WTF does "indie" even mean, and what's a band gotta do to be it? Broke? Obscure? Independent-minded? While hipsters debate over the true definition of the word "indie" and whether or not their fave bands qualify, check out our list of bands — some new, some well-known, and all independent in one way or another — that are bringing the good music and good vibes to their summertime tours.
When: Touring July 6 - September 28
Why: Tegan and Sara have been on the scene for over a decade, but have managed to strike the perfect balance between indie and mainstream. In other words, they're one of the few bands that hipsters and pop music-lovers alike can agree upon. Jam to their single "Closer" the next time you're given daunting task of playing something to please everybody at a party, then watch 'em this summer on fun.'s Most Nights Summer Tour. The tour is one of many partnered with Reverb — a nonprofit that helps bands run the most eco-friendly tours possible through waste reduction, energy efficiency, biodiesel-fueled tour buses, and complimentary recyclable water bottles for artists and their fans.
+ The Skins
Why: The Skins' live shows are few and far between, but that's probably because they're all teenagers who have to do homework and clean their rooms on the regular. When they're not doing normal teen stuff, this indie band brings the kind of swagger to rock 'n' roll that only a bunch of young folk who know what the word "swagger" means could. Oh, and did I mention they're backed by "Entourage" star Adrian Grenier? The actor-activist is all about staying eco-friendly and politically aware, so we're sure his ways will rub off on the band. The Skins will likely be all over the place now that school's out for the summer, so keep 'em on your radar, and check their Facebook page for tour updates.
When: July 8, 9, 11 and 12
Why: The Black Keys are pretty much always touring, but catch 'em on the East Coast in July, when a portion of every ticket sale will go to Akron Community Support Sevices, which provides healthcare to people with mental illnesses, and the Nashville W.O. Music School, which makes music lessons affordable for children from low-income homes. If you're feelin' like a "Lonely Boy" on the other side of the country, check out Tickets For Charity, where tons of bands (and even Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake) sell concert tickets to benefit their fave charities.
When: Touring June 24-August 24
Why: Years ago, Cloud Cult lead singers Craig and Connie Minowa founded Earthology — an org that is focused on greening the music industry. Together, they developed the first "100% postconsumer recycled CD packaging in the U.S.," which the band uses to this day. Nine albums in, Cloud Cult has turned down many record deals over the years in order to uphold their super-green ways of creating and distributing music and merchandise. Talk about indie! Check out their newly released album, Love, if you're into hip, experimental rock that's easy on the ears — and the Earth.