Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fighting the Apocalypse

Some days it's hard to maintain faith that the music industry will survive in any recognizable form.

It was bad enough — a joke, really — to learn that one of the major labels is hiring the mean-spirited gossip-monger who calls himself Perez Hilton as a talent consultant. Now, news comes that No Depression — a magazine that focuses on alt-country music is folding after its May issue.

Whether or not you like Steve Earle, Wilco and Emmylou Harris (I do), this is very bad news. Peter Blackstock and Grant Alden, the founders of No Depression, were serious music journalists from the old school. It wasn't unusual for them to publish 5,000-word articles on artists, and to treat the music of people like Earle, Harris and others as art that forms an important part of the dialogue of American social life.

As both a writer and a fan, I'll miss No Depression and mourn the continuing shift toward the abyss for the music industry.

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