It was a miserable, terrible year full of death and loss. Here are a few of the things we will miss, and the things that we wish had died in their place. Please offer your own suggestions in comments.
Touch & Go Records
Home to the Jesus Lizard, the Butthole Surfers, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Touch & Go was a crucial part of the business infrastructure of indie rock, serving as a distributor and incubator to dozens of little labels as well as maintaining a legendary roster in its own right. It shut down its distribution arm and laid off most of its staff in February; label head Corey Rusk said at the time that he hoped to continue releasing records under the Touch & Go rubric, but it's been, um, touch and go. We hope they make it.
Meanwhile, Pete Wentz has a record label, still.
Farewell, Captain Chaos.
Not that we'd wish death on anyone, but if someone handed you a gun and said, "It's Dom or Dane," who would you pick?
It basically failed as a nation this year. The myth of the land of competent, gorgeous, whimsical elves is gone.
Yet somehow the people in charge of Iran persist.
Harp was a chronically underfunded love letter to good music—a fan's notes—and its failure in March left an outsize gap in music journalism.
Men's Health is a chronically redundant love letter to Dave Zincenko's abs, and it's continued existence despite the fact that it has been repeatedly revealed as a fraud is an affront to justice.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
It was the first real, actual major metro daily to really, actually shutter, and it showed us what it looked like when the whole "death of print" thing actually happened to a newspaper. Not pretty.
The New York Post
The Post is a cauldron of chronic racism, reactionary politics, and bang-your-dick-on-the-table false machismo and probably loses more money each year than any of the papers that closed in 2009, but Rupert Murdoch keeps it alive.
The Rainbow Room
It was operated by horrible people, but when the Rainbow Room closed its doors in June, New York lost some amazing panoramas and what little old-world Rat Pack class it had laying around.
The meatpacking-district restaurant run by charming restaurateur Vadim "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU ASSHOLES?!?!?!" Ponorovsky gets to keep collecting its customers' precious e-mails.
It was by no means a great television program, but this was pretty damn funny (and where are all the Groundlings who can't make the SNL cut supposed to go now?):
It is by no means a great television program, and this is pretty damn (unintentionally) funny:
[Top photo via Flickr by Ivanas Jariga.]