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3 Things We Love about Alternative Music

Tired of the same kind of music that is being played on the airwaves? Want to hear something new? If this is what you have been wishing for, then alternative music is for you.

Alternative music has garnered a large following over the past few years. But if you are new to this kind of music and need some convincing, here are three things that you will love about alternative music.

It offers something new.

Well, just like the name implies, it is an alternative to the typical music that is played on the airwaves. It is not technically a whole new kind of music; what it does is it combines a lot of music genres into one, creating a new sound and a new genre. So you might hear traces of your favourite genre here and there, but no one genre is completely dominant. It gives you something new to listen to, but it still has a connection to the kind of music that you like. If you are getting tired of the same old music routine, then alternative music is the answer. You will get to listen to something new and free your ears from typical mainstream music.

It has been a venue for new artists to emerge.

As it is something entirely different, a lot of artists want to dabble with alternative music. Many have succeeded in their dabbling and really produced worthwhile and all-around good music. Just like the music, the artists who are into alternative music are also not the conventional music artists: they won’t look cultivated by members of certain boy bands, but they tend not to favor the crazy, punked-out look either. So alternative music does not only offer new music, it also offers new artists. You never know…you might find the right band or artist for you tastes.

Its lyrics will make you socially aware.

Alternative in a way is similar to rap music. If you are not a fun of rap music, you might be shaking your head now and changing your mind about trying out alternative music. But the similarity is not with the sound but rather, with the lyrics. We all know that a lot of the lyrics written or created for rap music have a deeper meaning. It usually deals with social issues which are not normally being tackled in any other genres of music. You get to hear about oppression, loss of life and the negative impacts of violence. The lyrics for alternative music are basically the same in that they also deal with social issues. So if you have not been listening to the news lately, then try listening to an alternative music.

There are definitely many things that you will love about alternative music. But in the end, you will be the judge, so fire up the Alternative channel by clicking on the icon in the Station box in the right column and listen to a song or two – you may just become a fan of alternative music.

What Will You Hear?

The Alternative station plays music from artists like Evanescence, 3 Doors Down, Sponge and hundreds of others!

Alternative Music Online: A Quick History

By Michele Kadison

Alternative music online, also known as “indie” music, emerged in the 80s as an alternative to music being played on commercial radio stations. It was first known as “college rock” as it was played by many college radio stations, reflecting the tastes of students who were tired of the typical classic rock format being played on FM radio. It wasn’t until the mid-80s that the name “Alternative” became standard.

Born of bands that rejected commercial, mainstream culture, Alternative artists began their careers playing in small local clubs and were signed to the new indie record labels such as SST Records, Twin/Tone Records, Touch & Go Records, and Dischord Records.

alt alternative music Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistorySpawning many sub-genres, this independent music scene became fertile territory for exploring forms of expression that would not necessarily be embraced by the mainstream. Thought Alternative was a catch-all word describing the general underground rock sound, there were many categories that defined the new artists coming out of the punk, new wave, and post punk scene.

Alternative Music: The Early Days

violent femmes Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryWhat we call today’s alternative music online originally evolved from the punk rock scene that was strong in the 1970s. Most of the first part of this phase gave birth to cult bands that found their way to listeners through word of mouth and local college stations. Many bands featured a fusion of sound, like the Feelies, the Violent Femmes, and the Velvet Underground who merged a punk sound with folk. The Paisley Underground created a more psychedelic sound, while groups like Husker Du and the Replacements appeared. Starting out as punk bands and then progressing to a more melody-driven sound over time. The Meat Puppets and the Minutemen had sounds that married punk with country and funk. Other early bands such as The Pixies, They Might Be Giants, Throwing Muses, Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, and Big Black each had their own unique artistry which continued to expand the Alternative dimension, presaging the Alternative music we have online today.

Alternative radio stations began to crop up, playing a wide range of artists. Los Angeles’ KROQ FM and Boston’s WFNX were two of the most prominent. When R.E.M. and the Cure gained their huge fan base, commercial radio stations got up to speed, providing more airplay to many indie bands.

Siouxie and the Banshees Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryMeanwhile in Britain, Alternative music had given birth to Gothic Rock, which came out of the 70s British post-punk phase. Bands like Bauhaus, Siouxie & the Banshees, and the Cure enraptured listeners with their dark feel and big synthesizer and guitar sounds that created what is often called “epic soundscapes.” The Goth subculture grew as nightclubs like The Batcave gained popularity with disenfranchised kids looking for a new tribe. The mid-80s saw bands like the Sisters of Mercy and the Mission rise to success on the UK charts while indie rock and pop bands like the Smith’s, Orange Juice, and Aztec Camera were signed to labels such as Rough Trade Records. Morrisey, former lead singer from the Smiths, went on to create an important solo career and other bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain, New Order, the Cocteau Twins, and My Bloody Valentine started getting more and more airplay, both in Brittan and elsewhere.

Alternative: The Evolution

In the Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and others entering mainstream radio play, helped Alternative music explode on the scene as a viable alternative to classic rock and pop. The end of the 80s saw many indie bands signing with major labels. R.E.M. and Jane’s Addiction both went gold, then platinum. The Pixies became a major success overseas; leading to the music industry increasingly becoming aware of the commercial possibilities of Alternative rock.

nirvana Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryIn 1991, Nirvana’s second album, “Nevermind” catapulted Alternative rock onto a level of visibility never imagined. Pearl Jam came out with “Ten”, Soundgarden with “Badmotorfinger”, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers with “Blood Sugar Sex Magik.”. Commercial radio stations were playing more indie music while more Alternative bands were signed to mainstream labels. The year also introduced a category called “Alternative Music” at the Grammy and MTV Video Awards. The new Lollapalooza festival featured indie bands. Created by Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, he coined the name “Alternative Nation” for the bands joining the tour. Nine Inch Nails, the Smashing Pumpkins, Hole and many others became popular and available to mainstream audiences, especially with visibility on MTV and Vh3.

At the same time there were Alternative bands still leery of mainstream culture. New indie labels cropped up to accommodate these artists, such as Matador Records and Merge.

Upheavals came with the death of Kurt Kobain in 1994 along with Pearl Jam’s lawsuit against Ticketmaster for their high prices. In 1998, Lollapalooza couldn’t find a headliner and stopped dead in its tracks. Many popular indie bands broke up at the end of the 90s such as Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, and Alice in Chains, making way for new sounds to break though like the White Stripes, the Strokes, the Killers, Interpol, and Death Cab for Cutie.

There was also enormous growth of the genre in Britain during the 90s with indie bands like Oasis, Blue, Suede, and Pulp. Australia brought forward Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Vines, and the Go-Betweens. Canada had its bevy of Alternative bands with Barenaked Ladies and Crash Test Dummies, and Iceland had the Sugarcubes, ultimately giving birth to Bjork’s solo career. Japan, Mexico, Argentina, and other countries generated their own versions of indie artists, which continue to this day.

Alternative Music Online: The Phenomenon Now

radiohead Alternative Music Online: A Quick HistoryIn 2009, Radiohead won best Alternative Music Album of the Year at the Grammys for their tour de force, “In Rainbows.” Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, Gnarls Barkley, and My Morning Jacket were other award contenders who have received enormous attention from listeners, radio stations, and CD stores. With alternative music artists online and on TV receiving constant visibility through MTV, Vh3 and other music television venues along with heavy radio airplay, we can be sure to see upcoming artists enjoying the same kind of successes with alternative music online as their forebears did on the radio.

Alternative Rock and Its Beginnings

When music isn’t pop, rock, country, folk or classical, what is it? It could actually have many names but most refer to it as “alternative”. So how did this name come about?

There are many theories or ideas about how “alternative” became a term used so commonly today. Some say it stemmed from the DJs and promoters of the 1980s who were playing music beyond the top 40 rock radio formats. With freedom of song selection, new bands began making a presence and becoming more requested. From here, college radio grabbed on to the sound, dubbing the music with terms such as new post-punk, indie, or underground music. The use of the term “alternative” gained further exposure due to the success of Lollapalooza, where festival founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell coined the term “Alternative Nation.”

page go Alternative Rock and Its Beginnings Continue reading Alternative Rock and Its Beginnings »

’90s Music – A Decade in Review

vanilla ice 90s Music   A Decade in Review

If you’re in your 30s, chances are that you are familiar with ‘90s music. The 1990s was dominated by pop and R&B music, where artists such as MC Hammer, Boyz II Men, Paula Abdul and Britney Spears all thrived.

Not everyone is a fan of this music, but whether you like it or not, ‘90s music will soon be making a comeback on your local radio stations.

The first three years of the last decade of the 20th century belonged to Bryan Adams, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Paula Abdul and Vanessa Williams, all of whom possessed and used a very adult sounding voice in their content as compared to the pop music produced in the late 80s. page go 90s Music   A Decade in Review Continue reading ’90s Music – A Decade in Review »

Death Cab for Cutie Uncovers ‘Codes and Keys’ in the Emerald City

death cab1 Death Cab for Cutie Uncovers Codes and Keys in the Emerald CityDeath Cab for Cutie had long said that they want to revisit their roots through their next album, even though they are not entirely sure where their actual home is. What the band wanted to convey through their new album ‘Codes and Keys’ was the thought that home could be the physical place where we live, or the space in between our ears or anything else. After all, every person is such a large collection of ‘memories’ that a connection with the past can be made every second and hence, the band’s concept of the home comes into play. page go Death Cab for Cutie Uncovers Codes and Keys in the Emerald City Continue reading Death Cab for Cutie Uncovers ‘Codes and Keys’ in the Emerald City »

Top 10 90’s Music Songs

nirvana Top 10 90’s Music SongsThe 90’s music era was a time filled with alternative music, pop and rap. Also it was a decade when the so-called one-hit wonder phenomenon was born. The tastes of music fans varied dramatically during this period. The more popular artists for this decade were mostly bands and artists who enjoyed a kind of resurgence in the music scene after their popularity from the 80’s lost some ground; others were new artists who were just starting to make a name for themselves. In many ways, the music in the 90’s was the product of a major series of changes in the music industry and in listener tastes. page go Top 10 90’s Music Songs Continue reading Top 10 90’s Music Songs »

Opinion: Chroniclers of our Age

bottle rockets Opinion: Chroniclers of our AgeSome of the most colorful, spirited and controversial figures in music history were active during the 1960′s, and most of them hailed from the United States. The 60’s was a decade of social unrest; the young adults of the baby boomer generation had entered their 20’s, and an unpopular war was raging halfway across the world. Young men and women joined together like never before, and the revolutions that followed were unlike any others mankind has ever seen, for they centered on music, art, literature and so on. Music, in particular, played a very important role in rallying the generation towards a common goal, and artists like Bob Dylan chronicled this age with skill and delicacy. page go Opinion: Chroniclers of our Age Continue reading Opinion: Chroniclers of our Age »

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