This weekend, the pioneering Columbus-centric music blog Donewaiting celebrates its tenth anniversary with three concerts featuring a sterling lineup of Columbus musicians. These shows also mark the closing of a loop: Monday, Donewaiting ceases online publication and will mutate into a print-only entity that will publish once a year under the name Donewaiting Quarterly. (Perhaps DW founder Robert Duffy is taking nomenclature advice from The Unholy Two.)
Considering Donewaiting was sort of a competitor for Alive, perhaps I should be cackling and stomping on its grave, but frankly I'm bummed. When I began exploring Columbus music culture while enrolled down at Ohio University, I looked to three sources for information: Alive, The Other Paper (also R.I.P.; harsh winter, eh?) and Donewaiting. Given that the weekly papers hadn't built up the strongest online presence yet, and I couldn't pick up print copies unless I was home in Westerville, DW was my pipeline to the community. Logging into the message board to promote my old college band, I discovered what a rich, multifaceted and petty music scene percolates in this city. In its prime, Donewaiting was the center of cultural conversation, its Hype forum the most essential bulletin board in town. Cliques clashed and intermingled in the forum (and often in real life after that), leading Duffy to semi-ironically dub it "The Friendship Farm." Its sprawling threads about topics such as the merits of graffiti culture, ComFest snubs and Columbus music history are essential documents of Donewaiting's time and place. That stuff left a permanent stamp on my understanding of Columbus.
Even as Facebook has rendered Donewaiting's message board unnecessary, the blog has continued to be a unique and informative presence in Columbus media, a constant of my daily web-surfing routine. The site has morphed many times, but it always stayed interesting, and I'm sad to see it go. Kudos to Duffy, Joel Oliphint and everyone else who made it happen.