Published on November 30, 2013
I thought I'd take a couple of minutes to share with you how and why Concert Archives (originally named SeenDB) came to be.
I've been really nostalgic about music over the last few months, which has manifested itself in a couple of ways. First, I got back into vinyl. I rediscovered my record collection and began trying to backfill my favorite albums. Discogs has been great for that. I've spent a crazy amount of time digging through 1990's - 2000's post-punk/hardcore, emo, etc. Luckily Portland still has a dozen incredible independent record stores. Second, over the past few weeks, I've gotten an urge to research and catalog all of the concerts I've been to.
I was going to a lot of shows in college. Around this time, I had the foresight to create a document called "bands i have seen.txt". I kept the file up to date for a couple of years but eventually forgot. Then the file went missing. I've had several hard drives crash and probably 5 different computers since then. A couple of months ago, I scoured them all to try to find that file. No joy.
But then about a month ago, I had new hope. Remember how we used to have to back up our computers 10 years ago? There was no Backblaze/Crash Plan/Carbonite. No Time Machine or Dropbox. There were CDRs. Painfully burning files onto blank CDs. I've got spindles of burned discs still stashed away of music, movies... and a few backups!
I found a disc containing a copy of my entire 'My Documents' folder from 2004. This thing is like a time capsule from my final year of college. It contains websites I built, papers I had written, and my "bands i have seen.txt" file!
I now had a list of (almost) every concert I had seen from about 2001 to 2004 (about 45). Unfortunately half of them didn't have dates and none had venues. Just a list of bands. With lots and lots of Googling, searching email, and flipping through photos, I was able to put together the puzzle pieces and get "bands i have seen.txt" mostly up-to-date and mostly thorough.
Two things still bothered me though:
And so I began building Concert Archives to try to coax my friends into creating their (and my) concert archive and to get it all into a safe, centralized place.
If you have the same fond memories of concerts and an urge to never forget, I hope you find Concert Archives useful too.