Blog entry 2: In which I ramble for a while before getting to my point about the punk community and social networking

Listening to: the album “Idle Ages” by Junior Battles

Most of the time I’m more surprised at how fast time moves than how slow it moves.  Maybe this is a more prevalent view than I think, or maybe it’s just a feeling that comes with growing up.  I heard once that time feels like it’s moving slower when you’re younger because you have fewer years of experience to draw from.  The more memories you stack up, the easier it is to realize how many events and experiences and moments have happened already–and the quicker time seems to go by.

But that’s not what this post is going to be about.  That’s just a longwinded way of saying that I was taken by surprise that it’s been a week since I wrote my last post.  Of course, that day also kind of feels like an eternity ago, which probably shows that in the relative scheme of things I’m still pretty young.  Maybe I’ll post more on the idea of how time moves in a later post if I can figure out a better angle to take on it.

Also, when I was walking back to my apartment in 90+ degree heat after work today, I considered ranting about the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial for at least part of this post.  Then I put about six ice cubes in a glass with some water, consumed it, and then decided that ranting about Anthony basically walking is not the tone I want to set for my second blog entry, so this is all I will mention of it… today.

No, today, after my so very brief three-paragraph introduction, I will try to set a stage and a backdrop so readers can be more familiar with me and the blog’s content.  As well as… *drumroll* my first real topic!

After much thinking and jotting down on pages of a physical notebook (They still exist! And I still use them. Save the trees though, people), I decided that the writings in these entries will be a public journal.  I’m writing for this to be a journal overall, a log of ideas, experiences and issues I want to remember (or at least, I think are important enough to remember whether or not I really do want to remember them).  But this will also be kept entirely public, or so goes the plan.  So I’m journaling, but I hope it will be a journal that’s interesting and relevant enough to captivate a few of you who are floating around the interwebz.

I’m not saying every entry will be “blah blah blah Capitol Hill” or “blah blah blah pick it up pick it up,” but yeah, that’s what every entry will be about.  Kidding. Kind of.  Obviously this is still a work in progress and very disjointed.  Current events have been the main focus of my life for so many years now that it’s hard to imagine a life without them.  And by “current events,” I don’t just mean the front page of CNN/Washington Post/New York Times/The Daily Beast/insert your favorite news organization(s) here, but also the current events in the world of music and the bands I love.

MEAT AND POTATOES (or tofu and sprouts, since, ya know, I’m a vegetarian. Fun fact!)
For instance, last Friday I went to see a show at St. Stephen’s church in DC.  Bomb the Music Industry! was headlining, and the show also featured The Wild, Cheap Girls, The Max Levine Ensemble and Algernon. I’d never been to a show at the church before even though I’ve been in this area for about five years now.  It completely rocked; it was just the un-air conditioned, sweaty, raw, community experience a great punk show could and should be.

I could go on about how great the show was, but something else from that night stuck with me.  After Cheap Girls’ set, I went outside for some air.  As many in my generation are wont to do, I pulled out my smartphone to make sure I don’t miss a moment of what’s going on in my social network.

“.@Cheap_Girls just rocked dc! Stoked for some btmi! very soon” I tweeted.

“Thanks buddy! RT @argaines: .@Cheap_Girls just rocked dc! Stoked for some btmi! very soon” Cheap Girls tweeted back almost immediately.

I didn’t see their reply until the next day, but it got me thinking about how cool that is.  A few days earlier, I had tweeted at Junior Battles:

“tried to dl @juniorbattles new album last night and got trolled by a jimi hendrix experience ‘best of’ album. shoulda just waited til today” said I.

Again, a speedy reply:

“@argaines You didn’t get trolled, we just got wiiiiild in the studio. Hendrix-wild.” said the Battles.

And these weren’t the first quick exchanges on Twitter I’ve had with bands and musicians I that I love.  I could go on and on with commentary on how social media is changing the news, but the Twitter exchange with Cheap Girls was the first time I considered how social media is changing the punk scene.  Community is such an important part of the music; The Wild and other bands at the show on Friday repeatedly shouted out to Positive Force DC and similar groups for working towards creating safe, friendly spaces where kids (of all ages) can go to shows.

I’m a sporadic user of Twitter at best–though I’m trying to tweet more frequently–but seeing how easily and openly bands and their supporters can connect makes me see the site and the bands in a whole new positive way.  I’m not usually the type to get star-struck, but I can get tongue-tied at times, especially when it’s to someone I really respect, admire, and/or think is awesome in general.  So being able to say a quick “hey” on a site like Twitter and see a near-instant response is, honestly, super exciting.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to post it in the comments so we can discuss!

And I’d like to thank BTMI!, The Max Levine Ensemble, Cheap Girls, Algernon, The Wild and everyone else involved in Friday’s show for making it great.

– Can I work while listening to music? You bet your butt I— used to be better at it than I am now
– Picking it up and putting it down and picking it up again

    • The Alternative Gentleman
    • July 20th, 2011

    The advent of social networking has done as much to advance the punk/underground/indie scene as it has changed news reporting. We rely on community and connection to share new music and make DIY tours possible. Even though band-fan interaction has never been easier, it still means a lot when one of your favorites groups interact with you. I know I geeked-out the few times I’ve talked with Chris Conley (of Saves The Day) via Twitter.

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