I am a barely employed person on the scary side of thirty who likes punk rock music. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time on the internet looking for work (in the fairly competitive "millionaire writer" field) and investigating graduate school (basement shows in university districts) and researching my novel (hunting for stuff to write about in this silly column). So, yeah, you're basically looking at a hunk of beef jerky with two eyeballs, two ears and an index finger just strong enough to click my mouse. And that's not a euphemism. I wish it was. I can't feel my body. Help.
On the plus side, my dog has learned to take dictation and edit incoherent English. I recently rambled about a few of my very favorite punk-oriented websites, and dear Colette was there to make sense of my spew.
And with that, here are the six websites you need to be visiting on a regular basis. If you see me lurking, look away. I'm hideous!
Portland Show Guide
This calendar wiki is an essential guide to local musical happenings of all kinds, but it's especially indispensable as a reliable (read: just underground enough) bulletin board for Portland's house show scene. You won't miss a thing.
Life During Wartime
In addition to offering a standard live stream, KBOO's punk show (Wednesdays from 11pm to 1am) maintains an archive of in-studio performances that functions as a pretty thorough introduction to Northwestern noise. The Bi-Marks, Criminal Code, Arctic Flowers, Defect Defect, Bellicose Minds, White Wards and Raw Nerves have all visited the studio in the last year or so. A boon for shut-ins.
For a quick snapshot of future Portland punk happenings, PDX//SUBVERT can't be beat. It's a curated deal--only punk is spoken here--so this place won't hip you to whichever branch of the Insane Clown Posse family tree is breaking into the Hawthorne Theatre this month, but thirty seconds a week on this simple site is all it takes to stay glued to the good stuff. Consider it a filtered version of Portland Show Guide.
Possibly my favorite place on the internet that does not have a dating/casual sex component, Terminal Escape is the rare music blog worth checking in on every day. Robert (he's in No Statik, was in Artimus Pyle) seems to have access to an endless supply of punk cassettes both brand spanking new and unlistenably ancient, and he rips and zips them for the world. Terminal Escape has turned me onto some deeply obscure blasts of punk history, but more importantly, it keeps me current on contemporary demo culture, which is a teeming, seething morass nearly impossible to wrap my ears around. Bookmark immediately.
One word: Duh. More words: MRR is still the best. It can't be touched. Every punk gets her fingers stained by the print version at some point, as there is a law carved into Darby Crash's corpse stating that one cannot sew a patch into one's denim jacket before getting a headache from the letters section of MRR. It's a good law. MRR is a great magazine. Its website arm, a frequently updated companion to the monthly deal, upholds the skin-staining version's commitment to quality and breadth. The monthly top ten lists are all a punk really needs in this crazy world.
Art For Spastics
Art for Spastics reminds me of the college radio shows that I worshipped as a young know-nothing punk. Well, I knew enough to know that the Bay Area's better universities gave knuckleheads a few years my senior a couple hours a week to play whatever they wanted, and that was plenty. The rest was just listening. Rick Ele's show on KDVS (UC Davis' edge-of-the-dial station) is proof that colleges are still flush enough to let geeks pollute the airwaves with all manner of loudness, but this is the future, so you don't have to live within a one-mile radius of the university to catch snatches of staticky punk. Get this into your iPod ASAP.