So, it's with substantial sadness but, admittedly, no small sense of relief that I'm announcing my virtual retirement from the music reviewing life.
As many of you know, Betsy and I are moving back to the US in a couple of months and I'd like to devote much more time to painting and drawing, something that's been difficult given the volume of new music that regularly appears in my mailbox (stuff you actually have to spend time listening to...). It's still really a huge amount of fun (mostly) but there are simply things I'd rather be doing for the time being. I'm sure I'll still write about new releases when the music moves me enough to do so, but I'm putting the kibosh on the routine of reviewing almost everything that comes my way. I'll still be here for a while as I promise to write up the pile of releases currently sitting on my table (20-30 of 'em) as well as any that are already in the mail and happen to trickle in over the next week or so but after that, all bets are off. I'll also look through the d/l items still sitting in my in-box, but make no promises on those. And I'll still keep my oars slightly in the water by doing a few reviews for Squid's Ear.
In any case: Please stop sending me music! There will be no one here to receive them in a couple of months anyway (no forwarding Paris to US is going to happen) but I'd appreciate it if the mail ceases quickly.
I can't say enough how thankful and touched I am that so many musicians, labels and listeners have steered things my way over the years. Thank you, thank you. It's been wonderful experiencing music I'd never otherwise have had the opportunity to hear and the greater part of my regret in closing up shop is the nagging feeling I know will surface regularly that I'm missing something vital, but so it goes. And I'm always especially moved by the notes I get from readers thanking me for the service I've provided in at least shedding some light on this music--it's the least I could do. Plus there are other excellent, younger writers out there (Ed Howard, Lucas Schleicher and more) who are more than able to pick up some of the slack and probably have sharper ears to boot.
Back to the lingering reviews later this week; should last me through the month, at least.