What is alternative music?


Mar 21 2008, 10h00

Before I registered on Last.fm I didn't know what I'm listening to. I can't distinguish music genres.

Now I can, but it's still an intuition. I discovered my leading genre - .
I know what is alternative, what is not...mainly by auto-remembering the artist name.
Radiohead, Placebo, Muse, White Stripes, The Killers and many, many, many more.

But if someone asked me what the hell is alternative music, and why it is alternative I wouldn't be able to answer - because I don't know.

Recently I've found an article about this. Author is trying to explain why alternative is alternative, most of the time he's writing about the history.
Somehow, at that time music was completely different! Some genres can't be still the same!
For Polish, who want to read this article: "Krótkie wprowadzenie do muzyki alternatywnej"

Would you like to help to define alternative?
Without speaking a word 'bout any of artists.


  • sqoosies

    Alternative is the new mainstream.

    Mar 21 2008, 13h28
  • arcania

    New? I thought that is quite old. It is just evolving.

    Mar 21 2008, 17h05
  • jcjohnson63

    alternative-not currently mainstream.if it's mainstream,it isn't alternative.

    Mar 21 2008, 17h57
  • fotsvett

    to me alternative music is the same as the genre indie. but i prefer the term alternative, since indie should be used as short for independent -> artists signed to independent record labels. alternative is simply (as said above) music that isn't mainstream. but that's a pretty extensive genre, so you tell everybody that you listen to alternative [i]rock[/i].

    Mar 21 2008, 22h49
  • BJ86

    I think alternative refers to being the alternative or different to mainstream music. However what is considered alternative by one person may be considered mainstream by someone else. But then what happens when an alternative band has a string of chart topping hits? are they still alternative? what about the other bands that sounded similar, are they now mainstream even though they never had any mainstream success? It's a pretty broad description which doesn't really describe what the music sounds like just what it doesn't sound like, so it's also subject to change, what is todays alternative might be tomorrows mainstream. I agree with fotsvett that just [i]alternative[/i] is too broad.

    Mar 22 2008, 11h30
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