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Monday, June 16, 2003

R.I.P. Lost Cause

Well, I guess there won't even be a July issue of Lost Cause. Too bad for many reasons, not the least of which that I spent 5 hours this weekend finishing up a couple of articles for that issue. Anyone interested in 500 print-ready words on Raven's CD release and Har Mar Superstar's going away show?

Here's the email I got from Mark Baumgarten this morning to show you just how Lost of a Cause Lost Cause now is:

Sad to say, Lost Cause: Minnesota's Music Journal will be buried later
this afternoon in an undisclosed cemetary in Southeast Minneapolis.
After an autopsy, coroners have determined that the cause of death
was a stroke caused by a financial and creative blockage in one of the
beloved magazine's arteries. The heart, the coroner's report states, is
healthy, bloody, red and still beating, but everything else is in
shambles, leaving the magazine clinically deceased.
"I wish there was something more I could do," said publisher and
editor Mark Baumgarten, "but I guess I just wasn't prepared to run a
successful magazine for the long haul. A year isn't bad though, is it? I
mean, oh God, why didn't I take a few business courses in college!"
Baumgarten vows to "get his shit together" in the next few years so he
can "do this shit for real." He did not state whether, when he "gets his
shit together," he will relaunch Lost Cause, or if he will give life to a
new publication.
"I will be back, though," the shaky and trembling publisher said.
"I did not create this magazine for naught," he added. "We all went into
this not knowing what would happen -- if the magazine would die after
the first couple issues, or if it would find a way to live on forever. It
looks like we came in somewhere in between. I mean, physically, it's
gone, but I think we did something really special. We showed music
fans in this town how great this scene is, and proved that well-done,
creative coverage of a scene can occur on a grassroots level. Now, if
someone can take that knowledge and pair it with some good
business sense, or a business partner, I think another publication
could step in and fill the hole left by this one."
Asked whether he predetermined the magazine's demise by titling it
"Lost Cause," the publisher replied, "lay off, naysayer."
Baumgarten plans to continue writing and editing for other
publications, as do the magazine's other editorial staff members.
Anyone wanting to drink their sorrows away with Baumgarten while
listening to some soothing tunes should convene at the Triple Rock
Social Club for the Superhopper show tonight. A more formal sendoff
is currently being planned by the staff of the magazine.
If you would like specific back issues of the magazine to complete
your collection, contact Baumgarten at

In musical items of note, both Josh Ritter and Gemma Hayes put on lovely shows at the Entry Saturday night. (I arrived too late to see Dana Thompson because I was foolishly finishing my Har Mar review for Lost Cause.) Dana was a little under the weather though, and cut her set a bit short.

Idaho's Ritter tamed the crowd to the point where you could hear a pin drop at times. The only thing I can compare his magic to is Martin Sexton. And if Ireland's Gemma Hayes is this good at 23, look out. She's tough for her size, her songs are top notch, and she can rock when she needs to.