One of my flat mates and I were sitting around our kitchen the other night, cooking and doing what usually happens to the idle-minded: Facebooking. Yes, I’m going to condone the use of that word as a verb for the time being. After a while, she noticed that a bunch of her friends were attending an event – a small show at a little known venue back home. This prompted the question: how did people find out about things before the internet?
Before we all became so attached to this cyber snare of communication and information that we now know as the World Wide Web, events like concerts and small shows were only heard about through traditional word of mouth. Sure, flyers help, too, but for the most part, if you didn’t hear about it, you didn’t know about it. The underground music scene really was very secretive.
With the addition of Facebook’s Events application and further with the addition of things like foursquare and “check-ins” everyone knows where everyone is all the time. It’s weird. This translates to there being far less privacy (and let’s not forget to mention that we’re all willingly giving up our privacy when using the social networking site). Underground shows are now inviting people to attend via Facebook. Raves and places like the Firehouse in Worcester are now “likable.”
Underground music is all much easier to access now. With FTPs and torrent sites hosting little known artists, anyone can become immediately acquainted with small bands from around the world. Variables of time and place aren’t factors anymore; you can be anywhere and hear music that was made years ago and miles away.
With the internet has come a jarring change to counterculture and the underground. Simply put, I don’t think there is an underground anymore.