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Call This a Hiatus

Last week I tried four or five times to upload the shows I finally posted yesterday and kept running into issues. I got the files ready, stayed up to midnight, loaded them into Zippyshare, watched them start to upload and then came back the next morning only to discovered it had crapped out after a file or two. On Saturday I decided to give it one more go and thought that if it didn’t work I would go on hiatus for awhile and try to decide what I wanted to do with this site.

Well, those files worked, but I have to admit that I was kind of disappointed that they did. Which is why I’m taking a break anyways.

Long time users of this site will know the trouble I’ve had with it over the last year or so. All of my files were deleted by Megaupload and Mediafire, Rapidshare stunted the bandwidth making it unusable for me. Various other sites continue to have issues. Losing so many files has caused the reupload requests to go through the roof which in turn caused me to change my policy to a no-reupload rule. Still, in spite of the fact I have that policy stated in my side bar I get daily reup requests. I hate having to say no to those. I hate that so many of my files are now gone.

These things and more have caused what once was a truly fun hobby into more like a really irritating job. The fun has been sucked right out. So I’m taking a break, I’m going on hiatus to determine just exactly what my next step will be.

I want to pause right here though and say how much I really have enjoyed doing this. Its been a blast collecting shows and sharing them. I love the fact that I’ve been able to provide such incredible music with so many people over the last few years. So many of you leave comments, send e -mails, give me shows to share and I truly and deeply appreciate it. I especially want to thank those of you who leave so many wonderful comments. You guys rock. You have an incredible amount of knowledge about so many artists and shows that you have really added so much worth to this site. It is you all who have kept me going through so much of this nonsense. Thank you.

Now this isn’t an official goodbye. I’m taking a break. I want at least two weeks off and then again, maybe more. I honestly can’t say what will happen then. Maybe I’ll be refreshed and will start posting again with verve. Or maybe I’ll decide to give it up completely. My guess is that it will come down to something inbetween. I like the idea of posting one or two shows a week and actually being able to listen to them and to write a review of them. Or perhaps I’ll put all of my efforts into the Van Morrison Cafe or the Grateful Dead Cafe, concentrating on posting boots of one band and reviewing every show. Or maybe I’ll drop this blog and just post to sites like Guitars101 which would allow me to leave the stress of running a site and just become a little member posting when I want.

I have no idea what will happen. I’m gonna rest and relax without worrying about putting up shows. I’m gonna try to figure out what I want to do with the Midnight Cafe. I will certainly let everyone know when I decide, but definitely give me a couple of weeks to think about it.

Again, thanks everybody for all that you do. It is truly the fans that have made The Midnight Cafe such a treat.

21 Responses to “Call This a Hiatus”

  1. Visitor Says:

    Darn. I certainly understand. Can’t blame you. But I hate to hear it.

  2. DylanDave Says:

    Mat, put your feet up and ponder. Truth is there has been a blitz of great posts here recently and it will probably do us all some good to catch up and take stock etc. I will get those remaining Dylan discs to you, was about to try the other day but woke up to discover all my overnight d/ls had frozen at about 50%. Guess my isp has still not entirely forgiven me!!
    Get some rays, sink some beers and hopefully come back refreshed ok – will drop you an email soon Re Bob etc
    Cheers and big thanks as always

  3. Seth Hollander Says:

    Sorry to hear the news. Take care of yourself. Hobbies should add pleasure to your life. Do what’s good for you! Hope you cone back, but take all the time you want!

  4. speedy Says:

    Enjoy your break! As I run my own blog at So Many Roads, I fully understand that some days it feels like work rather than fun. I hope you decide to continue posting as you share some wonderful music, but whatever your choose, we all support you and thank you for running a great site!

  5. 25thBeatle Says:

    Mat – not an unexpected post from you. The past couple of weeks felt rushed and had the feeling of finality. I seriously could not keep up with everything that you have posted. Absolutely in awe. You have been through so much with your move and the internet provider situation and the constant requests I totally get this decision. CAN’T say that I like it but I am just a patron here at the Cafe’ and I visit here more than any other site. Love what you have provided and shared and allowed me to enjoy. And I have enjoyed so much.
    Wishing you peace and hope you find the zen to return with a revitalized vigor. The time to enjoy is now. Make NO excuses.
    CYA when we CYA.
    Thanks for everything.

  6. Grant Says:


    Very understandable for you to need a break, Heck, even if everything were working like clockwork, you have your regular job, your move to get settled from, and being a Dad. Sometimes we just need a break!

    I’ve had situations like this in my life where I just had to take a break, chillax, and come back to what I wanted to when it was fun. I hope you do that, and if you choose to continue this or your Van blog in particular, that is great for me, but I’d certainly only suggest it if it feels right to you too!

    Cheers and thanks for ALL the music. My van collection was almost nothing prior to your blog – thank you so much!

  7. Hongmill Says:

    Mat – Please take it easy for a while and then do what is best for you and your family. As much as I enjoy the posts, and as much as I appreciate what it must take out of you to do all this work, you only get one life and you’d best enjoy it. I for one would be happy with a couple of posts a week, with a review or essay from you about it. That could promote some really interesting comments and dialog from those of us who’d be interested (like me). A music site which promotes thoughtful discussion about great music could be wonderful. You have been doing great things for some time now. I selfishly hope that the time off makes you want to come back and post tons of new stuff (like every 1977 dead show that you haven’t posted yet) but I’ll understand if you decide to shut this down.

  8. Bob W Says:


    I fully understand. Take all the time you need. When (maybe if) you come back, don’t stress on the blog. Post whenever it feels good for you (that maybe only once every couple of weeks). This has to be fun for you, or it is not worth doing. You don’t owe us fans anything. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

    I deeply appreciate all you’ve posted and really hope you will come back, but realize how tough it can be. Enjoy life and the new home.

    Bob W.

  9. Adam Says:

    Thanks for the info and all of the great posts. When it’s fun again, we’ll all hope that you choose to continue sharing your fine collection. All the best.

  10. Tony Says:

    Many thanks for all you’ve shared. Sounds like you
    really need a break ( i.t. not working can really do that
    to you). For now we’ve all got plenty of great music
    to listen to… maybe we should think about sharing
    some impressions / experiences of all that has already
    been posted!

    Going back to an idea you mentioned previously – good,
    reliable guides to the the best of Van and the Dead, etc
    would I’m sure be found really useful by many people.

    Hell, I’ve got loads of live Dead and I listen to it all the time – but
    even so, do I know, can I remember which are my favourite shows??
    No way!

    As the wise old philosopher once said (in one of the greatest movies
    ever made):- Take her easy dude!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for the bootz!

  12. celits Says:

    Thanks Mat for all your fantastic work. Hope to see you back.

  13. Kingcobra Says:

    I wish you lots of peace and happiness. I think your taste is
    wonderful and have especially enjoyed our mutual love of Van The Man. Thanks for your hard work and your kindness. Kingcobra

  14. Bruce Says:

    Hi Mat,
    Thanks for your great website and excellent Van shows you have posted through the years.
    Take care,

  15. Mat Brewster Says:

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words. I truly appreciate it.

    I’m still not making promises of any sort as I do want to give myself some time to relax and think about exactly what I want to do, but I feel pretty sure that I’ll be back in some way. Bootlegs are too much a part of my life and sharing them has become a big part of who I am as well. Giving it up completely would almost be impossible.

    At the moment I’m really liking the idea of just slowing the pace down and listening to the shows before I post. That way I can write a review, or at least have something to say about the shows.

    But I’m still pondering and thinking about it. This week it has been nice not to feel pressured to hurry up and post something. I know that pressure is all internal as you all are always cool with whenever I post, but I do feel this sort of pressure to post regularly. I’m trying hard to kill that part of me and come up with a plan that will help me share this wonderful music but not make me stressed out about it.

    Thanks again.

  16. Pig Pen Says:

    I understand how obsessive it can get with posting. I’m that way with Dl’ing. It is an obsession yet it’s pleasin’

  17. newelectricmuse Says:

    Hope you decide to come back after your break, but only if you’re enjoying it. My hard drive would be pleased if you posted a bit less frequently!

    I like the idea of your reviews – recommendations are always welcome. For example, being keen on Van, there are some years where if you post a show I will definitely download it, but for later shows (and by this I mean the last two decades, which is actually quite a lot of shows!) I have to be more choosy and try to collect a few representative shows from each year – this is where some guidance on which shows are particularly interesting and/or of high quality would be very useful!

    But really, you’ve got to be enjoying it!!

  18. Dwight Says:


    all the best to you
    I stumbled on to your site many many moons ago when searching fro some info of an old Steve Earle and the train band show – I just checked – i loaded the show in Feb. 2010 – thats a long ride – thanks for all the music – look at the list of all the other bootleg sites on your right – most of them have come and gone. Take a break – as long as you want – I once got so burned out downloading shows burning them to cds and never, ever listening to them – never taking the time to listen to the music – and enjoy it — a few months ago i dumped a tremendous amount of them – I have what i like and dont have to have everything else – it was such a freeing thing to do – all the best my friend

  19. jcc Says:

    Been there, done that! I feel your pain. I think it might be better to Post a maximum 1 show per day, take the weekend off and after a period of time…if it’s taken down, so be it. Thanks

  20. jmm Says:

    Thanks for all the great music! It seems like simply downloading music is getting more difficult so I can’t even imagine how much effort you put in.

    Just want to let you know that your effort is appreciated.

    fwiw, I read your retirement message the day it came out but still kept coming back to the site out of habit. Seemed about time that I thanked you.

  21. GMl Says:

    Thanks for everything. Like Mr. zimmerman says: “The secret to peace is a change.”

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