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Alternative Music Basics

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Alt-Rock 101. Learn the history of underground music and the albums that made it. Discover new, unknown genres. And the terminology to understand them.
  1. Alt-Rock 101
  2. Genres
  3. Albums to Start With
  4. Definitive Albums of the 1960s
  5. Definitive Albums of the 1970s
  1. Definitive Albums of the 1980s
  2. Definitive Albums of the 1990s
  3. Definitive Albums of the 2000s
  4. History of Alternative Music

Alt-Rock 101

Sonic Youth on 'The Simpsons'

The Basics of the basics. We ask the stupid questions so you don't have to.

Genres

Punk Rock Feminism

Don't know your shoegaze from your space-rock? Your twee from your C86? Learn more with our comprehensive studies of those many genres, from niche concerns to mass movements.

Albums to Start With

Neutral Milk Hotel 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea'

The basic building blocks of any alternative-minded record collection.

Definitive Albums of the 1960s

The Monks 'Black Monk Time'

The very first rumblings of a rock'n'roll underground.

Definitive Albums of the 1970s

Vashti Bunyan 'Just Another Diamond Day'

The radical records that broke the mold, moved music forward, and influenced generations of musicians.

Definitive Albums of the 1980s

Young Marble Giants 'Colossal Youth'

In the independently-minded '80s, alternative music came of age. A conservative political era inspired radical records whose rage still inspires to this day.

Definitive Albums of the 1990s

My Bloody Valentine 'Loveless'

The '90s found 'alternative music' turned into a depressing major-label commodity. Yet, during this grey age, these technicolor classics proved that there were still sonic frontiers yet unexplored.

Definitive Albums of the 2000s

Boredoms 'Vision Creation Newsun'

Alternative music rewrites itself into radical new shapes. Genres are blurred. The notion of the 'band' is rewritten. The internet levels the playing field.

History of Alternative Music

Lou Reed 'Metal Machine Music'

Some of the most infamous incidents, bizarre occurrences, and treasured anecdotes in indie music lore.

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