Technical Difficulties, All ‘Round
Man, what a week… There was supposed to be a nice, big update to the site this past week, including a few of our growing pile of need-to-get-posted live reviews, but then yours truly got laid real low by the flu — I don’t remember a thing from roughly last Monday evening to Tuesday night, and then Wed.’s a big blur, as well.
The one thing I did manage to do was dope myself up enough to drive (well, the wife drove) woozily to the Gogol Bordello show I’d been dying to go see for months now. It very nearly didn’t happen, but thanks to the wonders of generic Tylenol, we managed to go at the last second, getting to The Meridian right when Eugene Hutz & co. went onstage, and we were able to see/hear all our favorite songs.
A very trippy night, esp. since I was pretty much continually on the verge of collapse — I was actually hoping for a punk rock healing like I got from the Ramones once upon a time, but that didn’t happen, unfortunately. We left just in time, it turned out; I started lapsing into fever & chills on the drive home. But dammit, we went, and we were even able to get The Munchkin her very own Gogol Bordello super-small-sized t-shirt (they’re her favorite band, believe it or not, although Hannah Montana’s possibly moved up into a tie position lately).
The next few days found me feeling half-dead and unable to do a whole heck of a lot, even while conscious. I finally went back to work on Friday, feeling totally overwhelmed by three days’ worth of work crap that piled up while I was gone. By the end of the day, at least, I felt a bit caught up, but even now I’m still not 100%.
Anyway, that’s my personal technical difficulties of late. For the site itself, some astute readers/contributors noticed a very odd thing over the past day or two — somehow, our happy, relatively inoffensive, decidedly low-tech e-zine had gotten itself blacklisted. Blacklisted, specifically, by Google and anti-spyware/malware/etc. hub StopBadware.org. Which meant that if you’d Googled “space city rock” (or “Houston music,” or “Houston bands,” or whatever else) in the last 48 hours — I don’t think it went any further back than that — you’d have seen a snippy little note from Google on the Space City Rock result that the site might download malicious software onto your computer, and you therefore probably shouldn’t click on the link. Fuck.
This, as you might guess, was extremely distressing here at SCR HQ. We are not, obviously, a malware distribution site of any kind, which made the whole mess confusing as hell, as did the fact that Google was supposed to have emailed all the generic admin-type addresses for the site to let us know we were being blacklisted. And they didn’t, which I know ’cause they would’ve all come to me. Double fuck.
In the meantime, we were looking pretty bad, and I’ve gotten at least one report that it wasn’t just through Google. Fortunately, Google was able to pinpoint the culprit pages on the site somewhat, and they turned out not to be “real” Space City Rock pages, but the parts of the site belonging to my own now-defunct political blog, Something’s Got to Break, which was where my personal political ramblings & pontifications went from, oh, about 2001 to 2006. (Damn, it’s hard to believe it was around that long.)
On the negative side, those blog posts contained a shitload of links to sites all over the freakin’ place, a couple thousand of which, statistically speaking, were probably since dead or co-opted by somebody evil & sneaky (it’s been 2+ years since the blog got updated, y’know). Rather than painstakingly trawl back through every freakin’ post, then, my only choice was to blow the whole thing away. Which breaks my heart, honestly, because I was intensely proud of some of the stuff in the SGTB blog — I still feel like it was some of the best writing I’ve ever done.
Them’s the breaks, though — I couldn’t justify keeping a defunct, out-of-date blog around at the risk of this site suffering more permanent damage, reputation- and readership-wise. So I’ll have to content myself w/reading the archived files I was able to save down off the FTP site.
An e-appeal later, and it appears that we are once more on Google’s (and, hopefully, StopBadware.org’s) good side. As far as I can tell, the Google team has removed us from their blacklist, so you shouldn’t see any freaky messages or anything when you search for us. phew. In the meantime, as well, I’ve used the burst of frantic activity to upgrade our ad-serving software from the now-unsupported phpAdsNew to Openads/OpenX, so you might also see some wigginess with banner ads not appearing on all pages, especially here in the blog.
Now, if you do happen to run across any messages online somewhere or get any bounced emails saying that Space City Rock has been blacklisted or blocked or what-have-you, I’d like to ask you to please email and let us know, because we’ve got to take care of stuff like that as soon as we possibly can, and we don’t always know about it. Send an email, if you could, with the subject “SCR Blocked”, to both “gaijin” at “spacecityrock DOT com” and “gaijintx” at “yahoo DOT com”, and we’ll get it one way or the other. Thanks…
(The Gogol Bordello show, btw, was amazing, especially the people-watching — it had to be the weirdest, most diverse crowd I’ve seen in a long time, with elderly Russian-looking couples dancing traditional dances and clapping, Nu-Hippies in quasi-gypsy duds dancing around with abandon and beefy, fratboy-looking guys with lots of odd tattoos — Eastern Promises, y’all? — slamming and jumping up and down with their shirts off. The band, obviously, was great, like an insane, drunken cabaret act from behind the Iron Curtain in some alternate-timeline future where the U.S.S.R. didn’t implode…)