To begin with, the key principle of American indie rock wasn't a circumscribed musical style; it was the punk ethos of DIY, or do-it-yourself.  The equation was simple:  If punk was rebellious and DIY was rebellious, then doing it yourself was punk.  'Punk was about more than just starting a band,' former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt once said, 'it was about starting a label, it was about touring, it was about taking control.  It was like songwriting; you just do it.  You want a record, you pay the pressing plant.  That's what it was all about.'

To begin with, the key principle of American indie rock wasn't a circumscribed musical style; it was the punk ethos of DIY, or do-it-yourself.  The equation was simple:  If punk was rebellious and DIY was rebellious, then doing it yourself was punk.  'Punk was about more than just starting a band,' former Minutemen bassist Mike Watt once said, 'it was about starting a label, it was about touring, it was about taking control.  It was like songwriting; you just do it.  You want a record, you pay the pressing plant.  That's what it was all about.'