Netpunk October 1999
A bunch of stuff this month, with the only common thread being that it was sitting in my mailbox because you sent me e-mail. I rely on your e-mail to either 1) write this column, or 2) give me ideas for a theme column. So keep those e-mails coming. And, if youíre in a band that has a CD-plus (ya know, a CD with both music and computer stuff) send it my way and Iíll review both the music and the "plus" part.
Before I get started with the sites, however, I wanted to mention a little something about equipment. Most of the websites I mention to you should work on any old computer that can run Netscape or Internet Explorer. However, some of the websites Ė especially those that deal with sound or video Ė may require a Pentium (or PowerPC) processor or equivalent.
Just like a record will sound like shit if you have a crappy turntable, you canít expect to listen to the latest in digital technology over an old computer. If you donít want to spend the money to upgrade or get a new computer, thatís understandable, but donít expect to be able to listen to MP3 files and the like.
So, the MP3 thing may be hype for a lot of you, but I imagine most of you will be in pretty good shape. In addition, companies like e-machines (http://www.e4me.com) and Microworkz (http://www.microworkz.com) are selling computers without monitors for 400 bucks. That may seem a bit expensive, but not out of reach. Iíve tried out one of the e-machines, and they are a pretty good value for the cash.
Thatís enough about hardware Ė on to the websites.
Ex-MRR editor Icki has taken the insanity that was the CompHELLation and put it on the web. Boasting one of the best entry pages on the net, the CompHELLation page wasnít done yet at the point I checked it out, but it promises to be an excellent source for information on punk re-issue compilations. Cross-referenced by compilation, band, and country, this is a continuation of the original paper compHELLation. Check it out at http://www.lipstickkillers.com/comphell/ .
I got a whole bunch of sites from Ben of B&G records in the UK. He had a bunch of sites that complemented things that Iíve already written about. Before you dive into the stuff he sent, you might want to check out his website at http://www.bgrecords.freeserve.co.uk/ . He has album reviews, a list of links, some songs in the MP3 format and a technical section for those of you who are having trouble figuring out how to do the whole MP3 thing.
Speaking of MP3, Ben recommends the Sonique MP3 player, rather than WinAmp or any of the others. Sonique is currently free, because it is a beta version, so that could change. If you have a Windows machine, you can check sonique out at http://sonique.com . Sorry, but there isnít a version for Mac.
Ben also pointed me towards the Top 50 MP3 punk sites at http://top25punk.hypermart.net/list/rankem.html . This is a list of links to sites that have "punk" MP3 files. Everything from corporate "punk" to indie stuff is contained here, so itís a good place to get some songs for your MP3 collection.
Another site that Ben turned me onto is http://www.InsideTheWeb.com/ . InsideTheWeb offers a free BBS service like the YourBBS.com site I mentioned a few issues back. Ben had some trouble with accessing YourBBS, but he says this one works pretty well.
Another cool free thing is the redirection service at http://www.arrive.com/ . You can register at this site and get an address for your website in the form of http://ArriveAt.com/yourname . For example, I set one up for the Netpunk columns, which are usually at http://www.diehippiedie.com/netpunk . You can now get there by typing http://ArriveAt.com/netpunk as well. The only bad thing is that arrive.com sticks an ad at the bottom of your page when people get there via the new address. Whadíya want for free?
I got e-mail asking me to check out the Punx and Politics site at http://members.xoom.com/killa69/ . Not a hell of a lot here, though theyíve got a good start on an essay section, and will stick your stuff up if you send it to them. Thereís also a picture page of their friends, and a page of links without any descriptions. This site could definitely use some work, but check it out for the essays.
From the UK comes the website The Garage (http://www.pro-net.co.uk/scaf/garage.html) which is a big list of links to various garage and garage-punk bands, labels, newsgroups, and more. Anyone who is a fan of garage (and really, who isnít) should take a look at this page.
In a slightly different vein is Perfect Sound Forever, an online magazine that takes a Lester Bangs approach to rock music. From looking through the site, the writers for this magazine seem to be into real rock music like the Stooges, Blue Cheer, Velvet Underground, Television and other monsters of early punk. However, they also cover new stuff as well. Well worth your time if you like your rock writing in the intellectual vein. Youíll find PSF at http://furious.com/perfect/ .
The final site I have to mention is El Paso Occupato. This website for an Italian distro appears to have a political bent. It also has upcoming shows and other stuff that I canít really understand, as it is entirely in Italian. You might want to visit it if you speak the language, because it looks pretty good. Visit it at http://www.ecn.org/elpaso/ .
Okay, so thatís plenty for this month. Once again, remember to visit the Netpunk site at http://www.diehippiedie.com/netpunk/ or send me e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and a fellow Santa Cruz MRR columnist and I are starting a band and are looking for a drummer. If you live in the South Bay or Santa Cruz area and know how to play, get in touch. See ya.