Friday, February 22, 2008

"I'm Going Where....

...there's No Depression". It was the title of a Carter Family song. Uncle Tupelo, covered that song and appropriated the title for their first album. A couple of music writers from Seattle took it a step further and used it as the name of their magazine. Sadly, after covering alternative-country, cow-punk, Americana, roots-rock and basically all the music that Nashville has the balls to not consider "country" music for 15 years, the print version of "No Depression" is ending.

I've been a fan of these musical genres since 1991 when I heard Uncle Tupelo for the first time. After the group split in 1994, I was able to follow their type of music by reading what little coverage Rolling Stone gave it through groups like The Jayhawks, Freedy Johnston and UT's spinoffs, Son Volt and Wilco. Then, in 1997, I saw a band called Whiskeytown on the cover of a magazine I'd never seen before. Soon, I was picking up issues every other month at various bookstores, eventually becoming a subscriber.

No Depression introduced me to the wonders of Neko Case, informed me that Jimmie Dale Gilmore was part of a band before going solo called The Flatlanders, gave me some background on bands in my collection, including The Texas Tornados and The Flying Burrito Brothers. If you ever wanted to know more about Drive By Truckers, Iron and Wine, Alejandro Escovedo and Little Miss Cornshucks, No Depression was the magazine for you.

I heard Alden and Blackstock, the editors, on NPR last night. Sadly, it doesn't seem that they have much interest in keeping the articles going online. They're afraid that web-reader attention spans won't last past one page. I'm afraid they'd probably be right about that assumption. But I'd still read it all....

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