In Memoriam 2013

Each fall Stereogum identifies the year’s best new bands. Then around this time of year we memorialize all of the acts who called it quits.

But before we revisit those breakups, there are some other 2013 music biz casualties worth noting. Bookended by the demises of Audiogalaxy and Winamp (two great tools that first set many of us on the path to digital music consumption/obsession) these past 12 months were as tumultuous as ever for music fans. The DJ platform was killed after two and a half years, and MP3 blog aggregator went offline after eight. Twitter #Music ended its run as well, though that only lasted six months. Venerated Hoboken club Maxwell’s shut its doors in July and NYC’s historic Roseland Ballroom announced it will be closing too. The New York City Opera and Bleecker Bob’s both went out of business. Music festivals like ATP Camber Sands, Homebake, Hop Farm, and Kanrocksas called it a day. So did Lady Gaga’s career (just kidding, Lady).

As for notable groups that split up, we said goodbye to a popular At The Drive-In offshoot, an Irish black metal trio, a huge UK reality TV act, and a curiously high number of grown-up boy bands.

Thanks to Matt Neatock for helping me edit this tribute video. Grab your tissues and watch below.

Comments (36)
  1. You forgot The Walkmen!

  2. RIP in piece the Jonas Brothers.

  3. Kid Dynamite called it quits for good this year.

    Did I not see My Chemical Romance?

    You might as well get a head start on next year by throwing in every #emorevival band in there now.

  4. Not a big year for breakups! Wild Flag and the Fruit Bats bummed me out the most though.

    • Bummed about Wild Flag too but not much else. Most of these bands gave what they had to give but I felt like Wild Flag could have given us at least one more batch. Oh well, I’m all for bands breaking up in general.

  5. Man most of these bands weren’t even together that long.

  6. At one point in time I really thought Color Me Badd was a super group consisting of Vanilla Ice, Kenny G, George Michael, and some other dude.

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  8. Could we have another video for bands that are dead inside? (looking at you, Weezer)

  9. Asobi Seksu broke up?? Damn, that’s disappointing.

  10. I didn’t know Gauntlet Hair split. That’s a bummer.

  11. I love comedy as much as the next guy but Color Me Badd is certainly still making music according to wikipedia. Upon seeing that kenny G look-alike I wiki’d them to see who was dead or went bankrupt and was surprised to see they haven’t quite broken up and have in fact reunited as a duo (the vanilla ice guy & the other guy) and are planning on releasing some new music in 2014.

    You may have been including color me badd every year as a running gag, and that is hilarious if that is indeed the fact but for all those 40 year old housewives on stereogum, fear not, color me badd is alive and well (not quite well, kenny g guy is now bald, george michael guy is very fat and worked with ICP).

  12. I’d like to throw in an extra RIP to Stereogum covering other outlets end of the year lists. Nothing like the annual comments bemoaning the lack of death metal on Paste’s list, or the prevalence of a couple dinosaurs on Rolling Stone’s. The tradition is especially missed today. Oh, kind soul who posted a link to mp3s of the Pitchfork 100, you are sorely missed. And for old time’s sake, one last time: no Bon Iver?

    • Agreed. I liked when stereogum covered other blog’s lists, mainly because ‘gum would just make a text list. No scrolling through obnoxious slideshows. Whatever intern got stuck typing out all those lists, I thank you.

  13. Scott and Stereogum, that video was actually really cute. Well done :) I think The Mars Volta was one of the greatest losses. Great band that started to go off the rails with long-winded prog-latin-rock, but there first 2 albums were just perfect.

  14. I half expected there to be an entry with Lostprophets, but instead of applause, we hear crickets chirping.

    • Well to be truthful, it’s incredibly sad for the poor guys in the band who weren’t convicted deviants. It’s not so much a band break-up on usual break up terms, but something much worse and my feeling is that those poor guys deserve some sort of medal for how they were strung along with lies and deception by that deviant.

  15. Maybe My Chemical Romance doesn’t carry much weight for the average ‘gummer (they did for me, but that’s neither here nor there), but they were arguably the biggest band to break up this year, so it’s weird they aren’t in the video (I did see you mentioned the omission, though), particularly when you consider some of the artists you DID include.

    How can the Jonas Brothers break up? They’re brothers.

    Color Me Badd!? Oh no! Small circuit county fairs everywhere will be scrambling to fill their first Wednesday night performance slot!

    • You weren’t the only one MCR carried a lot of weight for. Their break up bummed me out a lot more than most I’ve seen, and I’m a person with music tastes that run very respectably among pretentious rock guys who hate MCR. I got the hate (heck I didn’t care for them when they first hit) but I even more understood the love people had for them, having come around to having it myself. I suspect they’ll be looked upon as one of those “if you have to ask…” kind of bands.

      • The Black Parade was a pretty great album in my book. It’s too bad they didn’t push their career in that direction. It was a pretty creative album with a few beautiful songs on it. Friends of mine who were into ‘that’ scene completely hated the black parade’s turnabout face, but I loved it. They had truly some things about them I really liked. They could have graciously walked away from the scene kid hot topic crowd and matured their voice and could still be going strong. Anyway, my two pence.

        • Well, in a lot of ways that step away is what Danger Days was. No emo. No guy-liner. Just zip-zam glam rock with some pop on top. Danger Days wasn’t as instantly likable a The Black Parade, but it was a strong album that came to be my favorite of their discography. It can kind of be looked at as an Abbey Road to The Black Parade’s Sgt. Peppers. Diverse, shimmery, with a lot of heart and uplift. Like Abbey Road, it’s a fitting epitaph for a band, even if it wasn’t meant as such. I could go on and on as to why I think MCR were great, but if any of the Respectable Rock crowd needs a quick answer, I’d simply say that they were the best power-pop band since Cheap Trick.

          • I hear where you’re coming from, I might check out Danger Days. I haven’t heard it. I did appreciate MCR for what they were and to say they were the best power-pop band since Cheap Trick isn’t too far removed. Maybe they’ll come back one day. Fall out Boy came back this year but they can stay hidden.

      • Resident emo girl here, and I’ll be the first to admit I teared up when seeing MCR in this video. “The Black Parade” helped me through a very difficult time in my life.

        And OK, I have a raging crush on Gerard. Le sigh.

    • MCR are in there now.

  16. Prepared myself to feel somber and nostalgic; heard the outrageously overused Prelude to the Bach Cello Suite 1 in G; felt disappointed and kind of annoyed.

    This is perhaps the correct emotion to think about band breakups?

  17. It’s just sad that there’s no mention of Two Hours Traffic here. They made one of this year’s best albums, dammit.

  18. Not sure if Das Racist broke up in 2013, or if I’ve just been grieving at a slower pace…

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