Netpunk June 1999
I have a whole mishmash of stuff for you this month, starting off with a rant about band pages and then supplying you with your monthly dose of Internet crap.
Before I start in with the band stuff, I want to mention a couple of things about band pages. For the most part, I find them to be pretty boring. I like finding out about bands in other places, looking at interesting pictures of them, reading their lyrics, and listening to their music, but on the whole I find that there simply isnít enough content on a lot of pages out there. Hell, Iíve even been guilty of it myself in the past.
But, whatís a band to do? Thereís only so much you can say about yourself (for most people, at least). I suggest fleshing out your site by doing more writing. Give me lots of stuff to readÖ make me laugh, piss me off, make me think, but do it. Talk about your scene. What itís like to be a punk where you live, the shit that happened to you at the supermarketÖ Hell, even an explanation of your lyrics would be better than the minimalist stuff that many of you put on your sites. Remember that for a web site to be worthwhile it needs content, and it needs to be updated (which Iíve also been guilty of before).
Okay, so after that rant, I have to tell you that some of the sites below are guilty of exactly the stuff Iím talking about. This doesnít mean they arenít good sites, but it does mean they could definitely need improvement.
The Counselors are a band out of Charlottesville. Their web site, athttp://members.xoom.com/bluebodybag/ contains short band bios, a guest book, a list of upcoming shows (but not just their own, which is cool), and info about their EP. They have a couple of mp3 sound clips from the EP, but these are in an archived format, rather than being available as files that will stream from the page. Good start, but needs more meat.
The Bucket of Monkey website promised "Nude Girls", but all I got was a bunch of stuff about this Virginia pop punk band. The site is well designed, but short on content, with the exception of the mpegs. They have half a dozen songs online, so you can listen to them at your leisure. You also get a band bio, a discography, and assorted other stuff. Bucket of Monkey is athttp://www.angelfire.com/az/bucketofmonkey/ .
Next up is the Atom and his Package site, done by none other than Atom himself (you didnít expect the package to do the work, did you?). Atomís site has a bunch of photos, not enough writing, no samples of music, but some fun sections where he posts his hate mail, gives a bunch of (real) misinterpretations of his lyrics, and generally is goofy. Read all about Atom athttp://home.earthlink.net/~atomgo/ .
Next is the home page of Italyís Thee STP. A few photos here, a list of shows that theyíve played, and a biography. The main reason to visit this site is to check out the covers of their records in the discography section. They have some of the coolest (appropriated) record covers around. A lot of punk bands could learn how to steal (umm, itís called postmodernism) from Thee STP. Visit the site athttp://surf.to/TheeSTP .
Okay, thatís enough of the band stuff. Feel free to mail me with links to your site, so that I can shame it before the worldÖ or say how much it rocks. Actually, the sites I get that really suck never make it in, because I donít want to waste space even mentioning them.
From the Netherlands comes the Grunnen Rocks page. Grunnen (aka Groningen) is a city in the Netherlands that has produced a lot of music. Evert has put together a page of music he likes, music heís looking for, and more. This site is more like a database of indie and punk bands and labels than a normal website. Worth a look athttp://www.grunnenrocks.nl/ .
On the other side of the world, The Neus Subjex zine covers the Cincinnati, Ohio punk scene. Available in both hard copy and on the web, they say that you get extra stuff on the web version. Thatís a cool idea, since most people seem to use the web as simply a way to promote their other projects. However, either their zine lacks serious content, or they havenít put much here, because all that I found was a message board, a news section, and a small section of reviews. Still, the layout is cool and I like their attitude. Visit Neus Subjex athttp://members.xoom.com/Neus_Subjex/ .
Another zine youíll want to visit is Concussion Magazine athttp://www.concussion.org/. This is mostly a skate and surf zine, though the music section contains interviews with Mike Watt, The Descendents, the Supersuckers, Zeke, and more. Thereís also an excellent article on the "Death of the Hippie and the Rise of Hippie-punk" that you must read.
Another punk site I must mention is the "Burn an American Flag Campaign". Be the first on your server to stick a burning American flag up and incur the wrath of all patriotic jerks everywhere. Get your own flag fromhttp://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/7640/anime2.htm .
For those of you with a high speed connection, you might want to visit Free Speech Internet Television athttp://www.freespeech.org/. Free Speech Internet Television has a bunch of audio and video program you probably wonít see on your regular TV. In addition, you too can broadcast stuff via their website. Visit it to find out how.
For those of you with your own website, I found a couple of utilities that will spruce things up (of course, writing a whole bunch is the best way to make your website better, but I already mentioned that). First is a free bulletin board system for your website, available athttp://www.yourbbs.com/. This is one of the better web-based BBSes that Iíve seen. Unfortunately, you end up with banner ads on your BBS, but whadya want for free?
The other cool thing I found was a Java IRC applet that you can put on your website and let people connect directly to IRC. There is a free version you can download, though the registered version apparently has more features. You can find the applet, called J Pilot jirc athttp://www.best.com/~faigor/java/IRC/ . If you canít get it to work on your system, donít ask me. I donít do consulting.
Thatís all I have for you this month. Remember to e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my columns online at http://www.diehippiedie.com/netpunk/ . And, as always, you can write me at PO Box 8059; Santa Cruz CA 95061. See ya.