Imageyenation (pronounced image-eye-nation) is a group-blog based in Springfield, Massachusetts, focusing on underground, urban and alternative culture.
The site was founded by disc jockey El Keter ben Tzadik in the fall of 2000 as a static-content style e-zine featuring a wide variety of infrequently updated content including news articles, op-ed pieces, features on music artists and in-depth music reviews.
In ensuing years the site has switched to a blog format and taken on a number of contributors, expanding it's scope and content and increasing it's update frequency in the process. But despite the changes and improvements Imageyenation has maintained it's commitment to intelligent, in-depth music reviews and exposing new and exciting music artists.
Though it is not exclusively a music blog, there is a particularly heavy emphasis on music of various genres in the site's content which includes two weekly radio programs (called Dusty Grooves and Urban Alternatives, airing late night Monday and Wednesday, 12 midnight to 3 AM eastern time, on 90.7 FM WTCC in Springfield Massachusetts respectively) lots of audio and video links, artist features, reviews, an MP3 blog and a weekly podcast series called Undertones.
The Hostage Crisis Edit
On August 24th 2006 the site began experiencing an extended period of downtime. At first this service interruption was believed to be due to regular service maintenance on the part of the site's longtime host SurfSpeedy.com. A support ticket was opened asking what was going on and a SurfSpeedy support technition claimed that they would have everything fixed by the end of the day. When that didn't happen another support ticket was opened. An entire week went by when a response from the same tech who claimed the problems would be fixed finally arrived saying that the account had been deleted but that Imageyenation could upgrade to a new account, or that he could make the site data available if Imageyenation wished to move to another host. Due to the shoddy treatment SurfSpeedy had shown Imageyenation a request was made for the site data. No response was recieved back from SurfSpeedy. Another week passed when another tech sent out a message identical to the one from the first tech saying that the account had been deleted but that Imageyenation could upgrade to a new account, or that he could make the site data available if Imageyenation wished to move to another host. More messages were sent to SurfSpeedy and still no responses were forthcoming. Finally, site founder El Keter ben Tzadik asked that if they were not willing to hand over the data that they just upgrade Imageyenation's account to the new hosting plan because two weeks of downtime was just not acceptable. Again, no response was forthcoming from SurfSpeedy.
On September 8th 2006 El Keter ben Tzadik recieved a billing invoice from SurfSpeedy for hosting for September/October despite being told the Imageyenation.com account was "deleted." The billing dept. webpage has indicated all along that the Imageyenation.com account is in fact "active."
On the morning of September 9th 2006 the Imageyenation.com domain name began directing to a Spanish language music site which has no affiliation with Imageyenation.com what-so-ever. Yet another support ticket was opened asking what was going on, explaining that the downtime and the domain redirection was inexcusable and asking what the status of Imageyenation.com and it's data actually were. A tech responded and indicated that the issue needed to be dealt with by a manager.
On September 13th SurfSpeedy processed the bill which was sent out on September 8th and withdrew payment from Imageyenation's bank-card of record. SurfSpeedy were questioned via support tickets as to how it's ethical to continue to charge for services they're not even providing. These support tickets were either forwarded into the black hole of unresponse or unceremoniously closed.
At some point on September 18th a SurfSpeedy manager named "Steve" finally posted a response to these issues to the SurfSpeedy support desk. His response was merely to reiterate that Imageyenation's account had been deleted. He did not apologize for the shoddy technical and customer service his company had been giving Imageyenation. He did not apologise for deleting Imageyenation's account without warning or explaination. He did not address the issue of why his company continues to bill Imageyenation despite the fact their account has been "deleted," nor did he offer a refund. But most importantly he did not indicate what had happened to Imageyenation's data, offer to make good on his support staff's promise to turn the data over, or admit that the data was deleted and apologise. He just said the Imageyenation account was dead and closed the ticket. He also deleted all the other open tickets related to these issues. When Imageyenation founder El Keter ben Tzadik attempted to respond to "Steve" he was booted from the billing/support desk area and was not allowed to sign in again, being confronted with a message saying his login information was no longer valid.
As of 4:18 PM eastern time on September 18th 2006 no further responses have been forthcoming from SurfSpeedy and they are still holding Imageyenation.com's data hostage. Imageyenation is currently looking for an alternative hosting solution and is contemplating legal action against SurfSpeedy.
The End Of The Hostage Crisis Edit
After an exhaustive search for a new hosting solution the month of November, the month the site originally went live five years ago, saw Imageyenation obtain a hosting account with a new hosting company. Work immediately began getting the server in order, installing the site's CMS and uploading image files.
Some time during the early morning hours of Sunday November 13th Imageyenation returned to the internet after a three month absence, and missing a month's worth (from July 14th 2006 through August 21st 2006) of content. The site is now accessible through the http://www.imageyenation.com base URL. Though redirects from the old URLs are in effect for a number of key files we urge our visitors and anyone who has linked us to update their bookmarks, feeds and links.
- El Keter ben Tzadik
- Lady Glock
- Miss Behavin'
- Iron Giant
In addition to founder and webmaster El Keter ben Tzadik the most frequent contributors to the site include Emeyesi, Cereffusion, Lady Glock and Add-Mmm, while Miss Behavin', Sankofa and Iron Giant contribute less frequently. The mysterious 12XU is a "silent" member of the blog team, being mostly involved with live events and radio, and only rarely contributing to the site.
The majority of the site's contributors (including El Keter, Emeyesi, Add-Mmm, Miss Behavin' and 12XU) reside in various locales around the Western Massachusetts region while others are based in New Hampshire (Cereffusion), the Washington DC area (Lady Glock, though she's currently in London) and the Midwest (Sankofa).
- Site founder El Keter also co-hosts the Urban Alternatives and Dusty Grooves radio programs, occasionally produces beats for rappers and other vocalists, is a member of the experimental noise band Thunderstorm (with Emeyesi and 12XU), is a member of electronica duo Pandog (with Add-Mmm). He was also a contributor at Jewish pop-culture blog A Berg Above The Rest, has contributed to both the Beautiful Decay web anthology and print magazine, and recently began writing a daily music blog at Okayplayer.
- Site contributor Emeyesi is also a respected club and radio disc jockey, the co-host of the Urban Alternatives and Dusty Grooves radio programs and a member of the experimental noise band Thunderstorm (with El Keter and 12XU).
- Site contributor Cereffusion is also a bunny and a doggy... and a birdie... a little girl birdie... and a drunk... and a jerkface. He gets drunk with actor Michael Caine off Irish Whiskey at Boston area pubs. He is constantly on his Sidekick II in an attempt to avoid human contact. He has never held his live-in girlfriend's hand but they recently became engaged none-the-less. She is currently attempting to start a sex-toy business out of their home.
- Site contributor Lady Glock (alias Miss Hipstah) is also an accomplished photographer, raconteur and the founder of, and chief contributor to, Jewish pop-culture blog A Berg Above The Rest.
- Site contributor Add-Mmm is also an artist, aspiring architect, musician, electronic music producer, member of the electronica duos Newsay and Pandog (with El Keter).
- Site contributor Miss Behavin' is also an accomplished sculptor, artist, metalsmith and maker of strange and beautiful jewelry.
- Though not exactly a site contributer, crew-member 12XU is also a humanitarian, a noted club, party and radio disc jockey, sometimes co-host of both the Urban Alternatives and Musty Grooves radio programs, a member of the experimental noise band Thunderstorm (with El Keter and Emeyesi), a respected event planner/concert promoter, a well-known journeyman musician and a near legendary fixture in the regional DIY, punk-rock and skateboarding scenes.
- Site contributor Sankofa is also an indie hip-hop artist who has released a number of well-received projects, both as a solo artist on his own Obese America imprint, and in collaboration with others.
- Site contributor Iron Giant is married to Add-Mmm, she likes to boss him around and tell him not to spend any money. She's also a scientist... no, seriously.
- Site contributor R-Uh is the newest member of the collective and the site's first West Coast corespondent. She told Lady Glock that she wants the Imageyenation posse to come to the left coast for her forthcoming birthday party!
All questions or comments about the site, contributor queries, press releases, media links and review submissions should be addressed to keter (at) imageyenation (dot) com.