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Old 11-02-2010, 03:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb How "underground" does a band need to be to...be "underground"

Firstly; I put "underground" in quotations, as I don't like it as an adjective for music... But I can't think of a more suitable word at the moment.

Anyway, I write a column on a music blog called The Plug (where a plug small, relatively unknown acts who need a little promotion). The first band I did, Battle Circus, had 700 something listeners on last.fm. The band liked my write up, and all the readers seemed to like the music... Anyway, I'm trying to set my guidelines for how "underground" a band needs to be to feature...
The next group I'm considering doing have around 7000 plays on last.fm (decided to primarily base in on last.fm listeners), and I thought this was quite a lot. But then there is another group called "sleepmakeswaves" (Australian post-rock) who have one ep and one split ep (no album), and I thought were pretty unheard of. Yet they have 28,000 listeners...


So, how many/few listeners is "underground"?

Last edited by mrguy; 11-14-2010 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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35786 or less
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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So, how many/few listeners is "underground"?
I don't think I'd base it on last.fm to be honest. I'd base it on things like whether or not they're on a major label and whether not they have music that has charted.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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what makes the difference between underground and indie???

*my personal opinion of indie is any band that becomes independantly well known without their music being on tv, radio, or advertised at all
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, I don't know if last.fm is the *best* indicator as to whether or not a band's "underground". A lot of bands still remain unknown of by the general populace, but may get a lot of plays on last.fm because they tend to play in one of the larger metropolitan areas in a given area, and as such, a lot of people in that specific area have heard of them.

A better indicator would be to really research the band. What label are they on, or are they still unsigned? Where have they played, and have they been a support act for other unknown bands, or are they a true up-and-coming band, already headlining the bill for shows? How many albums have they released?

Things like this are better taken into account than last.fm plays.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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At least past the subway.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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At leat past the subway.
Would you say The Subways are a band that's underground?
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Would you say The Subways are a band that's underground?
Could be. But The Streets clearly are not.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Could be. But The Streets clearly are not.
Explosions In The Sky certainly aren't underground.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Explosions In The Sky certainly aren't underground.
Yeah, neither is Mountain.
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