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Delible: Disappearing Independent Hits from the Golden Age of College Rock (1985-1990) is tonight's College Radio Primer

Tonight's College Radio Primer
College Rock was the term used to describe the music played on non-commercial radio stations throughout the 1980s. Although “college rock” isn’t necessarily genre specific, the non-commercial radio band was used mainly to focus on music that was being largely ignored by the mainstream, and much of that was influenced by the previous non-mainstream styles such as punk, post-punk and garage music. “The Golden Age of College Radio” is a term that is now used to describe the second half of this decade. It’s not only defined by the popularity of the underground music of the time, but also the fact that many of these bands were getting so popular that they were getting signed by major labels, thus blurring the lines between underground and mainstream. As this happened the term “college rock” became less useful and (ironically) a new term emerged: Alternative. Later the term “Indie Rock” was used to differentiate a new non-mainstream.

Although college radio in the early 80s wasn’t exclusively independent much of it was, but halfway through the decade this started to change. Some of the more popular artists were being snatched away from the larger indie labels such as SST, Twin Tone and Frontier. Many of their careers took off at this point; record sales increased and now their names are well-known (REM, The Pixies, The Replacements) and probably won’t be forgotten for years to come. During this time of transition, however, not all of the popular college rock artists were snatched up by major labels and/or successfully made the jump into the new decade. Many great artists that were popular at this time (The Jazz Butcher, Squirrel Bait, Bongwater) for one reason or another seem to be slowly being forgotten. Delible: Disappearing Independent Hits from the Golden Age of College Rock (1985-1990) focuses on these artists that were popular at the time, never signed to a major label and now seem to be overlooked.