Wednesday, October 18, 2006 Closes Down

It's the end of an era for the Champaign-Urbana music scene, as local music site has gone offline. The following message from the site's founder, Steve Sobel, is all that's left. Here it is...

"So long, and thanks for all the fish!

much ,
steve AT openingbands DOTcom"

So what comes next? Will there ever be a site that captures the scene's attention and provides a source of discourse like again? I doubt it. came about during a sort of zeitgeist in the local music scene around late 2001 / early 2002. Coupled with the growing attention that local music began seeing on WPGU (then known as "The Planet") and the number of new bands and venues developing, the conversation began to grow on the site's forums. A lot of the talk was helpful, some of it was heated, but ultimately, the site gave people a place to find out how to get involved. It gave people who cared some direction and a way to take a personal stake in what was going on with the music they loved and a way to spread the word about it. There were showcases at the Canopy Club, the rebirth of Band Jam at the U of I, and even a compilation album made up of local artists. The "Intelligence Report" listed all the local shows one could handle, and even several that were going on in the periphery markets, such as Danville, Decatur, and Bloomington-Normal. This was an invaluable resource, as it was readily available, updateable, and often more reliable than any of the weekly papers. The staff began to seek interviews and post official news to compliment the forums, and suddenly, most people in the scene seemingly didn't know how they got along before the site came along. "Word of mouth" was able to spread so much faster when it was simply at peoples 'fingertips. I would have never known about the Hum reunion show at Cowboy Monkey otherwise! *laughs*

It seemed that the site would be a permanent fixture, what with so many relying on it for information and entertainment. However, when there was difficulty continuing the recruiting effort and consistency after the site's founder, Steve Sobel, moved out of town. So, the site continued on with some popularity, but not quite as much visibility, as Sobel's efforts would be very difficult to maintain and replicate by even the most ardent of local music of enthusiats. That's not to say that there wasn't effort made. Cassie Conner, Todd Hunter, Joe Pence, Seth Fein, and a host of others did their best, but "to every season... there is a reason."

This is definitely one of the harder good-bye's to make to the music scene. Best wishes to all those who were involved, and I will always be thankful for the efforts you put forth during one of the funnest periods of my life.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Counter
Free Counter