i received a gentle reminder the other day that it’s been four years since i started this website. truthfully, my ambitions surrounding this project were scant; it largely began as an outlet for occasional thoughts about music, usually poorly-constructed and often completely unwarranted. soon, it blossomed into something fulfilling, a project i could constantly work on, tweak, and improve. for some reason, a few people read the content i churned out, and others soon christened my inbox with music submissions.
the dimestore started in eau claire, wisconsin, while i was in college, and grew in tandem with my exposure to and participation in the town’s local music scene. for context, think more sloslylove, less bon iver. the blog followed me after graduation out to the pacific northwest for a year, and then back to rural central wisconsin when life inevitably mandated the return to a more familiar network.
2016 was a marvelous year in all of the ways that absolutely don’t matter. against a backdrop of social unrest, staggering losses of creative life, and the complete manhandling of democracy, the dimestore flourished. traffic was good, the inbox was heavily-saturated, and phenomenal music was arriving in quantities that was damn near impossible to keep track of, let alone digest and think about critically.
i lost the urge to run this website sometime in early july. i’ve given up trying to figure out why. i’m sure some of it has to do with the general state of the internet; the less i’m on it, the better. amidst truly wonderful publicists and individual artists pitching me was an increasingly large amount of tasteless digital servicing, promotional mass blasts in attempts to commandeer blogs as vessels for streaming revenue. the frantic scrambling to put as much music in front of as many people as possible, with complete disregard for individual tastes and tendencies, has been off-putting for some time. maybe it just caught up with me.
the biggest component is arguably the most boring: i work full-time now, and coming home to sit in front of a computer for hours after sitting in front of a computer for hours has become less and less appealing.
this is a long, roundabout way of saying that the dimestore is closing. if you follow the site on twitter (or me, for that matter) this is not news, but now it’s in writing. it’s official. the past four years have been fun, but i just don’t have it in me anymore. i toyed with leaving the site up and writing occasionally, but that approach runs counter towards everything the dimestore has stood for. i think it’s best that it goes out on a sort-of high note.
so, thank you for reading. thank you for pitching. thank you for following me on twitter, saying something nice to me about the site on twitter. this has been an incredibly valuable experience, one that extends far beyond simply writing about music i like.
a special shout out to all in the eau claire music scene, past and present, who let me premiere their songs and blabber on and on about the virtues of small-town independent music. another special shout out to the labels that have been so nice to the dimestore over the years: forged artifacts, cascine, sports day records, orchid tapes, and many more. a final shout to the fellow bloggers that weather this perpetual storm and have served as genuine inspiration: tom at gold flake paint, jeremy at hi54lofi, dante at all around sound, steven at heartbreaking bravery, lauren at the grey estates.
what’s next? well, there is one more dimestore piece on the way, and it’s a big one. probably the longest piece i’ve ever run on this site. keep your eyes peeled for that mid-january. after that, things get a bit more hazy. i’d like to continue writing about music, but at a pace that’s more conducive to my present lifestyle and still allows me to put substantial thought and detail into each piece. i’m still ironing out the details, and unfortunately that leaves me without a definitive answer to the question posed at the beginning of this paragraph.
for now, though, i’m going to enjoy this hiatus, however long it winds up being. so thank you, once again, to each and every one of you who has stumbled upon this goofy website and didn’t immediately navigate away to something better. i’m proud of what i’ve created, despite its flaws and limitations. stay in touch, keep the conversation going.