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Milena
Learning To "X"

Posts: 4380

Age: 21
From: Serbia

  09.05.2011 at 09:48
Ok, so I'm familiar with historic meaning of the term avantgarde-the literary (or better just artistic) movement(s) in the 20th century and so on. But I don't get what makes a band avantgarde? And what makes them alternative? What is tagged under the term 'alternative rock' is usually post-grunge and other (shitty, if you like) new American bands, and when I look at the alternative tag here, there's a lot of bands that are often considered part of the nu metal and similar scenes.
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
IronAngel

Posts: 4338

Age: 25
From: Finland

  09.05.2011 at 11:14
Both terms are used very loosely. I would interpret "alternative" just like in rock music: it's music that may or may not be very original and innovative, but nonetheless is not part of the mainstream scene. Anything from Tori Amos to Radiohead to Efterklang to Zs can be called alternative. In metal, traditional genres are the mainstream and stuff like nu-metal or post-metal (typically genres with outside influences, or "crossover genres") are the alternative. It seems that anything that doesn't quite fit into established definitions is dubbed alternative, and that's exactly how I think the term should be used until a better definition is established. "Alternative" doesn't say very much about the music, not in rock and not in metal, but at least it says what it isn't.

Avant-garde is completely abused, I think. You couldn't put avant-garde bands into a specific box or even say which genre they're the closest to, because then you'd be labelling something that has no coherence other than the will to move music forward. If a new band sounds just like the avant-garde metallers of 2002, for example, they wouldn't be avant-garde because it's been done. I guess avant-garde is pretty much the same as experimental music (the former is just more commonly used in the establishment of "classical" music whereas the latter has ties to electronic music), so you'd have to try something unconventional and probably quirky to justify the avant-garde label.
Milena
Learning To "X"

Posts: 4380

Age: 21
From: Serbia

  11.05.2011 at 21:17
Written by IronAngel on 09.05.2011 at 11:14

Both terms are used very loosely. I would interpret "alternative" just like in rock music: it's music that may or may not be very original and innovative, but nonetheless is not part of the mainstream scene. Anything from Tori Amos to Radiohead to Efterklang to Zs can be called alternative. In metal, traditional genres are the mainstream and stuff like nu-metal or post-metal (typically genres with outside influences, or "crossover genres") are the alternative. It seems that anything that doesn't quite fit into established definitions is dubbed alternative, and that's exactly how I think the term should be used until a better definition is established. "Alternative" doesn't say very much about the music, not in rock and not in metal, but at least it says what it isn't.

Avant-garde is completely abused, I think. You couldn't put avant-garde bands into a specific box or even say which genre they're the closest to, because then you'd be labelling something that has no coherence other than the will to move music forward. If a new band sounds just like the avant-garde metallers of 2002, for example, they wouldn't be avant-garde because it's been done. I guess avant-garde is pretty much the same as experimental music (the former is just more commonly used in the establishment of "classical" music whereas the latter has ties to electronic music), so you'd have to try something unconventional and probably quirky to justify the avant-garde label.



Thank you for the effort and good explanation, sir *bows gracefully*
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"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist

Posts: 17578

Age: 23
From: Canada

  12.05.2011 at 03:27
I think the only thing I can add to that is further explaining avant-garde.

Back when Into the Pandemonium was released, it was thought of as an avant-garde release, because it couldn't be labelled as anything in particular. Since then we've made leaps and bounds in terms of tagging musical styles with descriptors, so something like ItP becomes a mix of both thrash and gothic metal, with some progressive elements thrown in. Now you no longer have a release beyond characterization, as over time the styles within ItP were copied by other bands and more or less "perfected", thus given a proper genre. Avant-garde is only a means of description in that it's something essentially never before done, as in it's beyond a typical description. It's more time-related than sound-related.
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Prettier than BloodTears.

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