n. Alternative rock music that is bland enough to be piped into a mall, restaurant, or other public location.
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As tattoos and spiked hair have given way to Snuglies and Wet-Naps, the once-alternative music has become "mallternative," the stuff of easy-listening radio stations geared toward shoppers.
—Brad Kava, “Alt-Rockers Selling Less, Playing Better Than Ever,” San Jose Mercury News (California), September 27, 2000
Give Out But Don't Give Up was no Second Helping, let alone an Exile On Main Street. But Primal Scream made no pretences that it was. … British critics unfairly dismissed the album as karaoke rock. Yet today, the album sounds more immediate than most of what some writers are calling 'mallternative' rock being churned out by such bland sound-alikes as Third-Eye Blind, the Verve Pipe, Nixons Tonic and Dishwalla.
—Paul Zach, “Need to free your mind? Try Primal therapy,” The Straits Times (Singapore), August 01, 1997
1996 (earliest)
That's ancient history in the fast-food '90s, and there was a sense of been there, done that about the Horizon bill that indicated the dearth of new ideas on the commercial tip of mall-ternative rock.
—Greg Kot, “A Matter of Weight,” Chicago Tribune, December 03, 1996
Subscriber Gary Lewis "self-coined" this word and was kind enough to tell me about it. Self-coin is my own coinage. It means "to coin an already existing word that you didn't know about."
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