It’s been a couple weeks now, but I still can’t get my head around the cryptic message that took over the legendary heavy rock site on December 3rd:
December 15, 1999 – November 29, 2010
On November 29th, 2010 the StonerRock.com website was suddenly sucked into the void. We did everything we could do, but it was not possible to save it.
We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the community supporters, forums administrators and content contributors. You can give yourselves a high five for keeping StonerRock.com online for an extra year. Thank you!
We are not revealing any details about what happened because we don’t want to give the perpetrators any satisfaction or notoriety.
This is our final statement with regards to StonerRock.com and this very difficult situation. Our heads are spinning. We are devastated.
Sincerely and regretfully,
Dan & Melanie
Okay, what? A mixture of clouded accusations and defeated resignation, this “final statement” is a doozy, to say the least. So what the hell happened?
One theory advanced by some message-board posters is that the site was somehow caught up in a U.S government sweep on counterfeit goods. Not bloody likely, despite the coincidental timing. My opinion is that they just threw in the towel, though the bit about not giving perpetrators any satisfaction is perplexing, to put it mildly. What follows is my personal perspective.
I had been lurking around the site for years, checking out bands on the Music Player–a great sales strategy, IMO–and making the occasional purchase from All That’s Heavy. When I started doing my radio show in ’08, StonerRock.com seemed like a logical place to plug it, and I would frequently post in the Live Events forum about the latest episode of Smokin’ Green.
About a year ago, the word went out that they were looking for contributors as long-time article poster Arzgarth was stepping down. They also announced that they needed donations to keep the site going. Not a problem–I just put my user name down on my next ATH purchase, and got my pick of a custom avatar for the forums (Sleep’s Jerusalem, since Holy Mountain was already taken…) As for the call for contributors, well, I had been doing the Hellbound thing for a few months at the time, as well as running THTGIR for a couple years, and while I wasn’t really looking for another outlet, the idea of writing for StonerRock.com was too good to pass up.
In the roughly 12 months that I served as StonerRock’s official Canadian correspondent, I was turned on to a buncha new bands that were more than willing to send me a CD for review on the site. As such, I’ll be resurrecting my Top 5 EPs of the Year list after abandoning it last year. I actually had a pretty sizable backlog of reviews to be posted when shit hit the fan, but c’est la vie, I suppose. I’ve started writing for PlanetFuzz now, and the Reviews section of THTGIR isn’t as barren as it used to be. (Not to mention that my byline has been showing up on reviews over here a lot more often lately…)
Although it took a few months to really get rolling, StonerRock.com was doing pretty well as a volunteer-ran entity, with regular news updates and reviews from a handful of sources. Whereas the writing was on the wall a year earlier, things seemed to be running smoothly at its time of death, which I guess is where the mysterious hacker(s) comes in? Either that, or this is all a front for Dan and Melanie finally throwing in the towel–though All That’s Heavy and MeteorCity are still up and running, without their primary source of redirects. I just don’t get it…
A couple of new communities have popped up since, though The Obelisk’s forum seems to have been hit by the same mysterious hacker, as it’s currently down–and the forum update posted this morning also seems to have disappeared from the site. Hmm…
Meanwhile, the other message board, which pays homage to the three-quarters-of-Kyuss reunion, has almost 350 members, though there aren’t more than a handful of topics in any of the forums aside from General Discussion. There doesn’t seem like much point in plugging Smokin’ Green on a Live Events board with all of eight topics, but I digress.
One poster on StonerRockLives has a signature saying that November 29, 2010 is our September 11th. I couldn’t agree more. And while I’m not one of those conspiracy theorists who believes “The truth is still out there” about 9/11, I do hope that the truth will come out regarding SR.com’s demise, sooner or later.
P.S.: Tonite’s edition of Smokin’ Green will be all about the stoner rock, from Kyuss and Nebula (RIP) to some lesser-known bands I reviewed for StonerRock.com. Be sure to tune in from 1 till 3 am at 88.1 fm on yer radio, channel 947 on yer TV or www.ckln.fm on yer computer!