"None of life's strings can last / So I must be on my way / And face another day / All things must pass / All things must pass away..." - George Harrison
When I started this thing back in May 2006, it was done on a (mild) dare (of sorts), and it was done as a bit of a lark. This explains the inane url, as well as a few early fluff pieces, like my second post where I went about praising this "wonderful" "new" band known as The New Cars, (who were essentially an updated version of the old Cars, but without it's two key members, meaning that there was no way that this band would be able to sustain my, or anybody else's enthusiasm for very long). A few months after that, much to my surprise, bands were asking me to review their work, and there was even a core group of music lovers (mostly Torontonians) who were actually taking the words of a schmuck like me seriously. I'll admit that at first, I was easily enticed by all of the free stuff I was getting: CD's, t-shirts, concert tickets, spots on guest lists, etc. But after awhile, it became obvious to me that, in my small way, I was accomplishing much more. One talented musician from the U.K. wrote me to tell me that, thanks to something that I had written on my blog, he had sold some copies of his independent release in Germany, an area where he may not have received exposure otherwise. That was the first of many words of appreciation to have come my way, both from musicians and fans, thanking me for getting them heard, or for sharing some tunes with them that they would not have otherwise become acquainted with. That's when I realized that I was actually accomplishing something worthwhile with this blog, which motivated me to start taking it a little bit more seriously. And I've been having a blast! Still, having said that, my intention was always to keep it as a hobby; secondary to all of the more important things in my life; an interesting way to occupy the small amount of free time that I had.
I'm happy to say that over these past four years I've been able to respectfully keep it in its place, although admittedly, at times it was just barely so. I've turned down most offers to turn this into something bigger, and as many shows as I've attended during that time, believe it or not, I've always turned down more than I've accepted. I've always run this blog myself, and happily avoided allowing it to get to the point where the blog was running me. However, at this stage in the game, it's getting harder to do that, and I've decided that for now, I'm going to pack it in. Unlike many, I never wanted music to be something that I did for a living. I always felt that the minute it started to feel like a job, was the moment that music stopped being an enjoyable past-time, which, quite honestly, was, and still continues to be, my favourite thing about music. Due to recent developments in my life, (nothing bad, just time consuming), I just don't think that I'm going to be able to maintain this thing at the level that I've grown accustomed to. The thought had crossed my mind to perhaps keep it up, just at a more subdued pace, but to be honest, I can't say that I'm all that enthusiastic about going backwards either. I've thought about it long and hard, and came to the conclusion that now is a good time to pull a bit of a Seinfeld, stop things at sort of a high point, and bow out with my sanity still (relatively) in tact.
That having been said, does this mean that that's it for my online persona? Well, never say never, I guess. Perhaps somewhere down the line the thrill of music journalism will grab me again, and I'll find myself resurrecting this thing. Maybe next time it will be in the form of a more official looking website, or perhaps I'll simply lend my services as a contributor to another site. Who knows? But for now, I'm going to be laying low online, and I gotta tell ya, as much as I'll miss doing this, I think there's a part of me that's going to find this newfound freedom very liberating.
In the meantime, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has provided me with the encouragement, kind words, readership and, most importantly, great music over the past four years. I'm likely to forget a few names, but some of the more personal without whom's are as follows: Jennifer Polk, Dan and Terri Wolovick, Tyler Wade, Michael Ligon, Frank Yang, Jonathan Chandler, Daniel Hay, Kate Cooke, Carleigh Aikins, Daniel Brandon Allen, Kevin Kralik, Lonely Vagabond, Robbie Butcher, Bobby Kimberly, Lauren Schreiber, Sari Delmar, Rajiv Thavanathan, Chris Hobson, Chance, Laura Keeling, Haley Zalesky, Ileen Laura, Jason Wells, Jeremy Knibbs, Leerone, Matt Bahen, Mike Walter, Nick Bernal, Lisa Horvath, Pete Nema, Melody Lamb, Joe Strutt, Rob Schmidt, Carrie Musgrave, Walid Lodin, Jason Evangelho, Richard Gibson, Robert Gibson, Kristina Bergeron, Megan Bonnell, Byram Joseph, Ryan O'Shaughnessy, Matthew Pollessel, Kelly Bergeron, Joel Beerman, Ben Fox, Branko Scekic, Jason Haberman, Jason Loftman, Daniel Hales, Sarah Smith, Kirstie Shanley, David Oliver, Darren Gaines, Mike Stroud, Megan Hamilton, Nathan Stretch, Rochelle Latinsky, James Hicken, Craig Mailman and Edward Lau. There are many others out there, and I'm thankful to all of you, but these are the ones who I specifically remember saying a kind word to me at a show, mentioning me on their blog, taking the time to fire me off an encouraging e-mail or two, and/or thanking me for digging their band.
And speaking of the bands, there's a whack of them that have always been an integral part of this blog, but there are some special ones who have been particularly inspiring, not to mention especially nice to me personally and I would be remiss if I didn't mention them as well. The special ones are: Fox Jaws, Amos the Transparent, The Hoa Hoa's, Clothes Make The Man, Beautiful Nothing, Chance, Santa Dog, Ileen Laura, Reily (RIP), Oh No Forest Fires (RIP), Bass Lions, In-Flight Safety, Darren Gaines and the Key Party, Songs From A Room, The Joys, Whale Tooth, Rural Alberta Advantage, Elvyn, The Paint Movement, Davey Parker Radio Sound, Wallscenery Demos, Dinosaur Bones, Hooded Fang, Tom Fun Orchestra, The Space Between Things, Lovely Killbots, Young Rival, The Schomberg Fair, AfterpartY, Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, Clouds That Look Like Things, Krupke and Make Your Exit.
And most importantly, I'd like to thank my wife for always being supportive of this little hobby and for allowing me to pursue this musical obsession, accompanying me to shows when she could, and being my text buddy when she couldn't. Yer the best!
There's certainly no shortage of quality music blogs out there, and I wholly recommend checking out any of the ones listed in the sidebar. Take care of yourselves, and maybe I'll see you at a show sometime.
I'm the guy at the front, near the stage, with the hat on.