Three is a Magic Number: My Third Anniversary (originally on

3rd Anniversary Fear of Music Cover

No “Fear of Music” … a fear of OS’s obsolescence, perhaps … (Mock-up by VA)
(This piece originally published on Open Salon on June 3, 2013)
NOTE TO READERS: Owing to the March 2015 closure of — which was my primary publishing platform, where I initiated this blog and concert series project, and was where most of my pieces were accessed — I need to plug up a few blog-holes (i.e., post up here a clutch of early Open Salon blog entries that I never transferred over to this WordPress version). 
Also note that the OS closing also affected some of the cross-linked images here across entries which I will also be fixing piecemeal.  Finally, I am also going to try and transport all OS user comments over here to be amalgamated for posterity.
Join me over the next few months on a journey into the Ghost of Blogging Past as those missing posts, covering a variety of topics and years, re-debut over here.  Meanwhile, new entries of past gigs are on their way as well.
This month marks my 5th blogging anniversary.  I am going to be republishing my previous anniversary posts which never made it over here, one per day, with this year’s (delayed) celebratory post appearing on Friday.
June 3rd marks my third anniversary of hitting the “publish” button here on OS — an anniversary that, round about six or so months ago, I really didn’t think would happen.  While there have been plenty of “sky is falling”-type predictions about the demise of OS during the several years I’ve been here either writing or reading, I never paid much attention to them … until the site started to full-on atrophy in every sense sometime around the middle of last autumn.

After weeks of not being able log on most of the time, and then enduring an interminable experience when it did — only to require multiple post-log-in efforts to so much as attempt to post a single comment — I eventually heaved a heavy sigh of resignation and waved the white flag along with the majority of OS’s frustrated denizens.  It looked like the experiment that was Open Salon had indeed come to end, like a previously parental-proud prodigy now abandoned to an Iqaluit winter once those difficult teen years hit.

And then … shocker of shockers, sometime near the start of this year, it looked like the foundling was recalled and sent back home.  While the jury is still out on whether the parental units are actually still committed to raising the child, it has at least been returned to a functioning home, even if mum and dad have clearly lost interest in their parental duties.  I guess all of us at OS have become, for now, latchkey kids.

Those of us who did decide to come in from the cold, that is.  For while I am quite pleased to see OS working just like it used to and grateful for the publishing visibility it provides, the reality is that the site is a shadow of its former self.  Just a few weeks ago, designanator ran a piece in advance of his fifth anniversary here featuring a variety of OS covers from the first few years, and the contrast between the quality, care and detail of the old OS and what we have now is both sad and shocking.  As I wrote as a comment: “At the very least, it’s still a great publishing platform, visibility-wise … but once upon a time it was something more.”

In my first and second anniversary posts, I gave thanks to those on the site who took the time to read and comment, also sending a “Hello” to those off-site readers.  While I issue yet another genuine “Merci!” to those of you here who are still supporting and reading (and you know who you are), the sad reality is that the majority of the people who I’ve read and rated through the years are now gone.  At least from OS.  I’ve managed to cyber-meet and (sometimes personally meet) and get to know a number of terrific people through this virtual doorway where reciprocal interaction and support continues, but just not always via this site.

It’s obvious to me now via Facebook “Likes”/messages as well as communication from my WordPress mirror site that the bulk of people reading are doing so from outside of OS.  While that was always part of my plan — to use this as a base to extend from — it’s still sort of sad to see this core base residence erode and, just as bad, become so homogenous and incestuous: death knells for any type of organism that needs to grow for survival.

It’s a drag to be a bit of a Debbie Downer for an anniversary post but I tend to be a call-em-as-I-see-em kind of guy, be it joyful or despairing.  Half-full or half-empty glasses for me depend wholly on the specifics and context of any singular situation.  Which glass is OS?  I’m hoping for the former, but bracing for the latter.  Time will tell.

Regardless, I want to close this on a more positive note …. Big Thanks to not only those remaining OS-ers I interact with and who take the time to read and comment, but to everyone else I hear from as well via a variety of doorways, with hope that perhaps OS may once again return to the diverse — in a variety of senses — and energetic place it was circa 2009/10 when I first discovered it and came on board.  This is such a unique online opportunity …. Hey, New Blood Out There: come on board — it’s an SOS.

Here’s to a 4th.  Cheers!


“Three Is A Magic Number,” by Bob Dorough from Schoolhouse Rock



VariousArtists My Life In Concert First Anniversay 2011 Never Mind the Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols VariousArtists My Life In Concert Second Anniversay 2012 The Beatles A Hard Days Night

© 2013 VariousArtists

Comments From The Original Posting

Bravo and Congrats on the third year. Thanks for sharing your memories. I wonder what it will be like in year 5? Best to you and yours…Write on!
Glad you’re still around — how else would I keep up with the music
scene, new and old?I concur with your sentiments. In my December anniversary post, I said I didn’t know if I’d be around for another. Still don’t, even though a lot of technical issues have been resolved. Further, the lack of new blood, coupled with the loss of so many outstanding writers, is undermining what this site once stood for.
Congrats, VA!
Algis: I am wondering if there will be a Year 5 (here, anyway).Boanerges1: Yep, we’re on the same page. It used to be that I could barely keep up with my reading and replying on this site, so much good stuff and good writers were there. I also remember your last anniversary post … I didn’t read it until weeks after you published it because I could not get onto the site at that time.catch-22: Thanks muchly, catch!
Congrats! Enjoy your pieces. Agree w/ Boanerges re loss of many outstanding writers, glad few are still around.
VA, congratulations on your third anniversary here!!! Also, many thanks for the mention of my recent post that showed a host of covers from the early days. I would never have guessed that the site would go so many months without the join button being added back in. I can imagine a lot of people have come across posts that interested them and there was no way they could comment because the site is still “closed.”Your posts are always “must read” stories and I’ve learned a lot from them and that includes finding out about musicians I wasn’t aware of.Here’s to even more years here on OS and, again, thank you for your many, many thoughtful comments on my posts during your time on Open Salon!
Congrats on making it to the third year. It is a bit of a ghost town and I’m just a tumbleweed that rolls through now and again. But I’m glad to bump into you here. Happy anniversary, VA!
Happy third Various. You’re spoit on about OS’s decline. I notice it in the ratings where you used to have to get about 10 in four hours to crack the Highest Rated front page. Now just a few is plenty. The breadth and variety of the writing has declined too. Aside from OS’s own internal woes driving folks away, a lot of the remaining old-timers have used up most of their material. And without a replenishment of new writers, the place begins to stagnate. Still looking forward to your Cohen review. It might be the first time that we’ve seen the same artist on the same tour.
Congrats on year 3! Well said thoughts about OS. It was such a vibrant, alive place when I started almost 2 years ago. Let’s hope it can get back there sometime. But I’m glad you’re still on here!
It’s way past bedtime.
I promise to reread.
I be here a century.
It seems like that.
I kept getting booted from Big Salon.
I had to Gold Star $45.00 accounts.
Great Celery!
etc., Kerry L.?
He sorta Loco?
He Oscar Grouch?
He never is Well?
Then Here @ O.S.?
He booted me Here.
I was Arthur James.
Then, I` Art James.
Why we stay Here?
We Folks Goofy,
Groggy, Kooky,
and Get Sleepy.
Aye, Tomorrow
d white: Thanks for the Congrats and glad you enjoy.designanator: Well, the “must read”
designation is mutual, John, I assure you. Please don’t leave! Looking forward to your next entry on your senior university year at RISD.
lschmoopie: As the person who first championed me here, it’s extra special for me that you took the time to tumble back on OS today and bump into me with your congrats. Always a pleasure to hear from you, whatever the avenue.
Abra: You’ve nailed it too, not only with the reduced readership but also the decline in the breadth and variety of writing. OS needs a serious injection of contributors from a greater variety of ages, geography, backgrounds, perspectives, topics, and temperament. “Stagnate” is an apt term. However, getting a sense of buy-in from the editors would help a bit, too. Regardless, thanks for stopping by, and it’s always a good day on OS to log in and see you’ve published something.
I am going to try my damnedest to finish the Cohen piece by mid-ish month — what can I say, but life’s just been extra busy. I want it completed within a couple of weeks as festival season kicks into high gear for me around these parts by the end of June — and the big early summer festivals here in Ottawa have particularly excellent line-ups this year, so I’m going to be seeing a lot. In early July, I am going to be going out for live music on 8 nights out of 11, with Paul McCartney in the middle, so wish me luck. And stamina.
Kevin: Many of us seem to be in the same boat in terms of how we feel about OS. I do hope a rebound is coming. Glad to still see you’re still here too — please publish a piece or a song soon.
Art: It’s late where I am and I too am getting sleepy. Goofy and kooky work for me as well!
I have conflicted feelings about OS just like you. I log on occasionally to see if there’s anything still worth reading such as your posts.
littlewillie. I agree. Sigh.
I sense something fishy.
Where can sane folk go?
We can go elsewhere?
Order Carry Out Crab?
Crab Gazpacho is Soup.
It’s got cilantro, lemon juice,
cumin, onions, blue crab meat.
We meet where? Dog House.
I agree.
Is there another Place?
Where are those who left?
Where is old goat/dog site?

littlewillie: Thanks for the compliment and for dropping by. I wish you’d publish from time to time again on OS — always enjoyed your dark sense of humourArt: Those who left are scattered among the universe …

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