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The Indie Scene - A Unique Subculture


Indie is more than just music... it's a scene.

Abbreviated from "independent," indie has become an entire genre that includes music, movies, clothing styles, and other facets of culture. It is characterized by its separation from commercial institutions and mainstream lines, and is often considered synonymous to alternative styles.

All about indie

Many track the beginning of the indie culture to the 1980s, and since then, it has attracted mostly youth with its unique and artistic trends. Today it has become so popular that it has grown from a niche to a part of mainstream society to where older individuals may empathize. There are certain subcultures that have found themselves a part of indie scene, including hippie, emo, grungers, mods, and recently even metalheads. Each of these groups have their own philosophies and beliefs.

Indie culture can be examined through the lenses listed below.


One may travel back to the '60s to find the beginnings of indie rock with such bands as The Who and The Clash. Once-obscure indie bands gained popularity in places such as New York City, including one of my favorite bands The Pixies. Others include REM, Sonic Youth, Lush, We Are Scientists, and even the Butthole Surfers. These bands tore up the scene, standing out from other artists of their time with their alternative, underground, often rebellious sound and style. Much of the '80s indie music found inspiration from predecessors such as REM and Velvet Underground.

'90s indie music found grunge bands such as Nirvana, punk bands like Green Day, and many other genres that emerged near the end of the decade.

The new millennium brought more emo, garage, and electronic bands. Some of my favorites include The Killers, Jimmy Eat World, and Death Cab for Cutie.


Indie fashion has one basic characteristic: it's different. Most indie youth can be found sporting vintage clothing, band attire, retro wear, skinny jeans, and even homemade clothing. Even though a lot of these youth would never be seen wearing big-name brand names, a lot of larger stores such as Forever 21, H&M, and Urban Outfitters will cater to this crowd and market a lot of unconventional designs, similar to things that could be found in a thrift store.


Indie films are typically produced independent of large studios and can include low-budget documentaries without big-name actors and actresses (though sometimes they may appear in these movies). The films do not aim to appeal to the mainstream and are often shockingly honest and realistic.

Many of today's better-known indie films include "Juno," "Little Miss Sunshine," and "The Science of Sheep."

Sites Referenced


jennifer on October 28, 2011:

Being indie is mainstream

phil on March 22, 2011:


Urghhh on March 18, 2011:

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well, let me be the odd one out then, I CANNOT STAND THE INDIE CULTURE.

mynameismeaw on April 01, 2010:

i can't help but notice prasetio30 comment, it's not india its Indie which stands for independent

tim on September 06, 2009:

Great to see that The Velvet underground get a mention. One of the most influential bands of all time.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on August 24, 2009:

India is the great which have many culture there.

brandy_baby_baha! on June 23, 2009:

indie is the bomb baby.It's here to stay :] ehbaha

lauradrummer from Herts on March 24, 2009:

hey, it's great to see someone writing about the indie scene. It was a pretty nice article but i found the comment about indie kids making fun of people who wear brands a bit strange, i'm in an indie band and generally hang out in an indie "scene" and i've never come across that! appart from that, a pretty good sum up of what indie is all about :)

Hub Love from United States on February 18, 2009:

This is a great post! All your facts are spot on, me being someone who somehow got into the "indie scene." Although I don't intentionally identifiy with it. I just happen to be into a lot of the same things like making my own clothes and of course, The Pixies. Where is my mind?

kossi logan from Atlanta on January 16, 2009:

I enjoyed reading this blog because it was very informative. I love music and have heard of the indie culture, but I don't know much about it other than it's not mainstream. But, I wouldn't have been able to name an indie artist. I knew the term expanded to include movies but not that it was a life style.

clamag from Italy on November 16, 2008:

I've been interested on indie music since 2000, but from your hubpg I've learned a few more things. Thanks.

Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on September 16, 2008:

I see a lot more "indie" movies than Hollywood movies. We have two good Indie theaters nearby.

glassvisage (author) from Northern California on September 16, 2008:

Thanks everyone for dropping by, and for adding your links! The more resources, the better!

xok (indie clothing) on September 16, 2008:

This is a great hub, thanks to glassvisage for creating it. The indie culture has grown so much over the past few years, and it continues to grow. If you are interested in some cool, indie clothing, check out my website.

snarlmkiv on September 15, 2008:

its nice to appreciate the indie industry. i love the films and i definitely love the music. i'd like to share a little background on the indie scene here in the philippines.

DJ Funktual from One Nation Under a Groove on February 23, 2008:

Thank you for a fresh perspective! indie is such a great word but you take it to lengths.


AmplifierMagazine on October 01, 2007:

This is a good summary of the indie music scene. We cover a lot of bands and events in the indie scene and like every other form of music, indie keeps evolving.

Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD from Tumkur on July 21, 2007:

For the first time I came across this topic in this hub. Thanks.

Sindicut on June 20, 2007:

One bad thing is, that for tall people, like me, tight jeans are a very hard thing to find...

Nice article!

TalentManager from Suisun City, Calif. on June 19, 2007:

Music/Film Industry is such an amazing business with many brilliant talents. I enjoyed your article on indie music and indie films, and your statements are very true. I look forward to reading more from you.



SunSeven from Singapore / India on June 16, 2007:

Hi glassvisage, great hub on the indie music scene. Congratulations on your 50th Hub!

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on June 15, 2007:

Great hub, Glassvisage. Nice to see you around again! ;)

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