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Okay, brief theory of why English and American alternative music have developed along different paths - in America everything goes through college radio, and is based on airplay. In England, everything is dictated from on high by the inkies - weekly music newspapers.

Since the sixties, when alternative music first became a viable concern, there have been two main papers in the UK - New Musical Express (aka NME) and Melody Maker. Others have risen and inevitably fallen (especially in the 80s, when nobody actually liked music). Last year, Melody Maker went glossy, leaving NME as the only surviving inky.

So called because every Wednesday, young eager teenagers would grab copies of both and examine in minute detail to find out what's hot and what's Rage Against The Machine. The badly-applied newsprint would leave a crusty residue on your fingers, which would then be transferred all over your face. You'd then have to step off the bus wearing a fine layer of mascara.

This, I believe, is also how Goth started.

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