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Old 09-23-2011, 03:46 PM   #1
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Default thread for bisle to help us differentiate high and low alternative

??? i want a definitive list of high and low alternative bands so i can start tagging them on last.fm

so far i have

"High Alternative"

St. Vincent
The Smiths

"Low Alternative"
Sonic Youth
Dinosaur Jr
Sleater-Kinney

 
Old 09-23-2011, 03:50 PM   #2
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there's also mid-alternative.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:51 PM   #3
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can we focus here?

 
Old 09-23-2011, 03:52 PM   #4
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WHERE ARE THE FUCKING DEMOS ISLE

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:51 PM   #5
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REM?

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:13 PM   #6
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Are we talking like "high-brow" and "low-brow"?

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:16 PM   #7
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all the bands listed so far are "high-brow"

Creed is a "low-brow" alternative band

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:20 PM   #8
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I'm assuming the Smashing Pumpkins are the metric by which all these bands are judged

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:33 PM   #9
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fine, i'll play.

bear in mind that i mainly listen to high alternative, so if you want more examples of mid and low then it would be easier for you to just list bands for me to give my opinion on.


so, are you ready netphoria?

high alternative:

pumpkins
muse
garbage
beck
bjork
smiths
cure
cocteau twins
slowdive
deerhoof
slint
radiohead
white stripes
limp bizkit
muse
queens of the stone age
my vitriol
prince (sort of)
yeah yeah yeahs
joanna newsom
neutral milk hotel
jeff buckley
u2
queen
led zeppelin
frank zappa
black sabbath
doors
prodigy
nine inch nails
linkin park
rage against the machine
slipknot
korn
aphex twin
klaxons
beatles (sgt pepper era)
staind
system of a down
mars volta
beastie boys
nick cave
black rebel motorcycle club
coldplay (yep)
rolo tomassi
primus
arcade fire
god is an astronaut
red hot chili peppers
cardigans
gorillaz

mid alternative:

feeder
early radiohead
blur
placebo
bloc party
inme
biffy clyro
fightstar
hum
silversun pickups
sleater-kinney
seafood
pixies
incubus
killers
doves
snow patrol
stone roses
jane's addiction
weezer
foo fighters (some of their songs, eg times like these)
manic street preachers

low alternative:

pretty much the entire grunge and so-called "alternative" movement of the early 90s, except for the smashing pumpkins.


this is just the stuff i like to listen to. if you want me to appraise any other band then just ask. i can explain my choices for all the above, but first i want to see if any of you get where i'm going with this. i want to know if anyone else understands the common threads that these artists share which put them into one class or another. more than anything, its a matter of aesthetics, musical characteristics, strength of artist identity, and subliminal cultural influence.

Last edited by ??? : 09-25-2011 at 07:43 AM.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:38 PM   #10
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by ??? View Post
this is just the stuff i like to listen to. if you want me to appraise any other band then just ask. i can explain my choices for all the above, but first i want to see if any of you get where i'm going with this. i want to know if anyone else understands the common threads that these artists share which put them into one class or another. more than anything, its a matter of aesthetics, musical characteristics, strength of artist identity, and subliminal cultural influence.
Why would you inc1ude NMH to "high alternative" but exclude the other Elephant 6 bands?

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:43 PM   #11
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Why would you inc1ude NMH to "high alternative" but exclude the other Elephant 6 bands?
because i haven't heard them. just because i haven't included a band doesn't mean i won't once i know their music well enough.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ??? View Post
because i haven't heard them. just because i haven't included a band doesn't mean i won't once i know their music well enough.
Oh, you're a bandwagoner? That's cool.

EDIT:
Also why is Lincoln Park on "high-alternative"?

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:51 PM   #13
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maybe i am. or maybe NMH just made a record that completely outshone their peers and that was destined to be heard by a lot more people?

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:56 PM   #14
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maybe i am. or maybe NMH just made a record that completely outshone their peers and that was destined to be heard by a lot more people?
lol

You didn't answer my question: Why would you put a contrived band formed by a record label on a list supposedly consisting of "high-alternative"?

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:59 PM   #15
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that is perhaps the most nonsensical list I have ever seen, and Catherine Wheel posts here

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by soniclovenoize View Post
lol

You didn't answer my question: Why would you put a contrived band formed by a record label on a list supposedly consisting of "high-alternative"?
i just saw your edit. i don't have time to defend all my choices, but since you're here first, i'll do yours. the term "alternative" has many connotations. some use the word interchangeably with "independent", which i don't agree with. it makes little difference that they were put together by a record company. "alternative" describes music and aesthetics. "Lincoln" Park, like Limp Bizkit, are better known as rap metal, but ultimately, they are alternative. They have a fairly strong band identity (this doesn't mean people know the individual members, just that the public has a strong mental image of what "Linkin Park" is), and that is also reflected in their songs, with the double vocalists etc. Even if you don't like the style, their music has a character which sets them apart from other bands and they enjoy continued success pretty much on the strength of that. They're still basically popular off the back of their first album. The point is, they weren't just a five-minute wonder who were cynically capitalizing on the nu-metal movement, and for whatever reason they continue to resonate with people ten years later. So for me, their "integrity" isn't in question. Musically, they are alternative because their tunes weren't based on totally generic metal riffs, and they tastefully blend the rock elements with atmospheric sample-based stuff and manga aesthetics in their visual output. They haven't evolved since Hybird Theory but they're individual and accomplished at what they do. Alternative.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ??? View Post
i just saw your edit. i don't have time to defend all my choices, but since you're here first, i'll do yours. the term "alternative" has many connotations. some use the word interchangeably with "independent", which i don't agree with. it makes little difference that they were put together by a record company. "alternative" describes music and aesthetics. "Lincoln" Park, like Limp Bizkit, are better known as rap metal, but ultimately, they are alternative. They have a fairly strong band identity (this doesn't mean people know the individual members, just that the public has a strong mental image of what "Linkin Park" is), and that is also reflected in their songs, with the double vocalists etc. Even if you don't like the style, their music has a character which sets them apart from other bands and they enjoy continued success pretty much on the strength of that. They're still basically popular off the back of their first album. The point is, they weren't just a five-minute wonder who were cynically capitalizing on the nu-metal movement, and for whatever reason they continue to resonate with people ten years later. So for me, their "integrity" isn't in question. Musically, they are alternative because their tunes weren't based on totally generic metal riffs, and they tastefully blend the rock elements with atmospheric sample-based stuff and manga aesthetics in their visual output. They haven't evolved since Hybird Theory but they're individual and accomplished at what they do.
Your logic is flawed because they were in fact creating completely derivative music constructed to sell to the edgy teenage market, making slick radio-friendly pop music disguised as the hybrid between metal and rap, which had already been done before by a number of artists. Thus they were not an alternative by your definition, as artists were already crossing heavy rock with rap a decade before.

Furthermore, "integrity" is ALWAYS a concern, because actual "high-brow" alternative would have a pre-occupation with artistic integrity and could even exist as art instead of purely a commercial product--which is surely what Lincoln Park was created for.

Your retort?

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soniclovenoize View Post
Your logic is flawed because they were in fact creating completely derivative music constructed to sell to the edgy teenage market, making slick radio-friendly pop music disguised as the hybrid between metal and rap, which had already been done before by a number of artists. Thus they were not an alternative by your definition, as artists were already crossing heavy rock with rap a decade before.

Furthermore, "integrity" is ALWAYS a concern, because actual "high-brow" alternative would have a pre-occupation with artistic integrity and could even exist as art instead of purely a commercial product--which is surely what Lincoln Park was created for.

Your retort?
this thread is not about low-brow or high-brow. subjectively, people can enjoy high/mid/low alternative equally. its just a question of how strong you like your drink. i'm not trying to be a taste-maker here. but when discussing music, i think that people should recognize that there is an objective difference in the level of artistry that goes into the music that different artists make.

in the case of linkin park, maybe you are right about their corporate origins, but i believe that on the strength of their music, which is very powerful, individual and well-made, that they have transcended the criticism they initially received for being commercial. they're just a good band, they write their own songs, and they are popular. if they were created to sell a few more tshirts at hot topic back in 2001, that hardly matters now. people go to see them for their music, which they make themselves. isn't that what counts?

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:50 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ??? View Post
this thread is not about low-brow or high-brow. subjectively, people can enjoy high/mid/low alternative equally. its just a question of how strong you like your drink. i'm not trying to be a taste-maker here. but when discussing music, i think that people should recognize that there is an objective difference in the level of artistry that goes into the music that different artists make.

in the case of linkin park, maybe you are right about their corporate origins, but i believe that on the strength of their music, which is very powerful, individual and well-made, that they have transcended the criticism they initially received for being commercial. they're just a good band, they write their own songs, and they are popular. if they were created to sell a few more tshirts at hot topic back in 2001, that hardly matters now. people go to see them for their music, which they make themselves. isn't that what counts?

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:51 PM   #20
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LOL MUSE

LOL

CARRIE BROWNSTEIN FUCKING RULES

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:12 PM   #21
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This thread is a major lolocaust.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:17 PM   #22
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garbage - grunge band, second rate

deerhoof - i like them, good call

white stripes - i like that but if you're drawing a line between them being high and sleater-kinney being low you're an idiot.

rage against the machine - again, love this band. But SONIC. YOUTH. is below rage?

slipknot - metal

korn, limp bizkit, linkin park - being controversial so you can bring out the big guns

you're using popularity, not originality, to determine who is "high" which is a "taste-maker" phrase. It indicates that you have more regard for this list than the middle and low brow stuff, even if you indulge that you may enjoy low brow things so whatever. The entire concept you just put forth qualifies for Sleater-Kinney as being unique and different and "original" and all that mumbo jumbo but they haven't hit the popularity meter hard enough for you which is weird because you also say DEERHOOF who are PROFOUNDLY CULTY.

HOWEVER

THIS WHOLE TREE

STARTS WITH SONIC YOUTH, MAN, ARE YOU DAFT

(well that and Revolver and Velvet Underground but)

Last edited by Trotskilicious : 09-23-2011 at 08:22 PM.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:32 PM   #23
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this thread is not worth the pixels on the screen

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Trotskilicious View Post
garbage - grunge band, second rate

deerhoof - i like them, good call

white stripes - i like that but if you're drawing a line between them being high and sleater-kinney being low you're an idiot.

rage against the machine - again, love this band. But SONIC. YOUTH. is below rage?

slipknot - metal

korn, limp bizkit, linkin park - being controversial so you can bring out the big guns

you're using popularity, not originality, to determine who is "high" which is a "taste-maker" phrase. It indicates that you have more regard for this list than the middle and low brow stuff, even if you indulge that you may enjoy low brow things so whatever. The entire concept you just put forth qualifies for Sleater-Kinney as being unique and different and "original" and all that mumbo jumbo but they haven't hit the popularity meter hard enough for you which is weird because you also say DEERHOOF who are PROFOUNDLY CULTY.

HOWEVER

THIS WHOLE TREE

STARTS WITH SONIC YOUTH, MAN, ARE YOU DAFT

(well that and Revolver and Velvet Underground but)

first considered response so far! knew i could count on you trots.

being honest (because i'm just that kind of guy), your claim that i'm valuing popularity over originality is partially true. i am a bit of a populist. i believe that truly grand music will always achieve some degree of commercial success. i like artists that think big and want to capture the collective imagination- like bill. but i don't listen to these bands because they're big, i listen to them because they're good.

garbage - they were absolutely NEVER a grunge band. the guitars on their first album had a vaguely siamese dream flavour (sd itself was post-grunge) but they were always fused with drum loops, trip hop elements, and on later recordings they refined the purest alternative sound possible. they are simply unbeatable songwriters. i can't imagine why anyone would dislike them, unless you don't like music to be "too" perfect.

white stripes - ostensibly a blues rock band, but jw's writing just somehow makes it alternative. he plays alternative riffs in blues scales. the simple drums have their own aesthetic. the band's cartoony image completes the package.

limp bizkit - fred gets a lot of shit but he is one of the most expressive, acute lyricists out there and he has a great voice. wes borland is one of the most original and interesting guitarists of his generation, and my personal favourite. john otto is a incredibly underrated drummer. sam rivers is a killer bass player. dj lethal's contributions are always tasteful. LB are one of the best rock bands in the world.

linkin park - already said my piece on these guys. corporate puppets they may be, and perhaps their sound hasn't evolved in 10 years, but they made one fucking good album and that's enough.

korn - less consistent imo than limp but you have to see them not just as sad dreadlocked guys wearing adidas. you have to appreciate their character in the context of other bands that are around at the time. their music might be passe but their character and music are fairly unique. didn't they recently do a dubstep song? that was pretty fresh.

slipknot - yes, metal, but corey has a unique voice that gives the band a different edge. i hesitate to call them pop-metal but they're not as heavy or technical as REAL metal. and again, the image is partly what makes a band alternative. why rely solely on your music to get a message across when you can BE the message. as an artist your role is to reflect whatever you have inside, and theatrics can be an intergral part of doing that. i'd give them less points for creativity if they were just guys in tshirts and didn't use the masks.

and for the last time i like sonic youth (maybe i'll promote them to mid-alternative, just) but they're too samey. i find most of their music smug, droning and unmemorable. i find sleater kinney kindof forgettable too. its honestly OK music but ultimately its the kind of stuff a garage band would produce. alternative music should be ambitious and actively try to capture one's imagination.

velvet underground were definitely alternative in their own time.

Last edited by ??? : 09-23-2011 at 08:59 PM.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:54 PM   #25
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nevermind hes full of shit and its not funny if its not real

 
Old 09-23-2011, 09:17 PM   #26
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i can see that for sonic youth kind of but not s-k, they have some flopper albums that aren't that great but the woods and dig me out and all hands on the bad one, and even cuts from the loopy experimental One Beat... they do a lot of different stuff

you don't have to itemize each band, i like the white stripes just fine but if you don't want to seem like a tastemaker then maybe you should not use the phrase high alternative and just go back to "i like so and so"

that limp bizkit shit you wrote made me sick, fred durst is a misogynist man child and it completely taints the entire band.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:19 PM   #27
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i personally think that you're using simple sentimental and nostalgic value to judge bands and then threw a few new artists in there to show you're not a complete dinosaur

the elders must be respected, you don't even have the pixies on your lists

WIIIIIRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:37 PM   #28
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i can see that for sonic youth kind of but not s-k, they have some flopper albums that aren't that great but the woods and dig me out and all hands on the bad one, and even cuts from the loopy experimental One Beat... they do a lot of different stuff

you don't have to itemize each band, i like the white stripes just fine but if you don't want to seem like a tastemaker then maybe you should not use the phrase high alternative and just go back to "i like so and so"

that limp bizkit shit you wrote made me sick, fred durst is a misogynist man child and it completely taints the entire band.

i'll look deeper into s-k, based on your picks there. i'm sure you know what you're talking about.

i itemized each band because i consider them alternative (and high or low) for different reasons. i admit i kindof enjoy playing the outsider elitist and starting a totally futile debate for everyone's entertainment, but i really do feel that collectively our culture fails to recognize, or understand, the difference between art that says nothing and art that says a lot.

but then, that's exactly why its pointless trying to be a tastemaker. if everyone liked the same music - for "objective" reasons - then music would become uniform. its great to dream of a society that serves the highest common denominator but then there would be no cultural movement. take the pumpkins for example- huge following, but routinely ignored by the mainstream. its better to be the underdog, a relative minority, because there's always something to work against. its validating, in a sense.

as for limp bizkit, are you saying you just hate fred, or you hate the music? seriously listen to any of their tracks and tell me the tunes aren't great. i can't comment on fred's character but i think he's a born frontman. and that gives him licence to do silly shit. that's what rock is about.

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:38 PM   #29
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in the case of linkin park, maybe you are right about their corporate origins, but i believe that on the strength of their music, which is very powerful, individual and well-made, that they have transcended the criticism they initially received for being commercial. they're just a good band
http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q...ull/dogboy.jpg

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:40 PM   #30
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Quote:
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i personally think that you're using simple sentimental and nostalgic value to judge bands and then threw a few new artists in there to show you're not a complete dinosaur

the elders must be respected, you don't even have the pixies on your lists

WIIIIIRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
yeah, i'm on the fence about pixies. tempted to put them on the high list just for that fight club song.

and honestly only a handful of bands in the last 10 years have impressed me. 90s bands are magic to me.

i haven't heard wire.

 
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