Old, New, and In Between

Every once in a while, I have an impulse to find out what has happened to the old bands and musicians I loved during college. Most of my personal favorites have appeared on this blog multiple times (hello Modern Skirts) but a few have remained in my mp3 collections on my rapidly aging 2010 Macbook. I’m in the middle of a big digital clean up so I took the opportunity to look through some of my old playlists to see if anyone is still around. It’s a nostalgia trip, for sure, and something I try not to do too often for fear of becoming one of those people who live only in the past. But it’s a comfort and I need that right now.

The past couple of months have been really hard on me, if I’m being completely honest. Some of it is unrelated, ongoing family health matters but a not small part of my mental health has been watching stalwarts of my own music scene hang it up for one reason or another. I will always point to losing the Caledonia as a massive personal shift but in the last year people who seemed like they’d be here forever passed away. Others have reached the point in their lives where they can’t or won’t continue work that I, personally, loved. And I can’t really blame them for retiring at all. AMJ turns 15 years old next month. What am I really even doing here? I OUTLIVED MY FAVORITE LOCAL BANDS.

I’ve also been watching a lot of local music blogs/instagrams/tiktok accounts pop up as of late. I never know quite how to feel about them. My more mature and world weary reaction is “Ok, cool. Good luck.” I’d be lying if I said they don’t irk me sometimes. I’m not under any delusion that this site is well-known, respected, liked, or even important at all. But it all feels like re-inventing the wheel. Maybe this one will be better at social media, maybe this one will get some funding from somewhere, maybe that one will crash and burn in three weeks and move on… I’ve seen it before, done it before. I wish everyone well but I also want to caution everyone about expectations. If only we’d all been on the same page years ago we could’ve saved a lot of work.

I spoke with a fellow late Aughts music blogger a few weeks ago. They had started a music blog before I had and had arguably far more success. They’d had a STAFF! I’d always dreamt of having a staff! Their blog was well respected, they wrote constantly. And yet, they’re no longer around. The burnout is real. You can click over to the Archives on this blog and see it visualized. Sometimes I wouldn’t have a post all year. Sometimes I’d have a flurry of writing all at once and then go away again. Any person running a legit website would tell you that my output and SEO is a mess. Once upon a time I had wanted AthensMusicJunkie to be the next Paste, the next Hypebot, or Creem or Rolling Stone. I had plans. I, and my fellow bloggers, did not have money. And now here we are.

The future of AthensMusicJunkie is based on the whims of its creator. For now and for the foreseeable future I plan on continuing to post every Monday. It’s not the best content out there but it’s something and it makes me happy. I’m still hoping to have things freshened up around here before we hit the 15th anniversary next month. New logo, site, more features, etc. But it’s okay if I don’t, too. I can’t begin to tell you how long it took to make peace with the present day realities of running a small website. But I’m here, you’re here, AMJ is here. So let’s crank up some tunes from the past and present and keep partying on here in Athens. There’s always a new adventure to be had.

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