Numerous culture makers embarrassed themselves in the rush to exploit the most vital white youth culture in years. Grunge "fashion"--the perennial flannel shirt/combatboots/ripped jeans uniform of suburban burnouts everywhere--was suddenly used as an exotic novelty by designers.
Main Entry: 1al·ter·na·tive
Pronunciation: ol-'t&r-n&-tiv, al-
1 : ALTERNATE 1
2 : offering or expressing a choice
3 : different from the usual or conventional:as a : existing or functioning outside the established cultural, social, or economic system b : of, or relating to, or being rock music that is regarded as an alternative to conventional rock and is typically influenced by punk rock, hard rock, hip-hop, or folk music
- al·ter·na·tive·ly adverb
- al·ter·na·tive·ness noun
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Nineties term for counterculture, often of a non-oppositional nature. Current use of "alternative" in the music and youth-culture world originated in the late '70s and early '80s, when it described the strain of post-punk music cultivated by a growing, informal network of college radio stations. The word "alternative" already had a meaning related to culture: commonly associated with the independent, oppositional press of the late hippie era, this counterculture label also came to denote any lifestyle outside the mainstream. As college-rock favorites like R.E.M. and U2 became chart and stadium fixtures in the second half of the '80s, successive waves of newer, rawer bands inherited the "alternative" mantle. However, Nirvana's meteoric rise to the top of the charts in 1991-92 disrupted the ecosystem: suddenly alternative was a musical category as lucrative as hip-hop or metal, as were its country-associated fashions. Record companies, radio, and MTV embraced the "new" form, the Lollapalooza tours enshrined it, and marketers used it as youth bait to sell everything from cars to soft drinks to movies. For those who wrangled with the question "what is alternative?" there was no satisfactory answer-the term was now in the public domain, and dissent from the mainstream was rewarded within a fragmenting mass culture. Alternative - at obvious variance with the mainstream, especially regarding music, lifestyle and clothing. Clothing and the extent of facial piercings are usually the most apparent manifestations of underlying alternative sentiments. But like every other term that may have once had meaning, the term "alternative" has been co-opted by mainstream commercial culture. It isn't easy to maintain a rebellion when you find yourself winning every battle. As the name for a musical genr?, alternative is reserved for a type of college radio pop that typically breaks free of such rock and roll rules as the major/blues scales, the 4/4 rhythm, hi fidelity, and the need for rhyming lyrics. There is, however, plenty of "alternative" that is hard to distinguish from classic rock. These days much of the new rock and roll that mainstream rock stations play is stuff that would have been considered alternative only a year or two before.
Main Entry: heavy metal
: energetic and highly amplified electronic rock music having a hard beat
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
HEAVY METAL - a typically 80's style of music that features most of the characteristics of classic rock but with louder, more distorted guitars, ominous and driving rhythm, and screaming vocals about subjects such as drug use, war, religion, and problems with girlfriends. Most heavy metal bands also write sappy love ballads that find their way into mainstream radio play lists.
Heavy metal emerged in the late 60s mostly from bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Such bands tended to be "hard" in that they succeeded in torturing parents in ways that the Beatles just couldn't, but in most respects they were very different from one another. Later, bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden added to the genre as it expanded into and borrowed from pop. This culminated in the late 80s diversification of heavy metal into several completely different branches. There were the blues-based big haired glam metal bands such as Great White and Motley Crew that sang exclusively about babes, there were the attitude bands like Guns 'n' Roses who also sang about babes (with an emphasis on how easy they are to get into bed), there were the dark and mysterious alternative metal bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden that avoided glamour and sang about angst and other water sign issues, there were the bands like Living Colour, Fishbone and Faith No More that were either black or borrowed from rap and soul culture, and there were the fast bands like Slayer and Metallica that sent many a parent in search of an exorcist.
Although the origin of the term heavy metal is widely attributed to novelist William Burroughs, its use actually dates well back into the 19th century, when it referred to cannon or to power more generally. It also has been used to classify certain elements or compounds, as in the phrase heavy metal poisoning. Heavy metal appeared in the lyrics of Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild" (1968), and by the early 1970s rock critics were using it to refer to a specific style of music. Heavy metal has historically required one thing of its performers: long hair. Heavy metal musicians and fans came under severe criticism in the 1980s. Political and academic groups sprang up to blame the genre and its fans for causing everything from crime and violence to despondency and suicide. But defenders of the music pointed out that there was no evidence that heavy metal's exploration of madness and horror caused, rather than articulated, these social ills. The genre's lyrics and imagery have long addressed a wide range of topics, and its music has always been more varied and virtuosic than critics like to admit.
Heavy metal fragmented into subgenres (such as lite metal, death metal, and even Christian metal) in the 1980s.
SPEED METAL - a genr? of music typified by a continuous double-bass drum roll, high-speed distorted guitar rhythms, an almost silent bass, and screeched or groaned vocals concerning war, death, fighting, environmental abuse, brutality, and (in rare cases) lust. The main problem with most speed metal bands is that they still see a need to put guitar solos in their songs, and the guitar solos are always really bad and last entirely too long. Speed metal seems to be a result of a marriage between punk rock and heavy metal.
. Examples of speed metal bands: Kreator, Exodus, Nuclear Assault, Megadeth,