Missed you...a lot.

I very much look forward to your weekly newsletters and this is like a gift today. I tried to read a host of others last year but none of them grabbed me the way Ringo did. It was a tough year, and I figured like the rest of us, you retreated to a place of calm to find some inspiration after the storm.

Thanks most of all for sharing the Kitten School link. I run a cat rescue with my ex-wife and cats have turned out to be the most human of all the creatures I've encountered. We lost a good one unexpectedly this year, a runty orange boy named Bindi, who was basically held together by bailing wire, bubble gum, and twine but managed to hold on for four incredibly joy filled years until fate finally caught up with him on 11/24. The sense of his loss has been profound and I often wonder if this is this is just a microcosm of the collective loss we have all suffered through since 2020. A strong feeling of free falling with no end in sight mixed with the strong feeling of revelation - a new day and a new start are just around the corner. It can be maddeningly dissonant at times but, hey, tomorrow's another day and the best and/or worst is yet to come...or something like that. I agree with Melvin Gibbs, we need to figure out a way to reconcile this loss or we are doomed as a society.

I still collect CDs, even better now that I am picking through the remains of another dead but yet to be resurrected format just like vinyl was in the 80s and 90s. My vinyl buying habits turned out to be such a treasure trove of riches that it helped fund the starting of my current business, which is not music but has been the most successful enterprise I have ever been involved in the three and a half decades I have been a worker bee. I have sold off the last of my vinyl and don't miss it one bit. I certainly don't expect the same cultural fondness for CDs some day in the future, but I also said the same about vinyl way back when. I have only recently jumped on the MP3 train and never on the streaming train. I already can't stand the AI suggesting TV shows for me and music is even messier, it just isn't for me. I have spent the last five years ripping my collection to the hard drive. It started as a lark in 2017 to see how far I could get (I am about half way thru as of today) but after the Camp Fire in 2018 and the destruction of an entire small city in a less than an hour, that job has become a huge priority. Everyone I knew from Paradise lost everything, including giant vinyl and CD music libraries, which are impossible to transport in the face of deadly, unexpected crisis. Knowing that I can quickly grab my laptop and run for my life with the albums that have defined my life has given me great comfort as communities near me have burned down each successive summer since 2018. It's not a question of if the fire will ever come for me, it's a question of when. I don't always find it the best way to listen to music but is convenient in ways that I never thought possible, like setting itunes on random and letting it play for a month straight to see where I end up, so frictionless. I have also created many great DJ mixes based on a weird intersection of tracks that I never thought were possible when just solely focused on pulling a disc out of the library and slapping it in the player tray.

While I missed the newsletter, I have appreciate the promos. I enjoy discovering some very high quality artists via your label. I wish it didn't take me 2-3 years to listen to each release, but they are always the chewy, chocolate center of the hard candy shell called life. I look forward to listening to your new musical project, hopefully before 2025, but I try not to get to hung up about the day I finally discover a great artist or album. We're all just doing the best we can.

Thanks...and welcome back, may 2022 be the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.

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Apologies for the long delay to say 'thank you' for these wonderful + thoughtful comments. I know you understand and how all this equates with loss and many small traumas equaling something substantial. It's been tough, and continues to be. But I'm generally fell cautiously okay about 2022, so far and projecting forward, so we shall see.

And glad you appreciate Kitten School! Caroline works so hard on that (and even harder with her kitties). It's been a lot of fun seeing that grow and helping out however I can.

I sold (almost) all my vinyl and CDs in one fell swoop, to a local shop whose owner I'm friends with, about 6 years ago before moving to the lake house. Yes, the thought of having to move it all was the motivation which you'll know is a powerful motivation if you've ever had to move thousands of LPs. Anyway, I don't miss any of them really. That sounds strange to say but there's truth there. And I did rip all of my CDs … it was quite the process, especially as I ripped many that it turns out I didn't actually like. Now listening on 'shuffle' via iTunes is the pruning ritual, 'one starring' songs for later deletion.

That's all for now so thanks again. I'll appear in your inbox when you least expect it once again and sooner than later I think. Just working on them sea legs.

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Hey There! Been reading your Ringo blog for awhile, and very lovely to hear your thoughts on the music marketing industry, artist struggles, #deletefakebook, etc... Just searched my inbox because I realized I hadn't read a Ringo in awhile, and I see you're pausing it. So just wanted to write and say I dug it. Thanks!

Also, I'm an independent artist thinking about starting my own music discovery blog as a way to separate more from social media, and mostly because I find it so hard to find good new music these days! Wondering if you had any thoughts on whether I might start something like that as a hidden page on our band's website (pros- free, maybe feels like a secret club, ?), or does it make more sense having it on a regular blog type site? Trying to use it to spread good music, friend's music, and hopefully sorta make some type of community off social media surround our band, local music community, etc... Any thoughts?

Our current band website: www.lovedean.us

Thanks again for all your contributions!

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Hi, Luke - thanks for the message and the kind words. Ringo is on pause, or even suspended until I transform it into something new (I'd like to try a different platform than Substack, perhaps even my own server type thing). In the meantime, I am blogging over at 8sided.blog — each post, I hope, is like a mini-Ringo and I plan to expand the frequency there very soon.

I think the answer to your question is: do you want (or mind if) the identity of this discovery blog is shared with the band's? That could be nice, attracting readers that may not know about the band at first — but it doesn't feel like a ploy to promote the band (and it isn't, as your intentions seem focused on engagement and curation) because you're creating value for the reader outside of the band's activities.

You can look at Ryan Holiday's Reading Recommendation email as a sort of template for this → https://ryanholiday.net/reading-list/

The email is about him telling his readers about the books he's discovered and read. That's the sincere and generous value given to subscribers. But, when he is about to release a book of his own, he will give a mention to that within the usual recommendations. But I'd say a mention like this is only found in 2 or 3 of the 12 yearly newsletters. And I would guess there are lots who subscribe to his newsletter without even knowing that he writes his own books. They find out later when one of those 'mentions' appear. But it's not really a 'tactic' as I do believe Ryan would publish this newsletter whether he wrote his own books or not — he loves reading and wants to tell others about it.

So, yes, you could take that approach. But, if you want to keep the endeavor as a totally separate identity from the band then, of course, your choice is to create something elsewhere. If you're worried about additional cost then I'd suggest starting something up on Tumblr which can easily host a snappy discovery blog in its free plan.

Hope this helps! And I hope to see you over on 8sided.blog and wherever this newsletter ends up. Oh, and I'm now frequently making noises on Mastodon, too. → https://mas.to/@qburns

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