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The Indie Scene - A Unique Subculture
Indie is more than just music... it's a scene.
Abbreviated from "independent," indie has become an entire genre that includes music, movies, clothing styles, and other facets of culture. It is characterized by its separation from commercial institutions and mainstream lines, and is often considered synonymous to alternative styles.
All about indie
Many track the beginning of the indie culture to the 1980s, and since then, it has attracted mostly youth with its unique and artistic trends. Today it has become so popular that it has grown from a niche to a part of mainstream society to where older individuals may empathize. There are certain subcultures that have found themselves a part of indie scene, including hippie, emo, grungers, mods, and recently even metalheads. Each of these groups have their own philosophies and beliefs.
Indie culture can be examined through the lenses listed below.
One may travel back to the '60s to find the beginnings of indie rock with such bands as The Who and The Clash. Once-obscure indie bands gained popularity in places such as New York City, including one of my favorite bands The Pixies. Others include REM, Sonic Youth, Lush, We Are Scientists, and even the Butthole Surfers. These bands tore up the scene, standing out from other artists of their time with their alternative, underground, often rebellious sound and style. Much of the '80s indie music found inspiration from predecessors such as REM and Velvet Underground.
'90s indie music found grunge bands such as Nirvana, punk bands like Green Day, and many other genres that emerged near the end of the decade.
The new millennium brought more emo, garage, and electronic bands. Some of my favorites include The Killers, Jimmy Eat World, and Death Cab for Cutie.
Indie fashion has one basic characteristic: it's different. Most indie youth can be found sporting vintage clothing, band attire, retro wear, skinny jeans, and even homemade clothing. Even though a lot of these youth would never be seen wearing big-name brand names, a lot of larger stores such as Forever 21, H&M, and Urban Outfitters will cater to this crowd and market a lot of unconventional designs, similar to things that could be found in a thrift store.
Indie films are typically produced independent of large studios and can include low-budget documentaries without big-name actors and actresses (though sometimes they may appear in these movies). The films do not aim to appeal to the mainstream and are often shockingly honest and realistic.
Many of today's better-known indie films include "Juno," "Little Miss Sunshine," and "The Science of Sheep."