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Portal:Alternative rock

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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.

Selected album

By the Way is the eighth studio album by American alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on July 9, 2002 on Warner Bros. Records. It sold over 282,000 copies in the first week, and peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200. The singles from the album included "By the Way", "The Zephyr Song", "Can't Stop" and "Universally Speaking". The lyrical subject matter vocalist Anthony Kiedis addresses in By the Way is a divergence from previous Chili Peppers' albums, with Kiedis taking a more candid and reflective approach to his lyricism.

By the Way was applauded by critics as a departure from the band's previous styles, and is recognized for the melodic and subdued emotions given by the Chili Peppers. Guitarist John Frusciante is credited with writing most of the album's melodies, bass lines, and guitar progressions, therefore changing the direction of the recording dramatically: "his warm, understated guitar work and his doo-wop style vocal harmonies are king this time around." The album therefore contained virtually none of the signature funk-punk fusion the band had become known for playing. Frusciante considered writing "By the Way [to be] one of the happiest times in my life."

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Supergrass.jpg
Credit: Keira Vallejo
From left to right: Gaz Coombes, Danny Goffey and Mick Quinn of Supergrass at the Roundhouse, London, 14 March 2008

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