Sad news, folks. With their May-June issue, No Depression is calling it quits (at least for print). Considering the state of both music and print media industries in this digital age, I guess it shouldn't really be as surprising as it feels.
I thought No Depression would've lasted longer than other music mags, though, since they're a niche mag that served so well a niche that seemed more likely than others to contribute financially to the music industry. If you know what I mean.
Though they covered a niche market, No Depression always managed to find ways to broaden what Alt-Country or Americana might include. Outside of the letter cols, and the occasional weird ad (one that sticks out read something like: "Alternative Country is the only Country and the only Alternative"), there was very little looking down on mainstream country. In recent years, hot Nashville acts like Miranda Lambert and Gretchen Wilson even received favourable write-ups within ND's pages.
No Depression could always be counted on for excellent writing on interesting subjects. Why, they even published me a few times at the beginning of this century. It was an exciting time for country music, and I was very excited to be part of it. I never really got the hang of pitching to them, which frustrated me (and continues to frustrate me--pitching is hard). But I was always treated with respect by editor Peter Blackstock. No Depression was the first publication outside of Regina to carry my byline, and it was both emboldening and terrifying. I don't remember how many pieces I ended up doing for them, but I know that I was proud of at least two of them. I had some good jokes in my review of Neko Case's Canadian Amp EP, and my Stompin' Tom concert review was one of the finest things I'd written up to that point.
I would have gladly written more for them, but, as always, the whole thing plunged me into an existential crisis. I was torn between trying to write in what I thought was their voice and pursuing my own developing style. Careerism was fucking up my shit.
Good night, No Depression.
mp3: "Country Song" by the Idaho Falls