points) April 20th, 2008

Lately, I’ve been thinking about this questions, especially when it comes to the music I am listening to. I want to explore it in an essay, but I want to get an idea of what others have to say also.

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11 Answers

Breefield's avatar

Indie is like…cool kid on the block, because they listened to it first. Something good that hasn’t caught on yet.

peedub's avatar

It is an abbreviation of the word independent. Originally ‘indie’ rock was term to designate the musicianship of those on independent record labels, bands that broke away from major labels or started their own. Characteristic of indie rock was a very lo-fi, DIY sound. A few bands of this era that come to mind are Guided by Voices or Sonic Youth.
To me, the way the word is used today is kind of strange. In the past I think it would be kind of silly to say one is ‘indie,’ or ‘so indie.’ Much like ‘emo’ it has become a look, or lifestyle, which I think is sort of comical.
What’s worse, is that now just because someone has a certain hairdo or old T-shirt or worn out denim they are liable to get labeled ‘indie.’ I like some of the old, independently signed bands but absolutely despise being called ‘indie.’

I don’t think most people today even know what the work is originally supposed to mean.

mteutsch's avatar

I think Indie is that; however, as I’ve been thinking about it, it appears to be more than that. I know the idea and definition that you both of you give, and I think the ideas I am formulating come more from that DIY attitude. Indie, in any form, has more to say. The agenda and passion take hold. That’s the thought I want to explore with indie, whether it’s music, movies, or anything else.

peedub's avatar

I think you first have to establish which ‘indie’ you are exploring. Are you thinking about the mindset and motivations of certain musicians of the early 80’s, or perhaps the trend of pseudo-rebellious Hot Topic ‘indie’ rockers?

I guess one aspect I didn’t cover would be that of film. Perhaps that’s because to me it’s almost a separate thing, not that it should be. In short, I like the idea of artists pooling their resources and creating something for themselves, whether its a record label or a feature film, I just don’t like how it’s become a commodifiable image.

mteutsch's avatar

I’m not sure what indie I am exploring yet. At this point, it’s my psudeo-definition that I want to examine. Ultimately, it will come around to a set cultural point, I believe.

aloha's avatar

i think peedub has a good handle on the history of ‘indie’ ... but what does that word mean in the context of now? it has been co-opted as a marketing tool and has sadly lost much of it’s historical meaning. that’s not to say, however, that there aren’t people creating music, movies, etc in an authentic ‘indie’ way… they just probably wouldn’t describe themselves as such.

peedub's avatar

@aloha- For that reason, I think it sounds like an interesting topic to write about.

jamms's avatar

indie music became no more than a marketing term when garage rock was a fad. today people do not use it in context of its definition (a shorter word for independent.) it is used to describe fringe bands, or bands who used to be fringe before they recieved exposure.

for music and movies, its just a buzz word, designed to make you feel cool, special, or willing to throwdown more cash on something to be hip, trendsetting, or elite.

its a shame too because in context, its a good word to use, but today’s marketing team stole it.

judochop's avatar

it is nothing more than a marketing term that is over used and has lost its expression. Independent was music on the DIY tip or for labels that did not feed into the dollar market to kill the artist. It at one point was the coolest part of music. It now might as well be an aisle at hot topic in the mall. Peedub and hypnotoad hit it right on the head for the most part.

felipelavinz's avatar

“indie” is to the 00s what “alternative” was to the 90s

wildflower's avatar

On this side of the pond, indie was a very popular sub-culture in the 90’s, particularly in the UK and the musical soundtrack provided by names such as The Stone Roses and Suede.

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