I've had the fine pleasure of messing around with the new site for the past week like much of the staff, and I can tell you that what Jason has put together is living up to my expectations and more. There's a few things I would personally change design-wise that I brought up, but they're so miniscule, and they don't take away from the experience, so it really doesn't matter. The way you move through the site; the clean feel of it. It's like knowing where everything in your dirty room is if you're looking for it, but one day finally just cleaning it the fuck up. That's the biggest part of AP.net 3.0 - it's the progressive version of what I think Jason wanted this site to be over time.
With progression will come minor offense by us spectators. "Oh, well I liked this minor thing here," or "I liked how raw this looked, sounded, felt, etc.," and it just continues like that from generation to generation. It's the one drawback for having a creative intellect and a judgmental one at that. If you really want to stand out, you'll move forward. Will anyone care about the third album from "insert band that gets so much shit but only has 15-year-old fans that will grow out of their music here," in five years? Ten? Seriously, Millionaires has a Kickstarter with shitty incentives. These things are called a "flash in the pan."
Good art (subjectively speaking on a larger or cult like scale) will only be herald over time. One album doesn't mean shit. Ten albums and eight really good or close to solid ones means more. Three solid ones that birthed influence but never sold means even more than the ones that garnered immediate sales and dropped off. Good art is also produced by people who won't give up on their ideas. I wonder what Loveless would have sounded like if Kevin Shields didn't bankrupt the record label. What if Black Flag never learned how to play their instruments? What if bands like Young Widows or Jesus Lizard or Jawbox never aimed for the perfect tones in their recordings?
Hearing some of O'Brother's songs last night off their upcoming record Garden Window and listening to Circle Takes the Squares nearly flawless layering of only the first third of their new album, it made me think of a new perspective of all my pissing and moaning. There wasn't a time in the late 2000s where music was awful - it just didn't have any heart anymore for some of us. It seemed like for a second that the majority (not all) bands were making music for the sake of making it. (note: the italicized statement can be taken two ways.) I think that's what I'm beginning to see when talking to some of these artists that are releasing some phenomenal music this year - there's heart and desire in it again. Bands are going out of their way for a certain showmanship of overcoming their own challenged ideas.
For a lot of you, moving onto the new site will seem strange and weird. It's not raw anymore. It's been remasterd in the best way possible. As we spend our last few weeks or months with this house, cherish the qualities it's given to us as a community. Those same values are in the next site, it's just perfecting those qualities. When you first get into punk rock, it's all about fucking the system over and creating anarchy and making it about us against them. The truth is that that sort of idealism is complete bullshit. Take it from someone who once had that ideal. The truth is that punk rock is about taking what is wrong, and making it right and building a community around positive ideals of how to do things properly. When you're young, noise is cool and new; when you grow older, learning how to control it in your favor is even better. That's the real art of punk rock - breaking the rules without anyone even knowing you're doing so.