Friday, April 2, 2010

The sad origins of ‘alternative rock’

Note the first cited example by the Oxford English Dictionary. Paging Jesse Sheidlower: somebody’s gotta right this wrong, because we built this city on far, far better things.

* alternative rock n. orig. U.S. rock music characterized by an unorthodox or uncommercialized style or approach, esp. as distributed by an independent record label.

[1981 Washington Post C11/3 Jefferson Starship is an alternative rock group. That is, they give an audience a taster's choice of stances{em}the psychedelic origins, the sci-fi middle ground and the metallic dead end.] 1986 Los Angeles Times 19 Jan. (Calendar) 74 Listeners..loyally supported the Long Beach-based station's eclectic, *alternative-rock play list. 2000 C. H. HANSEN & R. D. HANSEN in D. Zillmann et al. Media Entertainm. x. 181 They grouped the videos into eight types of music (rap, soul, country, heavy metal, pop, classic rock, alternative rock, and other).


Jesse Sheidlower said...

Ask and ye shall receive:

1975 _Billboard_ 16 Aug. 41 (advt.) Alternative Rock. Beautiful Music. Classical M.O.R. Choose one. Your station will make money.

1979 _N.Y. Mag._ 26 Mar. 34/3 _New York Rocker,_ a 20,000-circulation tabloid of _haute_ punk and 'alternative rock'.

I'll update the entry as soon as possible.

B. said...

Bravo! So now we have an alternative etymology.

gih said...

Thanks for the informative post. And now I already knew it.