When I started blogging about music and established the original Washerman’s Dog it was November 2010. Like the best of such ventures there was no understanding of what I was getting into and certainly no preconcieved notion of how long I would continue. The driver was a simple desire to share my love of music with ‘whoever’ was out there in the faceless world beyond my computer screen.
Now nearly 5 years later I have run out of steam. So I suppose that is a good reason to say goodbye to the Dog. What is a blog if its blogger is no longer capable of posting things of interest? In recent months my posting to WD has been very slow and rarely of the quality I have come to expect of myself. I’ve never wanted to be a blog that posted music with cut and paste reviews or even worse, no commentary on the music whatsoever.
But as I’ve taken on more structured and intentional writing assignments (mainly for Scroll.in and now with a book on the horizon) not to mention a full time job that has been rather demanding on my energy, my reserves of creative imagination have really run dry. What used to a great joy –sharing an album and writing, sometimes only tangentially I admit, about it–has become a burden. And if it is no longer fun, why do it? How can a burdensome effort spark what was always intended as a joyful celebration of one of Life’s Great Pleasures?
One of the unexpected consequences of my starting the Washerman’s Dog has been just how much my musical horizons have expanded. What started with a nibbling at the offerings of South African music at Electric Jive led to a mind blowing opening to the utterly stunning variety and quality of music of Africa as a whole. Other blogs, many now long dead like Toroyloco, Tangled up in Blue, Snap Crackle Pop, Anthems for the Nation of Loubaniya , TajMahal Foxtrot and Twliight Zone (just to skim the surface of the surface of a few that pop to mind) exposed me or deepend my understanding of South Asian music, European folk, Latin American and all kinds of jazz and R&B. Interestingly, one gap that remains unfilled is a blog focussed on classic country and western music, especially Honky Tonk. A major opportunity for someone out there!
So I leave with a much broader understanding of music as well as a deeper humility about how little I know about music. Really. What I’ve learned in 5 years far exceeds anything I’ve shared.
Blogging has also made me comfortable with a shorter, more concise form of writing for which I am also grateful.
I will miss being a part of the keen music lover community that spreads around the globe. To all those who followed and commented and ‘liked’ and downloaded and shared my posts, I say thank you so much. I really got a kick out of hearing from you and am humbled by your suipport and words of encouragement. It seemed that WD, while not the most popular by any stretch of the imagination, was a well loved little blog by quite a consistently loyal community. And its been fun to share ideas, and musics with all of you.
I am now going to focus on writing in fulfillment of a book deal I’ve signed (or soon will). The book will be on Lollywood, Pakistan’s little known sibling of Bollywood. I’ll need all my creative juices flowing as I research and put together the first such history. So I’m excited about that and feel saying farewell to this blog is justified.
The Dog’s companion blog, Harmonium, which focuses on South Asian music will remain active at least for the time being as it may be a good outlet for some of the research I do in connection with the book.
So once again, thanks for all the fun folks. But this really is the last post for Washerman’s Dog. Bow wow, woof woof and ruff ruff ruff.