Netpunk Ė October 1998
Summer is now over, and itís time to stop goofing off and start learning. No, Iím not talking about school, where youíll learn a bunch of useless crap that you wonít use anyway. Iím talking about stuff that you can actually use and stuff that you can learn how to do yourself. You got it -- welcome to the Netpunk guide to DIY on the internet.
While there are a bunch of sites that give you DIY information on booking your own tour, Iím not going to list those this time Ė I did that sometime in the last year or so, and you can find that column online at my site. A lot of the sites Iíll mention in this column arenít even necessarily punk, but they do teach you to Do It Yourself, and whatís more punk than that?
Iíll start off with DoItYourself.com, athttp://www.doityourself.com . This site has articles on how to do all kinds of stuff around the house, yard, and apartment. In addition, it also has information about maintaining and fixing cars, appliances, and more. Very useful if you donít have the cash to get things fixed, or you have a landlord who never makes repairs (or will give you a break on rent if you do it yourself).
For you drunk punks out there, who want to drink something other than Oly or Black Label, why not try brewing your own? The best place to get started is The Brewery (http://www.brewery.org), which bills itself as Total Homebrewing Info. At the Brewery youíll find guides to brewing your own, as well as a recipe database full of every type of beer imaginable. Youíll probably still have to drop 50 bucks at your local homebrewing store to get started, but after that youíll be making good beer and not paying a buck a bottle for it.
When doing research for this column, I came across a search engine designed for finding DIY information athttp://www.diysearch.com . This search engine appears to be geared toward the arts (music, writing, painting, etc) and finds not only "how to" resources, but also comes up with artists that are DIY. Pretty decent, though not as useful as I would have hoped.
For those of you into black (and really, what punk rocker isnít?), I found a cool site on how to dye clothing black. Itís geared toward goths, but ignore that and dye your stuff anyway. Itís the Dye It Black FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), and is found athttp://www.cclabs.missouri.edu/~c510292/gothic/dye.faq.html .
The next set of websites are geared towards those of you who are involved in the music side of punk rock. These sites deal with recording your band, starting a record label, getting distribution, etc. Some of this stuff might come in very handy.
First, for the band on the budget, is the 4-track Recording FAQ athttp://www.winternet.com/~dfrankow/4trakfaq.txt . If you can get your hands on a 4-track recorder, but have absolutely no idea what youíre doing, this FAQ will get you started. Even if you do know how to use a 4-track recorder, you may find info here that you didnít know.
If you have more that a 4-track, or are interested in building your own recording studio (like, you just signed that major label contract or something, heh), then A Guide to Making Music (http://www.ram.org/music/making/tips/DiY.html) might be just what you need. Actually, this site contains more than just info on setting up a studio. It also has info on duplication, distribution, marketing and more, but I found the studio info most interesting.
Gajoob (http://www.gajoob.com/) is a site that has a bunch of different classified advertisement type of links that would be off interest to small bands and labels. This site isnít very well organized, but you might find something worthwhile.
MAS or Musicianís Assistance Site has a pretty incredible database of resources for the working musician. It is probably geared to much for the "professional" to be of much use to many punk bands, but it does give a good look at "the other side", where music is "business". Still, if youíre band gets popular but still wants to DIY, you may find that you need some of the info presented here, athttp://www.musicianassist.com/ .
While there is an old saying along the lines of "copyrights arenít punk", think how much it would suck if you wrote the killer punk tune, and some rockstar band you opened for decided to steal it and put it on their debut album on Sony. Or maybe Spin stole the text right off of your website and used it in an article (hmm, that sounds familiarÖ) Wouldnít you like to be able to stick them for screwing you. With that in mind, find out what it takes to copyright your work at The Copyright Website (http://www.benedict.com/).
The final sites I want to mention all do pretty much the same thing. They give DIY bands the info they need to put release a record or CD. One piece of useful information is a reprint of Bob Surenís article "Put Out Your Own Damn 7" Record!" athttp://www.primenet.com/~chrisz/Make7-2.html . Another is the Screw It Up All By Yourself Center (http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/1984/diy1.html), which will tell you how to avoid screwing things up when trying to put out a CD.
Another useful site is the DIY Diary, which is "An inside look into the music industry". This site has info on publishing, starting a record label, getting royalties (hah!), and more. DIY Diary is athttp://home.earthlink.net/~timbecile/diy.htm . Indieweb has a huge section with contact information for mastering companies, record and cd pressers, sleeve printers, bag companies and more. Their resource list is at http://www.indieweb.com/diy/diy.html . Finally, DIY Central has a lot of the same type of info, and is at http://members.aol.com/femsley/ .
Hopefully youíll be able to take some of the info Iíve listed this month and teach yourself a few things. Wait, learning isnít punk. Nevermind. Anyway, you can check out my columns online athttp://www.cruzio.com/~hanford/maximum.html and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org . In addition, you can write to me at PO Box 8059; Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Oh, and you might check to see if my new website is up Ė http://www.diehippiedie.com Ė Punk Rock!