The Shape of Things to Come

Aquarium Drunkard past, present, future

The internet is an increasingly goofy place — formerly great websites gutted, excellent writers/creators put out of work, horrible user experience, enshittification wherever you look. The algorithm is a trick, SEO an unknowable riddle, social media a bad joke. Like so many other things, this downward spiral feels inescapable/inevitable. But the spiral isn’t the only option. In fact, it’s easy to go back to a simpler World Wide Web, an Edenic online experience made up of unique digital gardens with unusual perspectives and outlooks. Nothing’s perfect — that’s for sure. But there’s gotta be a better way.

The twist is that the better way is going to cost you. Not much — maybe the cost of a decent latte once a month, or a solid breakfast burrito. Aquarium Drunkard is coming up on its 20th anniversary; a thousand lifetimes when it comes to other online destinations. For two decades, the site has been an oasis for music lovers, a place driven by the passion for sharing music both new and old; insightful reviews, extensive interviews, exclusive sessions, esoteric mixtapes, dusty bootlegs, curated radio shows, wide-ranging podcast conversations. It’s a place that celebrates creativity and eclecticism, and (importantly) a place that isn’t beholden to editorial calendars or flavor-of-the-month topics. Whatever appears here is part of that very basic ethos: Only the good shit.

Delivering that good shit — week after week, month after month, year after year — it takes effort. AI this is not. The increasingly far-flung Aquarium Drunkard team puts a lot of work into ensuring that the site chugs along in its out-of-time fashion. As we move forward, that team definitely deserves to be compensated. No one here is getting rich — it’ll always be a labor of love (and a lot of fun). But by supporting AD with your hard-earned cash, you’ll be keeping this little corner of the internet alive and well, hopefully shining a light into the gathering gloom.

The site will transition to a membership based model on April 8th. If you would like to get a jump on things you can go ahead and sign up by joining us right here …


Justin Gage & Team AD