Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One Web Day - NYC 2008

"OneWebDay - a global annual event that celebrates,and draws attention to threats to, the internet - is held every September 22. In 2008 this was a Monday - a breezy pleasant day as we gathered in NYC's Washington Sq.Park, The many illustrious speakers had to compete with occasional rumbles from nearby workers reconstructing the fountain. The OneWebDay theme this year was 'Democracy and Participation'."

"He's hunched over the monitors on the sticky black-smeared floors of Siberia, holding his video camera, as vocals and guitars scream out. He lurks in the shadows at the Knitting Factory, hastily gathering footage of the Ex. He's behind you at the Siren Festival during the Liars' set, with his lens looming over your shoulder, jumping from left to right between the masses of heads and shoulders. And there he is—that elderly white guy with the knotted and gray Rastafarian dreadlocks, the same ratty green T-shirt and worn pants, and bare feet at Northsix, comfortable and patient with a huge smile on his face as Deerhoof play their gloriously disjointed art-rock and roll."
"The man with the cam is Joly MacFie, a 52-year-old English expatriate whose website,, is the well from which NYC TV's New York Noise, a new weekly program on basic cable available in all five boroughs, draws its riches. The show focuses predominantly on New York bands, and on November 1 the program will air exclusive video footage of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs ("Yeah! New York" and "Kiss Kiss"), Ari-Up and the New Crew ("Don't Say Nothing"), and Oneida ("Privilege"), among others.
MacFie's been posting bands on his website since 1997, and shooting them himself since 2000. His ubiquitous presence has turned him into a fixture of the indie scene: He's at practically every show worth the admission price, and his catalog proves it. boasts hours of digital video footage of local, national, and international touring acts. The site's impressive show roster either stirs up fond reminiscences or utter regret: the Seconds, UK Subs, Japanther, Agnostic Front, X27, the Hissyfits, Touchdown, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Khan and Kid Congo, and Kimya Dawson are among many featured artists. He has filmed everywhere from the hippest lofts, spaces, and cafés in Williamsburg (Right Bank, Publick House) to rock clubs—including some (Coney Island High, the Wetlands, Brownies) long gone.
A cynical person might judge MacFie a scheming parasite who lives off other people's work, or figure he's simply a hermit with too much time on his hands, hoarding video footage to swap with wire-rimmed college twerps and hipster merch junkies. He's neither. He doesn't collect the videos he makes, and he sells them back to bands at a mere $2. (He offers them on his website for $4, and his cost of labor is $1 per video CD.) The truth is he's a catalyst, a one-man street team. Not to mention just as much of a punk rocker as his video subjects, shirking copyright infringement issues in a time when the recording industry sues 12-year-old girls for using Kazaa. Yet despite this age of digital-piracy crackdowns, MacFie has no worries, and insists that not a single band has copyright issues with him."
""It's incredible what you can do with a good digital camera," MacFie excitedly begins, departing from his usually soft-spoken and quiet English demeanor. "You can take something that would have been mundane and forgotten and turn it into something powerful.""

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