New England Music Archive Contains a Fossilized History of Local Rock
This post originally appeared on Vanyaland.
The mid-2000s were an interesting time for independent and underground music in Boston. DIY spaces felt plentiful and vibrant, dance parties were all the rage, Great Scott became an unlikely home for indie rock, Ben Sisto was booking weird shit under the Honeypump banner, and the Internet had yet to ruin pretty much everything (though the Noise Board certainly put in a good effort).
This morning, a decade-old archive of Boston music from the 2000s stated resurfacing in our social media feeds, and it’s a goldmine of sounds from a time that existed just before the Internet’s oversaturation era. With more than 100 bands preserved, the no-frills New England Music Archive feels like a time machine back to the MySpace days. Included is music from Night Rally, Cave-In (pictured), There Were Wires, Orange Island, the Lot Six, Clickers, Pinkerton Thugs, Where the Land Meets the Sea, the Wonderful Spells, Bread and Roses, and dozens of others. It was created by Dracut native Jarrod Delong, who over time just decided to keep it live.
“Hasn’t been updated in quite a long time, but from time to time I hear people talking about how they’re happy that it still exists, so I leave it up,” he tells Vanyaland. “I created it probably about 10 years ago because I had tons of music from local bands/artists who had stopped playing, and I was making copies of things for people fairly often, or ripping vinyl to digital formats and sharing them (before Bandcamp came along and made it easier for bands to offer digital downloads with their vinyl). I had web hosting for my various bands and websites already, so I figured I’d just make a basic website and host all of this music. Eventually people started sending me their former or current bands’ music and asking me to post it on there, so it grew in that way as well.”
Roger Lussier, a Brooklyn resident who once played in Boston bands like Pretty & Nice and the Appreciation Post, is one of those people who are grateful Delong’s site still exists. “I’m so incredibly happy that it’s still up,” he says. “Brings me back to the music that got me into the scene.”
Delong says the original still exists at music.anewlanguage.org, but last year he moved it to its current URL, “and used some open source software to try to make it into a better site,” he says. “Which worked, but I didn’t have the time or motivation to really put a ton of work into making it look nice. I’ll keep it going as long as people are still accessing it, because I pay for the web hosting and space anyway, so why not?”