A Casual Ramble About How I Have Decided to Make a Change.

I have decided to make a change.

Perhaps that’s the biggest element of this post that needed to be said. In many ways, I feel as if I pressure myself too much. Pressure myself to write, to analyze, to be creative, to produce. Anyone who’s ever been a writer has known that doing so doesn’t result in more product, more of what you want, but more of the byproducts by which one suffers: more stress, more body pain, more fever dreams and midday migraines. More doesn’t just mean more. To cut the tautological poetry, it’s about time I stop obsessing about these fucking release day buffets.

That is not to say I am going to stop listening and compiling new music, but that I am removing the pressure to publish a roundup once every month. It’s a deadline imposed by me on me for something that I do not wish to be a focal point of my blog. And looking at the history, it is the focal point. The idea of listening to new music was meant to deepen my knowledge of modern independent music (I don’t much do big releases unless I want to) and widen my sense of perspective on the developing musical landscape.

I feel obliged to myself to do it, to keep myself up-to-date, but that never makes it fun. Adding the monthly publishing requirement renders it torturous.

So that’s been scratched.

What else? Traditional reviews. They’re scratched.

Not that they have ever been at home here; it’s never been about how critically good or bad a record is or isn’t, it’s about how I and, to be egoist, everyone else who listens via album format, lives music. Yes, that discounts people who listen to playlists—if you listen to playlists you don’t like artists, you like songs—because I am just not one for playlists. I enjoy playlists, don’t misunderstand me, I have plenty of them. But they are sort of personal “emergency music” for different scenarios. I don’t listen to music to mix and match, I like whole sets, and I will live out sets until they are dead, erased or otherwise not available. Thus the continued emphasis on music that is lived, music as a record album experience, as a crystallized hour in time, the idea that each track, each concept, builds on the last.

This will result in The Fried Neckbones harboring pieces that are almost like shorts stories, memoirs, testimonials. Visceral moments delineated by music and distilled via my notoriously stream of conscious writing style. So when I say my writings for Atwood Magazine are the nice, clean thoughts, the reviews and interviews and music you should know and all that, while The Fried Neckbones is all about my wild, wild ramblings (turned to diamond by my own pressure, rather than carbon crumbs), only then will I actually be telling the truth.

What does this entail? Well, to that end, almost all things The Fried Neckbones will be on hiatus.

During so, I’ll be scrubbing posts that I don’t want on this website or otherwise are too “clean.” I don’t hate all of them, but their current format does not fit the idea I have for how I want to change this website’s aesthetic, stuff that puts on the old-school reviewer mask too much. That material, if it even deserves such a nom-de-guerre, will be tossed. Most of my early stuff will be going into this bin. Most of the reviews will be going into this bin. The Robert Plant stuff will be going into this bin. “The Colors of Warpaint” will most likely be going into this bin. Anything that is a review, but ramble-y will be archived. The serial pieces not named under “Plantology” (God, I get sick reading that) will be archived. The roundups will also be archived. Inactive, but still there for interested parties. November’s edition will be the last for a long, long, long time. Maybe the day after I die, I’ll reopen the idea. Sad day, huh? Before that however, I might just put it all into a bin and fucking delete it all too. So don’t hold your breath, you might just find yourself coming back to a website scrubbed clean of literally everything. The pieces I do write and the pieces I might bring back will be done so in a way that I deem correct and in a manner I consider timely; one or two a month, depending on the muse.

There is one thing however, that will definitely be staying: The Total Trash Podcast. That does bring me joy to do, if nothing else because my friend Kelly and I always have a blast doing it and, most of the time, I don’t even edit the episodes. They just go up as is. Good pre-production helps this case greatly. But I digress, the Total Trash Podcast will be staying and will be ongoing while the blog is on hiatus.

As for timelines, I have given myself a deadline of my own birthday, April 9th. Gives me plenty of time to look at all my stuff and deem it worthy of staying or not. Though, once again, I might really, really, really just go in and delete all of these motherfucking elements right out. Until that date, however, this will all be done in a draft mode of my website, which will allow me to edit and play and mess with multiple formats as possible.

In short: All content on The Fried Neckbones is on hiatus. The website will be stripped of most of its unoriginal content. Old and non-serial album/concert reviews; serial reviews and roundups will be archived; the Total Trash Podcast will still be live. I expect all of this to be done before April 9th. I will update via Twitter and Facebook if that date changes.

And to keep you all privy to what change I have in mind: I want to get a typewriter, I want to get a scanner, and I want to pull ideas from my music based journals. There, that’s all the clues I can give. Catch me on Atwood Magazine in the meantime.

I’ll see you once I’ve made a change.

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About BenJamsToo

An insane man moonlighting as a respectable member of society from Portland, Oregon. A rock ‘n’ roller since his mother first spun The Police’s “Roxanne,” Ben is a lover of all things rock, soul, funk, jazz, blues, electronic and hip-hop. Perhaps it’s easier to list what he doesn’t like: most gangsta rap, country-western and modern metal disagrees with his stomach. Once upon a time, a friend told him to write about music. So he started doing that under the title of a Willie Bobo cover by Santana. Now he wonders about what Stu McKenzie has for breakfast, why John Congleton is the best damn record producer this side of the millennium and just how Common came to be his favourite hip-hop star. He’s been working on that last one for nearly a decade now. No answers yet.