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- Alternative rock is a term used to generalize rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s. The word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream, commercial and pop music. In 1988, Billboard magazine introduced "Alternative Songs" into their charting system rather than continue incorporating these artists into the existing rock and pop charts. By then "alternative" had become a catch-all description for both successful artists, as well as music from underground, independent, or non-commercial rock artists that received some level of mainstream recognition. Although the genre evolved in the late 1970s and 1980s, music anticipating the sound of the genre can be found as early as the 1960s, with bands such as the Velvet Underground and artists such as Syd Barrett. Since the early 1990s the term has often been misused to market an artist's image or music toward consumers seeking to distinguish their tastes from mainstream pop or rock music.
- The most well-known genres of alternative rock are grunge, britpop, post-punk, post-grunge, indie and many-many others.
- One of the most influential alt-rock bands is Nirvana. Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Washington in 1987. It was founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. The release of band's single in 1991 "Smells like Teen Spirit", as noted by media, "marked the instigation of the grunge music phenomenon". Though the band dissolved in 1994 after the death of Cobain, their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock and roll culture.
- Later, the australian band called Silverchair was formed. While being school students at age of 15, they released their debut album Frogstomp. Just alike the Nirvana, their song were mostly dark themed. As it is typical for grunge, lyrics were dark, nihilistic, wretched, angst-filled and anguished, often addressing themes such as social alienation, self-doubt, abuse, neglectance, betrayal, social isolation, psychological trauma and a desire for freedom. The band had an overall great influence on Australian music, although at the start band was taken skeptically and critique was fierce.
- After the end of Nirvana a new band was formed by it's former drummer Dave Grohl and their touring guitarist Pat Smear. The band was called Foo Fighters. It quickly differentiated from Nirvana style and gained more hard-rock in their sound. The song themes started to resemble those of punk rock, lot of songs were written in major key and fast tempo.
- Looking on the other side of the alternative rock, there is more positive and lighter music. For example, there is a band called Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band was formed accidentaly by four high-school students after their extemporary performance in one of Los Angeles night clubs. They started with chaotic powerful funk rock tunes, but with flow of time and band members change they've become what they're today. A lot of influence on band's style was caused by one of it's guitarist John Frusciante, with whom band come to their own, unique style with a little bit from every style they ever had before: funk rock, hip hop, alternative and rap rock.
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