The Phoenix Rises: On Coming Back and Moving Forward

The last time Cover Lay Down suffered a major technological crisis, we had plenty of warning: Blogger had just started shutting down music blogs for spurious copyright claims, and in response, our mp3 file host had given us a two week window to pack up and move on. And so, after some soul searching and a huge outpouring of support from our small but committed fan base, in November of 2008, we opened the doors to a newly redesigned space here at

For the next four and a half years, the bits and bytes that represent Cover Lay Down lived on a private server in California, funded by generous donations from readers like you. Twice a week, on average, I would log on, let the muse come to me, and send the tiny essays and songsets that emerged into the ether, where they would inevitably take on a life of their own. And my biggest fear about this blog was that one day, I would run out of topics for coverage.

And then, a week ago last Sunday, everything disappeared.

If my absence from these virtual pages has been stressful, it is, in part, because we had no platform to let folks know what the hell was going on. And to be fair, for most of the week, I had no idea what was going on, either. It took a community of others who had been affected by the same shutdown to piece together the sad and gory backstory of a company owner gone both AWOL and bankrupt, his abandoned servers disconnected due to non-payment, with no chance of recovery.

In the end, after a week of dashed hopes and failed attempts to get the servers turned back on long enough to extract a database backup, I took a deep breath, and began to rebuild from scratch. I contacted BigScoots, a well-established host with a strong reputation and excellent customer service, and gave them the last of your donated dollars for them to work their magic; I spent a day and a half relearning several web development code systems, and tweaking the design until it looked like home.

And though I have come to accept that it will take weeks or months to restore 5 years worth of regular blog entries one by one using public archives from the Wayback Machine, recreating the space itself must have worked well enough. Because here we are again.

This blog is a home for me, and that’s more than ample reason to fight to recover it. But the well-wishes and notes of concern that have trickled through over the last seven days remind me that this is your space, too – a vital aspect of what makes this blog work, though one which is easy to lose sight of, here on my living room couch, alone in the night with the kids asleep upstairs. A home with open doors is a better home, indeed. And just like our first loss, way back in November of 2008, I am proud and humbled to play host to such a caring collection of individuals.

Now that we’re back, the temptation to pontificate is strong. There’s lessons lurking in the background, here: about making back-ups, especially, and about having a plan B ready to go in case of emergencies. But after eight days of stress and panic, we’ve come out the other side into acceptance, ready to move on, resolved to remember that this is a place of love, and it’s important to keep it that way.

So here’s an appropriately diverse set to get us back to our core mission: to grow and celebrate together through a shared love of music, and a mutual appreciation for the artists who craft and interpret that music on behalf of the world.

May the music speak to our hearts, and bring us the community we so crave. And may we always rise from the ashes, again and again, to stand together against the hardship and the sorrow.

An afterthought: Several of you have asked how you can help us get back on our feet, and we are grateful, as always, for the offers of assistance, and for the commitment and care such offers represent. We have always depended on support from our community. Here’s how to do your part:

  • Support the continued creation of music by purchasing artists’ work whenever possible.
  • Spread the word to friends and family by joining our Facebook page and clicking “like” on a favorite post.
  • Share the wealth by sending us your own coverfolk finds and recordings.
  • Donate to Cover Lay Down to help defray server and bandwidth costs.

Category: Metablog, Mixtapes 7 comments »

7 Responses to “The Phoenix Rises: On Coming Back and Moving Forward”

  1. JoeG

    Welcome back in, if not yet full then growing fuller, force. I was proud to make a contribution via PayPal and I hope many others follow suit.

  2. eric

    you’re a national treasure–great stories, great songs, great stuff; thank you.

  3. HBF

    Lovely to have you back. Keep up the good work.

  4. AngiD

    So glad to have you back, and what a courageous fight. Supporting little known artists is the backbone of the local music scene here and we appreciate everything you have done these past 5 years. THANK YOU AGAIN!

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