The Moers Festival is an annual international music festival in Moers, Germany. The festival has changed from concentrating on free jazz to including world and pop music, though it still invites many avant-garde jazz musicians. Performers at Moers include Lester Bowie, Fred Frith, Jan Garbarek, Herbie Hancock, Abdullah Ibrahim, David Murray, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor; the festival is named "mœrs festival" with lowercase letters. The festival was founded in 1971 by Burkhard Hennen. Three years he formed Moers Music to sell performances recorded at the festival. In the early years the festival took place in the paved yard of the castle. In 1975 it was moved to a nearby park because of increased attendance. After a few years outdoors, it moved to a large venue. African Dance Night was added in 1985. Musicians such as Mory Kanté, Salif Keita, Cheb Mami, Youssou N'Dour played there. After the artistic director changed in 2005, the event was discontinued. In 2005, after 34 years as artistic director, Hennen handed the job to Reiner Michalke.
After Michalke, the position went to a musician who grew up in Moers. Due to financial problems in the 2000s, the festival was reduced to three days. 1974: Anthony Braxton – Solo: Live at Moers Festival 1974: Anthony Braxton – Quartet: Live at Moers Festival 1974: Frank Wright Quartet - Unity 1976: Anthony Braxton and George Lewis – Elements of Surprise 1976: John Surman – Live at Moers Festival 1977: World Saxophone Quartet – Point of No Return 1978: Phillip Wilson Quartet – Live at Moers Festival 1978: Wadada Leo Smith – The Mass on the World 1979: David Murray/Sunny Murray Trio – Live at Moers 1987: Reichlich Weiblich – Live at Moers Festival 87 1993: Jamaaladeen Tacuma with Basso Nouveau – The Night of Chamber Music 1993: Richard Teitelbaum – Cyberband 2005: James Choice Orchestra – Live at Moers Official website
William Earl "Bootsy" Collins is an American musician and singer-songwriter. Rising to prominence with James Brown in the early 1970s, with Parliament-Funkadelic, Collins's driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk, he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. Collins was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 26, 1951, he said that his mother named him "Bootsy". "I asked her why," he explained to a journalist, "and she just said,'Because you looked like a Bootsy.' I left it at that."His brother Phelps "Catfish" Collins was a musician. He and Bootsy were once part of The Pacemakers. Bootsy Collins has maintained a strong connection with Cincinnati. With his elder brother Phelps "Catfish" Collins, Frankie "Kash" Waddy, Philippé Wynne, Collins formed a funk band, The Pacemakers, in 1968. In March 1970, after most of the members of James Brown's band quit over a pay dispute, The Pacemakers were hired as Brown's backing band and they became known as The J.
B.'s. Although they worked for Brown for only 11 months, the original J. B.'s played on some of Brown's most intense funk recordings, including "Get Up Sex Machine", "Bewildered", "Super Bad", "Soul Power", "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing", two instrumental singles, the much-sampled "The Grunt" and "These Are the J. B.'s". In regards to his tenure working for James Brown, Bootsy stated: "He treated me like a son, and being out of a fatherless home, I needed that father figure and he played up to it. I mean, Good Lord; every night after we played a show, he called us back to give us a lecture about how horrible we sounded. “Nah, not on it, son. I didn’t hear the one. You didn’t give me the one.” He would tell me this at every show. One night, we knew we wasn’t sounding good – we were off – and he calls us back there and said, “Uh huh, now that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Y’all was on it tonight. Y’all hit the one.” My brother and I looked at each other like, “This mother has got to be crazy.” We knew in our soul that we wasn't all that on that show.
So I started figuring out his game, man. By telling me that I wasn’t on it, he made me practice harder. So I just absorbed what he said and used it in a positive way." After parting ways with James Brown, Collins returned to Cincinnati and formed House Guests with his brother Phelps Collins, Rufus Allen, Clayton "Chicken" Gunnels, Frankie Waddy, Ronnie Greenaway and Robert McCullough. The House Guests released "What So Never the Dance" and another single on the House Guests label, as well as a third as The Sound of Vision on the House Guests label. Next Collins moved to Detroit, after Philippé Wynne suggested joining The Spinners, for whom Wynne had been singing. However, following the advice of singer and future Parliament member Mallia Franklin, Collins had another choice. Franklin there introduced both Collins brothers to George Clinton, 1972 saw both of the Collins brothers, along with Waddy, join Funkadelic. Collins played bass on most of Funkadelic and all of Parliament's albums through the early 1980s, garnering several songwriting credits as well.
In 1976 Collins, Waddy, Joel Johnson, Gary "Mudbone" Cooper, Robert Johnson and The Horny Horns formed Bootsy's Rubber Band, a separate touring unit of Clinton's P-Funk collective. The group recorded five albums together, the first three of which are considered to be among the quintessential P-Funk recordings; the group's 1978 album Bootsy? Player of the Year reached the top of the R&B album chart and spawned the #1 R&B single "Bootzilla". Like Clinton, Collins took on several alter egos, from Casper the Funky Ghost to Bootzilla, "the world's only rhinestone rockstar monster of a doll", all as parts of the evolving character of an alien rock star who grew more bizarre as time went on, he adopted his trademark "space bass" around this time. Collins released two 1980 albums, his first "solo" album "Ultra-Wave", Sweat Band, on George Clinton's Uncle Jam label with a group billed as Bootsy's Sweat Band, he was credited for co-producing the debut of P-Funk spinoff Zapp. In 1984, he collaborated with Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads to produce "Five Minutes", a dance record sampled and edited from Ronald Reagan's infamous "We begin bombing in five minutes" speech.
The record was credited to "Bonzo goes to Washington". After a nearly five-year hiatus, he had a comeback in 1988. What's Bootsy Doin'? Flaunted a new sound that foreshadowed the 1990s, such as the dance floor smash "Party on Plastic". Laswell introduced Collins to Herbie Hancock; the techno-funk they recorded featured turntables for scratch appeal, the smoothly-stylized vocals of Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner of chart-topping Ohio Players. These were the first of many collaborations between Laswell and Collins on many albums and projects, with the prolific producer using Bootsy as a bassist but sometimes as a rhythm guitarist. In 1990, Collins collaborated with Deee-Lite on their biggest hit "Groove Is in the Heart", he contributed additional vocals. Although he appeared in the music video playing the bass, the bassline in the song is a sample of a Herbie Hancock song called "Bring Down the Birds"
John Zorn is an American composer, record producer and multi-instrumentalist with hundreds of album credits as performer and producer across a variety of genres including jazz, hardcore, surf, soundtrack and improvised music. He incorporates diverse styles in his compositions, which he identifies as avant-garde or experimental. Zorn was described by Down Beat as "one of our most important composers". Zorn established himself within the New York City downtown music movement in the mid-1970s, performing with musicians across the sonic spectrum and developing experimental methods of composing new music. After releasing albums on several independent US and European labels, Zorn signed with Elektra Nonesuch and received wide acclaim with the release of The Big Gundown, an album reworking the compositions of Ennio Morricone, he attracted further attention worldwide with the release of Spillane in 1987 and Naked City in 1990. After spending a decade travelling between Japan and the US, he made New York his permanent base and established his own record label, Tzadik, in the mid-1990s.
Tzadik enabled Zorn to maintain independence from the mainstream music industry and ensured the continued availability of his growing catalog of recordings, allowing him to prolifically record and release new material, issuing several new albums each year, as well as promoting the work of many other musicians. Zorn has led the hardcore bands Naked City and Painkiller, the Jewish music-inspired jazz quartet Masada, composed 613 pieces as part of the three Masada songbooks that have been performed by an array of groups, composed concert music for classical ensembles and orchestras, produced music for opera, sound installations and documentary. Zorn has undertaken many tours of Europe and the Middle East performing at festivals with many other musicians and ensembles that perform his diverse output. John Zorn was born in New York City and learned piano and flute as a child, his family had diverse musical tastes: his mother, listened to classical and world music, his father, Henry Zorn, was interested in jazz, French chansons, country music, his older brother collected doo-wop, 1950s rock and roll records.
Zorn attended the United Nations International School from kindergarten to high school associating with school friends from many different cultures. He spent his teenage years exploring classical music, film music, and, "listening to The Doors and playing bass in a surf band." He acquired an interest in experimental and avant-garde music after buying a record by Mauricio Kagel in 1968 at the age of fifteen. He taught himself orchestration and counterpoint by transcribing scores and studied composition under Leonardo Balada. Zorn started playing the saxophone after discovering Anthony Braxton's album For Alto when he was studying composition at Webster College in St. Louis, where he attended classes taught by Oliver Lake. While still at Webster, he incorporated elements of free jazz, avant-garde and experimental music, film scores, performance art and the cartoon scores of Carl Stalling into his first recordings which were released as First Recordings 1973. Zorn dropped out of college and, following a stint on the West Coast, moved to Manhattan where he gave concerts in his apartment and other small NY venues, playing saxophone and a variety of reeds, duck calls and other instruments.
Zorn immersed himself in the underground art scene, assisting Jack Smith with his performances and attending plays by Richard Foreman. He founded a performance art project called the Theatre of Musical Optics in 1975 and became a major participant in the downtown music scene as a composer and producer of music that challenged the confines of any single musical genre. Zorn's early major compositions included several game pieces described as "complex systems harnessing improvisers in flexible compositional formats"; these compositions "involved strict rules, role playing, prompters with flashcards, all in the name of melding structure and improvisation in a seamless fashion". Zorn's game pieces were titled after sports, include Track & Field, Lacrosse, Curling, Hockey, Fencing and Archery, several of which were recorded and released on Eugene Chadbourne's Parachute label, becoming the first albums under Zorn's leadership, his most enduring game piece is Cobra, composed in 1984 and first released on album in 1987 and in subsequent versions in 1992, 1994 and 2002, revisited in performance many times.
In the early 1980s, Zorn was engaged in improvised performance which included "blowing duck calls in buckets of water at fringe venues" as both a solo performer and with other like-minded artists. Zorn's first solo saxophone recordings were released in two volumes as The Classic Guide to Strategy in 1983 and 1986 on the Lumina label. Zorn's early small group improvisations are documented on Locus Solus which featured Zorn with various combinations of other improvisers including Christian Marclay, Arto Lindsay, Wayne Horvitz, Ikue Mori, Anton Fier. Ganryu Island featured a series of duets by Zorn with Michihiro Sato on shamisen, which received limited release on the Yukon label in 1984. Zorn has subsequently released these recordings as CDs on Tzadik making them more available than the original vinyl pressings. Zorn's breakthrough recording was 1985's acclaimed The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays the Music of Ennio Morricone, where Zorn offered radical arrangements of music from Ennio Morri
Experimental rock is a subgenre of rock music which pushes the boundaries of common composition and performance technique or which experiments with the basic elements of the genre. Artists aim to liberate and innovate, with some of the genre's distinguishing characteristics being improvisational performances, avant-garde influences, odd instrumentation, opaque lyrics, unorthodox structures and rhythms, an underlying rejection of commercial aspirations. From its inception, rock music was experimental, but it was not until the late 1960s that rock artists began creating extended and complex compositions through advancements in multitrack recording. In 1967, the genre was as commercially viable as pop music, but by 1970, most of its leading players had incapacitated themselves in some form. In Germany, the krautrock subgenre merged elements of improvisation and psychedelic rock with avant-garde and contemporary classical pieces. In the 1970s, significant musical crossbreeding took place in tandem with the developments of punk and new wave, DIY experimentation, electronic music.
Funk, jazz-rock, fusion rhythms became integrated into experimental rock music. The first wave of 1980s experimental rock groups had few direct precedents for their sound. In the decade, avant-rock pursued a psychedelic aesthetic that differed from the self-consciousness and vigilance of earlier post-punk. During the 1990s, a loose movement known as post-rock became the dominant form of experimental rock; as of the 2010s, the term "experimental rock" has fallen to indiscriminate use, with many modern rock bands being categorized under prefixes such as "post-", "kraut-", "psych-", "noise-". Although experimentation had always existed in rock music, it was not until the late 1960s that new openings were created from the aesthetic intersecting with the social. In 1966, the boundaries between pop music and the avant-garde began to blur as rock albums were conceived and executed as distinct, extended statements. Self-taught rock musicians in the middle and late 1960s drew from the work of composers such as John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio.
Academic Bill Martin writes: "in the case of imitative painters, what came out was always derivative, whereas in the case of rock music, the result could be quite original, because assimilation and imitation are integral parts of the language of rock." Martin says that the advancing technology of multitrack recording and mixing boards were more influential to experimental rock than electronic instruments such as the synthesizer, allowing the Beatles and the Beach Boys to become the first crop of non-classically trained musicians to create extended and complex compositions. Drawing from the influence of George Martin, the Beatles' producer, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, music producers after the mid 1960s began to view the recording studio as an instrument used to aid the process of composition; when the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds was released to a four-month chart stay in the British top 10, many British groups responded to the album by making more experimental use of recording studio techniques.
In the late 1960s, groups such as the Mothers of Invention, the Velvet Underground, the Fugs, the Beatles, the Jimi Hendrix Experience began incorporating elements such as avant-garde music, sound collage, poetry in their work. Historian David Simonelli writes that, further to the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows", the band's February 1967 double A-side single, pairing "Strawberry Fields Forever" with "Penny Lane", "establish the Beatles as the most avant-garde composers of the postwar era". Aside from the Beatles, author Doyle Greene identifies Frank Zappa, the Velvet Underground, Plastic Ono Band, Captain Beefheart, Pink Floyd, the Soft Machine and Nico as "pioneers of avant-rock". In addition, The Quietus' Ben Graham described duos the Silver Apples and Suicide as antecedents of avant-rock. In the opinion of Stuart Rosenberg, the first "noteworthy" experimental rock group was the Mothers of Invention led by composer Frank Zappa, who professor Kelly Fisher Lowe claims "set the tone" for experimental rock with the way he incorporated "countertextural aspects... calling attention to the recordedness of the album."
This would be reflected in other contemporary experimental rock LPs, such as the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and Smile, the Who's The Who Sell Out and Tommy, the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; the Velvet Underground were a "groundbreaking group in experimental rock", according to Rosenberg, "even further out of step with popular culture than the early recordings of the Mothers of Invention." The band were playing experimental rock in 1965 before other significant countercultural rock scenes had developed, pioneering avant-rock through their integration of minimalist rock and avant-garde ideas. The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's inspired a new consideration for experimental rock as commercially viable music. Once the group released their December 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour, author Barry Faulk writes, "pop music and experimental rock were synonymous, the Beatles stood at the apex of a progressive movement in musical capitalism"; as progressive rock developed, experimental rock acquired notoriety alongside art rock.
By 1970, most of the musicians, at the forefront of experimental rock had incapacitated themselves. From on, the ideas and work of British artist and former Roxy Music member Brian Eno—which suggested that ideas from the art world, including those of experimental music and the avant-garde, should be deployed in the context of experimental rock—were a key innovation throughout the decade. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Germany's "krautrock"
Jeremy Webster "Fred" Frith is an English multi-instrumentalist and improvisor. Best known for his guitar work, Frith first came to attention as one of the founding members of the English avant-rock group Henry Cow, he was a member of the groups Art Bears and Skeleton Crew. He has collaborated with a number of prominent musicians, including Robert Wyatt, Derek Bailey, the Residents, Lol Coxhill, John Zorn, Brian Eno, Mike Patton, Lars Hollmer, Bill Laswell, Iva Bittová, Jad Fair, the ARTE Quartett, Bob Ostertag, he has composed several long works, including Traffic Continues and Freedom in Fragments. Frith produces most of his own music, has produced many albums by other musicians, including Curlew, the Muffins, Etron Fou Leloublan, Orthotonics. Frith is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel's award-winning 1990 documentary Step Across the Border, he appears in the Canadian documentary Act of God, about the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning. Frith has contributed to a number of music publications, including New Musical Express and Trouser Press, has conducted improvising workshops across the world.
Frith's career spans over four decades and he appears on over 400 albums. He still performs throughout the world. Frith is Professor of Composition in the Music Department at Mills College in Oakland, California, he lives in the United States with his wife, German photographer Heike Liss, their children, Finn Liss and Lucia Liss. Frith was awarded the 2008 Demetrio Stratos Prize for his career achievements in experimental music; the prize was established in 2005 in honour of experimental vocalist Demetrio Stratos, of the Italian group Area, who died in 1979. In 2010 Frith received an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England in recognition of his contribution to music. Frith is the brother of Simon Frith, a music critic and sociologist, Chris Frith, a psychologist at University College London. Frith was born in Heathfield in Sussex, England into a family where music was considered an essential part of life, he became a member of his school orchestra. But at 13 he switched to guitar after watching a group imitating a popular instrumental band at the time, the Shadows.
He decided to learn how to get into a band. Frith taught himself guitar from a book of guitar chords and soon found himself in a school group called The Chaperones, playing Shadows and Beatles covers, but when Frith started hearing blues music from the likes of Snooks Eaglin and Alexis Korner it changed his whole approach to the guitar, by the time he was 15, The Chaperones had become a blues band. Frith's first public performances were in 1967 in folk clubs in the North of England, where he sang and played traditional and blues songs. Besides the blues, Frith started listening to any music that had guitar in it, including folk, classical and flamenco, he listened to Indian and Balinese music and was drawn to East European music after a Yugoslav school friend taught him folk tunes from his home. Frith went to Cambridge University in 1967, where his musical horizons were expanded further by the philosophies of John Cage and Frank Zappa's manipulation of rock music. Frith graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge with a BA in 1970, but the real significance of Cambridge for him was that, where the seminal avant-rock group Henry Cow were formed.
Frith met Tim Hodgkinson, a fellow student, in a blues club at Cambridge University in 1968. "We'd never met before, he had an alto sax, I had my violin, we just improvised this ghastly screaming noise for about half an hour." Something clicked and, recognizing their mutual open-minded approach to music and Hodgkinson formed a band there and then. They called it Henry Cow and they remained with the band until its demise in 1978. In the early 1970s Fred's grey Morris Minor sported the band's heraldic logo, much to the amusement of boys at his dad's grammar school in York where he was the headmaster. Frith composed a number of the band's notable pieces, including "Nirvana for Mice" and "Ruins". While guitar was his principal instrument, he played violin, bass guitar and xylophone. In November 1973, Frith participated in a live-in-the-studio performance of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells for the BBC, it is available on Oldfield's Elements DVD. After Henry Cow's first album, Frith released Guitar Solos in 1974, his first solo album and a glimpse at what he had been doing with his guitar.
The album comprised eight tracks of unaccompanied and improvised music played on prepared guitars. It was recorded in four days, at the Kaleidophon Studios in London's Camden Town, without any overdubbing; when it was released, Guitar Solos was considered a landmark album because of its innovative and experimental approach to guitar playing. The January 1983 edition of DownBeat magazine remarked that Guitar Solos "... must have stunned listeners of the day. Today that album stands up as uniquely innovative and undeniably daring." It attracted the attention of some "famous" musicians, including Brian Eno, resulting in Frith playing guitar on two of Eno's albums and After Science and Music for Films. In late 1974, Frith contributed a series of articles to the British weekly music magazine New Musical Express entitled "Great Rock Solos of Our Time". In them he analysed prominent
Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression, it emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes and response vocals and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms"; as jazz spread around the world, it drew on national and local musical cultures, which gave rise to different styles. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation.
In the 1930s arranged dance-oriented swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, a hard-swinging, improvisational style and Gypsy jazz were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music", played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines; the 1950s saw the emergence of free jazz, which explored playing without regular meter and formal structures, in the mid-1950s, hard bop emerged, which introduced influences from rhythm and blues and blues in the saxophone and piano playing. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz became successful, garnering significant radio airplay.
Other styles and genres abound in the 2000s, such as Afro-Cuban jazz. The origin of the word "jazz" has resulted in considerable research, its history is well documented, it is believed to be related to "jasm", a slang term dating back to 1860 meaning "pep, energy". The earliest written record of the word is in a 1912 article in the Los Angeles Times in which a minor league baseball pitcher described a pitch which he called a "jazz ball" "because it wobbles and you can't do anything with it"; the use of the word in a musical context was documented as early as 1915 in the Chicago Daily Tribune. Its first documented use in a musical context in New Orleans was in a November 14, 1916 Times-Picayune article about "jas bands". In an interview with NPR, musician Eubie Blake offered his recollections of the slang connotations of the term, saying, "When Broadway picked it up, they called it'J-A-Z-Z', it wasn't called that. It was spelled'J-A-S-S'; that was dirty, if you knew what it was, you wouldn't say it in front of ladies."
The American Dialect Society named it the Word of the Twentieth Century. Jazz is difficult to define because it encompasses a wide range of music spanning a period of over 100 years, from ragtime to the rock-infused fusion. Attempts have been made to define jazz from the perspective of other musical traditions, such as European music history or African music, but critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt argues that its terms of reference and its definition should be broader, defining jazz as a "form of art music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of the Negro with European music" and arguing that it differs from European music in that jazz has a "special relationship to time defined as'swing'". Jazz involves "a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvisation plays a role" and contains a "sonority and manner of phrasing which mirror the individuality of the performing jazz musician". In the opinion of Robert Christgau, "most of us would say that inventing meaning while letting loose is the essence and promise of jazz".
A broader definition that encompasses different eras of jazz has been proposed by Travis Jackson: "it is music that includes qualities such as swing, group interaction, developing an'individual voice', being open to different musical possibilities". Krin Gibbard argued that "jazz is a construct" which designates "a number of musics with enough in common to be understood as part of a coherent tradition". In contrast to commentators who have argued for excluding types of jazz, musicians are sometimes reluctant to define the music they play. Duke Ellington, one of jazz's most famous figures, said, "It's all music." Although jazz is considered difficult to define, in part because it contains many subgenres, improvisation is one of its defining elements. The centrality of improvisation is attributed to the influence of earlier forms of music such as blues, a form of folk music which arose in part from the work songs and field hollers of African-American slaves on plantations; these work songs were structured around a repetitive call-and-response pattern, but early blues was improvisational.
Classical music performance is evaluated more by its fidelity to the musical score, with less attention given to interpretation and accompaniment. The classical performer's goal is to play the composition. In contrast, jazz is characterized by the product of i
Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became popular in the 1990s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music; the term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. At times, "alternative" has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not, seen to be descended from punk rock. Alternative rock broadly consists of music that differs in terms of its sound, social context and regional roots. By the end of the 1980s, magazines and zines, college radio airplay, word of mouth had increased the prominence and highlighted the diversity of alternative rock, helping to define a number of distinct styles such as noise pop, indie rock and shoegaze.
Most of these subgenres had achieved minor mainstream notice and a few bands representing them, such as Hüsker Dü and R. E. M. had signed to major labels. But most alternative bands' commercial success was limited in comparison to other genres of rock and pop music at the time, most acts remained signed to independent labels and received little attention from mainstream radio, television, or newspapers. With the breakthrough of Nirvana and the popularity of the grunge and Britpop movements in the 1990s, alternative rock entered the musical mainstream and many alternative bands became successful. In the past, popular music tastes were dictated by music executives within large entertainment corporations. Record companies signed contracts with those entertainers who were thought to become the most popular, therefore who could generate the most sales; these bands were able to record their songs in expensive studios, their works sold through record store chains that were owned by the entertainment corporations.
The record companies worked with radio and television companies to get the most exposure for their artists. The people making the decisions were business people dealing with music as a product, those bands who were not making the expected sales figures were excluded from this system. Before the term alternative rock came into common usage around 1990, the sort of music to which it refers was known by a variety of terms. In 1979, Terry Tolkin used the term Alternative Music to describe the groups. In 1979 Dallas radio station KZEW had a late night new wave show entitled "Rock and Roll Alternative". "College rock" was used in the United States to describe the music during the 1980s due to its links to the college radio circuit and the tastes of college students. In the United Kingdom, dozens of small do it yourself record labels emerged as a result of the punk subculture. According to the founder of one of these labels, Cherry Red, NME and Sounds magazines published charts based on small record stores called "Alternative Charts".
The first national chart based on distribution called the Indie Chart was published in January 1980. At the time, the term indie was used to describe independently distributed records. By 1985, indie' had come to mean a particular genre, or group of subgenres, rather than distribution status; the use of the term alternative to describe rock music originated around the mid-1980s. Individuals who worked as DJs and promoters during the 1980s claim the term originates from American FM radio of the 1970s, which served as a progressive alternative to top 40 radio formats by featuring longer songs and giving DJs more freedom in song selection. According to one former DJ and promoter, "Somehow this term'alternative' got rediscovered and heisted by college radio people during the 80s who applied it to new post-punk, indie, or underground-whatever music". At first the term referred to intentionally non–mainstream rock acts that were not influenced by "heavy metal ballads, rarefied new wave" and "high-energy dance anthems".
Usage of the term would broaden to include new wave, punk rock, post-punk, "college"/"indie" rock, all found on the American "commercial alternative" radio stations of the time such as Los Angeles' KROQ-FM. Journalist Jim Gerr wrote that Alternative encompassed variants such as "rap, trash and industrial". In December 1991, Spin magazine noted: "this year, for the first time, it became resoundingly clear that what has been considered alternative rock – a college-centered marketing group with lucrative, if limited, potential- has in fact moved into the mainstream"; the bill of the first Lollapalooza, an itinerant festival in North America conceived by Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, reunited "disparate elements of the alternative rock community" including Henry Rollins, Butthole Surfers, Ice-T, Nine Inch Nails and the Banshees and Jane's Addiction. That same year, Farrell coined the term Alternative Nation. In the late 1990s, the definition again became more specific. In 1997, Neil Strauss of The New York Times defined alternative rock as "hard-edged rock distinguished by brittle,'70s-inspired guitar riffing and singers agonizing over their problems until they take on epic proportions".
Defining music as alt