Another Music Mag Bites the Dust

| 2/21/2008 9:41:43 AM

Order us a double whiskey and put a sad country song on the jukebox. We just learned that music magazine No Depression is about to stop publishing. Its May-June issue will be its last after a 13-year run.

Here at Utne Reader, we’ve long been fans of No Depression, nominating it five times for arts coverage in the Utne Independent Press Awards (including last year) and passing around each issue to browse its smart, clear-eyed coverage of American roots music. We admired No Depression’s trend-bucking moves, like putting 79-year-old Porter Wagoner on the cover, its general avoidance of music-mag clichés, and its ability to take us deep into the back corners of this country’s rich trove of homegrown music. In a world full of guys wearing Western-style shirts, they helped sort out the real deal from the posers.

No doubt, No Depression had a challenging mission in getting its hands around an amorphous category of music, most often called Americana, alt country, or No Depression, that at times encompasses folk, country, blues, soul, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, bluegrass, and various subsets of rock. But it navigated this broad landscape with pluck and verve, attracting a loyal readership that according to its editors hasn’t dropped significantly. What did drop was the amount of record label advertising, a result of “the precipitous fall of the music industry,” they write in their farewell notice.

No Depression was an earthy antidote to the glossy, glib, trend-obsessed coverage we often saw in the mainstream music press, like drinking a quenching brew instead of a gimmicky stunt martini. Looks like we’re going to go thirsty more often.

Keith Goetzman

Kelly Pardekooper
2/23/2008 9:57:38 PM

Very sad news...ND was one of the few nationally/internationally distributed music magazines that covered my little Iowa City based music career. I credit them with helping me get over to tour Europe etc. They will be missed.

Daniel Ted Feliciano_3
2/23/2008 12:12:50 AM

That's so sad. No Depression's been my favorite music magazine for years.

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter

click me