DCShows.net is a website dedicated to local punk, metal and hardcore music in the D.C., Baltimore, Richmond and greater mid-Atlantic region. I am strangebeer and I'm the one-man army behind this site.
Established in 2002, DCShows.net was an excuse to teach myself PHP so I could get out of my dull job as a software tester and into the exciting world of 2AM software development in the dark to the soundtrack of German industrial music. There was already a local site, pheer.com, that advertised local shows and I thought replicating the show listings was a simple enough task that I could also teach myself database design. The skills I learned did eventually earn me a job as a perl developer and, to this day, I remain in that career field.
In my free time, before the proliferation of digital cameras and photo sharing sites like flickr and Instagram, I had a 3 megapixel digital camera that I took to local shows. With no place to dump the hundreds of photos I took every night, I thought this "DC Shows" web project would be a good place to dump them. No color balance, no cropping, no post processing -- just a transfer to my computer, a batch resizing, and an FTP upload to a directory where the Mig photo gallery would take care of the web page generation. Making it easy to do is how I often had photos posted before hangovers kicked in.
I eventually stopped taking pictures as my small DC4800 had finally given up the ghost after too many mosh pits and spilled beers. I retreated a bit from the scene as I found myself with more responsibility during my day-life and I sought to put some distance between my body and the less healthy aspects of the night life -- smoking, drinking and take-out food. The site waned and grew stagnant, but remained online and still saw traffic.
In March of 2009, the grandfather of the DC/MD/VA internet community, the pheerboard, was shut down by its owner, Pablo. The first day it was inaccessible, Pablo and I chatted over a lengthy e-mail exchange about the board. He expressed his frustration about the about the negative attention he received regarding the pheerboard and how it conflicted with the goals of pheer.com as a place where people of all ages could come to learn about local music and communicate openly, hopefully growing into a stronger community. Pablo vacillated about what to do with the pheerboard, citing that while he did not like its content, he knew people used it. We discussed a few options, but when I offered to stand-up another message board to take the pheerboard's place, he opted to take his down. His only request was it was not be called the pheerboard.
In the early Spring of 2011, DCShows.net was hacked by a script kiddie. Every page on the site was defaced while an Eminem track on played on repeat. After a cursory look through the software, I decided I did not want to untie the ridiculous knot that was PHP code I had written many years prior and an elusive few lines of malicious code. I opted to start anew with another web host and an open source content management system that I knew would both be secured by an active development community and would allow for growth in functionality: I installed Drupal 7.
The problem, however, was that I was mid-way through an IT burnout stretch and would not spend the time or energy learning about Drupal or ensuring I had the latest security patches applied — of which there were many. The Internet lumbered onward and DCShows grew stagnant again with a steady decline in traffic.
After 7 years, I fought my way out of my IT funk and placed myself back in the middle of the web development world. As it was in 2002, this DCShows.net project would once again be the proving grounds used to teach myself and get my programming chops back. It was time for another version of the site, and I finally put code to screen in early 2014.
In 2015, and after many years buried on a hard drive somewhere, I've found all 5,000 photos I took from 2003 - 2006 and have re-posted them in a new curated photo gallery. Unfortunately, the full sized raw photos remain lost. I can't say with certainty that I didn't delete them at some point back in the day, thinking I was saving disk space.
And there you have the complete(ly abridged) history of DCShows.net.