Which are some unknown indie bands

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Intro, History & Literature


The term ‘Indie’ is derived from the English Independent ’and means independent’. Initially, the term ‘Independent’ was used to distinguish ‘small’, self-established music publishers from their corporate competitors - the so-called ‘Major Labels’. The "Majors" today include the "Warner Music Group", "EMI", "Sony Music" and the "Universal Music Group". Subsequently, ‘Indie’ established itself as a self-designation for those people who prefer the music of independent bands and labels and thus combine a special approach to life and a comprehensive lifestyle. Although ‘indie music’ has always been staged as independent of economic constraints, it is (not infrequently) found in the charts today. ‘Indie artists’ have long been under contract with the ‘Majors’. This fact no longer necessarily or naturally generates a rigorous rejection of successful ‘indie hits’ among the indies. This may lead to the question of what makes ‘indie’ as music and as a scene (still) today.
At least since its ‘revival’, which was observed in Germany around the turn of the millennium, the indie scene has presented itself with a relatively uniform lifestyle and characteristic everyday practice. The self and collective designation as Kolle Indie ’, which is to be understood as constitutive, aims specifically at the motives of independence, self-organization and independence via the code of independence. People in the scene differentiate themselves from everything that is internally interpreted as not authentic, not independent, massively, well-known and therefore not individually interpreted within the scene.


The 'anti-establishment subculture' of 'punk', of which the skeptical, sometimes negative attitude towards 'mainstream culture', such as the 'do-it-yourself' attitude, can be seen as an important keyword in a history of 'indie' was practically inherited. However, a provocative subcultural habitus is dispensed with in the case of ‘Indie’. The ‘Post-Punk Movement’ at the end of the 1970s is regarded as a direct forerunner. "Indie" as a cultural phenomenon emerged in Great Britain in the 1980s as "Indie-Pop" and referred to "pop music" which was distributed by "independent labels" (e.g. "Rough Trade"). Due to the success of ‘New Romantic’ and New Wave bands ’at that time, these new‘ Pop bands ’remained rather small’ and in this sense also Independent ’.
Another important development is the ‘Brit-Pop-Welle’, which emerged from around 1992. In this genre of music, the emphasis is more on the lyrics than on the ability to dance to melody and rhythm, which are ostensibly optimistic and joyful. Brit-Pop quotes Pop ’of the 1960s and 1970s and thus Pop bands’ like ‘The Beatles’ or Mod bands ’like The Kinks’ and is also influenced by the ‘Indie’ of the 1980s. The most important representatives, at least in terms of their popularity, are ‘Blur’, Pulp ’and Oasis’.
With regard to a German ‘indie scene’, the ‘Hamburger Schule’ should also be named as a forerunner, which is influenced by ‘Punk’ and NDW ’. This genre of music emerged towards the end of the 1980s and describes German-language music with pop and punk elements whose representatives, such as ‘Blumfeld’, ‘East zone soup cube maker’ or ‘Huah!’, Came primarily from the Hamburg area or moved there. The term ‘Hamburger Schule’ is based on that of the ‘Frankfurter Schule’ and is intended to refer to an intellectual, socially critical content of the texts. Therefore, the term ‘discourse pop’ is used as an alternative. However, this does not mean a fundamental upheaval in social or political conditions. In this unreelistic attitude the music resembles the ‘indie’ of Great Britain. Also in the ‘independent attitude’ borrowed from punk ’there are similarities to the‘ indie ’of the time. With this discourse pop ’, the bands‘ Blumfeld ’,‘ Die Sterne ’and‘ Tocotronic ’were particularly successful in the early 1990s.
The problem of staying independent / underground ’against success is countered in two ways, on the one hand by recoding and expanding the meaning of‘ indie ’. In addition, successful bands are caught up, which is important for the ‘indie scene’ as a mass phenomenon. On the other hand, such bands can be excluded for the subcultural, small-scale ‘indie scene’. Furthermore, marginal areas of other genres in the ‘Indie’ are caught up, such as electronic music or even Hip-Hop ’(e.g. in the case of the band‘ Streets ’). As a result, and in addition, other defining features of music are softened, which is why these developments are rated extremely critically by some scene-goers.
Not only do the changes mentioned contribute to internal changes in the scene, in addition, in the current scene, ‘Indie’ denotes music that can no longer be clearly grasped by purely musical formal descriptions. Different styles of music overlap in the scene and the risk of a sell-out, the so-called sell-out ’of a band, is being exchanged with the risk of becoming mainstream’. However, since commercial success and ‘being indie’ are not mutually exclusive in this case, the boundary to the ‘mainstream’ and thus the internal boundary becomes more fragile or fluid than it may already be. The definition of what ‘indie’ is is therefore closely interwoven with the characteristic context of values ​​and attitudes of the scene and those negotiation processes about indie ’.


Structures, facts & relations


Also in the ‘indie scene’ there are people with special positions and extraordinary stocks of knowledge which (figuratively speaking) far exceed the standard knowledge stock of the ‘indies on the street’. A closer look reveals that the striving for recognition within the respective scene communities is the motor of vertical mobility, i. H. of status ascriptions and privileges, is par excellence. In doing so, recognition is largely achieved through the described special broad and in-depth knowledge, which is accumulated in detailed, time-consuming and passionate research in the relevant media and finally communicated via various channels and media. In-depth knowledge is the knowledge of very detailed, little-known inside information about the bands or the history of the scene. Broad knowledge, on the other hand, aims at the broadest possible overview of an inexhaustible number of bands and artists. This means that the topicality of the information is extremely important overall, considering the short half-life of musical discoveries. And it now becomes clear how necessary and sometimes tragic in the interplay with the striving for status is the real ‘consumption’ of musical discoveries, if one takes into account the tendencies of commercialization and the massing through media hype. Communications and staging towards other people in the scene are of course mainly made through appearances in the immediate (interactive) offline environment and through online representations on blogs, forums or in articles and reports in fanzines. The everyday as well as - z. B. at events - the extra-everyday view of the other scene-goers, however, also offers space for decorating with coveted and adventurous (clothing style) utensils: because also the possession of rare band T-shirts, exotic buttons or regular concert devotional objects (such as the plectrum of the Lead guitarists of the esteemed band) nuance their own personality and testify to considerable practical experience from attending concerts and band contacts.
Because within the scene communities and in the distribution media of the scene, negotiations and definitions are constantly being made or, from the point of view of those in the scene, it is 'must' be discussed what may and may not be considered 'indie', for example what is too commercial, too electronic, too non-binding is aloof, etc., a high status takes on an incomparably directional function. Because such a (high) status attests to the ‘Indie’, who has been profiled in this way, an enormous competence in interpretation and reflection. This does not have to be articulated directly in taking on any organizational or editorial activities or in an engagement as a DJ.


For the ‘indie scene’, as for many other scenes, there is (still) no reliable statistical data - such as the estimated total number, the average age or the gender distribution. The attempt to estimate is made particularly difficult by the extremely difficult musical boundaries and the current change in the scene. As an aid to at least a rough estimate, however, it is worth taking a look at the distribution of print magazines relevant to ‘Indies’. If you look at the average distribution of relevant magazines per issue for the year 2008, ‘Musikexpress’ with 17,800, the free magazine ‘Intro’ with 42,600 and the quarterly ex Spex ’with 21,000 copies are very popular in Germany. The number of visitors to the central concert events is also not insignificant. The ‘Melt!’ Is a relevant address for ‘Indies’ and has existed since 1997. The fantastic backdrop on the site of a former open-cast lignite mining area attracted 20,000 ‘Indies’ in 2008 (according to the organizers). However, no reliable statements about the overall size of the scene can be made using these numbers. The number of those who escape this pattern is likely to be too large because, for example, they only obtain information online or consciously prefer small club concerts to large concert events. On the other hand, the festivals and magazines mentioned are also frequented by members of other scenes.
The ‘indie scene’ is extremely heterogeneous in terms of age range. However, a characteristic age of entry of around 14 years can be found. In addition, it can be seen overall that many of the band members in the indie scene are young or have mostly not yet passed the twenty-fifth year of life. ‘Indie girls’ and Indie boys ’equally populate the scene and also pursue astonishingly similar basic lifestyle and ideological motifs, which is most visibly reflected in the authentic’ appearance and appearance.


Due to the special position between ‘Pop’ and ‘Anti-Pop’, whether you like to call it subcultural or alternative, the ‘Indie scene’ has a variety of ambivalent relationships to other scenes or scene cultures. ‘Popper’ and ‘Indies’ meet each other as naturally as Alternative ’and ies Indies’. Due to the tension in the scene, however, v. a. to observe far-reaching demarcations from other scenes, which, however, on the relationship level do not go beyond the devaluation and avoidance of corresponding belonging to other scenes.
On the one hand, ‘indies’ stand opposite the hydra of the mainstream ’, which is represented by size and mass. The fashions of mainstream culture ’that are obvious for‘ indie ’, i. H. For example, the original ‘indie songs’ or bands ’that have reached the mass audience are often understood as lost because of their popularity. The huge Mega Event Festivals ’are also suitable for the masses (see: Events). In principle, ‘indies’ also differentiate themselves from these and avoid them in favor of smaller festivals and events. The desired small-scale or small-group orientation of the scene, which is ideally stressed by the size of the scene, is expressed in the required distance to general cultural goods.
On the other hand, the ‘indie’ also accentuates its position in relation to other scenes. ‘Techno’ and ‘Hip-Hop’ are the sharpest contrasts to ‘Indie’. Indies distance themselves not only from the song content that is too ‘chubby’, too fast and too ‘hard’ and from senseless ’or misogynistic’ and posing ’song content. In addition, the fundamental opposing position to society is criticized, for example, in Punk ’, whereas Emos’, in their intensely emotional expressions, are perceived as exaggerated, pompous and theatrical and are therefore regarded as inauthentic.
This series of examples shows, above all, the enormous importance of the positioning through a reference to other scenes for the contouring and shaping of the profile of your own scene. In this practice of distinction, i.e. in a more or less strongly or clearly themed contrast to other scenes, each of the specific interpretive patterns of the ‘indies’ stabilize (essentially).

Focus, attitude & lifestyle


The ‘indie scene’ is a music-centric scene. Thus, at the center of the joint activities, there is a reference to the so varied and manifold available, intensely researched and, as far as possible, mass-culturally undivided ‘indie music’. This shows the outstanding importance of the everyday exchange between the people in the scene, whether it is face-to-face or mediated. Because the brand new information about the still completely unknown new band, which has just been found on 'MySpace' or in a fanzine, or upcoming tours, or band breakups, or the recently found artist-biographical news, all of this wants in everyday interactions are communicated and represents, so to speak, the material of everyday communalization. And so, through time-consuming research and unrestrained passion for experience, 'indies' with a downright lexical in-depth knowledge of the history of the 'indie' and possibly just as impressive up-to-date level of information are formed, with a constantly alert view of everything new what is going on in the almost limitless and restless international 'indie bazaar'. This combination of extensive background knowledge and absolute topicality is basically what drives the scene. The extraordinary speed of this knowledge and competence acquisition but above all the exchange (by means of mutual understanding about music history and current trends in the local scene communities or cliques) is one of the special characteristics of the ‘indie scene’.
Despite the outwardly perceived ‘fraying’ genre boundaries, there are, so to speak, internally relatively fixed music-stylistic and above all content-related exclusion criteria, which result directly from the characteristic canon of values. However, it is precisely those concrete value references, such as the high importance of authenticity, naturalness and independence (for example, in the preference for everyday understandable lyrics and a 'do-it-yourself' / 'lo-fi' character of the music) that allow in the first place recognizing, tapping into and selecting from the explosively growing oversupply of world views, styles of music and clothing. What is commonly ascribed to the indies ’as the arrogance of permanent demarcation against everything and everyone is therefore essential for the scene and its existence. Equally, that act of demarcation requires each individual to perform certain interpretations (e.g. whether the current electric trend is still or is already "indie"?). Representing or presenting these personal assessments in front of one's own clique or other ‘indies’ is then always a bit of a risk factor. Because whether the interpretation works or not is decided only in the joint negotiation. Other scene-goers accentuate their everyday scene less on the basis of extensive knowledge, but rather have a basic knowledge of scene-historical and musical standards that the scene willingly provided.


The general and often translatable system of values, which affects the everyday life of the ‘indies’, gives rise to a series of concrete attitudes directed towards very specific objects of judgment, which are reflected in certain orientations. Above all, the many communicative expressions of demarcation from other musical styles and the orientation of the music that is heard every day and the clothes and accessories worn are crucial here. All of this finds its scene-internal legitimation ultimately through the connection with the central values. Among these comprehensive values, first and foremost, the importance of naturalness and independence, which translates into all areas of life, can be found. The great importance that the ‘Indie’ assigns to these motifs is reflected in the scene-specific clothing style or appearance, for example, when the worn ucks Chucks ’or ans Vans’ are specifically worn or the meticulously messy hairstyle is trimmed. Interestingly enough, this shows that the naturalness of the appearance is not infrequently produced at the price of the (quite obvious) elaborate preparation and staging.
Naturally, naturalness, authenticity and honesty are projected and fed to a large extent from the musical listening habits - such as the preferred 'lo-fi style' of 'indie music' and the essential connectivity of the lyrics or their textual statements from the point of view of scene-goers own (everyday) experiences and emotions. These are elements that give the music for the ‘indie’ a very essential approachability, an individually comprehensible honesty. In addition, value orientations along the lines of interpersonal relationships and harmony or tolerance are enforced and demanded in everyday socializing.


Against the background of the previous descriptions, it goes without saying that it is rather untypical for the ‘indie’ to have a double identity ’between normal life’ and belonging to the scene. Rather, it is basically a tribute to the authentic to be ‘indie’ in the scene as indie ’. Accordingly, your own prescription for the value lines of the scene extends far into the areas of life of the individual. The ‘indie lifestyle’ is ultimately a constant companion and guide through the most varied areas of life (family, friendship, school, professional life, etc.). A nice visualization can be found in the 'iPod', which is filled to the last megabyte with various 'indie bands', which can now be counted as part of the 'indie' standard equipment and as an omnipresent musical companion 'indie' as an attitude that has become music (in the ear) be there everywhere.
The 'poppy', catchy nature of the music doesn't make it particularly difficult to musically include your own family in your band fascination, for example, or the anything but offensive, scene-typical clothing style for exclusive, so to speak 'round-the-clock' 'Outfit.
The ‘indie lifestyle’ also means - albeit with a downward trend - to position oneself ubiquitously in addition to the musical ‘independent’ attitude in other areas of life in relation to mainstream culture. The occasional rejection of courses of study that are perceived to be primarily application-oriented (above all economics) may be an example that may have become rare, but it is also a particularly clear example. This shows that for Vereinbarung indies ’, an authentic agreement of values ​​and attitudes typical of the scene (i.e. to position oneself against a rampant’ exploitation logic) and professional (here educational biographical) decisions are of great importance.
Overall, the ‘indie lifestyle’ typically covers the entire day-to-day life of the indie ’and it is highly beneficial to make your various everyday (consumption) decisions consistent with the known and valued system of values. This means that ‘Indie’ typically cannot simply be stripped off and handed over to the cloakroom in ‘Living area XY’ and then picked up again. This shows once again that indie ’does not only refer to a specific, temporally and spatially clearly delimited field of activity or activity, but is rooted as a comprehensive‘ indie attitude ’in the life of the‘ indie ’.


Recognizing one another as people in the scene is an important prerequisite for the interaction between people in the scene and beyond that for self-perception and the continuity of the scene. The representation as ‘Indie’ also serves as a means of self-confession and thus the assurance of one's own affiliation, the assurance of status by showing characteristic symbols, as well as, interestingly, the dissemination of the specific lifestyle of the ‘Indie’.
Due to the scene-specific focus on ‘Music’, clothing and accessories with reference to a band are used primarily to accentuate who belongs to the scene. Especially t-shirts with band motifs, especially if they were purchased at concerts, and buttons on all kinds of clothing are very popular. With the help of these outfit components, the ‘indie’ can express its basic affiliation (in the case of well-known bands), but also its high-profile connoisseurship (in the case of unknown bands or with reference to historically significant pioneers).
It is much more difficult with the clothing style of the ‘Indie’: The white and black striped T-shirt is particularly widespread among the ‘Indie boys’ and at times had an almost uniform value for the ‘Indie’. The so-called Chucks ’, which are available in a wide variety of designs, can also be considered almost mandatory. The Converse company has been producing these fabric sneakers almost unchanged since the 1970s. They were also very popular with the ‘punk’ and the grunge movement ’. Pronounced signs of wear and tear on shoes attest authenticity and can be understood as a distinction from the ‘smoothly ironed mainstream’, in this case from the all too ‘fine and clean’ and thus unauthorized. In addition, side parting is characteristic for boys and men, whereby the hair is neither worn particularly long nor extremely short. Pony hairstyles are often found in ‘indie girls’. In addition to stripe patterns, the girls and women often also wear dot patterns. In addition to chucks, ballerinas have (recently) enjoyed great popularity. In addition, the comparatively large, rectangular bags with shoulder straps are widely used by both female and male ‘indies’.
In summary, the clothing style conveys a natural, but by no means neglected or provocative, a neat, but not fine image. This underlines the position of the ‘indie’ between and in clear rejection of both affirmative mainstream ’and provocative, rebellious subculture’.


Rituals can be understood as practical signaling of exclusive community membership. The ‘indie scene’ has a typical basic set of ritual everyday practices, which are pursued individually or often together in the local scene communities. On the basis of the focus on the most unknown music possible (but of course always on the known musical standards), but at the same time the high genre openness and the inexhaustible wide range, the result is a (almost daily) eagerly pursued research for new music. This means that the smallest possible bands, each perceived as musically unique and novel, are tracked down, which can be presented to the ‘indie circle of friends’ (or sometimes also patronized as gems in the most intimate connection). The constantly unique and new musical finds therefore have a greatly reduced half-life for ‘indie’. The research, which is tirelessly driven in this way, is followed via the relevant distribution media such as the countless Internet blogs and music portals (especially 'Myspace.com'), but also on downright stalking in ideally small 'record stores', where the 'Independent' shelves are after always new exotic species are thinned out. It is not uncommon for their own research blogs to be run on the Internet and the finds are presented to the interested community in this way. For the ‘indie’ in particular, the effect of digital music formats and their extremely easy accessibility via the web should not be underestimated. All the more exciting, however, is the still great importance of owning CDs but also LPs, which on top of that experience an additional appreciation when they are bought at concerts. The results of the research are communicated in the cliques and groups of friends and assessed together.
In addition, the ritual of creating (personal) mixtapes ’(whether in the form of CDs or Mp3 albums, sometimes even on cassette according to one's status) is maintained. Here individual songs from a wide variety of albums are put together by handcraft and according to specific plots, which are sometimes even tailored to a specific person. There is often a creative component associated with this, for example when unusual covers are devotedly designed by oneself. A balanced sampler that is perceived as successful is one of the most important awards for connoisseurs of the scene.
The detailed and often chronologically continued pictorial and written documentation of joint undertakings, such as B. attending club concerts. Even for ‘indies’, the almost comprehensive equipment with camera-compatible cell phones can definitely be described as standard. With the help of this technical equipment, the testimonies of sociable scene get-togethers and special concert visits are usually presented on video communities, own blogs or in a professionalized form of concert reporting on their own fanzine pages and cheerfully commented on by each other.

Events, meeting points & media


As with all scenes, the extra-everyday scene events - due to the focus of the indie scene on music - especially in the form of concerts in clubs through to major events or festivals, are of fundamental importance for the ‘indie’. The strong defensive stance against the multifaceted appearances of the ‘mainstream’ and the reference to the so important unknown and naturalness require a great skepticism towards all experience phenomena that are perceived as suitable for the masses or even advertised. This (even) also applies to those 'indie (rock) festivals', which (meanwhile) see themselves as 'mega-events' due to tens of thousands of visitors and countless bands - regardless of whether these festivals were originally organized from the scene for the scene or whether major event agencies have recently started promoting 'indie' up-and-coming bands with additional stages. A part of the ‘indies’ also differentiates itself more or less explicitly / consistently from these and avoids them in favor of smaller festivals. Examples of the smaller events are Melt! ’Or Populario’.
In contrast, the many club concerts by relatively unknown, independent (up-and-coming) bands with a handful of listeners in an almost private living room atmosphere are clearly favored. However, the fact that this advantage is by no means unanimously shared within the scene can be easily understood from the development trends of massization and commercialization.

Meeting points

In contrast to the highlights of the extra-everyday concerts in clubs or ‘mega-events’, the ‘indie’ meets with his circle of friends every day at very different places, each of which has to meet certain conditions. The decisive factor is (above all) a private, intimate atmosphere and (connected with it) the possibility of undisturbed and relaxed conversation, whereby interpersonal issues (friendship, relationship, etc.) are expressed as well as the mentioned exchange of the latest developments in the music sector. Through discussions and negotiations as to whether this or that record is ‘indie’ or not, the concrete view of the ‘indie scene’ is constantly confirmed anew and expanded through the inclusion of new music. People meet in their own four walls, but often during the day in cozy cafés and in the evening in clubs to socialize and dance in the atmosphere of the unanimously valued and ubiquitous ‘indie sound carpet’.
In addition to the music focus, one can also speak of a conversation orientation. Environments that can be used for casual conversations are therefore extremely important for the existence of the many small communities, precisely because of the acquisition of skills and the exchange of knowledge, from which the above-mentioned special demands on the quality of the meeting points are articulated, especially for everyday interactions.


As with many scenes, the Internet is also of central importance for the ‘indies’. Tour dates and audio samples are often obtained directly from the artist via global networks such as MySpace ’, Last.fm’, but also wikis such as ‘Indiepedia’, blogs and internet magazines. Here you can always discover new, as yet unknown bands, albums and songs and gain background information about artists. The more direct contact with bands, the diversity, dynamism and speed of reaction of the Internet are ideally suited for fans of a scene that sees the constant rediscovery and rediscovery of music as a central component of its activities. In addition, any platforms naturally also serve to network the people in the scene with one another, to recommend and discuss music, to present themselves, to exchange information globally and to make appointments to experience concerts together. In addition, traditional print media are still important within the scene. The English ‘New Music Express’ has a great influence across the scene, not only from its history of impact but also from its role in the discovery of new music. Among the German-language magazines there are above all the ‘Spex’, the free ‘Intro’, the ‘Musikexpress’ and ‘UncleSallys’. These are primarily music magazines that publish interviews and reviews of new releases. Some of these newspapers also feature more fashion spreadsheets. So it turns out that the role of the distribution media is closely interlinked with music, its artists and clothing.
Online and print media are the most widely used distribution media and are necessary for two scene-wide mechanisms: hype and standardization of music. The phenomenon of hype ’describes a rapidly increasing media attention towards certain artists and an extremely positive evaluation of the products that produce them. In order to allow a general understanding within the scene about the music, the standardization of scene-wide relevant knowledge is necessary. This primarily means knowledge about music and clothing, but also nationally known events, such as annual festivals or nationally known clubs in the scene. The relevance of knowledge is determined by its historical significance or by triggering a correspondingly large hype ’.
In addition to the fact that found music is measured against the scene standards, justifications can be found for calling it ‘indie’. Whole band crossings ’can be constructed over it in order to make this music palatable to other scene-goers. At the same time, this form of linking new music ensures that a certain continuity can be ascribed to the scene and its characteristics over time. "Hype" and standardization are therefore important elements that are essential for stability and change in the scene. Differentiated and highly developed distribution media are used for supraregional to global exchange within the scene.