Darren's Top Ten Most Ridiculous Music Genres He Actually Listen's To
Ten Most Ridiculous Genres I'm Guilty of Listening To
Ah, musical genres. What a convenient way to describe what we listen to. When friends ask you to describe a musician, you may label their music "rock" or "electronic" or "hip hop." If you want to get more specific, you might say "punk" or "house" or "heavy metal." Then there are the following genres, which may or may not be overkill and may or may not make you sound like a douchebag if you toss them around in conversations:

10. Math Rock

What you may think it is: Rock & roll about algebra, trigonometry, calculus.

What it really means: Generally indie rock that uses irregular time signatures and rhythms, usually giving it a "choppy" sound. I know that saying "irregular time signatures" is pretentious as all hell though, so I'll admit it's kind of one of those things that you have to hear to recognize. Most songs have an odd beat and somewhat random starting and stopping.

I'm guilty of listening to: Foals, Maps & Atlases

9. Shoegaze

What you may think it is: Music boring enough to make you stare at your shoes.

What it really means: Music that uses enough guitar effects that the guitarist would always be staring at the effects pedals, hence the name. Basically shoegaze has a very "spacey" sound due to ton of guitar reverb yet can still have a strong melody amidst all the droning.

I'm guilty of listening to: My Bloody Valentine, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

8. New Rave

What you may think it is: Whatever people on ecstasy listen to, but new.

What it really is: A cross between fast-paced indie rock and dance music that uses a lot of high-pitched synthesizer. This genre never really got outside of Britain, but apparently a bunch of bands wearing tight florescent clothing were all the rage in the UK in the second half of the 2000s.

I'm guilty of listening to: Klaxons, Does It Offend You, Yeah?

7. Post-Rock

What you may think it is: A mythical form of music that will take hold once Rock & Roll stops being made.

What it really is: Ambient music made with traditional rock instruments. Most of it is solely instrumental, although some bands use vocals (Sigur Ros) or vocal samples (Godspeed You Black Emperor!). Most post-rock songs tend to be fairly long (10-20 minutes a piece), so I truthfully just tend to have it on in the background when I listen. Of all of the "post-" genres out there (post-hardcore, post-punk), this one makes the most sense to me.

I'm guilty of listening to: Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Ros, Godspeed You Black Emperor

6. Baroque Pop

What you may think it is: Bach and Vivaldi featuring boy bands.

What it really is: Rock backed by orchestral instruments. Apparently there's quite a lengthy history of using non-rock instruments such as violin, cello, piano and woodwinds in rock songs, but I'll just stick to indie douchebagdom. Essentially a lot of indie bands not content with just guitar, bass, and drums have picked up less-rock oriented instruments, yet I can't help but feel this becoming an "unusual instrument" competition as they pick up accordion, harpsichord, balalaika, and pipe organ.

I'm guilty of listening to: The Decemberists, Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian

5. Folktronica

What you may think it is: A combination of folk and electronica.

What it really is: A combination of folk and electronica. The "folk" part of this equation tends to be pretty open, meaning it doesn't have to sound like Bob Dylan or anything like Americana, but the "electronica" part is a little more predictable. Basically if it's acoustic and has synthesized drum loops it could fit here.

I'm guilty of listening to: Patrick Wolf, Owen Pallett

4. New Weird America

What you may think it is: Really bizarre sounding experimental music from the US

What it really is: Modern non-traditional sounding folk music, influenced by psychedelic music. It's also called "freak folk," which probably sums up this genre better.

I'm guilty of listening to: Devendra Banhart, some Animal Collective

3. Powerviolence


What it really is: Not too far off. Fast and raw-sounding hardcore punk. Like most harder rock songs with a lot of screaming, there's generally about 50 genre labels per song (most of them ending in "core"), so I'm not going to try to look into nuances here.

I'm guilty of listening to: United Nations

2. Slowcore

What you may think it is: Hardcore punk, but like really slow.

What it really is: Slow indie rock with sad lyrics. That's about it. I don't really get why this genre ends in "core," or really why it's a genre at all. What's even worse is people calling it "sadcore."

I'm guilty of listening to: The Antlers, The National

1. Chillwave (AKA Glo-fi)

What you may think it is: I have no idea.

What it really is: Electronica with a repetitive synth part, usually sampled, and a shitton of distortion. Basically it's"¦you know what? I give up.

I'm guilty of listening to: Washed Out, Neon Indian

What about you guys? Do you listen to any of the above, think I got your favorite band mislabeled, or think you listen to some genres with even sillier names?
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