No. 38

November 01, 2016

In a manner of breaking news, we are announcing that over a meeting of magazine affairs last month, it was decided that January 2017 - Issue No. 40 of Maryland Music Magazine will be the last publication produced. For those who do not know me, my name is John Ness. I took over the duties of managing editor of the magazine in 2013 and have delivered 32 issues as of this month. I will be leaving in January of 2017 to pursue a doctorate in medicine and will no longer have the time to manage the magazine. I'd like to take the time to tell you about the owner of MMM, Phil Carnes, a man I have know for over 30 years, who has selflessly given 20 years of his time, effort, and money to promoting the rock/metal music scene in Maryland.

In the early 1990's, Phil Carnes emerged on the local music scene as founder of the band Desolate Angel. The scene was robust with journalistic publications such as Maryland Musician (later called Music Monthly) and Rox Magazine printing and circulating 1,000's of copies of these magazines throughout Maryland. It was during this time that we first became friends and business associates. I was there when PC took his band from a basement in Hamilton to the stages of Baltimore venues, to being named one of the top 10 unsigned bands in Maryland, to a record deal with Starship Records that produced a great album titled No Apology. It was in 1994, the year of that release, that Maryland Musician (Music Monthly) took the position that it demanded advertising money in exchange for review of the bands album release. PC was furious over this, thought this a violation of journalistic ethics, and while funding for advertising was set aside for Maryland Music (Music Monthly), the plug was pulled in supporting the publication.

With the help of advertising support by venues such as the Rage and Hal Daddy's, PC embarked on a mission founding the Baltimore Buzz Music Magazine. It started as an 8"x 11" Xerox format with red cover and back page, later transforming into a smaller fully black and white publication printing about 1000 copies per month. The magazine gave promotinon to local music as well as national and international releases being serviced by multiple record labels. In the late 1990's with the rise of the internet, the magazine was tranformed into an online webzine and continued publication until 2007 with the help of writers Steve Lambie and Kimberly Zepp. It was always the assertion of PC that the local music scene could be made stronger by venues, record stores, and a music magazine working in unison and in 2008 he made a substantial investment in forming R.E.G. , the Ravenhurst Entertainment Group, for just such a purpose. At the time, the old print magazines Music Monthly and Rox were gone and a memory, with only a small fanzine named Shockwave Magazine serving locally in a print format circulating a few hundred copies per month. It was the proposal of PC to dissolve the Baltimore Buzz Magazine, merge it with Shockwave Mgazine, and make a substantial investment to take Shockwave to a larger level of circulation. After getting this rolling, it failed as one man stood in the way wanting to be a one-man show and take all the glory. The partnership was dissolved in 2010 and PC made moves to launch Maryland Music Magazine (MMM) to continue his passion at supporting the local music scene.

I came aboard in 2013 as managing editor of MMM to assist in his mission as his passion to promote the local scene was remarkable. In the past three years that I have been apart of this, I have seen first hand the workings of the Maryland music scene. It has been depressing seeing the lack of support to say the least. We have given the local music scene a platform for free promotion, promoting shows, spotlighting Maryland music artists, and advertising local business, never asking for anything in return. It has been a sad display that bands and businesses have failed to take the initiative to be a part of MMM. The magazine will cease publication of its online website in January 2017, but will continue as a Facebook entity where those in the local music scene can continue to post their shows, releases, advertisements, etc. Usually in a situation when a publication ends its run, they take the time to thank all those who have supported it. In this case I will take the time to say "You Are Welcome, Farewell."

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