For a lot of people, music is the stuff you hear on the radio, or see on VH-1 (MTV doesn’t show much music these days.)  So to a lot of people, there are sub-genres of music out there that they know nothing about, or if they had, had no idea what it was.  As much as I am into music, I’m overwhelmed by all the little sub-genres out there.

In this post, I thought I’d cover a few and give an example song of that style.  Who knows, maybe you’ll broaden your taste in music.

Shoegaze (more info)

Some here in the States call it Dream Pop.  It’s a form of alternative rock that usually involves the guitarist gazing down at his shoes, to control the reverb pedals.  Shoegazing songs has distortion, fuzziness, and droning riffs. 

Example by Asobi Seksu, the song is called Thursday (from a live performance):

[audio:Asobi Seksu – Thursday.mp3]

Cookie Monster Metal (more info)

Although it isn’t officially a sub-genre, it is so called for the guttural growling, angry vocalization done by many modern metal bands.  Many of you may remember the Cookie Monster in Sesame Street shows, he was the puppet who gobbled cookies in a messy manner.  In many cases, the use of cookie monster to describe the singer’s style is used in a derogatory sense. 

Example is by Darkest Hour, the song is called District Divided.

[audio:Darkest Hour – District Divided.mp3]

Emo (more info)

A derivative of hardcore punk, emo has the distinct honor of being both a musical sub-genre and slang.  The music version is a more teary-eyed, depressing, love-struck, kind of punk rather than the rebel, devil-may-care kind. 

If you’ve ever visited MySpace and seen some kid with a messed up, weird hairstyle, chances are he/she falls into the emo stereotype.  These days on the internet, emo is used as an insult. 

Example is by Simple Plan, song called How Could This Happen to Me.

[audio:Simple Plan – How Could This Happen to Me.mp3]

Twee Pop (more info)

Also known as indie pop, it is a style of music that is known for simple, light-hearted, melodic songs.  I generally associated this style of music as positive and uplifting, catchy and fun. 

Example is by Mates of States, song called Beautiful Dreamer.

[audio:Mates of State – Beautiful Dreamer.mp3]

Space Rock (more info)

Rock characterized by long instrumentals, sci-fi themed lyrics, with experimental guitar work.  Pink Floyd certainly thrust it in the limelights, and now it has a modern flavor with prog-rock undertones. 

Example is by Muse, song called Starlight.

[audio:Muse – Starlight.mp3]

Power Metal (more info)

Pop and rock both have lots of sub-genres, but metal has really gotten a slew of them (see this list).  I tend to favor Power Metal these days.  Think of it as an upbeat, melodic style of metal, one that like space rock has fantasy and sci-fi elements involved. 

Example is by Coheed and Cambria, song called Welcome Home.

[audio:Coheed and Cambria – Welcome Home.mp3]

Electroclash (more info)

If you thought the metal sub-genre list was long, you should check out this huge list of electronic sub-genres.  Electroclash is hard to describe, but Wikipedia seems to have tackled it;  “describes a style of fashion, music, and attitude that fuses New Wave, punk, & electronic dance music with somewhat campy and absurdist post-industrial detachment in addition to vampy and/or camp sexuality.” 

Example is by The Knife, song called We Share our Mother’s Health.

[audio:The Knife – We Share Our Mothers Health.mp3]