Now that you're dressed for the occasion, you next need to immerse yourself in all that is indie rock. Here is a brief history of the subject, which, fortunately for you young wannabes, is summarized here in ultra-abridged form.

The '60s

Were it to exist, The Indie Rock for Dummies book might put the roots of the indie rock tree in the Velvet Underground, a band that hit the scene during the mid-to-late '60s. As the rest of the world was into peace, love, and really good hallucinogenics, the Velvet Underground was taking the rock rulebook, tearing out the pages, and using them to wipe their butts. Their music kinda sounded like rock, but incorporated elements of social realism and the beginnings of punk and new wave. In short, the Velvet Underground was way ahead of its time.

The '70s

After the VU, the deconstructive proposition born in the bowels on New York's Bowery, quickly took the form of punk. Punk became somewhat successful/mainstream, so it had to die. That left a bunch of post-punk bands, many of whom (Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, the Pretenders) started getting airplay, and also became successful and (even worse) old. Post-punk bottomed out when the Clash made Combat Rock, a radio-friendly album that included such commercially viable songs as "Rock the Casbah" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go."

The '80s

Sometime in the late '80s, the moniker of underground tunes changed from "punk" to "college music." This was not because only people in college listened to it, but also because the only people who played it were deejays at college radio stations. Anybody with a radio was free to listen, but not very many people did . . . until people realized that despite the weird names of some of these bands, they weren't scary like punks. In fact, a lot of college music was just pop music. R.E.M., U2, Camper Van Beethoven - they were college bands and they were harmless.

As many of those bands became popular, the powers-that-be at the college radio stations became a little bitter that "their bands" were taken away and given to the masses. They reacted by going a little harder and a little darker (a la Nirvana). That's when college music started to become known as "alternative." Again, the general idea was that it was an alternative to say, Tiffany or Bon Jovi or what you might hear on the radio (notice the pattern?).

The '90s

In the early '90s, Nirvana released Nevermind. As a result, alternative launched its own radio format, and paradoxically became mainstream. So the bands who were still an alternative to something that was getting airplay became (drum roll, please) "indie rock."