The most important aspect of the indie music culture is discovering bands that nobody else likes. But how's an over-educated 32 year-old to decide between all of the weirdly named bands? Two helpful charts:
Just The Facts
- "Indie music" is a term most commonly associated with unsigned or minor label bands that have a folk/alt/rock/electronic sound.
- In addition to liking music that nobody else does, the one thing that unites the indie scene is a willingness to wear clothes nobody else would be caught dead in.
- The favored environment for indie music culture is festivals; however it can be found in clubs, thrift stores and Urban Outfitters.
Cracked on Indie Music
Indie music, and its surrounding culture, can introduce you to beautiful noise, give you a social life, touch your emotions, and if you are a guy...make it possible for you to court* girls that would otherwise be way out of your league. Yes...Indie music is kinda like magic in some ways....bearded magic.
*Indie slang for fuck
Fans of indie music, or "indians" as they like to be called**, are passionate about everything. They discover a life changing band three times a year, they are involved in a constant quest to individualize their look, and have to keep up with a hectic concert schedule. It's way more work than it looks. So let's take a deeper look at a few of the more important aspects of indie music and culture.
** not true and possibly offensive term
The first thing an indie music fan needs is a stable of bands to love. (See flowchart above for official process.) If you do not have time for the flowchart then use the shortcut method of basing your fandom purely on the band's name (see other chart above).
Once an indie fan has established a solid stable of favorite bands, the next step is to support / experience those bands in a live setting.
Festivals and Shows
These are the lifeblood of the indie scene. Depending on the level of dedication one can expect to attend anywhere between two and 20 shows a month. These shows will typically be in old theaters, outdoors, or in small cramped clubs.
Shows are decent for what they accomplish (i.e. seeing the bands you like), but they have many downfalls. They have time schedules, they are in a confined space, the acoustics of each environment are completely different so a band's sound can change depending on where they play, there are lines for beer and bathrooms, and the tickets are overpriced. They definitely lack the indie spirit that this scene craves. The cure for this is to attend the defining event of indie music; the music festival.
Music festivals allow fans to see anywhere between dozens and hundreds of bands spread over one or more days. They overcome all the downfalls of club shows except the lines, overpriced tickets, time schedules, acoustic problems...ummm...but did we mention that they are out-fucking-doors (usually).
and really fucking crowded...but in a good way......
There are far too many festivals to list here but it is an experience that every indie fan treasures. Plus if you go to one of the really big ones that have upward of 100 bands performing, you get the feather in your cap (another reason they are called "indians") of having a bomb to drop on your friends in the future. Because (and this cannot be stressed enough), having a friend mention a band to you and being able to respond with "seen em live" is the crowning achievement for indie music fans. To an indie, it feels like 100 orgasms covered in chocolate set to a Radiohead soundtrack. You would have to attend far too many small shows to gain the clout you get from going to one festival.
I'm sure by now you are a little irritated at the lack of follow up on the earlier statement about indie music leading to comingling with hot girls....
Cute Indie Girls with Ugly Indie Guys
When at indie shows and festivals one thing you will be struck by is the looks discrepancy within many of the couples. It is not at all uncommon to see cute girls sporting tight clothes and pixie hairstyles holding hands with what looks like a homeless man. The motivation for these girls to couple with such visually unappealing guys can vary from wanting to piss off their parents, all the way to really wanting to piss off their parents.
But the lesson guys everywhere need to take from this is: If you rank anywhere from ugly to average on the looks scale...grow a damn beard, hit the thrift store, get some glasses, find some bands to like and some shows to go to (see charts above)....then buckle up and enjoy the cute indie girl ride. Here are some convincing visuals:
beard + glasses + retro suit
All these two require of you is that you have shoulders
No more evidence should be needed.