February 22, 2008

Yes, Depression

I received my new issue of No Depression magazine the other day, and like I always do, I leafed through it checking to see what musicians were interviewed and what albums were reviewed. What I missed and found later was this note from the publisher:

Dear Friends:
Barring the intercession of unknown angels, you hold in your hands the next-to-the-last edition of No Depression we will publish. It is difficult even to type those words, so please know that we have not come lightly to this decision.

For those not familiar with the music magazine, let me explain: For 13 years No Depression has won acclaim for its coverage of the alt-country, country, Americana music scenes. Their cover subjects have ranged from Gillian Welch to Elvis Costello to Drive-By Truckers. They also did not succumb to glossing themselves up (like Paste magazine, which has turned itself into the GQ of music magazines), instead opting for solid reporting and filling a well-loved niche.
But now, despite a solid readership base, advertising revenue is shrinking and dying because of the collapse of the corporate music industry. It's a hard fact to stomach that as it becomes easier to access music through downloadable and DIY albums, that it would help destroy things we love -- like No Depression. While the publisher says they will try to continue an online presence, I'm pretty sure it won't be the same or have the same impact to me.
It all boils down to one less voice heard for deserving musicians. No Depression? Not for me.

No comments: