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Thursday, December 19th, 2013

This Concludes Our Broadcast Day

The heat death of a music blog

Image via WikipediaWikipediaOh hi, I didn’t see you there.

Welcome to the final post on chromewaves.net. Yes, that’s right. After eleven years and four months and a number of days I can’t be bothered to add up, after hundreds of concerts and festivals, countless record reviews, concert announcements, news links, MP3s, videos, and whatever the hell else I’ve posted here since September 2002, I’m calling it a day.

For the whys and wherefores, I would direct you to the tin anniversary post from last September. Go ahead, I’ll wait. What’s interesting to me in re-reading that post is that I have very little else to add, either gratitude or grievance. Every factor cited then in my thinking very hard about quitting this blog – general tiredness, industry fatigue, declining metrics, a lack of interest from within and without – still holds as much now as it did then, probably even moreso. As it turns out, the slow lane that I supposedly pulled into for the past 16 months wasn’t all that much slower than the fast lane, and it has become evident that my only choices are to either keep my foot on the gas until the needle hit ‘E’ and I flame out spectacularly or to take the next off ramp. And so here we are.

This is not a decision that I’ve taken lightly. I’ve basically spent the past year waiting/hoping for the spark of musical discovery and impulse/compulsion to share to reignite, but it simply hasn’t. Know that early drafts of this post were very different and very pointed – I planned wonderful rants about commodification, listification, commercialization, devaluation, trivialization, all kinds of -ations – but while therapeutic, were not the note I wanted to go out on. Music and blogging and music blogging have been very, very good to me, but I fear that were I to keep at it that gratitude would further curdle into resentment and cynicism and this thing that I’ve built, that has defined and directed so much of my life this past decade plus and am very proud of would suffer for it.

Already I feel the quality of what I do has diminished relative to its peak and I don’t want to stay around too long, like the pro athlete who doesn’t know when to quit and needs either a torn hamstring or demotion to the minors to get the message. And so I’ve played out this season – I think we’re done with 2013 things – and am hanging it up. I am certain that I will miss many, many things about being an active and constant voice in the conversation about new music, but shouting at and over the ever-deafening din of the music hype echo chamber to fewer and fewer ears won’t be one of them. The machine can’t stop, won’t stop, and I need to get off.

I will still be active – probably more active – on the Twitters with broadcasting stuff I come across that I find interesting or thing may be of interest, and maybe I’ll get around to trying out this Tumblr thing. Plus at some point I intend to finally attend to that redesign of this site I talked about and convert it into something more archivally-inclined than an old-school blog form.

But for now, I am going to walk away and do anything but write about music. Maybe the itch will return someday; I’ll deal with that if and when it does. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy, not least of which is disassembling a decade’s worth of blog-publishing life routines. Will my index finger start twitching at 8:30AM looking to click on “Publish”? Additionally I’ll get to work on that massive pile of books collecting on my shelf. Learn to cook something new. Use all those cameras I’ve got for photographing anything but bearded dudes with guitars in shitty light. Spend some quality time with the cat. Learn to play the solo from “I Am The Resurrection” on guitar. Listen to whatever records I want and ignore the zeitgeist guilt-free. Go to a show and not take notes and when I get home, go straight to bed. Just do all those things that I said I’d do more of if I didn’t always have to block off hours every day for the blog. Instead of constantly asking, “what’s next?”, the question is, “what now?”. It’s terrifying and exciting, but I think absolutely necessary for my own good. It is no longer time to make the donuts.

So to everyone whose paths I’ve crossed – artists, labels, promoters, publicists, bloggers, photographers, fans – it’s been a slice and I thank you and I’ll still see around. It’s been life-affirming and life-changing and life-devouring. Take care of yourselves.

MP3: Ride – “Chrome Waves”

—30—
By : Frank Yang at 8:30 am
Category: General
RSS Feed for this post138 Responses.
  1. matt d says:

    All the best Frank.
    My morning routine will not be the same without your take on new releases,upcoming shows and the Toronto scene. Thanks for all of your efforts and the tips (music and festivals) that you’ve given me over the years. It’s been a pleasure!

  2. Brian says:

    This is sad news. I really did always wonder how you found the time to make this as complete and all encompassing as you did. Best of luck in everything, Frank.

  3. Mark Whiting says:

    Hell of a run my man. Hell of a run. I understand exactly where you’re coming from — hope you find plenty of diverse projects and learning experiences to keep you busy for the next decade.

  4. John says:

    Thanks for all the insights over the years…. Been an avid T.O./UK based reader for most of it. Cheers!

  5. juepucta says:

    Thanks for 10+ yrs of commitment to this, man. All the best in your future endeavours.

    -G.

  6. Jon says:

    Frank – Thanks for all the time you’ve put into writing. I discovered your site in the mid 2000’s and found out about BSS and so many other great Toronto bands through your blog. I made it up to Toronto for the Field Trip festival this summer. It was a unforgettable trip – Toronto is an amazing city. I probably never would have made the trip if hadn’t become a regular reader of your site. Best of luck!

  7. Jordan says:

    Frank,

    Thank you for introducing me to so much great music.

    Thank you for inspiring me to start my own blog.

    Thank you for inspiring me to become a better concert photographer.

    You’ve had a huge impact on me. I will miss your posts and the music you would have turned me on to.

    All the best as you move on to more excitement.

    JN

  8. Mike says:

    I agree with all of the above. In the summer of 2004, reading your blog became part of my daily routine. New bands, concerts, reviews…You were definitely an influencer. All good things must come to an end, but you have done a great service to music, artists and fans.

    Best Regards,
    Mike

  9. Eric E. says:

    Many thanks for all of the wonderful music that I’ve been introduced to thanks to your site. Take care and good luck…

    Eric

  10. Iain says:

    This blog helped me stay connected to Toronto music long after I moved to suburbia to raise a family. I came across it years ago searching for #Ride tributes/ discussions and stayed for recommendations that shaped my musical sensibilities today. It seems like we both grew up in the nineties grunge/britpop eras and shared the same experiences. I’ve never met Frank, but someday I hope to and I’ll buy him a drink. Good luck in your next endeavor and maybe we’ll meet when Mark, Andy, Loz and Steve hit the stage again.

    “The beginning of understanding is just knowing there is no end and the door that stands before you is just waiting to be your friend.”

  11. Peter says:

    I’m a long-time reader. I appreciate all of your time and effort. You’ve introduced me to some great new music. Your efforts will be missed. Good luck with your next venture.

  12. Gary says:

    Long-time reader, long-time creeper: You’ve done some amazing work here. You should be proud. This blog means a lot to a lot more people than you know.

  13. Chris says:

    Read this all the time as an ex-torontonian to see what I was missing, and as such, it will be missed. To you, sir, I give thanks.

    She knew she was able to fly
    Because when she came down
    She had dust on her hands from the sky
    She said I touched a cloud
    She felt so high, the dust made her cry

  14. BobbyK says:

    Another long time reader here….so very sorry to see you call it quits. You’ve been a great source of knowledge, information and inspiration. I cannot tell you how much of an influence you’ve been to my listening experiences….this is sad news for your readers, but I wish you much success, rest and fulfillment in your future endeavors. Thanks for everything!!!!

  15. Vik says:

    I just felt compelled to say a word of thanks as a small offering for the years of thoughtful, thorough, and entertaining reads. I always knew I could count on you to keep it classy. Just promise me you’ll bring it back if there ever is a Ride reunion!

    And for what it’s worth; if the amount of waffling I did before deciding to leave this comment is any indication, I guarantee that for every commenter here, there are ten others you’ve touched in some way that didn’t.

  16. RT says:

    One of two music blogs I read every morning, I appreciated the effort you put into this. I’ve blogged for a decade now, and understand the commitment it takes. Congrats on putting in all the time and introducing me to plenty of new acts. A much deserved break.

  17. Rob says:

    This blog will be missed. Lots of great bands, great writing and great times.

    Best of luck, Frank & co.

  18. Jon says:

    I’m not a regular reader anymore (I quit trying to “keep up” with music), but I was indeed shocked to see this come to an end. To me, this site was a marvel in how well/meticulously you wrote, research, and maintained it. I couldn’t believe the dedication – and the quality. I would come back to it here and there, and today was one of those days. Sorry to see your blog end, but thankful for all I got from it. Best of luck in everything you choose to do!

  19. Mike says:

    As a former blogger myself who gave it up for many of the same reasons, I feel ya. But I’ll definitely miss the posts. You’ve turned me on to a lot of great music over the years. Thanks for all the hard work.

  20. Bobby B says:

    It’s been a great run Frank, and you should be proud of the fact that this was easily one of the most informative, and, perhaps more importantly, most entertaining music sites ever created. Thank you for introducing me to so much excellent music through the years and for making me laugh on a regular basis with your witty insights. As a former blogger myself, I hafta say that simply enjoying the music you feel like listening to, without all of the “zeitgeist pressure”, is my favourite thing about moving on. I know you’re going to really enjoy it also!

    Have fun…

  21. Goncalo says:

    thanks a lot for all the great work! i was a usual, silent reader of your blog and you gave me a lot these past years, always a great reading and great listening, . well done, now enjoy your rest.
    gonçalo, from portugal

  22. eric says:

    long time reader, long time admirer–thank you.

  23. jnuh says:

    Thanks, Frank.

    chromewaves will be missed.

  24. Clif (thedadada.com) says:

    Frank–I just came across this post. I’ve always considered Chromewaves the best music blog out there. It was so well put together and thoughtful. It was a great long form blog with rich content and excellent photography. Good luck and enjoy life! –Clif

  25. The Blogosphere Just Got A Little Dimmer… | The Dadada says:

    […] The demise of Chromewaves came as quite a surprise to me. We’ve followed the blog for nearly 10 years, and have often considered it the best music blog out there. Frank wrote an eloquent long-form blog that combined news, opinions and music reviews . His music and booklists were a beacon for me and several others, and most of all, he was there every day. An incredible feat when considering it was a labor of love, and not his primary job. So many bloggers (including those who write this blog) are driven by their intrinsic love of music and desire for expression, but it can only buoy the spirit so long. Thanks, Frank, for a great 11 years. Whatever you do, enjoy life! […]

  26. Bruce says:

    A little late to this afterparty, as a series of ice storm-induced blackouts have kept me off the webs for a few days, but not at all surprised to see the throngs offering their thanks, well-wishes and sadness at this news. In fact it feels like reading the farewell comments in the back of a yearbook on the last day of school, and if I can find a little space on one of the endpapers, I’ll add mine.

    Chromewaves has given me much over the years, ever since I came across it while looking for a review of a Belle & Sebastian/New Pornographers show back in the mid-2000s (and discovered a mutual distaste for The Docks/Sound Academy). I realized we were going to many of the same shows and started returning to see your write-ups, quickly becoming hooked. What I found was so much more than what I came for, especially in the quality of the writing, which was far and away superior to most online music reporting. Now that you have time to step back and breathe, I think you have a book (or two) in you. Hell, even if you managed to get a collection of your Chromewaves posts and superb photos into print, I’d buy it!

    In the meantime, if I’m ever at a show that I think you might be attending, I’ll look for you in your habitual spot at the immediate foot of the stage. Even without obligation dictating your vantage point, I expect you would eschew any given room’s sonic sweet spot for an experience as up- close-and-personal as possible, as old habits die hard. Maybe without the camera at first (just because you can), but likely not for long. Many, many thanks.

  27. Wally Thoreson says:

    I’ve followed your blog for more than 5 years. I’ll miss it tremendously. It’s been my mainstay inspiration for music during that time. I understand why you want to give it up. But I want you to know I’ve loved your musical suggestions (and they make this 50 plus year old professor occasionally seem cool to his students). Thanks for all the music.

  28. Rori Caffrey says:

    Frank – Thanks for the years of great words, pictures and insight. Chromewaves was the only music blog I followed and I’ll miss it very much.

  29. Sarah R says:

    Dear Frank: Like many others above, I too will very much miss Chromewaves. Thank you so much for all your time and effort in this blog! It’s the best blog in Toronto that I’ve always read and followed, you introduced me to a lot of great music over the years. I wish you well, and all the best to your future endeavors!

  30. Dior Music says:

    Thank you with the decades involving wonderful words and phrases, photos as well as understanding.

  31. Lisa says:

    Thanks Frank, will miss your humour and insight, and the free tickets to great shows.

  32. Sound Agents says:

    Appreciate it with the many years involving amazing phrases and words, pics along with realizing.

  33. [Nac Blogiversary] 14 Live Covers for 14 Long Years : Bradley's Almanac says:

    […] this place completely. “The blog is dead, long live the blog“, they say. This post-Chromewaves world is a lonely place, but I’m hanging […]

  34. Jay says:

    I am part of your “declining metrics” unfortunately, having just discovered this farewell 2 months after you posted it. I appreciate your incredible effort and thoroughness for the past 7 years I have read your blog regularly. I always wondered how you had a life outside of music blogging because you had so much info. Good luck with spending your free time wisely and re-charging our inner battery. Thanks, Frank, for the music tips and points of view.

  35. Filmes Online Gratis says:

    Nice. A little late to this afterparty, as a series of ice storm-induced blackouts have kept me off the webs for a few days, but not at all surprised to see the throngs offering their thanks, well-wishes and sadness at this news. In fact it feels like reading the farewell comments in the back of a yearbook on the last day of school, and if I can find a little space on one of the endpapers, I’ll add mine.

  36. bestmishu says:

    Thanks for a hell of a run.

  37. Jonny Aquadora says:

    From reading this one post, I can tell that you are an awesome person. I can relate to being burnt out on the music machine and the system. Hope you are getting rest and enjoying the small things in life. Enjoy our new album, Every Party Dies, in your time off and drink a Gin for me. Cheers!

  38. score88 says:

    Thank you with the decades involving wonderful words and phrases, photos as well as understanding.