[Hype Hype Hooray] The Death of a Music Blog or Why I Need A Warmer Coat

Every [two weeks?] Jamie Hale takes a long, hard look at the music industry and the blog scene that feeds it. Here, he releases those findings and makes snarky, sarcastic remarks. Admittedly, both Jamie and Knox Road are a part of this scene. So sue us.

Pennsylvania can get very cold in the winter. Yet throughout my adolescent years, I would turn down the coat, hat and gloves in my mom’s hands and wait for the bus outside in a t-shirt and jeans. When my mom saw my chapped lips and nearly-frost bitten arms she freaked out. But I was fine, I insisted. It wasn’t that I was ornery or rebellious, I was just invincible. We like to think that ridiculous thoughts of invincibility are for reckless teenagers, but the fact of the matter is when we’re sitting comfortably in life, we all think we’re invincible. If there’s nobody firing your coworkers, your job is secure.

Those of us who run music blogs are no different. Yes, the economy is rough, but we’ll always have just enough money to pay for hosting. Sure, we lead busy lives, but there will always be time to post. Or so we think. But I felt a twinge of horror in my heart today as I read the farewell message on Lord of the Rings-obsessed music blog and Altered Zones contributor The Road Goes Ever On. In blog-runner Cameron’s own words:

“I don’t have a way to upload music anymore and have no money to pay for hosting…I’ll try to come back someday soon. If I don’t post before, merry Christmas, and thank you for staying true.”

Ouch. Another fine blog bites the dust and another fit of paranoia eases into the mind of a fellow music blogger. But this isn’t about ME, it’s about the music blogging community. Although some are lucky enough to make posting MP3s a full-time job, most of us are just regular shlamazels who post when we can. I find myself only able to write this column at 9:30 p.m. the day before it’s due. And while I can’t speak for everybody, it’s apparent that blogging is not so much a job, but rather a crazy hobby. You know, the one that makes your friends cringe a little and your parents question your priorities (just me?).

But this crazy hobby is what keeps us sane. It’s the passion project that others only dream of attempting. Without it we’re just “music people” whose only respect comes from snotty record store owners and asshole teenagers in line at the Of Montreal concert. The blogs give us an outlet.

To see one of our own fall to such a stupid reason as money saddens me. It also makes me scared. Will we all one day face the same music (I’m not talking to you Gorilla vs. Money Bags)? Will Knox Road die because of a lack of money or time? Will I fall victim to my own hubris and stand in the cold until my arms blacken and freeze?

Someday we’ll all have our swan songs, but until then we can only do what we started these little websites in the first place to do. We can only keep sharing our love of music and hold out as long as possible. And maybe there’s something better in the end. In honor of Cameron and The Road Goes Ever On, I’ll quote The Lord of The Rings:

“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it…White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

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