"WHAT IS THIS SHIT?"
...you mumble over your Black Label, as your ink stained fingers caress the new copy of MR&R. "Computers and the internet aren't punk!" Oh yeah? Tell that to the labels and distributors who sell their records and have e-mail addresses on the net. Tell it to the bands who have booked small tours based on contacting people they have met on the net. Or the zines who post a good portion of their material they publish on their own internet web sites, or don't even exist on paper at all, but instead publish as an electronic zine available only to net users. Face it -- if you haven't experienced the internet and what it offers, you are missing out on a large subculture within the punk scene -- a community of computer savvy netpunks who are creating a punk community in cyberspace, and who are making friends and contacts with punks all over the world.
Welcome to NetPunk, a column that will attempt to let you know some of what is happening out there in cyberspace. Each month, I will bring you reviews and addresses for some of the coolest and most informative places to find punk information in the world that is the internet. I'll also bring you some of the latest news on laws and net happening that might affect the information you can get on the internet. And of course, I'll always try to bring you at least one stupid rumor heard on the net each month -- and believe me, there are plenty of them.
What I won't be doing is telling you how to get onto the net, or how to use certain net features such as newsgroups, the Web, or IRC. These are things that are too hard to explain in the space of a column. You'd be better off finding a friend or relative to show you, or checking out a book from the library, if you need any of this sort of information. However, if you have e-mail, I'd be glad to answer some of these types of questions personally. Just write me at the e-mail address at the end of this column.
In addition, I'm not gonna get into the argument over whether it is punk or not to use America Online, Prodigy, Compuserve, or any of the other big, commercial online services. However, if you plan to use the internet for something more than e-mail or if you are planning on getting a large volume of mail, you are probably better off going with an Internet Service Provider, because they will be less expensive and you will have a more direct connection to the internet.
THE GOOD STUFF
There are a ton of cool punk sites on the World Wide Web, but only a handful of punk resources in the newsgroups or as mailing lists. In this first column, I'm going to tell you about the main newsgroups to check out, as well as letting you know how to subscribe to the punk-list. Then, I'll give you a couple of cool as shit web sites to browse.
In the newsgroups, the two you'll want to check out right away are alt.punk and alt.music.hardcore. There are a lot of duplicate messages in these newsgroups, so you'll see a lot of the same stuff on both. Not only will you find discussions about some of your favorite punk bands in these newsgroups, you'll also find tour dates, people with records to trade, and general bullshit. This is also a great place to read all kinds of lies and rumors about your favorite bands. Which leads me to the STUPID RUMOR OF THE MONTH, as seen in alt.punk and alt.music.hardcore -- and the rumor is -- "Ian has decided to break up Fugazi and reform Minor Threat." Geez, and it's not even April 1st yet. Anyway, check these places out, but remember, don't believe anything you read.
As far as mailing lists go, the punk-list is a great place to meet people from around the country (and a few from around the world) who are punk. Don't expect a lot of discussion about punk music, however. The punk list is more a group of people who are into punk that get together to talk about life. Occasionally music gets mentioned, but not very often. In addition, the list will fill your mailbox with over 100 messages a day, so don't subscribe unless you have lots of free time. If you are in North America, subscribe by sending e-mail to email@example.com, with SUBSCRIBE in the body of the message, and no subject line. If you aren't in North America, subscribe by sending e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. And good luck keeping up with all the messages.
The featured web sites this issue are the 10 THINGS fanzine home page, and INTRRR NRRRD. Both are very extensive, and have tons of cool stuff to look at and read, as well as a lot of links to other sites dealing with punk on the internet.
10 THINGS is an off-shoot of 10 THINGS JESUS WANTS YOU TO KNOW fanzine out of Seattle. Editor Dan Halligan has set up a wonderful web site full of text from the pages of his zine, and some goodies that aren't from the zine. You'll find band interviews, record and zine reviews, a selection of columns, news about Northwest punk, and show listings for Oregon and Washington. You'll also find a gallery full of band photos and artistic and fetish photos for your viewing enjoyment. Dan has also put together a large collection of links to other peoples punk pages. This is a great place to start browsing the web and finding other cool punk stuff. The URL for 10 THINGS is http://weber.u.washington.edu/~ten .
Another great punk site you need to visit is INTRRR NRRRD. Brian Cors is responsible for this sucker, coming to you from Michigan. It is a huge site with more junk than you can look at in one sitting. Bri has photos of bands and old concert flyers, sound samples of some of his favorite bands, other users rants, show listings for various US cities, links to lots of other punk sites, internet software to download, vegan and vegetarian recipes, and a live chat where you can interact with the other users of INTRRR NRRRD. Bri is also working on putting together a net version of Book Your Own Fucking Life which a user will be able to add to anytime they want. INTRRR NRRRD is a must see. To find it, point your browser to http://nervecore.com/e-zine/ .
Well, that's enough for this time. Next month I'll have a ton more web sites to review for you, and some other interesting mailing lists and newsgroups you'll want to check out. Until then, you can visit my web pages at http://www.primenet.com/~hanford, or you can e-mail me at email@example.com. Feel free to send your suggestions for net sites I should feature, or ideas for topics you'd like to see me discuss in this column.
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