I've long since fallen behind on keeping up with the ebb and flow of music blogs -- for proof of this, notice how seldom I update my links bar these days. I only check a few sites semiregularly and receive RSS feeds from some megasites (PFM, Idolator), but otherwise my internet habits are fairly disorganized, music-wise. One of my regular stops, almost since its inception, was Paper Thin Walls. The site is closing shop and the news hit me like a ton of bricks. PTW introduced me to a truckload of fantastic new music over the past couple of years, so much so that it's no exaggeration to say that it was my single biggest resource on the internet in that respect. With sites like Pitchfork posting links to seemingly dozens of mp3s and videos daily (not to mention the weekly updates of documentary-length content on the Pitchfork.tv section of their site), I can understand that people might have found PTW to be a bit lacking in material. I felt that they made up for it and then some by maintaining an incredibly high level of quality control not only with the music they hosted, but also with the writing that accompanied it. Articulate, bite-sized reviews of single tracks are a lot more likely to sell me on a band than an essay-length semi-philosophical screed will, not least because the single song mp3 is simpler to digest than an extended play album, no matter whether I'm at work, home, or iPod.
Right now I'm listening to PTW's "Drifts and Drones" mixtape, compiled in April 2007, which remained glued to my regularly used media players for most of the spring and early summer of that year, especially the tracks by Eluvium and Horseback which I heard there for the first time. Follow the links from here to get everything on the tape, after all, what better way to pay tribute to a great website than by listening to the music that made it so special.