August 2001 - I really had a lot of things I was going to gripe about this month, but something I just saw took the cake. I was just surfing the web and I came across The Ataris' homepage and there on the main page was a note from Kris Roe concerning their signing to a major label.
I was shocked to see it written as a defense of the signing. It's a dispicable world we live in when you are persecuted, or are put in fear of persecution, for trying to make a living doing what you love. Anyone who has ever seen The Ataris knows that they work as hard as any band on earth to make sure they're completely accessable to their fans and that everyone gets as much as they can out of their sets. What other bands out there allow you to come on stage and play with them?
There comes a time where idiotic thought must be put aside. Kris has a child. Once many of you experience the phenomenon of raising a child, you can't really judge people for wanting to make a living. How could you explain to your kids that you can't feed them because a group of preteens would call you a sell out? Give me a break.
I'm in no way trying to get you to believe that Kris Roe or the rest of The Ataris are poor or dying for money, they've been smart and expanded their art. They even own a record label to sell records of bands that their core audience would enjoy, they handle all their own merch, they're completely DIY except for the pressing and distribution of their records.
I respect few bands as much as I respect The Ataris. They're a really catchy band that works hard and is finally able to receive the promotion they deserve. This band has always been about the fans. They're as much fans as any of us. Am I kissing their ass through writing this? No, I have nothing to gain. I just think it's sad that a band that has worked so hard has to fear the label of sellout, even if it's just a small section of fans, it's still just as pathetic. No matter what, you can still go up to the band before or after shows and tell them hello and get your CD signed. Few other bands allow that, even indie bands.
Support musicians, it's a long road to the top. They started out just like you, mail room scrub, fry cook, whatever else shit job there is to do, and now they've reached upper management. Congratulations on the promotion, it's well deserved!
July 2001 - This month, nothing really has me upset or wanting to rant and rave, so I will just let everyone know what is going on with the site.
We are currently working to make a newer, sleeker, more visually appealing rockzone.com. This will not be done at your expense. We are still working to make sure things load as fast as they can, and you will not have to take a nap while waiting on your favorite album reviews to download.
I'm sure by next month I'll be back to my bitter, angry self and will have plenty of things to gripe about, but for now, I'm happy. Hope you're summer is going just as well. Take care and enjoy the site.
June 2001 - I have been searching for something insightful to tell everyone, something fun to bitch about, or something funny to amuse you with, but I am left at a loss after reading Lord Skoochie's State Of The Non-Union Address. It's really a document of beauty.
For too long the older band and fans of the punk scene have been pushed around and called sell outs by little kids who wouldn't have anything if it weren't for the older people paying to see the older bands and supporting the scene.
This isn't going to be another monologue about the punk scene, because lord know I gripe about that enough, but this is a look at how the kids today respect so little and are ungrateful to the people who helped things become the way they are.
Where has all the respect gone? No one care about anyone any more. The me generation of these kids' parents have put the world in shambles. No one raises their kids, no one tells their kids who helped make things the way they are, no one care why things are the way they are. As long as the things are there.
I still throw away empty bottles at shows, even if they aren't mine. I still tell bands thanks, even if I didn't like their set. I still take pride in my community's behavior. BUT I am disgraced by my community a great deal as well. I too feel the way Lord Skoochie does when he says he will be around the small punk clubs even when he's old. There always needs to be someone to remind you where you came from. That builds pride, that builds self esteem, that builds a better community.
If you wonder why life has become so meaningless today, look at the schools, no one cares about history anymore, no one cares about themselves because they never learned about why things are the way they are. You need to know where you came from!
May 2001 - Summer is here! Well, not officially, but for all practical purposes, it's here. Schools are out, kids are running everywhere, it's ridiculously hot outdoors, and the festival tours are rolling into town.
I'm not a real big fan of the summer festival shows. I don't like going to see 20 bands in 10 hours. I'd rather go see 3 bands in 3 hours. They're usually too crowded, the sets are too short, and the refreshments are too expensive. How can you really justify a $3 glass of water?
With the coming barrage of Summer festivals, everyone is digging deep into their pockets to find the money to pay for these ever increasing ticket charges. With a company like Ticketmaster controlling everything and charging you ridiculous "convenience" charges so that if you buy 2 tickets to a concert you're actually paying the face value of 3 after all is said and done. I like going to the club and buying the tickets at the door before the show. This helps you by finding out where the club is a few weeks before the show, and also in saving a large chunk of cash.
With this said, grab your towels, your water(to drink outside the gate of course), and your sunscreen, and enjoy the show!
April 2001 - Well, I've officially turned to the dark side in a way. After experiencing Napster on a T3 connection and seeing how it took a few minutes to get a whole CD, I'm beginning to see the problem with Napster. For commercial artists, Napster doesn't really lose you too much. Big labels don't pay bands well at all, so the small percentage you'd see from you record sales seems trivial as a commercial artist. The people who are hurt the most by this are independent labels and artists.
Imagine working at a job where you didn't get paid for every fifth hour worked. Most people would hate this job and not want to do it. Remember as well that independent artists are on a minimum wage scale, so this makes it even worse. By losing that much money, independent artists are now at a shortage for funds, which leads to less dates and more expensive show when they go out on tour. So if you are pissed that one of your favorite bands isn't touring as much, go buy a CD to help them build capital.
March 2001 - It has now been officially one year since the relaunch of rockzone.com. This has been an amazing year. We've gained a great deal of momentum over the past 12 months and are sure we can keep it going for a while to come. I'd like to thank everyone who has written for us, every band who has sent us their work to review, and everyone label who has given us CDs and show passes. Without the work of all of you this site would be worthless. Thanks to all of you, see you next month!
February 2001 - We have done it. We have surpassed 100 CD reviews and are gaining more by the day. Next month will mark the 1st anniversary of the relaunch of rockzone.com and we are very proud of the progress we've made. We've allowed a fair, unbiased medium for all musicians to get recognition and hopefully, an accurate description of their music and message.
In more depressing news, a federal appeals court found in favor of the RIAA in it's proceedings over Napster. This is a blow for all music lovers and a great deal of independent artists. In a year that record sales set all time records we are being told that the RIAA members are losing money due to Napster. This is a ridiculous statement. I can personally name you around 10 CDs I've bought in the past few months due to Napster. It's absurd for us to believe that Napster users(most still on dial up modems) would download an abundance of mp3s at a 3 k/s bitrate. At one point the radio was under this style scrutiny for making music available to everyone for free, then audio cassettes were under fire for allowing people to record songs off the radio(anyone remember how many copies Michael Jackson sold of Thriller despite the majority of it appearing as radio singles) and now Napster is on trial. I can say I have copied more of my friends' albums with my CD-RW drive than by using Napster.
Also, is anyone as happy as I am that the OLGA is accepting files again? This is how ridiculous the RIAA is, it works with agencies such as the Harry Fox Agency to try and shut the OLGA down on copyright infringement charges. For those of us who play guitar and other instruments, tablature is impossible to play accurately if you've never heard a song. This will lead to people buying albums so they can hear songs they want to play more ofter and/or lead them to play an artists songs where others will hear and want to buy an album.
The greed of big business will be the demise of big business. The RIAA doesn't care about it's artists, it doesn't care about it's consumers, it cares about it's pockets. The humorous thing about this whole scenario is that by attempting to kill Napster and other programs like it, it's alienating a large number of consumers. Dave Matthews, Ian MacKaye, Chuck D, and even Prince see that it's the future of music and is a benefit to the all, why doesn't the record industry see it? Maybe it doesn't want us to share in it's feast. But remember, if no one learns how to cook, no one will buy groceries. Don't alienate a consumer and expect it to buy. Shame on you RIAA, shame on you.
January 2001 - Welcome to the new face of rockzone.com for 2001. We hope you enjoy the new look and find all the same reviews, pictures, and entertainment you've come to expect from rockzone.com. We are continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. By the end of this month we should have over 100 reviews in the archive, and a steady flow of new ones coming in. We are so thrilled at the response we've gotten from the independent music community, one of the prides of rockzone.com is the fact that we have reviews of local bands right next to larger national bands. We're working to break down the ideals that albums have to cost tens of thousands of dollars to be made, some of the best music I've ever heard on album was recorded on very low budgets. I hope you enjoy the new look and will be as excited as I am to see how much things progress over the new year. Remember, everything we do is based on your feedback, so all of it is appreciated.