Depressing News...

I awoke this morning to the news that the music magazine, No Depression, will cease publishing after its May/June issue. Citing many of the same reasons that other indie publications have closed their doors (check out the  story in Lost/Found issue of Bitch: Paper Cuts: Saying RIP to some of the best DIY), ND will move to web only content after 13 years of print publishing.

Some of you may have heard the story on NPR this morning - if not (or even if you did), please read the bittersweet letter the folks at ND have posted on their site. It is a reality check for all of us who value independent media. 



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5 Comments Have Been Posted

that's a loss

No Depression was one of my first experiences with "alternative" publishing. I was in a debate about who was better -- Wilco or Son Volt (ahem, Son Volt). My friend handed me a copy of the magazine and I was in love. I'll play Windfall while I salute you all.  

the debate is still alive and well

<p>um, debbie, i challenge you on the wilco vs. sun volt debate.</p><p>wilco, no contest.</p><p>anyone else? </p>

Wilco vs. Son Volt

This seems like a perfect opportunity to polish up my skillz for the March 11th throwdown. Though it might be difficult to make that transition from Jeff and Jay to Britney...

Getting into a debate about the merits of the two bands is tricky. The different songwriting and vocal styles of Farrar and Tweedy were a pleasant contrast on Uncle Tupelo records, but over time the differences between the two have become more and more distinct, such that they hardly can be contained within the same genre today. Farrar's music has changed somewhat since the Uncle Tupelo days, but has been a relatively small departure from UT's definitive "alt-country" sound. The same cannot be said for Wilco - they haven't really looked back since A.M., and I don't think you could even label them as alt-country since Being There (though really, did anyone ever WANT to be labelled "alt-country"?).

While people who enjoy good music can appreciate both bands, your preference basically comes down to your preferred genre: "alt-country" (Son Volt), or the more generic "indie rock" (Wilco). (I put Wilco in that more general category simply because they have defied boundaries for so many of their albums - it's hard to believe Summerteeth and A Ghost is Born could really be written by the same band.) I guess the answer to the debate depends on your metric. If you are contrasting the two bands based on loyalty to the sound Uncle Tupelo was so instrumental in developing, then clearly Son Volt is the winner. But in terms of musical innovation and staying at the forefront of what is happening with independent music in general, Wilco is clearly the superior band. (Until Sky Blue Sky, that is. That is some adult-alternative gold right there. Makes for a decent commercial, I guess.)

Nice blog, Amy. Please keep the posts coming!

how can i argue with that?

<p>that was an impressive analysis of son volt and wilco. and it's true, i'm partial to son volt because i'm more partial to the sounds of uncle tupelo and &quot;alt-country&quot; (and yes, ugh, who ever came up with that phrase should go far far away).</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>


<p>RIP no depression.  one of the things i liked about the mag is that it gave the midwest more of a place and voice in independent rock.  long live uncle tupelo!!! jeff and jay did their best work together, not apart.</p>

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