|What Is Emo?|
During the 1980s, underground bands and labels built a network of distribution and touring that was independent of the mainstream music industry. Encompassing artists as diverse as Sonic Youth, the Meat Puppets, and the Replacements, 'alternative' came to be more about DIY ethics than any sort of strict stylistic similarities. It wasn?t until Nirvana?s Nevermind broke wide open in 1991, however, that the term became a glaring misnomer. Many alternative bands subsequently signed to major labels and became platinum-selling artists, which helped turn this once-underground movement into a full-blown phenomenon. Punk's existence began in 1976 when the Ramones emerged from CBGB's with a ramshackle image, fast rhythms, and a complete lack of musical prowess--a refreshing change from the often-overproduced (and overwrought) rock sounds so prevalent during the '70s. The Ramones? trip to England is said to have ignited the Sex Pistols into action; the Pistols took a more aggressive and nihilistic approach and spawned an equally fervent scene. Since then, there's been no shortage of disaffected and creative youths, and therefore the popularity of alternative, punk, new wave, and so-called 'indie rock' hasn?t waned a bit. Many exciting new sounds have emerged, from Pavement and Guided By Voices' lo-fi masterpieces to the post-hardcore art-rock of Fugazi.
Notable Artists: Nirvana, the Pixies, Gang of Four, the Clash