MUAR 392 Lecture Notes - Lecture 24: Indie Rock, Campus Radio, Green Day

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16 Aug 2016
Department
Course
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MUAR 392
Lecture 24 — March 30
Indie in the 1980s
What is Indie Rock?
-A variety of underground genres, based on different local scenes and supported by a loose
network of fanzines, independent record labels, local scenes and supported by college radio
stations and clubs in urban areas and college towns
Independent from:
-Mainstream press, major record labels, commercial forces, corporate control, “mainstream”
and taste/ trends…
-Breaking from Tin Pan Alley, Brill Building etc.
Not a Genre, but rather Scenes:
-Another way to conceptualize or categorize musical styles, audiences and trends
-Groups and communities that are focused around music
Indie Infrastructure
-Independent record labels — anything that is not the Big 6: Universal, Sony, Warner…later it
became the Big 3 which control as much as 85% of all music created
-Many of these genres get in with these independent labels — Motown, Sun Records…
-College radio stations
-Zines
Iterations in the early 1980s
-College Rock (Athens, Austin…)
-Hardcore (LA, DC, Vancouver…)
College Rock — Athens, Georgia
-University of Georgia
-Success of the B-52s created a hotbed of music making activity in the early 1980s with a
focus on alt-dance pop
-“After the B-52s, there was a band on every corner, all these great weird sounding bands of
non-musicians trying things out in a public form…the concept could be more important than
musical talent”
-R.E.M — another band formed in Athens, founded in 1980. Signed with Indie label I.R.S.
Records in 1982, after “Radio Free Europe.” First single was produced by Hib-Tone Records
that was created by a student in Georgia, who made the record and distributed the 1000
records locally, drawing national attention
-Murmur (1983) — wanted to make a statement to move away from what the radio was
playing…based on the sound that was developed — titled Album of the Year by Rolling
Stone
-Instrumentation: drums, guitar, clean bass
-Relate to trends: post-punk, similar to punk as they’re both aggressive and simple but
they differ as Punk uses distorted guitar. There is no distortion on the guitar in this, as it
is very clean
-Vocals: unknown what the vocals are about — the lyrics are both unfocused, hard to
hear and impressionistic.
-Refused to resort to rock music cliches like guitar solos or trends like synthesizers
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