My home's in heaven, I'm going there.
March 4, 2008 1:40 AM   Subscribe

No Depression magazine will soon leave this world of toil and trouble. NPR reports that, due to falling ad revenues, the May/June issue of the revered alt-country zine will be the last. The magazine's Web site will remain active, but to what extent remains unsettled.

Indie snobs everywhere mourn its passing.
posted by Bizurke (27 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Indie snobs everywhere mourn

No depression, though. Rhe SSRI's are obviously providing some benefits,
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:56 AM on March 4, 2008

Veteran music journalist Ed Ward takes note of No Depression's passing " During the dozen years of ND's existence, it helped give birth to a cultural change which I -- and lots of other people -- believe is just around the corner... After all, the Constitution the current administration has savaged is no less a part of the cultural fabric as the odd banjo-playing musician Dock Boggs."
posted by zaelic at 2:04 AM on March 4, 2008

i don’t think i fit into his ND world
bottle rockets, waco brothers, freakwater girls
whiskeytown, calexico
jayhawks, uncle tupelo
alejandro, cutrufello
can’t you see that i won’t go

he says my songs are only for truckers
he wishes that i could be more like richard buckner
just give me my waylon, my patsy and gram
you can keep your blue mountain, your lambchop and schramms

what’s the skinny
he says kevn kinney
what’s the sign
he tells me hazeldine
his backsliders bender
is breaking me down
and it’s making me wonder
why he’s hanging around

'cuz i don’t fit into his ND scene
old 97's and the picketts and ween
golden smog and honeydogs and son wilco and i dunno
emmylou and buddy too and scott miller and scott miller

well i’m stuck in the past
and he’s stuck in his folder
and i can’t get through to his online mind
so i sign off the board and play an augmented chord
maybe i’ll win his heart this time
maybe i’ll win his heart this time.

posted by bunnytricks at 2:10 AM on March 4, 2008 [6 favorites]

Well I woke up this morning,
My magazine done gone bust,
Yes I woke up this morning,
My magazine it done gone bust (like a goddam balloon, man. bitch just went pop.)
I didn't wanna do it but my daddy's lawyers said that I must

Now I'm a trust fund baby,
But publishing is my gig,
Yes I'm a trust fund baby,
And publishing is my gig (more of a vocation really)
And when my daddy saw those unpaid bills, the old dude just about flipped his wig!
(Sing it sister. Take 'em back to church!)

Now if you like your indie music,
You shouldn't get reviews from blogs,
I said if you like some indie music,
Do not EVER get reviews from blogs
(They a bunch of no-count, no-taste, warcraf-playing, basement-dwelling peasants)
Cause if you lie down with those internet fleas,
You'll wake up and find you're eaten by the dogs...
(OK lets take it to the bridge)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Well, that sucks.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:36 AM on March 4, 2008

I'm not sure how I feel. Grant and co. defined "alternative country" for better or worse (or whatever that is) for a long time -- and during the formative years -- in ways that were both good and (I think) not so good. It was a great magazine in its time, but print magazines in general are on the way out.

Good run, guys. But maybe it was time to move over. Thanks for the great reading.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:41 AM on March 4, 2008

To be honest, I think this is a cop-out on behalf of the publishers, who started a little music magazine and then were surprised it started making any money. Then, when the money shrunk a little - not a lot, really - they said "fuck it, let's close shop." Frankly, the reasons for closing are more than a little selfish and downright alarmist for a magazine industry that has actually done quite well over the last year considering the fact that ad revenue is declining over all. No one is doubting the chances of the website, but I would have given it at least a couple more issues. Most likely, Grant had fallen out of love with No D two years ago and wants to devote time to a new project, which he thinks will replace No D's revenue stream quickly but will lack the energy that made his first project successful.
posted by parmanparman at 4:09 AM on March 4, 2008

Man, this brings back a lot of memories.UT in the early days, Tweedy getting weird, the Bottlerockets, Tweedy getting weirder, Anodyne, the explosion of a new genre (which wasn't that new, but was) and the early days of Twangfest, in a little hall that held 350.

In some ways, ND going away is a victory. It is no longer a proud and lonely thing to be an alt.country1 fan.

So. There may be cynicism behind this, I don't know. But this was a part of my life in the past, one I look back at fondly, and seeing it go is leaving me a little wistful.

Can you deny there's nothing greater --
nothing more than the traveling hands of time
St. Genevieve can hold back the water --
but saints don't bother with a tear stained eye

1) Whatever that means.
posted by eriko at 5:17 AM on March 4, 2008

I wonder what they'll post on _____ when MetaFilter finally gives up the ghost, huh? Hey, stop throwing stuff at me! Ow! Hey! I meant, like, one man's indie wankery is another's--OW HEY! That hurt! Was that a wrench?!
posted by not_on_display at 5:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm of a split mind of this, for one, I always enjoyed the magazine, but I let my subscription lapse in January. Once upon a time they were the best and only way for me to learn about music I liked and to introduce me to bands I wouldn't hear about elsewhere. I suppose I quit caring when they had Lizz Wright, the Shins and Mindy Smith in their features, artists I felt weren't hurting for coverage elsewhere. But being a magazine based on an internet site, it always seemed like their time to be relevant was limited. I guess that finally caught up with them, but for a while there they had some of the best writing in the business, so we can thank them for that (now if only they'll put some of those excellent articles up on their website!).
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:16 AM on March 4, 2008

Oh, man. What free magazines am I gonna pick up at Twangfest this year?

They were one of the last strong purveyors of the long-format music article - stories it would take a week worth of toilet time to read. When I let my subscription lapse a few years ago, I suddenly wasn't informed to what was out there, and kinda dropped out of the music scene as a result. I was *just* getting back in, and now this.

posted by notsnot at 6:19 AM on March 4, 2008

posted by anotherpanacea at 7:29 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Weird to see them go. I spent maybe five years as a probably-taking-it-too-far fanatic (fruits of that period here), and during that time I sort of simultaneously respected and resented No Depression. Respected because, well, they did their thing very well, but resented because I felt like they functioned as sort of an manual of cool-- one that, no matter how hard core I was, I could never live up to.

In retrospect, that was pretty clearly just mid-20s self-esteem stuff on my part, and they were really just a cool magazine. On one level it's sad to see them wind up, but it's tough to keep a mag going, and most of them don't accomplish as much before cratering as No Depression did.
posted by COBRA! at 7:40 AM on March 4, 2008

Your favorite music magazine most definitely does not suck.
posted by spilon at 8:30 AM on March 4, 2008

posted by anotherpanacea at 7:29 AM on March 4 [+] [!]

Chin up!

I'm going where there's no depression
To a better land that's free from care
I'll leave this world of toil and trouble
My home's in heaven
I'm going there
posted by basicchannel at 8:49 AM on March 4, 2008

I feel bad about this on about a zillion levels -- not the least of which is that in the back of my mind, I one day aspired to write a feature for No Depression. And now that's not possible.

The fact that half my music geek online friends just lost one of their major revenue sources is another problem.

If I'm depressed about No Depression, is that obvious, ironic, or obviously ironic?
posted by jacquilynne at 8:53 AM on March 4, 2008

I've been subscribing for years and I'm going to miss the magazine. But the upside is that not having all those CD reviews every issue might help me save a little money.
posted by maurice at 9:14 AM on March 4, 2008

This sucks. No Depression was great magazine that provided in depth coverage of a ill-defined genre and evolved over time to encompass a ton of great musicians and styles. My musical attentions have shifted over the past few years, but still love the sounds of Americana that No Depression dedicated itself to so religiously. This is yet another sad closing of an major outlet for these musicians. A few years back I talked about other losses for Americana music here.
posted by tdstone at 10:26 AM on March 4, 2008

sucks. maybe my favorite music magazine.
posted by es_de_bah at 11:25 AM on March 4, 2008

Man, this brings back a lot of memories.UT in the early days, Tweedy getting weird, the Bottlerockets, Tweedy getting weirder, Anodyne, the explosion of a new genre (which wasn't that new, but was) and the early days of Twangfest, in a little hall that held 350.

I just wanted to quote this for, "Yeah, that Tweedy dude is seriously weird" purposes (sorry for the Pitchfork link, but it was the best one I found about the story). And because it brings back memories of UT, even if I could never stomach No Depression the magazine. I am a little sorry to see them go though. They did have a long run.
posted by sleepy pete at 1:03 PM on March 4, 2008

In that bright land, there'll be no hunger,
No orphan children crying for bread,
No weeping widows, toil or struggle,
No shrouds, no coffins, and no death.

This dark hour of midnight nearing
And tribulation time will come.
The storms will hurl in midnight fear
And sweep lost millions to their doom

Best heard by the early Monroe Brothers.
posted by zaelic at 2:35 PM on March 4, 2008

I didn't know about No Depression until I heard the NPR piece a couple of weeks ago, and I'm sorry I missed out.

But I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for these guys... they bemoan the loss of this medium (because who else will write 10,000 word pieces about Little Miss Cornshucks?), while seeming, at least in the interview, to completely ignore the vast potential that the website provides. Do they really think so little of their readers?

Go ahead and post your long form article, folks, and if it's interesting, people will read it. Guess what can make it even more interesting? Photos, just like you had in your paper magazine (only with room for many more than before). But wait, there's more... audio links! Video! Interactive commentary from your readers (gasp)! These things can provide valuable color and context for your long form article, and are FEATURES OF THE INTERNET. Teh wow.

So from what it sounds like, they're either clueless about this newfangled intarweb, or they're looking for excuses to hang it up. Based on some of the comments here, I'm guessing it's the latter, but it'd be nice if they'd show a little more respect for their obviously enthusiastic readers, and just say "we're ditching this because we're ready to move on to other things."
posted by somanyamys at 3:30 PM on March 4, 2008

I subscribed a while back but everything was way too upbeat for me. They rarely had anything negative to say about any of the bands they covered and sadly (for me), I found that confusing.
posted by puckupdate at 3:46 PM on March 4, 2008

That's why I never read American music magazines. Everything is so unbearably reverent. And who wants to read 10,000 words about some band they've never heard of and thus have no idea if they even like or not? Not me, that's for sure.
posted by Jess the Mess at 1:18 AM on March 5, 2008

Suddenly I don't feel so alone!
posted by puckupdate at 4:35 AM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

If Grant ends up doing something else, I hope he hires an art director because he sure as hell can't do it. ND should be remembered as having the worst covers and overall photography in the history of music mag publishing, with the Lizz Wright issue taking top prize.

Plus, as evidenced by their annual critic polls, they couldn't have been farther removed from their readers as far as taste is concerned. Buncha old people trying to be cool vs. just being cool old people if you ask me.
posted by DonnieSticks at 7:45 AM on March 5, 2008

ND should be remembered as having the worst covers and overall photography in the history of music mag publishing

I have only two word to discredit you: Jim Herrington. While some of the images in the magazine over the years has been sub-par, Jim's work is about as iconic in Alt-country circles as Jim Marshall was in 60's rock. I doubt there is anything that sums up alt-country for me visually as much as his brilliant photos, except maybe Glenn Hilario's illustrations.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:30 AM on March 5, 2008

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