10 Best Indie Bands
Choosing the 10 best indie bands is getting harder and harder all the time, especially with the fast collapse of the recording business as we know it. Indie is more of a spirit thing, rather than whether or not a band is signed to a major label. Also, no indie band is indie enough for everyone; sell one record, and you may be out of the running. Therefore, these 10 bands have been chosen for quality more than anything else. Few mount huge stadium tours or remain at the top of the pop charts, which makes them indie enough.
- Arcade Fire. This band may have the most loyal audience since U2, and perhaps Bruce Springsteen before them. Their songs are passionate and unique, and they put on a killer live show. Any band that can have an accordion player and still remain cool must have something good going for it.
- Modest Mouse. Isaac Brock writes a lot of sea chanteys, and a sea chantey hasn't been a hit since... well, one has probably never been a hit. This group just floats on. Johnny Marr even recorded and toured with the act. Now that's the indie stamp of approval!
- Spoon. This is the best British Invasion band to ever come from Texas. Oh, and they're quite a few decades late, too. Britt Daniel writes wonderful guitar rock songs, which always stir indie hearts. One of these days, however, they'll get a pop hit. You just watch and see.
- Sonic Youth. Thurston Moore is the coolest front man, and his hot wife, Kim Gordon, is a close second. This act has always gone swimming against the stream. Their music hasn't always been melodic, but songs about Madonna and Charles Manson make them indie to the core.
- The Decemberists. Don't you just love folks songs about death? Sure you do. And Colin Meloy, who dresses like a banker from a Dickens novel, writes and sings like the Englishman he's not (but sure wants to be). They're also great live, and are known to perform full albums, from start to finish.
- Radiohead. This band practically gave one of its albums around. No major label act could ever do that. The promise this group showed with "Creep" has carried through to today. They just keep getting better, believe it or not.
- Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst comes from Nebraska. He proves that that region's not just about farmers or country singers that sing about farming. He began as a young teen, and has only grown in leaps and bounds as a songwriter.
- Broken Social Scene. Oh, Canada! Yes, Canadians have to be indie, because label representatives couldn't find their way around places like Calgary if their lives depended upon it. This music can be a little abrasive at times, but BSS is clearly one fine indie band.
- Vampire Weekend. Of course, Vampire Weekend didn't invent world music. But don't tell them that. And hey, if they turn stupid emo kids on to real music, well, more power to 'em.
- The White Stripes. Jack White is a monster guitarists, with too many bands to keep track of. But this duo was the one that got it all started. And if you don't do air guitar to "Seven Nation Army," you're probably deaf.