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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Santiago playing at the San Diego Street Scene Festival in 2005.
Joey Santiago (born Joseph Alberto Santiago on June 11, 1965) is a Filipino-American guitarist and composer. Active since 1985, Santiago is best known as the lead guitarist for the American alternative rock band Pixies. After the band's breakup in 1993, Santiago produced musical scores for film and television documentaries, and he formed The Martinis with his wife, Linda Mallari. He also contributed to albums by Charles Douglas and former Pixies bandmate Frank Black. Santiago resumed his role as the Pixies' lead guitarist when they reunited in 2004.

Santiago has described his guitar technique as "angular and bent," and he cites Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Joe Pass and Jimi Hendrix as major influences on his style. His guitar playing, as part of the Pixies' sound, was held in high regard by critics: MTV's Laurel Bowman commented that Santiago's "sonic plow was the key element in the Pixies' monstrous presence." However, as part of The Martinis, Santiago received less critical acclaim for his musical output.

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Pinkerton is the second album by the American rock band Weezer, released September 24, 1996. Rivers Cuomo, the band's lead singer and guitarist, wrote all of its songs, most of them after a painful leg surgery; as a result, they were written in first-position on his guitar's fretboard so that he would not have to move too much to play them.

Pinkerton is named after the character B.F. Pinkerton from Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, and the album plays as a concept album based loosely around the opera. Like the Puccini opera, the album includes other references to Japan, Japanese people, and Japanese culture from the perspective of an outsider who considers Japan fragile and sensual. It was originally planned as Songs from the Black Hole, which Cuomo deemed a "space opera." The initial concept was scrapped, but the band incorporated several of the songs into Pinkerton. The artwork on the album's cover is Kambara yoru no yuki ("Night Snow at Kambara"), a print by Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige.

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