I discovered punk as a preteen in the early nineties. It was about the same time that my family signed up for AOL. This lucky convergence meant that I frequently stayed up all night on weekends doing internet searches (because I don't think Google was a verb yet) on the word "punk." I spent hours studying fan sites hosted by GeoCities and featuring animated gifs of mohawks headbanging. Yahoo is shutting GeoCities down later this year, and I imagine most of those punk fan sites disappeared long ago. Internet fandom is a little more overwhelming now: no web-savvy kid would type "punk" into Google and expect to end up with lovingly pieced together sites created by obsessed fans (You don't. You get Wikipedia and YouTube.).
But that doesn't mean there's not homegrown stuff out there. Take mondovision.tv, for instance. Mondo Vision bills itself as San Francisco's only punk videozine, which seems like a pretty safe claim. In their five episodes so far, they've interviewed people on the street and bands in basements, people at shows, and -- in one notable instance in episode four -- a band in a dumpster in Oakland. The video quality ranges from good to incomprehensibly bad, but the editing is great: not always smooth, but always quick-witted.
In addition to scenes of live shows and interviews with bands, each episode also has a loose theme. The hosts talk with people about their favorite live shows, the end of the world (is the apocalypse imminent, and if so, do you care?), and gentrification. The answers, like the questions, range from thoughtful to ridiculous. Mondo Vision isn't afraid to look silly or earnest, and it pulls off both, able to switch gears on a dime.
It provides a glimpse into a scene its creators are a part of: made up mostly of young creative people who care about their music and their world, even if for some it's the small world of Oakland punk houses and outdoor shows. A topic throughout the show is the shortage of all-ages venues in San Francisco. In earlier episodes teenagers say the scene comes in waves, depending on where they're allowed to play in the city. By later episodes, there's an active fundraising drive to create a non-profit all-ages venue.
Mondo Vision, like the bands, record labels, and houses that are a part of the Bay Area punk scene, is a labor of love. One of the best parts about Mondo Vision is that it's documenting people and places that are real, here, now.