Tuesday, April 20, 2010


You may very well have seen this coming. Then again, maybe not. In the 2009 Year In Review, I discussed the tough year One Note Ahead had, explaining that after reaching a peak of popularity in 2008, ONA slipped in '09 -- and powerful forces seemed to be working against it. But I ended by saying, "As long as people are reading and I have the time, I'll keep ONA going."

About that....

Since last July, I've been trying various methods of attracting and maintaining interest and visibility, and I've been paying close attention to the results. There have been some signs of promise here and there, but it seems that overall, the long-term trend has been a definite decline in both interest and visibility. Readership was not the only key component of this blog to suffer. There have also been too many instances in which I haven't even been able to find new artists to write about -- and too many instances in which it no longer made sense to write about the same artists, either because getting reviewed on ONA no longer mattered to their careers or because my relationships with those artists had reached a point where writing about them would not have been appropriate.

As for time, well, I'm not so sure I have it anymore. Posting on ONA has become a chore: "SJ, remember to put something up on One Note Ahead this month," operating on the premise that posting at least once a month would help to keep readers on board. But since the end of last year, my work as a music publicist has reached exciting, and sometimes exhausting, new levels, and posts on ONA have become rather perfunctory: "Okay, let me just review this so I can get back to work." I truly feel that the quality of my posts has suffered this year, both because of the time factor and the shortage of artists to write about. The new "Top 5 of the Moment" series does not represent the kind of blog One Note Ahead should be.

So after three years and seven months, I am ending One Note Ahead while it still has some dignity. It will remain online for now. You can take this time to look through posts you might have missed. Most of them are good or even great -- and even the ones I'm not proud of are still not bad!

I'd like to take a moment to spotlight the artists who, when all was said and done, gave One Note Ahead its own special character. Not the artists I wrote about once or twice and never mentioned again, talented though they all were, and not the classic artists who have received plenty of coverage elsewhere. I'm talking about the contemporary artists who made a lasting impression to the end of the blog's lifespan and whose music really represents what One Note Ahead did best: championing, often pioneering, great new sounds from artists who lived outside of the proverbial box. In order according to their first ONA appearances, they are:

Matt Duke

SuperJimenez (R.I.P. -- "Rock In Perpetuity," as Artie Wayne would say)

Andrew Lipke

Laura Cheadle

Downtown Harvest

The Swimmers

The Idles

Jim Boggia

Nicole Atkins

Ingrid Michaelson

Jake Snider (don't forget to support him in the College Battle of the Bands!)

April Smith

The Guggenheim Grotto (new song just released: http://www.guggenheimgrotto.com/wisdom/)

Tim McGlone

Diane Birch

Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles

Sharon Little

The Bacon Brothers

Panic Years

Honorable mention to these artists who might've become ONA essentials if they'd only had time:

Butterfly Boucher

Reality Stricken (now known as The Escape)

Tippy Canoe

Chris Bruni

In truth, I must thank all of the artists I've ever covered in any way here because they all gave me something to write about. And I sincerely thank you, the readers, for being an audience and for giving me feedback and support through the years. One Note Ahead has been a pretty amazing journey in itself, but now it is time to travel new roads. Happy trails to you, until we meet again.

Oh, and....rock on!

Copyright © 2010 S.J. Dibai. All rights reserved.


  1. Good luck in your future endeavors S.J. and 'keep her lit' as we say in Ireland.

  2. Sorry to see it end, but I do understand. Now, maybe a new blog on classics of Philly - Len Barry, Magnificent Men, etc., would be in order?

    Take care.

    Dan Hollyfield

  3. Kevin - Thank you for your kind words and your wonderful music. See you in June!

    Dan - Haha, do you want to help me set that one up?


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