Without the Internet, Johannes points out, he would never have moved to California. He recalls playing shows for fans in small towns like Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Jamestown, New York, who had discovered his music online. He's released a 7-inch record on a label he had only communicated with via e-mail — not an uncommon occurrence in the online music scene.

"We still haven't met in person at least half the artists we've done tapes with," says music blogger Evans , who started his own label, Crash Symbols, to release tapes of artists he writes about on his blog. (Other blogs-turned-labels, like Forest Family Recordings and Wonder Beard Tapes, have taken a similar model.) "I finally saw Hear Hums live in March, and we released that tape in December of last year."

In the end, Evans says, location is secondary. "When people ask me where I live," he says, "I just answer 'the Internet.' It's good enough for me."

Liz Pelly can be reached at lpelly@phx.com.

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