Alternative rock music has changed the life of many people and has created a difference in society forming anew era for music. In this essay we will discuss the term alternative and we will talk about this type of music around all the world. But before starting the journey through this essay, we should have clear what is music:
“I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music.” ~ Billy Joel ~ Joel, Billy. Music. (Online) Available
What is alternative rock? It means another way, a different choice of music. Alternative was the correct term when it first came out. There were new bands which sounded different to people. Fresh new bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Rem, Jane's Addiction, The Offspring and many others helped start a new genre which was different. But we had to consider that the type of music circulating outside was metal, R&B, rap, country and pop. Some bands even had a political message. But what about the dictionary definition? Look up alternative in a dictionary and see what's the meaning for alternative. “1.- A choice limited to one of two or more possibilities: The alternative of walking or riding. 2.- One of this choices: The alternative to riding is walking. 3.- A possible or remaining choice: No alternative but to walk. Adj. 4.- Affording a choice between two or more things.” Alternative Music. Webster Dictionary. 1990 ed. Pp.62. We can apply this definition to a music style, to achieve a meaning that it's not from the mainstream, it's a new genre or idea, a different type of music.
There is who thinks underground is the best thing. All people have started hearing underground at some point, how else could we find out all the great bands waiting for us out there if they weren't mainstream. There are still a lot of great underground bands, but, how will we ever find them?, how will we ever be able to hear their music? Mainstream is a good thing But there is the opinion of who thinks bands shouldn't be the mainstream. When the alternative music became a mainstream, not to it's style, but because it's commercial viability, everyone jumped on the term. Many people think that commercial viability is a good thing because if not, how could we discover some bands? But, there is the other face, which “to many specialized fans, commercial success breeds contempt (ex. Green Day). They believe that some performers become targets, not because they SOLD out, but because they SOLD records.” 665, Brian. What is alternative music? (Online) Availablehttp://messages.yahoo.com/bbs?action=m&board=7036091&tid=whatisalternativeanyways&sid=7036091&mid=180, (Accessed May 1999). Many fans of some bands, due to the commercial viability of their music which represent political ideas, think that their groups have been sold, detest that people and places which don't respect this ideas, can hear their music. As happens in Spain with SKA-P. This group which has anarchist ideas, has been heard for the last year in places where people do not respect this ideas, and just listen to it due to it's commercial viability.
Alternative music in Spain is the same as in every country and has had the same history. But alternative music is reserved to a minority. People who listen to alternative rock in Spain are considered to have left wing ideas. This music has been stereotyped. When you tell anybody that you listen to a group like Boikot, Reincidentes, Porretas and many more, they often think that this people have radical anarchist ideas, and sometimes are discriminated for that. Listening to one type of music or another in Spain for young people has been used to categorize their political ideas, to label a person, and that's a thing that shouldn't be done. “The best Spanish alternative groups for people in Spain are Extremoduro, Reincidentes, Boikot, A Palo Seko and others.” Sunmaid_28. Alternative Music. (Online) Available
http://messages.yahoo.com/bbs?action=m&board=7036091&tid=whatisalternativeanyways&sid=7036091&mid=168 (Accessed May 1999) They are considered to be the best groups because they are the more listened and the most bought. Extremoduro has a large list of albums in which they express all types of themes.
Reincidentes is a very well known group for young people in Spain and so for Boikot, and the rest of the groups. They share a common interest, music, alternative music to be concrete.
As a conclusion to this essay, we could say that alternative definitely is not the “mainstream”, if it is considered alternative now the type of music that was alternative before, I don't know, it's a topic reserved to specialized people. But what we know for sure is that this mainstream is what makes it possible for other groups to appear, to be known. That commercial viability is in some cases an important and in other not important or even nasty. That people shouldn't be categorized as tobacco for the type of music they listen, that our history is found in what we listen to and what we play: “The history of a people is found in its songs.”,