Friday, February 22, 2008

No Depression (2): NPR Interview

Nice to hear yesterday's NPR interview
with Grant Alden and Peter Blackstock, the co-founders of No Depression, a treasure trove of first-rate music journalism.

As noted in my below post, the magazine for 13 years has been an invaluable source of information on alternative (non-mainstream) country, Americana, bluegrass, folk and roots rock with occasional forays into gospel, blues, jazz and other good music. And now it's set to fold.

The occasion for this nice shot of national publicity, of course, is tremendously sad, and it begs the question: If NPR loved No Depression so darn much, then why didn't NPR give the mag this kind of attention before the end was nigh?*

Another question: If the NPR interviewer had visited the comments section of the publishers' "goodbye note" online, she would have noticed several suggestions that the print mag be funded via higher subscription rates and/or a hefty endowment from one of the big-time artists whose careers have gained from ND's work, either of which seem like feasible solutions. So why didn't she bring up the question of alternatives to the magazine's demise?

I'll give the reporter the benefit of the doubt: Perhaps she posed that question, and
Alden and Blackstock declined to discuss the issue. Just dreaming and speculating here, but MAYBE there's a plan afoot, and the guys aren't quite ready to spill the beans.

No Depression's 75th and final print edition will be with the May/June, until something comes along to save the day.

*(If NPR previously did a feature on ND, then ... consider my apology in advance)


Hollis said...

Ahhhh, so killing the messenger is still in fashion! Thought we had gotten oast that. Guess not.

philip booth said...

Thanks for reading, Hollis.

With great power comes great responsibility, as someone once said.

With NPR's national platform, the radio outlet easily could have used its power to spread the great news about No Depression before the mag's demise was in the works.

Then again, perhaps there's a bright side to all of this, and we won't have to kill the messenger after all: It's possible that the national publicity generated by the NPR report will result in even more press/publicity about ND and some moneybags, somewhere, will respond to the mag's plight by saving the day.