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The 10 Best Indie Bands

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Showing 26-50 of 143 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jul 2, 2009 1:09:44 PM PDT
S. Rice says:
I'd like to add Antony and the Johnsons.

Posted on Jul 2, 2009 2:12:41 PM PDT
C. Laird says:
Los Campesinos!, Johnny Foreigner, the New Pornographers, Big d and the kids table,

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 10:35:01 PM PDT
hola says:
Laguardia- sort of like early radiohead but with some smashing pumpkins and just a touch of coldplay thrown in.

Posted on Aug 2, 2009 7:37:11 AM PDT
1. Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
2. Arcade Fire
3. Grizzly Bear
4. Arctic Monkey's
5. Bon Iver
6. Bloc Party
7. Noah And The Whale
8. Beruit
9. Florence And The Machine
10. Interpol

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 3, 2009 8:22:24 AM PDT
Hell Yes!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2009 10:27:08 PM PDT
Yeah, Band of Horses!!! Awesome!

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 12:10:43 AM PDT
D. Hall says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2009 12:48:32 PM PDT
J. L. Baker says:
Nickelback edgier than any of the bands mentioned above? I really hope you are being sarcastic.

My top ten:
The National
The Green Pajamas
The Kills
The Raveonettes
The Cliks
The Raconteurs (not sure if they are still considered indie or not)
Okkervil River
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Camera Obscura
The Decemberists

Others I'd consider
Dresden Dolls
The White Stripes (are they still indie?)
Of Montreal
Modest Mouse (probably no longer an indie band)
The Love Me Nots
Girl in a Coma

And, a few groups that I like what I heard, but have only heard a couple songs by each:
Mother Mother
The Lonelyhearts
The Dutchess and the Duke
Apples in Stereo
Blood Red Shoes
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Honey Honey
Miss Derringer

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 12:58:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 17, 2009 1:02:02 PM PDT
Justin Rice says:
These are bands that were, at one time, completely or mostly independent throughout their careers (that is, without a record label - or marketed through their own home made label):

Eric's Trip
Moon Socket
Black Flag
Chad Vangaalen
Dharma Bums

edit: I like how a lot of these bands being listed aren't independent by any stretch of the imagination. Just what are people thinking/smoking listing bands like The White Stripes?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2009 1:58:32 PM PDT
J. L. Baker says:
Bands like The White Stripes can be somewhat problematic when you ask about indie bands. What is your definition of indie? Until 2007 (Icky Thump), The White Stripes were signed to an indie label (V2) as were the Raconteurs. To be honest, until I checked just now, I was not aware that the White Stripes were signed to Warner Brothers. So, are the White Stripes indie because their first five albums were released by an indie label, or are they a major label because their most recent album was released by a major label?

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 2:46:36 PM PDT
1. Ha Ha Tonka-Just released their second album, and seem to be far from peaking. Like Kings of Leon with better vocals and lyrics--and only slightly less swagger. The first album is more Southern-focused, while the new one dabbles in existentialism with Dostoevsky references.

2. White Rabbits-In the same boat with just releasing their sophomore, which was produced by Brit Daniels. Musically somewhere between Spoon and The Walkmen.

3. TV on the Radio-Their last two albums were basically flawless. They'd be number one if I thought there was any way they could get better.

4. Franz Ferdinand-The third album blew away the slumpiness of their second--catchier than ever.

5. Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs/Sunset Rubdown-Two incredibly prolific Canadians front these three bands, and keep churning out wordy masterpieces.

6. The Walkmen-After all the hype they recieved after their second album, they've still been able to push themselves forward musically on numbers three and four, with each album having a unique presence.

7. Modest Mouse-They really aren't indie rock much anymore, but should be on any list dealing with the topic due to their being a flawless link between the Pixies and the new wave of imitators.

8. No Age-I'm really not a huge fan of these guys, but Nouns alone (and the potential it shows for the future) justifies them being here.

9. Bon Iver-Step One: Create a perfect debut; Step Two: Be confused about what to do afterwards, and land a lower spot on the list because of it.

10. Sonic Youth-They probably won't ever create another Murray Street, but they have remained solid, and, before they made Murray Street, people thought they were already entering Stones-esque mediocrity.

Honorable Mentions--Death Cab For Cutie/Deerhunter/Blind Pilot: Death Cab may no longer be indie, but their songwriting has never been better. Deerhunter make great noise, but are just too far removed from "the pop song" to get really rave reviews from me. Blind Pilot have achieved a great sound with their debut, but I have a feeling it won't last for some reason.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2009 2:57:30 PM PDT
Justin Rice says:
@ J.L.,

Check the "indie" record label The White Stripes used to belong to. Then check to see who owned the majority stake in them. More often than not, these so-called "indie" labels are actually majority owned by major corporate labels...which, effectively, is cheating the definition of independent.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2009 7:46:22 PM PDT
J. L. Baker says:

I was not aware of that particular bit of information, and repeated references (in media) to The White Stripes as an indie band did not prompt me to look farther. In this day and age, it is difficult to identify who is truly indie and who isn't. Upon further research, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are similar, and I don't think I would ever have thought of Franz Ferdinand as being indie.

Which brings us back to the question others have raised "How do we define an indie artist?" and, is the distinction significant (at the present time)?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2009 12:41:01 AM PDT
Justin Rice says:

Not too many people are. It didn't really occur to me until I started asking how all of these "independent" albums were so well stocked in my local Wal-Mart. My original assumption was that it was probably just a distribution deal struck between the indie label and some corporate behemoth (which in some cases is still true)....but after closer examination, I found out that some small labels were flat-out owned 49% or higher by the big music groups - which I found slightly interesting.

While there isn't a universally accepted definition (that I'm aware of), here's mine:

An independent band is one that either produces their music in it's entirety (from recording, to mixing, to album artwork, to distribution and sales of album) or mostly in it's entirety (they might rent a studio, hire a local mixer, hire a local artist for the album art, or sell their album on a small co-op label that sells other equally independent/obscure bands).

Black Flag is a good example of an indie band.

The band hosted their own label (SST records) which they distributed their own music with. They wrote their own catalog, distributed their own fliers, booked all their own concerts, and even made their own album art.

Basically, if a band is directly involved with a large part of making and marketing an album then that band can be considered "indie".

Remember, "indie rock" is NOT a sound! It denotes commercial status only!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2009 1:06:56 AM PDT
club 7 says:

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 6:11:31 AM PDT
M. Pusatory says:
American Relay, Rev. Deadeye, Becky Lee and Drunk Foot, The Limbs, CW Stoneking, Bad Veins, The Features, The Builders and the Butchers, Blu & Exile, Doomtree

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 10:36:41 PM PDT
ClydeNut says:
Neutral Milk Hotel needs to be on EVERYONE'S list.

So many bands wouldn't have existed without NMH's influence.

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 4:35:58 AM PDT
To name a few...
Film School
The Stills
The Veils
The Walkmen
The Dears
I Am Kloot
Kaiser Chiefs
El Cuarteto de Nos
Blonde Redhead
Arctic Monkeys

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 4:36:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 19, 2009 4:43:56 AM PDT
I Forgot The National!!!

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 9:39:50 AM PDT
nrafael says:
don´t forget Circa Survive & theSoundofAnimalsFighting... also Frodus from the 90s...

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 11:46:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 19, 2009 12:11:16 PM PDT
TJ says:
I don't have 10 indie bands (keeping in mind what "indie" means). As has been alluded to in other threads the music is kind of lacking originality, it all sounds the same to me. But I have found some "indie" bands I like and I am aware that some people might not consider them appropriate for this thread but here goes:
Free Diamonds
Gidgets GaGa
Velvet Acid Christ
The Birthday Massacre
London After Midnight
Pennywise (how Could I have forgotten them, a thousand lashes for me!)
I also like Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Mars Volta but I don't think they are "indie".

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2009 6:55:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 19, 2009 6:57:16 PM PDT
Hi Justin, interesting points you brought here.
However, I have some other points to discuss about the "indie" term.
First of all, there´s a lot of confussion on what "indie" means and of course I'm confused too. In order too add more "confussiosness" to this post, I'd like to add the term "Alternative" to this board. I usually tend to claim myself as an "alt-brit-pop-rock-indie lover" as the bounderies are very unaccurated. I agree with you in the sense that "indie" means that the band (or the artist) makes their own music, produces it and maintains in a way their own "music standars". However, I think we're talking about a sound, a "non stream" sound and it's here where the problem lies and gets even more complicated. It is a folk singer or a country group an "indie sound"? What about reggae, salsa or even classical bands? according to your definition, if they're not commercial they're indie...And it's then when I disagree a little bit little with you. I believe "indie" it's a sound. Indie labels where historically linked to the alt-pop-punk-rock scene, such as Joy Division, Siouxsie, and the greatest ones, The Smiths, all bands that were of course alternative as well. So, in a way, I believe the term has derivated in some many ways, but always as a pop-rock-alt sound.
Anyway, you've added a great point to this forum!!!! I salute you

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 10:00:00 PM PDT
Dennis says:
Just to add an incredible band that hasn't been mentioned -- Wussy. Their debut, Funeral Dress, is amazing; the two albums and 1 EP that followed are also chock full of tuneful goodness. Seriously, check them out, like now. They also have some videos on YouTube performing songs in an RV and a radio studio. Good, good stuff. I love this band.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2009 2:39:46 AM PDT

Nice list. I forgot to put the Stills on mine. Their debut Logic Will Break Your Heart is a great album, lots of effects and gloomy Echo & the Bunnymen-esque atmospheres on that one.

I haven't heard the follow up (With Feathers or something like that?) but I'd been warned about it... apparently much different!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2009 4:49:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 20, 2009 4:50:43 AM PDT
Hello Derek!
Didn't like without Feathers at all, but the new one, Oceans will rise, it's pretty good. It's not as good as their debut, but I think they're going now in the right direction.
Canadian bands have emerged with incredible sounds and diversity. Stills, Dears, Arcade Fire, Our Lady Peace, Hot Hot Heat, Infidels, Metric, Wolf Parade, just to name a few.
If you like stills or Interpol, p.e., try Wintersleep - Welcome to the night sky.
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Discussion in:  Alternative Rock forum
Participants:  113
Total posts:  143
Initial post:  Jun 13, 2009
Latest post:  2 days ago

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