Vodka Announces the End

It was December 2012 when Vodka first discovered Courtney Barnett. At the time, Barnett didn’t have a label (she created her own that same year, Milk Records), but she did have her first EP, I’ve Got A Friend called Emily Ferris, which contained History Eraser, a song I still love. This scrappy left-handed guitarist, with a flair for inspired lyrics, started the same year as this incantation of Vodka’s blog. When I started, I’d scour the dark corners of the Internet searching for new and different artists, hoping that in the process, I’d garner my own following to the blog. I truly believe that I’ve found some excellent artists over the years. Initially self-released on her website for free, Meg MyersDaughter In The Choir LP came out that same year. She is another artist who is still out there making music today. 2012 brought one of the songs and videos that still ranks as one of the best made in Vodka’s view, Thom Hell’s Over You. From Eva & Manu, Miles to Dayton, and more, the first few years were a study of how many posts I could put together in a week. 

Fast forward a few years, and I’d shifted to a once-per-week schedule. It made it easier to concentrate on one or two artists and to plan for future posts. The goal was still the same: shine a light on the dark corners of the independent music scene and highlight artists that I thought should be cast in a brighter light. As the years have trickled by, I’ve told myself that others would discover the blog over time, and in some ways that has happened, though mostly this has been labels and artists rather than the music lovers I hoped to reach.

As a hobby, writing a blog is still a big undertaking. It requires dedication to a schedule and the need for a well-written review. I’m not a writer by trade, so “well-written” is perhaps a term that doesn’t quite fit. I’m certain a grammatical review would turn up writing errors galore, but I’ve tried to improve over the years. 

I started this post with a note about Courtney Barnett’s label creation in 2012. This year, Barnett announced the shuttering of Milk Records. In some ways, she’s closing the label down for similar reasons to my decision to end this blog. It’s a lot of work, with not much financial gain, to run your own independent label, and when the pandemic hit, it had a big negative effect on the label too. For Vodka, shouting into the darkness with each post has become a chore for too little recognition. I still love music and will continue to follow and listen to musicians and music that I love. To all of the artists who made such great music that ended up on the blog, Sinnober, Lucas Jack, Big Little Lions, Peridot, Lydian Collective, Spygenius, and so many more, keep making the music you make. To the labels that discovered the blog somehow and sent me numerous emails and pre-releases of music, thanks for what you do too. Musicians have a tough time making money these days. Promoters and labels are key to helping in their success. 

So here it is, December 2023, as Vodka completes its 11th year, we say goodbye as a blog. It has been a fun chore for those eleven years, but just like any endeavor, you need to know when what you are doing just isn’t working. I’ve got three more thank yous to make: First, to my son, who hosted this blog on a platform he pays for without billing me. He was invaluable in converting the earlier posts from Tumblr to WordPress and allowing me to continue this hobby without resorting to click-through ads to try and generate revenue. Second, to my daughter who designed and sent me the logo for the site without charging me. Finally, to you, whoever you are, if you found my blog worthwhile, thank you for listening. More, thank you for supporting independent music.

I can’t say how long these posts will remain available for view. That’s up to my son. If he decides to close it down, then he will. For now, Vodka will continue to renew the domain and allow you all to find it, if you want to, for as long as it is available.

The End