The Final Word?
I started this blog waaaayyyy back in 2008, partly to see if I could do it, and partly to be part of a community of like minded music fanatics and coworkers, all of whom had established blogs that focused on their love of music. It was fun, it was exciting, and I discovered a ton of new bands and rediscovered even more I missed the first time around. The first active year of Uncle E’s Musical Nightmares, well I have to admit I was just kind of fooling around. I published lots and lots of supremely silly, puerile rants and a whole bunch of ridiculous fiction. Just messing around for my own amusement, really. The tally of ‘unique visitors’ was small, and I assumed they all arrived here by some happy accident. Some left nice comments, and some asked me if they could add my little site to their blog links. I confirmed in the affirmative, responded in kind and added theirs to mine.
The page views and unique visitors started to increase. Some folks even subscribed to my blog feed, which still amazes me to this day. My own list of links increased and suddenly I was a part of this very interesting community of music fanatics, each with their own unique voice, writing style and preferences. It was, and remains, very cool.
In the 6+ years I’ve been doing this I have published 1,242 posts, most being nonsensical ravings from a maniacal music fan with a marginal writing ability. That’s the way I like it, and the sort of music blogs that I seek out. The way I figure it, if I want professional prose written by some bearded dude with a BA in creative writing who minored in music composition, I’ll read Paste magazine. Opinion blogs are real. To me, this is one of the reasons traditional music journalism is dying, has been dying for years: it’s boring as hell. It has become as rote and as meaningless to my life (and you readers, I’d wager) as mainstream reality television. Independent blog publishers, on the other hand, are generally much more fun to read, because they inject their own unique personality, preferences and prejudices into their writing. They’re kind of like the DJ’s of old, the Johnny Fevers of the world, who were given the freedom to play whatever they wanted. In the blogosphere there are no advertisers to please, no editors with political biases (Jann Wenner, anyone?), no copy deadlines; no rules period, for the most part. And most music bloggers aren’t getting paid for their work, so what the hell? Bottom line: They do it because they love music, and they want to share that love of music with whoever is willing to listen/read. And God bless them for that. I don’t always agree with their choices, but goddamn it I’m glad they have the passion to lay it all on the line, honestly and with real emotion. Those of you with links over there on the right, please continue what you’re doing. It’s important.
The frequency of posts here has decreased lately, and they’re likely to decrease further in the months ahead. They might even cease altogether. Duties at my place of employment have increased substantially and time is definitely at a premium. I usually write these posts either late at night or very early in the morning, and then ‘schedule’ them well into the future. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this on December 7th, 2013 at 5am PST. You’re reading this sometime in January 2014.
The good news is that I have been a music fanatic for over 35 years and feel quite confident I’ll be just as obsessive decades down the road. Because whenever I feel I’ve heard it all and that nothing can shock, enlighten or keep me entertained for 45 minutes (happens more often than I’d like to admit!), aurally speaking of course, I have one of those “ah HA!” moments. Someone burns a disc or recommends an album or artist that I fall madly in love with, and within a matter of days snatch up every recorded note by said artist…you know what I mean? That’s what keeps me goin’. For instance, let’s talk about Bob Dylan. I had never had more than a passing fascination in Dylan’s music and honestly had never purchased anything by him except his first single disc Greatest Hits LP, back when I was in my early teens. Fast forward to my late ‘30’s and a friend burns me John Wesley Harding, and BAM! I click with Dylan! It wasn’t Blood On The Tracks, or Hwy 61, or Blonde On Blonde, it was this humble little back-to-roots album recorded and released in 1967. Other fairly recent “A-Ha!” artists/ albums for me have been:
Nick Lowe, (Jesus Of Cool)
Robyn Hitchcock (Element Of Light)
Porcupine Tree (Up The Downstair)
Saint Etienne (Foxbase Alpha)
My Morning Jacket (Z)
Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots)
Mercury Rev (Deserters Songs)
Before hearing the above albums (up there in parenthesis), I had no idea, really, what these acts sounded like, bar maybe a song or two (Nick Lowe’s So It Goes or Cruel To Be Kind, The Flaming Lips She Don’t Use Jelly, etc). After hearing them I never listened to music the same again. In my late teens/early twenties it was albums like Screamadelica, Pills Thrills and Bellyaches, Introspective, This Is The Day, This Is The Hour, This…Is This!, Mother’s Milk, Stone Roses. Before that, albums such as Dazzle Ships, The Smiths, Soul Mining, Entertainment, The Raven, Rip It Up and A Scandal In Bohemia warped my mind and sent me off in another direction. The gateway drug for me, as it was for many, many people, was the Beatles, specifically The Blue and Red albums. Then it was Queen, and on and on and on and on.
But I digress, as I often do here.
A very long hiatus is definitely in order, at the very least. I’ll still be out there, reading your blogs and listening to as much music as possible, and I’ll be on Facebook occasionally as well, so if you’d like to ‘friend’ me (that still sounds ridiculously juvenile, doesn’t it?), you’re welcome. I go by my official handle over there, Ian Balentine.
One more reason for my personal “overload” here is the fact that I started another blog, entitled “500 Reason’s Why The ‘80’s Didn’t Suck”, whose reason for being is to highlight worthy albums and songs from the 1980’s and to hopefully help put to rest the notion that the decade, at least as far as music was concerned, well, sucked. The link is over there on the right also. 500 albums from one decade is a pretty large task, but I’ll get there. Eventually. It’s also a more popular blog than this one is, getting 4 times the visitors a day, which is pretty weird but definitely cool. I’ll be publishing stuff not related to the ’80’s, but only after I stockpile a few and only if the mood hits me (you all know I can’t give it up entirely!) Lastly. for all of you kind folks who subscribe, or follow, link to, or whatever, to Uncle E’s Nightmares, please change it to 500REASONSTHE80SDIDNTSUCK, if’n you wouldn’t mind. I’d very much appreciate it if you would.
Have fun, and here’s hoping you all have a great 2014 and beyond!
Thank you for reading.