“We didn’t like any websites about San Diego music,” says Kevin Hoffrichter, cofounder of bandconnexion.com. “So we built ours as guys who actually hang out in the clubs… It’s updated daily and not at all a corporate thing.”
Launched in March 2000, the site’s central feature is an alphabetical list of links to individual pages and websites (most built and maintained by bandconnexion), which collectively spotlight nearly 200 area performers.
Local acts also turn up in a “Photos” section.
“We’re out there every week, and the photos stay up so there’s 50-plus pages already.”
Does anyone balk at having their picture taken and posted on the www?
“Nobody complains. Local bands need and appreciate every bit of exposure and PR they get.”
Some attempt at objective commentary is made on the “GeeDunk” and “Reviews” pages. Local concert fixture “Vida,” known for her encyclopedic knowledge of San Diego’s punk rock history, provides the best of these write-ups.
Since reviewed performers are often linked to the site, can writers be unbiased?
“Most bands aren’t paying us,” points out Steve Crafton, bandconnexion’s other founding partner. “If someone puts out a not-so-well-put-together CD or plays a bad set, we’re going to be objective. We’re not out to slam anybody, but we’ll be honest. Keep in mind though [that] we mainly want to provide a resource for players and fans and not just another [web]zine full of reviews. That’s too easy.”
Neither partner is a musician; both have full-time gigs with the U.S. Navy. “But I figured since I had no talent to be in a band, I might as well do this,” says Hoffrichter. Crafton agrees. “I wanted to be a singer but failed all the auditions.”
Their compilation of material useful to professionals can be found on a “Resources” page, which includes information about recording studios, labels, music publishers, promoters, and equipment dealers. Other pages offer a weekly calendar of events, ticket, and venue information, as well as airplay logs and chart lists from local radio stations.
“We have a direct link to MP3.com, and every time a song gets played, the band gets credit for a hit on the MP3 site. When a song gets more than 15 [hits] a day, that can turn into real money,” says Hoffrichter.
The site may not be “corporate,” but it is commercial. Participating bands can get a free bandconnexion.com web page, which includes space for a bio, pictures, newsletters and a gig list. Fees kick in with a Plan 2 package, but they’re reasonable: $10–25/month.