As the magazine grew, it demanded more and more time and energy, cutting into my simultaneously burgeoning musical career. I had to make a decision, and, of course, I'm a musician first. I put The Guide to rest in October, 1992. I now had an extensive database of musicians, bands and venues in the Portland area with no place to go, and I regretted seeing the database go to waste.
The answer to my regret was the internet in 1994. Once I had thoroughly studied "Internet for Dummies," I got myself a 2400-baud modem for my IBM 386 PC and a shell account at a local ISP. I then offered to send copies of my databases via e-mail to anyone asking for it. When I managed to upgrade to a Pentium, the wonderful world of the World Wide Web graphical interface and its vast potential hit me with full impact. Now I could display the database, and people could add to it. I diligently began to expand the database to include all of Oregon and Washington—-as I wanted to cover the exciting Seattle, Spokane and Olympia scenes, too.
Two websites covered the databases: Oregon & Washington Musicians and Bands, and Oregon & Washington Music Venues. These continued to grow at about 30% a year with the site visitors doubling every year. In 1996, I combined both databases into one directory, called, of course, Oregon & Washington Musicians, Bands & Venues. By 1998, I had my own domain (www.mysticbroadcast.org), and access to the genius of my ISP, Ed Knudson at K-Com.net, (now E-Puget.net), who was also my neighbor down the street. I purchased the indieavenue.com domain, and Ed set up the databases to be searchable using Active Server Pages, making the site much quicker to access and allowing visitors to enter in their own data.
As a result of Ed's invaluable input and cleverness, what began as a modest database published monthly on cheap newsprint, has become the largest database of music industry resources of the Pacific Northwest in the world. Getting over 40,000 hits per month--with over 3,700 musicians and bands listed (with contact info, weblinks and photos), over 1,500 live music venues and festivals (with contact info, weblinks and photos), and over 600 media outlets (newspapers, radio and TV)--the enterprising artist or budding industry professional can get product out and build a strong foundation of regional success.
We welcome your participation in helping to seed and feed the Pacific Northwest's Greatest Natural Resource--Music!
Future features of the Indie Avenue website:
Here are the upcoming features to Indie Avenue, in an approximate chronological order. The order may change based on feedback from our clients, but this is the general outline:
>> Press releasing service
Performers can select an area where their next gig is, fill out a Press Release Form, and send it automatically to all media in the selected area.
>> E-Mail lists
Bands can automatically inform their e-mail lists of upcoming gigs by entering their gigs and e-mail lists into their minipage, filling out a form and clicking on a button.
>> Expanded databases
More databases are forthcoming such as: Retail Outlets (music stores, electronic boutiques, tape duplication, CD manufacture, etc.), Recording Studios, Sound Reinforcement, Record Labels, Education, Agents/Promoters/Publicists. Also, we'll be adding more venue info, such as pay rates and policies, available booking nights, more size and staging info. Bands info will include personnel and areas for sound file and video downloads, so a band/musician can build a standard "promo pack" that can be downloaded by venue booking agents, media, record label scouts, or fans.
>> Hawking services
Bands and musicians can market their CD's, tapes, MP3 files, t-shirts, posters, and other "swag" directly from the minipage. Credit card orders can be taken on retail-priced items, bands receive payments monthly minus a small service charge.
Who's doing what, where and how, divided up by genre and geographical area, along with up-to- date, bleeding-edge issues and answers on subjects affecting all of us in the business of music performance, as reported in Indie Avenue magazine.
>> Experience modules
The region's most successful bands and musicians divulge their secrets of fame and fortune for industry newbies via live chats, Real Audio/Video interviews, field reports. Also, "road dog reports" allow touring bands to share their stories of the road and the lessons learned. Regional industry insiders such as indie record label owners, studio engineers, sound techs, and venue owners spill their guts about the joys and frustrations of the Pacific Northwest music culture. These are all archived by subject and genre for future reference. All subjects and issues covered in the monthly Indie Avenue magazine are reproduced the next month on the site, broken down into modules and added to the archives. The overall intention is to create an ongoing knowledge base so others may benefit from the experience of those who succeed.
>> Glam touching
National and international touring acts offer their career expertise via real-time chats, Real Audio interviews and Bulletin Board postings. "Big-time" national-level music executives, organizers, promoters and agents offer their insights as well.
>> Polls and Top 10 lists
Visitors can vote on their favorite bands in all genres and geographical regions, along with voting for "best venue" or festival. Results are tallied on the fly and displayed as an ongoing "music thermometer" of bands' and venues' popularity. Additionally, Top 10 lists that have been compiled throughout the music media regionally and nationally are reproduced, such as the Billboard, Rolling Stone, MTV and VH-1 charts, as well as interesting statistics about the various music markets from concerts to MP3.
>> E-Mo onsite recording and netcasting service
The "E-Mo" is a Class C motorhome ("E" for electronic and environment, "Mo" for mobile and Mother Earth), that is a self-sufficient, non-fossil fueled, mobile recording and broadcast studio. The E- Mo is capable of rolling to a venue, setting up 2-3 miniature video cam and audio feed into an onboard mobile net server and netcast full bandwidth video and sound, with available feeds to local cable and network stations. The studio can burn up to 50 CDs on the spot off of MP3 files, so participating bands can have an instant product to hawk to their fans after the show. CDs and bio-gradable paper covers are stamped with the band's logo, and t-shirts (cotton, hemp?) can be purchased with the same logo as on the CD's. Bands pay a set fee for a custom visitation of the E-Mo to their gig, or can participate in "Indie Avenue on Earth" events, which are produced bi-monthly at selected venues of all genres in Oregon and Washington.