Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Final Post: All Things Must Pass....

"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

Well, it's with mixed emotions that I write this post. I knew that I wouldn't be able to sustain this gig forever, and truth be told, I've managed to sustain it significantly longer than I ever imagined I could, but I think that the time has come for me to call it a day on this here blog (with the ridiculously long url.) To many of you, it may seem like this is somewhat out of the blue, but truth be told, hardly a week has passed since I started, that the thought of pulling the plug on this venture hasn't crossed my mind. It's not that I don't enjoy it of course, it's just that it's an awful lot of work and I think that I've taken it as far as I'm physically and mentally able to.

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.

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18 Comments:

Anonymous mike said...

Rather than question your decision and make you second guess yourself, I'll say that it is bittersweet; bitter that I won't be reading your show reviews written in a manner that was as unpretentious as one could be but sweet that you've made a courageous decision to reprioritoze and move on to other good things in life whatever those things may be. A pleasure seeing you and chatting at shows and hope that'll continue in the future; will look out for the guy at the front with the hat, or at least with the clean-shaven head. ;)

8:15 AM

 
Blogger Mechanical Forest Sound said...

Sad news!

But understandable. And, possibly, eminently sensible.

Not every good band lasts forever, but sometimes good things come from their ending. And not every blog is going to last forever, but that can lead to good things as well.

We shall raise a glass, sir, next time we cross paths at a gig, to the august work you have done.

8:18 AM

 
Anonymous matthew said...

Well that sucks. You'll be missed!

8:34 AM

 
Anonymous Carrie said...

Wow, you weren't kidding last night! Thanks for the mention. All the best to you...hopefully we'll still cross paths at shows. I'll miss your posts in my RSS -- especially your retro photos! :)

9:18 AM

 
Blogger historyjen said...

!!! I will miss this blog! Best of luck in whatever hobbies/life stuff fills your days from now on :-)

9:18 AM

 
Blogger ohvotrecoeur said...

Bob,

You are all-around awesome, and I will miss your posts. Tough decision to make, this. Utmost respect to you. You rule.

Haley

6:27 PM

 
Blogger the dprs said...

thanks for everything bob. you have showed the dprs so much love. we have appreciated it all.

http://thedprs.blogspot.com/2010/03/hats-off-to-bob.html

6:58 PM

 
Blogger Marsha said...

Hi Bob, we never got to meet at the shows yet, but I really respect what you did with your blog. It is tonnes of work keeping a one going, as I'm finding out, so much so you forget to take care of yourself in the process. Not many can say they've kept with a project for more than two years, let alone 5+. That is awesome you were this consistent. It's awesome you are dedicated to the Toronto music scene.
cheers,
Marsha C

3:41 PM

 
Anonymous apes & dan said...

Ahhhh! We haven't been around for as long as you have but this makes us sad... You will be missed ! ! ! Thanks for all your support in the biz.
- daps (of tonkapuma & hooded fang)

10:03 PM

 
Anonymous Chris said...

Thanks for INTBIHITF, I've enjoyed reading your blog for quite a while now! You will be missed.

8:43 AM

 
Blogger fred said...

Thank you for all your good work.

2:30 PM

 
Blogger Megan Hamilton said...

No, BB, thank YOU! <3 xoxoxo

1:19 PM

 
Blogger BunkleLife said...

Completely understand your decision - but I will miss you as a connection to my old TO musical stomping ground. Enjoy the freedom! ;)

10:14 AM

 
Blogger Bobby said...

Bob -

you totally rule. thanks for everything, not the least of which being patient with guestlist mishaps, saying great things about good bands, and just being a true supporter of what is a great music scene.

i certainly hope the end of the blog doesn't also indicate the end of you at shows.

2:51 PM

 
Blogger Bobby B said...

I am so completely blown away and humbled by all of the sweet comments coming my way, both here and elsewhere on the interweb. Thank you all soooo much, from the bottom of my heart.

And Bobby, although there will definitely be a drop in the amount of shows I'll be going to, the end of the blog most definitely does not mean the end of the shows. See you around.

7:11 PM

 
Anonymous Chris said...

so weird coming back here for my usual weekend browse realizing that eventually the backlog of reviews and musical mentions will come to an end on here as there's still a lot in between, some catching up to do. ;) yet the proverbial well does come to an end. you will be missed B. One prolific blogger and music aficionado.

Chris

9:32 AM

 
Blogger bulle said...

how frustrating to discover a great blog when it's been closed

2:08 PM

 
Blogger Christoph said...

Really enjoy this blog, it is a new look on music!
I post lots of great artists who should be recognized as well.
I love for some to check it out.

http://thedailyconsciousness.blogspot.com/

5:24 PM

 

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