The Underground Music Museum is curated by GAJOOB publisher, Bryan Baker (that’s me).
GAJOOB was/is a magazine established in 1986 dedicated to underground music and initially focused on music self-released on cassette and the artists making it. As CDR equipment and media became accessible the format was not as critical as the ethic.
I have kept most of the music sent to GAJOOB over the years. It’s been stored away in boxes and moved with me from place to place. I have also kept many other items such as letters, VHS tapes, zines and other things.
The idea for a library or museum has lingered in my mind for some time. I began cataloging the items from the start using Claris Filemaker as my database of choice. The GAJOOB website started out as pure html with custom scripts running nightly from Filemaker automatically uploading files via FTP. On a dial-up, no less.
The goal of the museum is to digitize and make the music and associated material accessible online as well as to establish a museum to convey the personal passion which motivates a unique kind of folk artistry and exchange between artists people interested in such activities surrounding the creation of music and other art (sometimes only for the artist themself).
The Underground Music Museum will grow into an evolving number of collections beginning with the GAJOOB Magazine Collection which consists of music and other material received for review in the printed magazine from 1986 to roughly 1997.
The magazine was online almost from its start with early Hypercard stacks and other formats; I even employed audio prior to mp3 and prior to RealAudio using unix audio in low bitrates and housing multimedia stacks on AOL and various bulletin board systems.
The GAJOOB Online Collection consists of material received for review on the website from about 1997 to 2010.
HomemadeMusic.com was an offshoot of GAJOOB which was an online store for home recordings. This music is showcased in the Homemade Music collection.
Tapegerm is an offshoot of GAJOOB and HomemadeMusic.com which gathered artists together to share audio source files in a central repository and create new music with these sources. The Tapegerm collection houses an archive of this work and the activities which take place around it. The original idea for Tapegerm was to facilitate artists working with audio from our cassette library and experience it fresh by creating an evolving number of new compositions. We are continuing to facilitate that here (and there).
Other collections, I assume, will evolve over time. One collection of note is the Ken Clinger collection which contains the library donated by underground artist Ken Clinger.
I continue to collect and review underground music being made today. If you have a collection of underground material you would like to offer to the Underground Music Museum, please contact me with the details.
I expect this work to occupy much of my years moving forward and I welcome any support anyone can offer to help it succeed. Visit the gift shop for items inspired by the people and music you’ll find here. Most are handmade in my home-based art studio, Blind Mime Arts.
–Bryan Baker, 2022