My Usenet archives of music

``The media are dominated by the Spectacle because the power of media is based on spectacular domination'' -- Guy Debord (fake)

It is hard to describe what went on on the Usenet before the Net became mass media celebrity dominated by the Spectacle. Instead of power-hungry media freaks, Soldier-of-Fortune-reading creepy anti-Communist stalkers and commercial idiots from Aol, the Net was populated mostly by programmers. Also, an average Usenet poster was reading Usenet for a couple of years at least (and right now (March 96), an average Usenet poster is ``post-only'' -- does not read the Net at all).

On, for instance, this resulted in a unique quality of readership -- a great number of folks with rich musical and counterculture background were posting simultaneously and, as a result, people posting about the corporate dupes as (say) NIN or KMFDM were likely to be flamed in most rude (but appropriate) fashion, and majority would support such treatment. This radicalism stopped naturally when the generation of ``surfers'' supplanted the freaks and geeks of original Net.

I regret deeply that I did not save more articles, so these archives are rather a slice of life on the Net than something complete. I saved articles sporadically when I was forgetting of evil asshole sysadmin mailing me personal letters for exceeding graduate students' pitiful disk quota (10 Mb) -- it's not the best-of collection.

I am going to work on this file too.


I remember the time when and alt.rock-n-roll was the only place to discuss ``progressive'' music (the accurate term would be rather ``retro-hippie'' than progressive, but never mind). Then arrived. The traffic built tremendously, and in a year or two, it was replaced by The traffic is still very high, and most of it goes in circles. Which is tolerable, of course, as long as there are flames -- but the retro-hippie Yes afficionadoes are obnoxiously in love with each other and the only topic which sparks emotions is the recurrent ``why no girls are into prog''. Why indeed, you impotent dork.

I have archived some culture from both newsgroups. I was mostly interested in personal recollections and articles of the few posters who have had some personal idiosyncrasies concerning prog (the ``criticism'' most prog-heads apply to their idols is about as interesting as the Tolkien fans' babble about which Vala is strongest). Also, some of the best discussions were inexplicably lost in my files.

Al Crawford

The articles about Bill Nelson, Kraftwerk, Clock Dva...

Crawford was a CS graduate student in University Of Edinburgh posting thousands of excellent record reviews of highly professional research quality (I would say above professional -- comparable with Trouser Press Records Guide but better than most other stuff around). He was the prime force behind which he now moderates. (By the way, rmr is now unreadable exactly because the ``professional'' fakes from the corporate press learned about the Usenet and shovel their excrement there). Recently A. C. moved to States. I have to say that he was a great influence at my tastes (before 1990, I did not listen to anything released after 1977). All reviews of Crawford are archived by Al himself at his homepage. I saved some of his early Usenet articles (not archived by anybody else to the best of my knowledge).

Reviews by Al Crawford are very neatly split between cheesy electro-pop (Ultravox) which I love and everybody else hates (except Crawford, of course), esoteric artists at the edge of electro-pop (Bill Nelson) and the noise of the most sadistically pleasurable variety (Throbbing Gristle, NON). The whole archive (thousand of detailed reviews) is a treasure to anyone with developed taste in music or critics. From the ending of his review to Trobbing Gristle Live, 280-minutes long 4CD set:

Oh, and one final point - anybody (and they know who they are) who proceeds to dissect this review and painstakingly count the number of times I used the phrase "pulsing electronics", "heavily distorted vocals" or similar should (metaphorically at least) wash their mouth out with soap. It ain't easy reviewing almost five solid hours of industrial noisemongery, y'know, and the 'ole limited vocabulary starts to run out of words relatively quickly

Return to my home page.