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Special Focus 2015: Indie

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Timothy Murphy

on 18 May 2015

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Transcript of Special Focus 2015: Indie

Influences
Features
Development
Artists
Technology
Features:
Punk Rock:
Funk:
Raw, DIY production
Syncopated rhythms and use of saxophone
The Beatles and The Who
Musical Features
Technological Features
Arrangement
Key Artists
UK Rock:
The
Smiths
The
Arctic
Monkeys
Happy
Mondays
Listen to Indie music by
The Arctic Monkeys
,
The Smiths
and
The Stone Roses
Indie Rock
- Guitar is often
picked
or sustained. Guitar is the main harmony instrument


- Some songs are long and loosely structured; almost like extended jams

- Vocals are understated and
melancholy

- Typical
rock band line up
; Guitar, drums, vocals, bass
- Guitar has a
jangly
, light tone


-
Amplified
guitars


-
DIY production
of live recordings
- Typical
rock band
line up

- Sometimes keyboards used

- Vocals and backing vocals
Guitar amplifiers
Sustain and Delay
The light, sustained tone of the guitar is a common feature in Indie music.
Delays
are often used on vocals.
Guitars were either acoustic on
amplified
.
EQ
would be used to create the thin,
jangly
guitar tone.
Independent Labels
Britpop &
Grunge
Madchester
Madchester
Indie Labels
Britpop and Grunge
Psychedelic Rock:
Use of delay
Albums

The Smiths (1984)
There is a light that never goes out
Meat is Murder (1985)
How soon is now?

How were they influential?

- They achieved
top 30 chart
success with records including
This Charming Man

- Their debut album
The Smiths
reached
no. 2 in the UK album charts
in 1984

- Their second album, Meat is murder released in 1985 contained more
controversy
with
political lyrics

Style

- Their music has a
whiney, understated
vocal tone which were sometimes
half spoken

- Introverted, sensitive
lyrics

- Guitar based pop -
Johnny Marr's t
ranscendental guitar arpeggios

-
Gentle melodies
Albums

Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006) -
When the sun goes down
Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007) -
Fluorescent Adolescent
AM (2013) -
Do I wanna know?

How were they influential?

- Their debut album became the
UKs fastest
ever selling album

- They were the first band to win shockwaves
NME award
for the best new and best British band

- Made their music available free on
Myspace
, which is how they broke onto the scene by creating a huge network of fans


Style

- Influenced by
The Strokes

- Their musical
style changed with each new album
, but lead singer Alex Turner's rapidly delivered lyrics in a strong
Sheffield accent
made their sound recognisable e.g. on t
he song A View from the Afternoon

- First album rooted in
garage rock
and
post-punk
, second album was more aggressive. Fourth album
Suck it and see
was more influenced by
British Rock bands from the 60s
with ballad style tracks similar to that of The Smiths. AM is more
hip-hop influenced
.

- 2006's
Whatever People Say I Am
,
That's What I'm Not
, mixed tough
garage punk with detail-rich lyrics
about small-town English nightlife. (Turner called it "
chip-shop rock & roll
.") in songs s
uch as From Ritz to Rubble

Songs

- I bet you look good on the dancefloor
- Fluorescent adolescent
- Do I wanna know?
Albums

Surfer Rosa (1988)
Where is my mind
Doolittle (1989)
Tame

How were they influential?

- American band from Boston in Massachusetts but were
more successful in the UK
and Europe

- Male and female vocals which was
uncommon
in Indie music

- The song
Where is my mind
featured on the 1999 film
Fight Club
starring Brad Pitt.

- Signed with UK Indie label:
4AD

Style

- Music contained
erractic use of dynamics

-
has been described as "an unorthodox marriage of
surf music and punk rock

-
Kim Deal's
whispered harmonies
and
waspy basslines

-
Santiago's
fragile guitar

Songs

- Hey

- Where is my mind?
Low budget recordings

Indie music had a
DIY production
ethic; low budget recordings based on simple capture of
live performances
The Pixies
The
Stone
Roses
Albums
Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) - 1987
Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches - 1990

How were they influential?

- Discovered at Battle of the Bands at the
Hacienda Nightclub

- Part of the
Madchester
Movement

- Performer
Bez
who was hired for his bizarre
dancing with Maracas
was a well known member of the band

- Influenced many bands around the North West of the UK including Oasis

Style

- Their music had
psychedelic influences
e.g. the song Rave on

- Indie pop guitars
with a
rhythmic style
that owed much to
house music, funk
and
northern soul
e.g. the song Step on

- Helped to encourage the
psychedelic revival
associated with
acid house.

Songs

- 24 hour party people
- Step on
- Wrote for luck
- Rave on
Albums
The Stone Roses (1989) -
I wanna be adored
Second Coming (1994) -
Driving south

How they were influential
- Only released
two
albums

- Part of the
Madchester
Movement

- Signed with an Indie label:
Geffen Records

Style

- They mixed
acid house rhythms
with a
guitar pop sound

- Influences included
garage rock
,
Northern soul
,
punk rock
, and artists such as
The Beatles

Songs

- I wanna be adored
- I am the Resurrection
- Waterfall
These labels were independent of the major record companies and had a
DIY production ethic
to the music.
The
Hacienda
Nightclub and the
Factory Records Label
became known as
Madchester
.

Labels included:

4AD -
The Pixies
Creation -
Oasis
Island Records -
Pulp
Factory Records -
Happy Mondays
Domino Recording Company -
Arctic Monkeys
Geffen Records -
Elastica


Madchester is a British music scene that developed in the Manchester area, England, towards the late 1980s and into the early 1990s.


The music that emerged from the scene mixed alternative rock, psychedelic rock and electronic dance music.


The Haçienda
was a nightclub and music venue in Manchester, England.


Bands associated with Madchester were The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays and The Charlatans
- Britpop came about in the 90s and it enjoyed more success in the mainstream, with lighter themes and a more
pop orientated
sound than Indie music. Bands included
Oasis
,
Coldplay
and
The Verve

- Blur
had a chart battle with rival band
Oasis
in 1995 dubbed the
"Battle of Britpop"

- Grunge music came from America with bands such as
Nirvana
and
Alice in Chains
. It developed out of the
same ethos as Indie
music but with a different sound.

- Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include indie pop, jangle pop, C86, and lo-fi, among others
(sometimes)
Blur
Albums

Leisure (1991)
Modern Life is Rubbish (1993)

How were they influential?

- Incorporated the sounds of
Madchester
and
shoegazing.

- The band
helped to popularise the Britpop genre
and achieved
mass popularity in the UK,
aided by a chart battle with rival band Oasis in 1995 dubbed the
"Battle of Britpop".

- The "
Song 2
" single, brought Blur
mainstream success in the United States.

Style

- Similar to the stone roses - the same
swirling, pseudo-psychedelic guitar pop
, only with louder guitars.

- They established
Brit-pop

Songs

- Park Life
- Country House
Elastica
Albums

Surfer Rosa (1988)
Where is my mind
Doolittle (1989)
Tame

How were they influential?

- American band from Boston in Massachusetts but were
more successful in the UK
and Europe

- Male and female vocals which was
uncommon
in Indie music

- The song
Where is my mind
featured on the 1999 film
Fight Club
starring Brad Pitt.

- Signed with UK Indie label:
4AD

- Music contained
erractic use of dynamics

Housemartins
Albums
Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) - 1987
Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches - 1990

How were they influential?
- Part of the
Madchester
Movement

- Performer
Bez
who was hired for his bizarre
dancing with Maracas
was a well known member of the band

- Influenced many bands around the North West of the UK including Oasis

- Their music had
psychedelic influences
Albums
- Elastica - 1995

- The Menace - 2000

How were they influential?

- Their debut album became the
fastest-selling debut album
since Oasis' Definitely Maybe and kept the position for another 10 years

- Ex-members of the band
Suede

- One of the few
female indie rock bands

Style

- English alternative rock band
that played
punk rock, post-punk and new wave-influenced music.

- The band's songs are
pop-oriented
and
hook-driven

- Use of electric guitar and synths

Songs

- Stutter

- Connections
Albums
London 0 Hull 4 -1986
Now that's what I call quite good - 1988

How were they influential?

- At the end of 1986 they had their only UK No. 1 single on 16 December with a cover version of Isley Brothers' "Caravan of Love"

- Jangly Pop band that were very popular in the 1980ss

Style

- Traditional
'60s-style guitar pop
overlaid with
soul vocals

- Their music contains a
cappella material
e.g
. caravan of love
which was
influenced by Gospel and Doo-wop

- Lyrics
were a mixture of
Marxist politics and Christianity,
reflecting
singer Paul Heaton's beliefs

Songs

- Caravan of love
- Happy Hours
Pulp
Albums

His n Hers - 1994
Different class - 1995

How were they influential?

-
Different Class
spawned
four top ten singles
, including "Common People" and "Sorted for E's & Wizz", both of which reached number two in the UK Singles Chart.

- Pulp fashioned a distinctive, stylish sound that made camp into something
grand and glamorous

Style

Their style has touched nearly every indie rock touchstone from
post-punk
to
dance.
They also embraced the
Brit pop style

- Pulp's signature sound is a fusion of David Bowie and Roxy Music's
glam rock, disco, new wave, acid house, Europop, and British indie rock
.

- The group's
cheap synthesizers and sweeping melodies
reflect the lyrical obsessions of lead vocalist Jarvis Cocker, who alternates between
sex
and
sharp funny portraits
of
working class misfits
e.g.
something's changed.

Songs

- Common People
- Disco 2000
The Charlatans
Albums

Some friendly (1990)
The only one I know
The Charlatans UK (1995)
Feel flows

How were they influential?

- Helped
establish
the
madchester
movement but were seen as the
also-rans
when compared to Stone Roses (meaning they weren't as popular)

- More
traditional
than other madchester bands such as the Happy Mondays

Style

-
Used
dance-oriented rhythms
and
layers of swirling organs
associated with
60s psychesdelia

- Their sound was defined by Rob Collin's
keyboards
, especially the
hammond organ
for example on
the only one I know
and
indian rope

- Their comeback album in '95 called
The Charlatans UK
embraced the
Brit-pop movement
, but also underground
dance and techno
, as well as their mainstay of
classic rock.

Songs

- One to another
- The only one I know
- Indian rope
Genres that led up to Indie Rock
Punk
Post-Punk
New Wave
Hardcore
Indie-Pop
Shoegaze
Sub-genres
of Indie Rock
Jangle-Pop
C86
Lo-fi
Loud
Raw/DIY
Distorted Guitars


The Sex Pistols
The Clash
Punk
Use of synths
More complex than punk
More polished than punk


Elastica
Elvis Costello
New Wave
Use of synths
Experimentation
Dub techniques such as reverb

Joy Division
The Cure
Post-Punk
Very fast
Screaming vocals
Emphasis on rhythm

Bad Religion
Minor threat
Hardcore
Indie-Pop
Jangly guitars
60s pop melodies
Understated vocals

The Smiths
Primal Scream
Madchester
Madchester
Pseudo-psychedelia
Dance music

The Stone Roses
The Happy Mondays
The Charlatans
Shoegaze
Dreamy pop
Reverberent, distorted guitars
Wall of sound effect

Blur
My Bloody Valentine

C86
C86 was a cassette tape released by NME in 1986 which was a compilation of songs from UK bands on independent labels.

The music featured jangly guitars and pop melodies.

C86 became a shorthand for music with a primitive underachieving approach


CD86 was released in 2006, which celebrated the birth of Indie Pop
Lo-fi
Degraded quality
Poor recording equipment e.g. the Tascam 4-track

Blur
Modest Mouse
60s pop melodies
Jangly guitars
Power pop-inspired song structures

The Byrds
REM
Jangle-Pop
Primal Scream
Albums

Sonic Flower Groove (1987)
Primal Scream (1989)
Screamadelica (1991)

How were they influential?

- The band were a key part of the mid-1980s
indie pop
scene, but eventually moved away from their more jangly sound, taking on more
psychedelic
and then
garage
rock influences, before incorporating a
dance music
element to their sound

- Bridged the gap between
indie rock
and
dance
by creating the
ultimate indie pop
and
dance fusion album
in
1991: Screamadelica

Style

- Had a
Jangly pop sound
when they released Sonic Flower Groove with songs such as
Love You

- Followed through on the
pop and acid house fusions
of the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays e.g. in their song
Loaded
in 1992

- Became more of a
dance
band in the 1990s with Screamadelica

Songs

- Loaded
- Rocks
- Movin' on up
Full transcript