Independent record companies are those that are not owned by one of the big four record and entertainment companies; Sony, Warner Bros, Universal and EMI.
An independent album is one that is released on an independent label, the opposite of a major label (owned by one of the big four).
Indie is used as an abbreviation of independent in any of the above contexts. An indie band is one that releases most of their albums on indie labels.
Indie music became an important counterculture in the eighties when the majors were reluctant to release (and fund) punk and new wave music that did not appear to have much commercial appeal. Indie labels sprang up and released music locally. What happened next was the music gradually got a larger audience and better distribution, and in the second half of the eighties the majors scrambled to sign indie bands (many by now playing "alternative" rock). At some point, the term indie began to be used figuratively to describe styles of music and bands that were reminiscent of eighties indie, whether the music in question was released by an independent label or not.
Nowadays "indie" is used to describe an absurdly wide range of music, and it has therefore become useless as a genre. When a metaphor begins to loose its grounding, it's about time to abandon it. "Indie" in the Forum title refers to music that is released independently: "Independent bands; the unsigned, the unheard, the great."
Last modified on 2008-12-03 05:19:27 by garedelyon