Portal:Alternative rock

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The Alternative Rock Portal

Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth
Alternative rock (also called alternative music or simply alternative) is a genre of rock music that emerged in the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s (see Timeline of alternative rock). The name "alternative" was coined in the 1980s to describe punk rock-inspired bands on independent record labels that didn't fit into the mainstream genres of the time. As a specific genre of music, alternative rock consists of various subgenres that have emerged from the indie music scene since the 1980s, such as grunge, indie rock, Britpop, gothic rock, and indie pop. These genres are unified by their collective debt to the style and/or ethos of punk, which laid the groundwork for alternative music in the 1970s.

Though the genre is considered to be rock, some of its subgenres are influenced by folk music, reggae, electronic music and jazz among other genres. At times alternative rock has been used as a catch-all phrase for rock music from underground artists in the 1980s, all music descended from punk rock (including punk itself, new wave, and post-punk), and, ironically, for rock music in general in the 1990s and 2000s.

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Pixies performing in Kansas City in 2004
The Pixies are an American alternative rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1985. The band disbanded in 1993 in acrimonious circumstances but reunited in 2004. Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal, and David Lovering have been the band's continual members. The Pixies found only modest success in their home country, but were significantly more successful in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe, although never achieving mainstream success with their studio albums.

The group is frequently posited as the immediate forebearer of the alternative rock boom of the early 1990s, though they disbanded before reaping any of the benefits this might have brought them. Avowed fan Kurt Cobain's acknowledgement of the debt Nirvana owed to the Pixies, along with similar tributes by other alternative bands, ensured that the Pixies' legacy and influence grew substantially in the years following their demise.

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Adore is the fourth studio album from Chicago alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Virgin Records released the album on June 2, 1998 in the United States. Adore is the Pumpkins' only album not to feature original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Adore marked a change in sound for The Smashing Pumpkins; Greg Kot of Rolling Stone magazine noted that the album "isn't just a transitional record; it's a complete break with the past." Their previously layered, guitar-oriented sound was largely replaced by a quieter and more electronic influenced sound, and incorporated drum machiness and synthesizers for the first time. For the release, the band shed their alternative hipster image for a more subdued Gothic look.

Despite being "one of the most anticipated albums of 1998", Adore was a commercial disappointment and sold only 1.1 million copies, far below the Pumpkins' previous albums Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. However, the album was well received by critics, and received a nomination for Best Alternative Music Performance at the 1999 Grammy Awards.

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