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C O U R S E 
History of Rock, 1970-Present
John Covach, University of Rochester
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
1990s Indie Rock and the Question of Selling Out
Notes taken on July 16, 2017 by Edward Tanguay
many of the bands from the 1980s indie scene went to major labels
ended up on MTV, went on tours
there was some push back on this, e.g. Pearl Jam protested Ticket Master's prices
the indie scene continued
a kind of alternative to the alternative
more dedicated to the idea of not selling out, keep it indie, keep it real, keep the do-it-yourself aesthetic
indie record labels
from New York
Chapel Hill
Sub Pop
continued involvement of college radio stations
College Music Journal (CMJ)
parallel to Billboard
wide circulation
alternative network
Lo-Fi movement
it cost a lot of money to make a quality sound production
indie artists would have to create lower quality
they embraced this idea and owned it
turned it into a mark of distinction, of authenticity
a way of showing: we haven't sold out, we can do something hip with this lo-fi approach
people moving back to cassette tapes
Stockton, California
Stephen Malkmus
Scott Kannberg
Slanted and Enchanted (1992)
Matador label
Guided by Voices
Dayton, Ohio
Robert Pollard
1994 album: Bee Thousand
Elliot Smith
born in Omaha
career emerged out of Portland, Oregon
1994 Roman Candle
Indie label: Cavity Search
recorded on a simply machine
Merge Records
Chapel Hill
Indie music brings together many styles
1991 No Pocky for Kitty
clear punk roots
guitar rhythm
Neutral Milk Hotel
1998 In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
singer songwriter
The Magnetic Fields
out of London
Stephin Merrits
69 Love Songs (1999)
singer songwriter theme
interesting and diverse
not a lot of air play
college radio and venues
a kind of a parallel culture, a shadow culture
Noise Pop
roots in the Velvet Underground
fascination for sound and sound effects
Yo La Tengo
Ira Kaplan
Georgia Hubley
1993 Painful
1997 I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One
Moby Octopad
My Bloody Valentine
1991 Loveless
classic of 90s Indie rock
When You Sleep
Only Shallow
blending country with rock
old country, honky-tonk country
authentic back-porch music
Uncle Tupelo
1990 No Depression
Screen Door
split up and form:
Jeff Tweedy
Son Volt
Jay Farrar
Ryan Adams
1995 Faithless Street
India label: Mood Food
Old 97's
Dallas, Texas
Bottle Rockets
Festus, Missouri
Beck Hanson
goes major label but tries to retain his integrity
much like R.E.M.
Los Angeles
1994 signs to Geffen Records
1993 "Loser"
Bong Load
when Geffen re-released it, it became very popular
1994 Mellow Gold
1996 Odelay
combines pop hooks with hip hop, country rock, soul, and classical music