Indie rock’s online presence

Back in the 90s there was an online indie “scene” — here records the lost traces and remaining links to key mid-90s indie rock hangouts and places, with a slight historic detour to early-90s grunge

Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch: “I want to bring people weeping to their knees” [pdf]

The key were the mailing lists. There was twee.net, home of classic and current Indie Pop music and the reference-site for the ‘Indiepop mailing list,’ still going strong (indiepop outlasted most, I guess). The indie-list was run on the (defunct) bloofga.org [archive] and one of the best was the sick-n-tired-l. There were dedicated lists as well: sebadoh-l, rave-l, 4ad-l, and the early early lists (circa 1990) called “punk” and “jane’s addiction”; of course there was the secret chugchanga list, and Doug Orleans was a key scenester and mailing-list contributor who conducted the annual Chugchanga-l music polls. Some online zines distributed via ftp. There were countless IRC channels: #subpop #rave #shoegaze #punk #indie …

Before there was eBay [search], Lazlo Nibble’s internet music wantlists was how we traded our records. Previous to that there was Usenet, and rec.music.collecting.vinyl …

Through it all, Web sites were minimal. Aaron Renn’s list of Chicago concerts circa 1997 mirrors the experience of many of us (the online aesthetic, too). A thousand home pages like Tastykakeman (gone) [archive] and mp3s [more] and labels [example]

Review Addict was a prototypal music-review blog by Michael Stutz, “a collection of spontaneous (automatic-writing) impressions of recorded music,” running in the mid-to-late 90s, chronicling nearly a thousand reviews of unknown underground and obscure music before the site was rm’ed. Eventually there was pitchfork but by that time I thought it was all dead.

Grunge and the PNW

Triple cycle theory: inside the northwest music scene

Bombshelter Videos (1987-1994), a weekly show on Pacific NW TV, played and promoted what would be called the “Seattle Grunge Scene”

Google: “super fuzz big muff” “just gimme indie rock

Photo of Ian at Sub Pop (and Earth).

Where are they now

I have no idea.

Bonnie Burton’s still at grrl.com.

Someone’s March 2008 blog entry looking back on 90s indie rock assesses it all pretty well.

First published on February 27th, 2009 at 3:54 pm (EST) and last modified on March 3rd, 2009 at 12:04 pm (EST).