It is with much sadness that I report that this is my final blog post as the Guide for Rock Music here at About.com. The decision has been made to cease publishing new content, although the reviews, articles, interviews and lists that I've written over the last five years will remain on this site.
It has been a pleasure writing about rock music, especially during a period of uncertainty in the genre. Since 2008, we've seen a crop of new (or newish) bands carry the torch for a younger generation -- Alabama Shakes, Kings of Leon and the Black Keys immediately spring to mind -- while at the same time bands from the 1990s like Jane's Addiction, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains have tried to recapture past glories by reuniting recently. This site, which was tasked with chronicling contemporary rock from the '90s to the present, has always sought to find that middle ground between the aging legends of classic rock and the more experimental leanings of alternative music. That proved to be an interesting challenge as rock continues to see its market share shrink. The most obvious sign of this was when Billboard near the end of last year radically redesigned its rock singles charts, essentially banishing most of what would be considered traditional rock for more pop-leaning artists. There are still plenty of good rock bands out there, but they have a hard time making a dent on radio or in the public consciousness.
Consequently, this site's unofficial mission has been to document what exactly constitutes "rock" in the 21st century. Long replaced by hip-hop and other genres as the dominant and most culturally significant musical art forms of the age, rock has faced something of an identity crisis, wrestling between retreating into the past or trying to stake out new territory. Retro groups like the White Stripes have managed to do both simultaneously, but they're that rare exception. It's difficult to guess where rock will go in the future, but I'm sorry that I won't be covering it here at About.
I want to thank you, the readers, for your thoughtful emails and lively discussions over the last five years. It's been a treat to run this site, and I hope you enjoyed what I brought to it. If you'd like to stay in touch, you can reach me at my personal blog as well as on Twitter. By the way, I titled this blog post somewhat in jest. Since the rise of punk in the late '70s, naysayers have been sounding the death knell for rock 'n' roll. Despite its creative peaks and valleys since, the music has never gone away. Every supposed "end" of rock music has simply been a transitional period before some exciting new permutation. This site may be wrapping up, but the music it covered is far from finished.