Welcome once again to the jumbled mess I call Netpunk. Actually, this month the mess may be even more jumbled than usual, because rather than try to feature a specific topic (which I figure I do about 75% of the time), I'm going to give you a bunch of various punk sites to check out so you can waste a few hours of your life. For some reason, a larger number of you than usual mailed me your sites to check out and review, so that is mostly what I'm going to do this time.
Before I begin, however, I do have a quick update on the Communications Decency Act. This is the act that was passed about a year ago to try to protect children from indecent material on the internet, but hasn't been enforced because it was being fought out in the courts. Well, the Supreme Court heard arguments on the case in late March, and a decision on the constitutionality of the CDA is expected by early summer. I, of course, will keep you updated, or you can always check for information online at the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition homepage (http://www.ciec.org).
And now, on with the the jumble. We start off this month with a zine that has just recently started to make the transition from paper to the net. The zine is question is Jeb Branin's "Crass Menagerie," and his first couple of e-mail issues have been good reads. Any given issue could contain record reviews, zine reviews, interviews with anyone from Spazz to Cheap Trick, and a whole bunch more. To subscribe, send e-mail to email@example.com with the message "subscribe" in the body.
I got some e-mail from Dennis of SOCIETY GONE MADD! asking me to check out their website. It is a pretty good example of the right way to do a website for your band, with photos, a sound sample or two, lots of lyrics to songs, a bio, and a few links to other punk things of interest. My only complaint is that his background is too busy, and it makes it difficult to read some of the text, but don't let that stop you from taking a look at it, especially if you're thinking of putting up a site for your own band. You'll find it at http://home.earthlink.net/~societygone/index.html .
A good looking band site, but one that contains very little information is from the band Jetpack from (apparently) north Idaho. The e-mail these guys sent me claimed they sounded like Zeke, but unfortunately there were no sound files at their site for me to find out for sure. Slick graphics on their page (which, by the way, is located at http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Towers/4125/ ), but very little in the way of content. Check it out, though. If they are as cool as they seem to think they are, they could be a band to keep your eye on.
Radical Records out of New York has a site up for their releases, and also include a page about BLANKS 77 with tour dates, and the like. They also have a couple of sound samples from Blanks, and from the Oi! Skampilation albums. Decent, if not an outstanding, site. You can see a price list on all of their stuff here too, but 14 bucks for a CD!?!? That's more than I'll pay for any punk album. Oh well. Check out their website at http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/6271/index.html .
Now it's away from the music, and into the politics for a second here. Even though the site overall has a horrible hippie feel to it (and remember kids, it's not punk to be a hippie), there is a lot of good reporting at the web page for the DIRECT ACTION NEWS CENTER. At this site there are articles about a Nevada Nuclear Test Site blockade, a free Tibet demonstration, student sit-ins, homes not jails, and more direct action protests. The site hopes to provide "in the field" reporting of strikes, squats, progressive protests, etc. Definitely worthwhile. Find it at http://www.tao.ca/earth/direct.html .
For those of you who can't read but still waste your time with net access, the Boston Punk Picture Page is the place for you. It's a whole bunch of photos of up and coming Boston bands, with very little text to bother with. Sometimes it can be kinda fun just to check out pictures from other clubs in other cities, and this page will let you do just that. It's like a cool photo-zine, except I don't have to worry about it taking up space in my magazine stack. You'll find the page at http://www.tiac.net/users/gatton/pshows/ .
A site you MUST check out is PRAISE THE CYBERGOD (http://cybergod.deviant.org/). This site contains some cool composite artwork, an amusing sexy photos section, and a bunch of articles and interviews scanned (stolen?) from other zines and stuck up on the web site. The thing is, this is a collection of interviews that you REALLY want to read. I'm talking CRASS, RUDIMENTARY PENI, AGATHOCLES, DISCHARGE, THE EX, CRUCIFIX and more. A little something for the crusty in all of us.
MIND OVER MATTER distribution out of New Mexico has put up a site on the web that contains their complete catalog of records, zines, comics, books, and videos, as well as info on how you can order stuff from them. I've dealt with M.O.M. from the position of both customer and record label, and they have always done good by me. Their prices are decent too, for mail-order. Check them out at http://biz.swcp.com/mindmatr/index.html .
I had another couple sites I wanted to tell you about this month, but as I write this I'm trying to load their web pages and am not getting anything, so I guess they'll have to wait until next month. I guess that means it is time to wrap this thing up. I have a new e-mail address, and new web page location, so pay attention (actually, my old web page and e-mail address still work, but I'm probably gonna get rid of them one of these days)! The new Netpunk web page, where you can find all of these columns is now http://www.cruzio.com/~hanford/maximum.html . My new e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org . Get ahold of me and let me know what you think, or give my your web address to review. My snail mail address is the same - PO Box 8059; Santa Cruz, CA 95061. Turn off the computer and go outside.
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