Queer and Queerer: Anything But Mainstream

This is the second part of a three part series that focusses on the oddities of art and literature. The second segment deals with obscure genres of music. Read on to know more… 

The wonderful thing about music is the plethora of genres one can choose from. Of course every person has his or her own preferences and tolerance levels. Your neighbour may not appreciate the Heavy Thrash Gothic Death Black Metal that you rock out to but neither do you like his smooth jazz fetish. It’s the subjectivity and diversity of music that makes it all the more delightful. All that said, there are some oddball genres that are anything but mainstream. Here’s a rundown of some that catch the eye-

Math Rock

You can take off your dancing shoes for this one because for the untrained ear this is utter chaos. It is a form of experimental rock consisting of wayward time signatures and rhythm. The typical song on the radio would have a 4/4 beat whereas math rock songs may have an 11/8 or 7/8.  Take the song Lateralus by the American band Tool as an example. The syllables in the verse are found to follow the Fibonacci sequence that is indeed an example of artistic brilliance.


(1) Black,

(1) then,

(2) white are,

(3) all I see,

(5) in my in·fan·cy,

(8) red and yel·low then came to be,

(5) rea·ching out to me,

(3) lets me see.   (…and so on)

Draw your wands for this one

Wizard Rock

 Muggles, put your earmuffs on and step aside for The Boy Who Rocked. That’s right, the Harry Potter phenomenon has spawned a legitimate genre of music for itself. Fuelled by social media, these indie bands derive all their lyrical content from the wizarding world. While some songs talk of Ginny’s fondness for Harry, others recall the atrocities of Severus Snape. Here’s the song Snape by The Remus Lupins- 



Chiptune music brings back fond memories of the Super Mario days. This 8-bit music style of the yesteryears has witnessed a stunning revival. The video game consoles of the 80’s and 90’s such the NES and the Gameboy utilised their onboard sound chip to generate their fuzzy retro tune. This style of music witnessed a revival from the 2000’s with certain chiptune bands going as far as releasing full length albums. Sub-genres such as Bitpop and Nintendocore have also joined the fray. For starters try out Skip Cloud’s-Houston We Have A Problem.


George Harrison On The Sitar

Raga Rock

A cross between the Sabhas of Madras and Lollapalooza, this genre is an absolute delight for the ear. The Indian classical music seeped into the British scene in the 1960’s where acts such as The Kinks and The Beatles were open to experimentation. The use of the Sitar and Tabla became prominent. Bands began to realise that Indo-Classical elements and jazz go together quite well.  The most famous of  the songs had to be The Beatles hit Norwegian WoodGuitarist George Harrison, inspired by the works of Pandit Ravi Shankar, composed the lead riff entirely with the Sitar.  


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Sudharshan Suresh

Intern at The Fishbowl Network
Hey, Sudharshan here. I'm a first year college student studying Instrumentation and Control Engineering at NIT Trichy.
Writing is a passion of mine and I'm at home when it comes to the things I love such as music, cinema and society. Apart from being an avid reader and writer, I'm the kind of guy who would try my hand at anything. A hardcore music junkie, I listen to everything from Pink Floyd to The Foo Fighters. In other news, I also play the guitar and love playing basketball. Debating and MUN-ing are two other things I can never get enough of.
I'm just a click away, so ping me- I'd love to say hi!
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