Alistair Fitchett has closed down Tangents after 10 years, and that makes me sad.
Tangents was an e-zine (how deliciously 90s that word feels on the tongue), above all a vehicle for the author's vision of all things 'Pop', which seemed to encompass detective fiction, cycling and Apple Macs, as well as the finest, tremulous, keening, fragile, life-affirming music-making from Stirling and Stockholm and Spokane. Alistair was also generous (foolhardy?) enough to accept outside submissions, and gave me a chance to flex my creative muscles at a point when I'd had a lot of confidence kicked out of me. If it weren't for him (and Everett True) saying nice things about my writing back in 2001/2002, I don't think I'd ever have had the nerve to write the OK Computer tome. Whether that turns out to be a good thing or not is another matter, of course.
Alistair's farewell is melancholy, but straightforward:
"I want to listen to music and not feel the need to explain it. I want to hear records and not have stories to tell other than those which stay inside and say simply that the records make me smile or cry. I don’t want to have to explain myself. Most of all I don’t want anyone to care what I think."
Which makes sense. If you lose the hunger to pontificate, you're better off out of the game. I'd rather have Tangents, but not a half-hearted Tangents. Fortunately, Alistair's still maintaining his blog, and Young and Foolish, his 1998 book about all that is quiversome in music, is still available.