Talking About My Generation

How our niche music evolved into niche marketing

We were different. We were cooler. We were better. Those of us who were alternative-rock fans in the '80s would tell you we listened to the music because we cared about songwriting and authenticity, were turned off by the staleness of overblown arena rock--true enough, but let's fess up. When you bought a Housemartins single or a Husker Du album in the '80s, you bought entry into a club. Our music was hard to find: you had to know the right radio stations, the right clubs, the right record stores. It did not make Casey Kasem's countdown. It did not pack...

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