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).