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, 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) [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 …

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 tor/sesame/”>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

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).

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