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Old 12-28-2008, 02:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Alternative: Style or status?

Do you guys consider a particular band alternative because they have a fairly unique sound, or do you prefer to base it on commercial success (or lack there of) and accessibility?

For example, I like Red Hot Chili Peppers, and refer to them as "alternative" rock, but I know many people wouldn't because RHCP is hugely successful now.

Just curious about your opinions on the subject.
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Old 12-28-2008, 04:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Alternative is one of those stuffy concepts like punk which can be twisted to mean anything really. I suppose every artist is an alternative to something else. I don't like using it at all personally.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsherM View Post
Do you guys consider a particular band alternative because they have a fairly unique sound, or do you prefer to base it on commercial success (or lack there of) and accessibility?

For example, I like Red Hot Chili Peppers, and refer to them as "alternative" rock, but I know many people wouldn't because RHCP is hugely successful now.

Just curious about your opinions on the subject.
I think the Chili Peppers would be a bad example, as they've opted for a more mainstream sound as of late. But I would tend to agree with PMO, Alternative is a very non-descriptive title, encompassing everything from Death Cab to Radiohead to Of Montreal.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"Alternative" has lost all intended meaning and today stands as a means of association -- just a label that people give to music for the sake of comparison.

IMHO, it's a load of crap.
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Old 12-28-2008, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's a term people use to make their favorite band sound really cool.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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alternative is to the 90s what new-wave was to the 80s and 'indie' is to the 00s. it's a marketing term used to convince a generation they aren't buying from the same trough their older siblings did.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I totally agree with everything said here about labelling styles and genres of music - we do tend to fit meaningless labels on bands or groups of bands to sorta describe what we like... and "Alternative" is one heck of a vague, kinda useless term...

But the record companies sure like us to fit into nice little sales categories. Really, though, there is great diversity within the "alternative" camp if you wanna put it that way... who, aside from ignorant people, could sit down and listen to Nirvana, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, and even newer "alternative" acts and say they sound like a cohesive style? There are common threads in some of the bands' music, but stylistically, they are all quite different, and lyrically they all deal with many and varied concepts...

So what is the basis for the category. Nothing really. Just an easy way to lump bands together for sales purposes and for fitting certain personality types with product...

I'd sooner forget the tag "alternative" and listen ot what the music is like. I've certain heard some great "alternative" bands and some truly ****ty ones... It's all in the listening.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Marketing tool

The end
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, pretty much! Just listen to what inspires your imagination folks - and don't close your mind and get led down a tunnel by what the media or a record company wants you to think - seek out new ground, listen, evaluate, enjoy, keep your **** filters switched on- fall in love with a band that sounds great, but seriously don't give a damn about its label - be that alternative or whatever else...
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, thanks for the replies. Although I was actually wondering what you would qualify as alternative, not the record labels.

There is just no cohesive definition. However, since this site has an "alternative" section, I assumed there were probably some identifiable, shared characteristics between the varied bands. I mean, if I made a post about Led Zeppelin, surely someone would move it to another section right?

I hope this makes some degree of sense...
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