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How can a poor man stand such times and live? Music will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no music. But music journalism, like all journalism--at least the kind you can still read by candlelight if you don't make your electric bill--can't finance itself with dedication, and lots of print outlets are hurting bad. No Depression, the venerable alt-country/Americana zine, published its final bimonthly issue this past spring. But the magazine's Web site continues to post news and commentary, and plans for twice-yearly "bookazines" (in collaboration with the University of Texas Press) have been brewing for a while.
If you go to the new main page of the Web site, you'll see that the No Depression folks have their hands out, hoping that interested parties will help sponsor their new venture--a radically revamped online-only magazine. To quote from the press release:
"NoDepression.com, which will be edited by the magazineÂ's founding co-editor Peter Blackstock, will include regular blogs by many of the magazineÂ's most frequent contributors, including Blackstock and fellow founding co-editor Grant Alden. The new site will also include record reviews and live reviews, features on emerging artists, news updates, the current websiteÂ's popular upcoming-releases list, reader-participant discussion forums and, perhaps most significantly, a vast and cross-referenced archive featuring almost all the content from No Depression magazineÂ's 75 issues published from 1995 to 2008.
"In preparation for the September relaunch, the website is promoting the No Depression Founders Circle, a way for fans and supporters of the magazine to assist with its continued presence on the internet. In addition, those who sign up for the websiteÂ's mailing list at NoDepression.com will be eligible to win an Epiphone DR-100 Vintage Sunburst acoustic guitar which has been provided by Epiphone."
My position when it comes to great zines is usually "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." But clearly some fixing is needed when so many great publications are broke.