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Annual Donation Round-Up & a personal résumé

You may have seen the donation-button on top of the left side column: Please make use of it, if you want to keep Goodbadmusic going on for another year.

For those new to the site: This blog runs exclusively on your donations. Although you can make a quick buck with google-ads, running a website, I decided to keep this blog ad-free and completely non-profit.
Your donations are inevitable in order to finance the technical maintenance which includes the mp3 storage (of course). I do the work, supply my music collection and invest in the hardware necessary – you supply the dough once a year! Sounds fair, doesn’t it?
The annual costs have risen to 285.10$. That includes unlimited bandwidth, web space and also a much faster and more stable connection (installed two days ago; hope you noticed the fast speed!). Once the sum has been collected, the button disappears.

If you want to donate but have neither credit card nor a paypal account, please get in touch.

Your support is much appreciated!

And here’s something a lot people asked me for:

4 1/2 years of Goodbadmusic: A personal résumé

4 1/2 years of continuously working on goodbadmusic have enriched my life quite a bit. It all started in March 2006, when I signed up to blogspot and wrote the first posts. The initial idea of just writing about music without posting mp3 files didn’t last long. I first started to add selected soundfiles, before starting to post entire records. After a harddisk crash which cost me about 15’000 self made mp3 files, I thought that this would be the time to call it a day. But in the end, the daily routine of sitting in front of my records, selecting an album and ripping it, quickly turned out to be something I did not want to miss. So if I had to start digitizing again, I thought, this time I wanted to make it right from the start by using quality hardware and creating mp3 files with love and the respect I feel for the music.
There’s nothing like the original vinyl of the music you love. You may argue with technical voodoo about authenticity of sound and such, or you can just say that you fetishize the objects (vinyl, cassettes, posters, books, whatever). There’s nothing wrong with fetish. The world needs more fetish. So maybe these mp3 files heat up the desire for objects and objects of love you can never have enough of.
Here’s where I realized that I started to grow new ears, even for records I had played hundreds of times before. When you work on these songs on the computer, you sometimes hear details that have totally escaped you before.
Trying to describe what you hear or putting it into a context of choice (historical, political, social or else) only deepens this experience. I had no theory of music, or my music, before working on goodbadmusic. Of course I was aware that music somehow changes just like everything changes in history. But what is music and how does it change? Do people make music or is the music that makes the musician? Over the past few years I began to realize that it’s about high time we start to re-evaluate the way we think about the history of music. That’s what I personally take from goodbadmusic: It remains to be work in progress and a focus of contemplation. Maybe the blog also provides the outlines of a book yet to be written.
Personally, I have since written about music outside goodbadmusic here and there: Next month for instance, a fine book about the 100 years history of the Volkshaus in Zürich is being published. I somehow managed to smuggle two pages about Heavy Metal concerts in the early 80s into that book which concentrates on the Volkshaus and its role in the history of labor movement.
In an extensive chapter of a book about the 80s in Switzerland (this one will be out early 2011), my personal friend Martin Stricker (a.k.a. Martin Ain, formerly of Hellhammer and Celtic Frost) and I talk about the politics of music and culture. This book will be published in early 2011.
On a more personal level, shootings for a biographical documentary film will be starting this months. The movie is going to portray me and my relationship to music. As you can guess, I’m very excited about this project which would not exist without the blog. The movie should be finished sometime next year.

610 postings and 12’527 comments have turned goodbadmusic into something real, in all its virtuality. People from all over the world have connected through it. I have found me new friends (and many new enemies, as it seems) and when I go out, I often end up having discussions about the blog, what’s written here, with friends and sometimes with people I have never seen before. That’s a crazy experience, I tell you, and it’s touching to see that music still can have such a potential of sparking up debates, bringing people together or apart – and all that in the world of today which, unlike the world of the 1980s, is bursting of music and style and fashion and scene. In the 1980s, I remember, you had a majority of youths who were not into music and whatnot, they just were in the waiting position to become adults. Today, the dividing line between the “youth” and “adult” world is not there anymore. The kids are boring adults and the adults are often pitifully regressive in their attempt of “keeping up” or “keeping true”. In our musical setting (well …), it’s the retro chic that makes me sick (and it rhymes!), the people who see, for instance, a video of the old singer of The Fix backed up by some hired hands, singing 3 or 4 old songs in 2010 to promote the Touch & Go book – and these people would go crazy over it, saying that this is The Fix they see there on youtube, in 2010 and yeah, that it feels just like it felt back then. In fact, they believe, nothing ever changed in the past 30 years. That’s what I call The Walt Disneyfication of Hardcore.
That upcoming movie about the Boston Hardcore scene seems to be just another a-historical and embarrassing look at the phenomenon, at least that’s the impression I get, with that bizarre retro festival they had there last week and all.
On the other hand, I think that there’s a growing number of people around who criticize the identity-politics of the re-enactment scene and those wishing to milk the cow once more.

One thing that keeps making me really happy is the support and generosity of musicians from all over the world concerning the blog. Mp3 blogs operate in a, midly put, grey area by posting music and artwork and making it available for download. That’s where the donation idea for goodbadmusic comes from: By depending on the community’s support alone (with advertising I could finance the blog easily; two big Metal labels alone made me offers that would go far over the 280$ per year). It may be a symbolic gesture that’s it’s the readers who finance this blog and maybe one that comes from the old fanzine days still. But I like it.
I still believe that this blog has a positive effect on record sales. Whatever it is, you can find it online for instant download, on blogs or filesharing platforms. But many people who end up here will, that’s what I persist in saying, most likely not belong to the consumerist downloading generation.
In the past, I’ve had a handful of requests from labels and bands to take down the song files of theirs. Recently, it was Rob from AMEBIX who asked me to take down soundfiles as the band was or is re-releasing its back catalogue. I took down the files as requested, but will probably ask for permission to re-up and post some new (well, old) AMEBIX material soon. Then we had the comedy with that guy who re-released THE CHEIFS 7″ and who ordered me to take down the three song files. After a storm of indignation and intervention from ex-band members, I decided not to take down the soundfiles. The latest in this very short list of copyright-issues came from a band from Switzerland, MOTHER’S RUIN. They seem to be preparing a CD-release of sorts and seemed to be worried that the three songs I had on the blog and the depiction of the original artwork (!) could be interfering with the sales of that CD. The smaller and less interesting the band, the greater the ego is sometimes. Well, well, well. I certainly hope they will shift more than 150 copies of that CD.
On the other hand – and that’s what usually happens – I get blessings from bands, artists or labels. Latest examples that come to mind would include D.R.I.’s Kurt Brecht who generously and personally blessed the posting of the entire EP and the label who recently re-released the EP. They simply asked me to put a link to the CD. Hats off! The second example would be Garry from the incredible ABGAS. I was looking for the very hard to find 2nd 7″ of theirs and he sold me one for a bargain and supplied a lot of material for posting it – which I will, as soon as the time is right! These are just two stories out of dozens I could tell.
A third variation of the reality-effects of virtuality sets in when I promote new releases (which I do, but selectively so). In the past weeks, THE DESECRATORS have shifted some dozens of their phenomenal previously unreleased LP (last copies available – get it while you can!) due to the posting here. Same thing could be said about the upcoming OFF THE DISK boxset (last copies available!).

So here’s for another year of goodbadmusic. I’ve been going through rough times recently, both with the blog and else. I cannot guarantee you that this will go on for many more years and it certainly will stop at one point. But I hope you, the readers, will keep up making it interesting with your comments, dissent and thoughts. I also hope that especially the partner blogs (that’s how I see them at least) will keep on going strong. KBD Records, Mustard Relics, Last Days of Man, Rocket Science and many others are blogs that I check up on daily; I think, I’ve read every single word and listened to every singe song on these blogs. So should you! The links are all there and many more, on the blogroll.
And don’t forget: If you like the music, don’t just download. Don’t do it for the industry, small or big – do it for yourself. Become a fetishist and get that fucking record!