freudI collect cds in general and gothic country cds in particular. Now, there I've said it. It's not easy coming out as a collector. People either tend to smile a little at that, pity you as a person or even associate collecting (good) with its ugly twin, hoarding (bad). In my opinion, collecting shouldn’t be easy. First, the difficulty level must be considerable. Else, why bother? Second, accept that your collection is not going to be complete. Hard to take in, but deep down you know that’s probably true. What are the driving forces behind collecting? There are almost as many psychological theories as there are collectors. Neurologist and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud thought he had the answer to why people collect. In short: we seek an object of desire. The desire, and the urge to collect, begins the moment you enter this world. Sigmund Freud was convinced that collecting emanates from unresolved toilet training conflict. The loss of bowel control was a traumatic experience, and the feces are disgusting and frightening to a child. Therefore the collector is trying to gain back bowel control as well as his own feces (obviously, too late). Object fixation is related to the anal-retentive stage in childhood (from age 18 months to three years). We are talking about the second and anal stage in his theory of psychosexual development. Another theory asserts that collecting could serve as protection against death by creating something that will live on after you are gone. Often you want to pass your collection over to the next generation. I told my kids that if (after my demise) I find my cd collection on Tradera (Swedish Ebay) I will come back and haunt them. They looked as if they were ready to take their chances. True collectors even try to keep their collections intact after their deaths, or memorialize them in other ways.


freudIn contrast, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung traced collecting to the way that pre-agricultural cultures survived by gathering food and storing it. The people who were persistent and industrious were more likely to survive harsh climate, hard times and other difficulties, letting them pass on their genes to future generations. People continue this behavior, despite the fact that they don’t need to gather or store food anymore. Accumulating is an evolutionary advantage, which creates a feeling of security. The collector takes gathering to a more intellectual level, seeking selected objects instead of simply gathering food and storing it. Close to Jung is the theory of mastery. In short: the world is large, hostile and beyond our control. The collector can create a smaller world, friendly and controllable. By acquiring, arranging and protecting items in a collection the owner will feel a sense of mastery and satisfaction. Mastery could also be achieved through certain knowledge. By exploring a tiny area you will become a big fish in a small pond. I count myself in here. Another related theory focus on collectors as consumers. The collector both rejects and embraces consumerism. On one hand, the collector rejects disposable products. On the other hand, the collector embraces consumerism by devoting time, money, and efforts to items of lasting value. We are defined by our possessions. The collector defines himself by the quality and value of his collection.


muensterbergerThe most influential person in collecting behavior is psychoanalyst and art historian Werner Muensterberger. His magnum opus ”Collecting: An Unruly Passion” (1994) is the most-quoted book on the psychology of collecting. Muensterberger viewed collecting as pathological. Collecting in his world is merely a compulsion or defect. The pathological collecting impulse begins when an infant is separated from his mother and realizes what it means to sometimes be alone. The infant substitutes this for a security object, blanket or teddy bear, which provides temporary comfort. As an adult, acquiring new objects also provides temporary relief from these feelings (anxiety, loneliness and uncertainty). The feeling of comfort fades and the collector must continue to add to the collection to avoid these negative feelings. A related theory focus on reliving your childhood. Collecting behavior peaks at a prepubertal age. The theory claims that collectors are born as children, reborn in middle age or retirement when they gain the time and disposable income. Adult collectors often buy the things they wish they had as children. Many people want to return to the things that enthralled them or gave them security in their youth. That’s why adult people pay top dollar and collect Star Wars-memorabilia (including box in mint condition), comic books, toys etc. The implicit presumption for this  theory is that you had a happy childhood.

Unresolved toilet training, preventing and accepting death, gathering and storing, mastery and control, pathology and compulsion or reliving your childhood. As I wrote, it's not easy coming out as a collector. There’s a lot process and digest. However, you don't need to be lost. There's a quote in "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby where the protagonist's reflects upon his collecting. “Is it so wrong, wanting to be at home with your record collection? It’s not like collecting records is collecting stamps, or beermats, or antique thimbles. There’s a whole world in here, a nicer, dirtier, more violent, more peaceful, more colourful, sleazier, more dangerous, more loving world than the world I live in; there is history, and geography, and poetry, and countless other things I should have studied at school, including music." I'm not particularly interested of laying down on a psychoanalysts couch. Therefore, I embrace these liberating lines.



ratchetTime to stand up and be counted (or to be accounted for). I launched this website exactly four years ago. The first blog entry I posted had the fateful title "So it begins...". Three years ago I posted a one-year anniversary blog post with the expectantly title "So it continues..." in which I discussed the past, present and future for the site. Two years ago I posted a two-year anniversary blog post with the prosaic title "And so it goes on and on and on and on and on..." in which I did some merciless following up on ambitions and promises. One year ago I posted a three-year anniversary blog post with the patronizing title "The necessity of content gardening" in which I stated that a website, with proper content gardening, could live forever. Today I will focus on how organic growth of the website have created a ratchet effect.


The content of the site has grown, but the growth rate has decreased. Here are some hard facts to back this up: since last year there are zero new articles, 7 new artists in the table, 5 new lists and 17 new blog entries. My modus operandi for adding new articles is that first I buy all the artists physical albums and then, and only then, I write the article. This isn't always a good working method when the catch of rare cds is close to zero. However, this coming year will be different (at least two new articles will be published). The number of new artists in the table is the same as last year. The number of new lists is only half of last years production, which probably only reflects the fact that it's getting harder and harder to come up with an idea of something to make a list of. There are definitely more blog posts this year. Not really sure why. Maybe it's a subliminal compensation for the other departments. Should I be worried about the growth rate? A decreasing growth rate is expected when the most of the important artists and bands are covered. No need to worry.

I found a really interesting paradox. The growth of new content is decreasing, while visitor statistics is increasing. How can that be? One should expect fewer visits when the site isn't updated with new content on regular basis. The answer is that the web indexing and the Google algorithms seems to be doing its thing. Don't ask me about the details, but there's a ratchet effect. A ratchet is a mechanical device that allows continuous linear or rotary motion in only one direction while preventing motion in the opposite direction (see picture above). There are ratchet effects in almost every scientific field which refer to escalations in factors that tend to self-perpetuate. In this particular case, the website has reached a certain critical level (ratchet) which creates a new dynamic which drives traffic to the website.  

Visitor statistics

Number of visitors and date: 10 000 (November 20, 2014), 20 000 (July 5, 2015), 30 000 (March 5, 2016), 40 000 (October 21, 2016), 50 000 (April 9, 2017), 60 000 (August 18, 2017) and 70 000 (January 9, 2018). Today, the visitor counter shows 73 857 visitors. This is far more than I could ever dream of. If this continues, the visitor counter will show 100 000 (!) or more this time next year and would be a real nice 5-year anniversary. We'll see what the future holds.  

The most visited pages on the site are:

1. Home (73 857)

2. Artists (9 983)

3. Sons of Perdition (7 753)

4. 10 essential gothic country albums (7 540)

5. Artists (7 155)

I consider no. 4 as a sign of that I'm influential and normative in the field. I have always dreamt of becoming the high priest of something.

Menu status

There are 62 articles published under the menu "Articles". The "Artists" department is a simple table overview, but one of the most visited pages. At the moment there 135 artists. There are links to the "Albums" department and, where applicable, a link to ”Articles”. The "Albums" department consists of plug-in product (Music Collection). The "Lists" department (artists, albums, songs and miscellaneous) contains 32 lists. The Miscellaneous department have only 9 links, but on the other hand a beautiful ivy stem. At the moment there are 99 blog entries. The "Contact" form works as it's supposed to.


I take some pride in that the website is up and running twenty-four seven. I can proudly say that there's been no disruptions of any kind during the last year. I also take some proud in that everything is correct on the site. If you stumble over any obsolete or incorrect information or, even worse, dead links don't hesitate to contact me and I will fix it. 


I recently got an e-mail from Daniel Parker, allegedly a digital marketing expert (DME). Mr. Parker wanted to help to attract more visitors and overturn my competitors. In Mr. Parkers auto-generated e-mail (with imposition of hands to pass the reCAPTCHA spam robot filter) there were remarks about low PR link building and lack of social media promotion on the site. Did I request any services? No, I didn't and here's why. First of all, a DME who has a simple gmail-address. Not very dignified. Second, a DME whose e-mail goes directly to the junk mail folder. Not very trustworthy. Third, a DME who don't have the basic skill to create spaces between auto-generated text. Not very impressing. But, all this is subordinate. What annoys me the most is the presumption of earning money from visitors and advertisers. The site is non-profit and free of advertisment. This is the way it has been and will always be.


I will go on untiringly within the limits of family, work and other duties.


scac25 6bilderSlim Cessna’s Auto Club (SCAC) is definitely the most resistant, hardwearing and viable band in the gothic country genre. They have successfully defied all depressing survival rate statistics. SCAC celebrated the band's 25th (!) anniversary over three nights at Denver's Globe Hall on December 29, 30 and 31 2017. 25 years is an extreme life span in the genre. SCAC have somehow marched on. But, not without personnel turnover. Over twenty musicians have passed through the band since 1992. Musicians tend to go in and out of the band depending on their other commitments. This open door policy isn't very common in the genre, where leaving a band often is definite and irrevocable. This is a key factor in keeping the band alive and kicking. Another factor is the solid core. Since a couple of years back Slim Cessna (founder) and Munly Munly (Jay Munly) are the hub and creative force in SCAC. The current lineup, besides Cessna and Munly, consists of Lord Dwight Pentacost, Rebecca Vera, Ian O'Dougherty and Andrew Warner. With time SCAC have acquired a loyal, no to say fanatical, local fan base, the “Cessnuts”. SCAC is widely known for the rowdy live acts and regarded as the undoubtedly best live band in the genre. At live gigs they play the songs of their choice, with the arrangements of the day. After all the years on stage they have some experience to fall back on and dare to improvise. The distance from Stockholm to Denver (as the crow flies) is 7 845 km (4 875 miles). I wasn't in Denver to celebrate, but it must have been great. The bands Pale Sun and Wake The Bat opened the first night, DBUK consists to 80 percent of SCAC members) and Rotten Reputation opened the second night. The Breachers and Loretta Kill opened on New Years Night. 25 years is a long time. It's not over yet, SCAC. Live long and prosper!


keepcalmresilienceThis is my fourth country note (since the site was launched in March 2014). In last years note I declared that you have to build resilience in the face of adversity. The gothic country genre is endangered and at risk of extinction. The survival rate is disturbingly low. No money, no recognition, no nothing. The two biggest threats are hiatus and solo projects. Not many returns if they enter this fatal way. Musicians died likes flies in 2017 in all genres. In the above-mentioned country note I was cautiously negative about 2017. When I now summarize the year I can establish that it was a very meager year. In fact, it was a year characterized by crop failure, both in volume and quality. Very few albums were released. "The Spark" by The Builders And The Butchers, "Grim Weepers" by Lonesome Wyatt And The Holy Spooks, "I Am A Stranger Here Below" by The Dad Horse Experience were all pretty ordinary releases. "Waffles, Triangles & Jesus" by Jim White was quite a positive surprise and far better than his previous release "Where It Hits You". If you slightly broaden the genre scope, "These Golden Threads" by Gun Mother should be mentioned. The Reverend Glasseye song "Hispid Hare" nails me to the wall everytime. The only album in 2017 that meet my standards is "What’s Left Now You Are Dead to Me" by T.K. Bollinger. You can read my review here (opens in a new window). His previous album "Shy Ghosts" knocked me off my feet. The latest release isn't as coherent, but come close in comparison. That's all, folks.  

I've had the same three wishes for two years in a row. Evidently, none of them have come true. The first wish was a new gothic country album by Christian Williams. The release of "Marconi" with reworked traditional songs gave some consolidation. You can read my review here (opens in a new window). The second faith-filled wish was a sophomore release from The Victor Mourning. I have to dream on. The third wish was to acquire at least one of the hard-to-find four missing albums (read more here) and to get all albums from the defunct label Devil's Ruin Records. I'm not a presumptuous or greedy man, but I will not be swayed. I wish for the same three things in 2018. What about next year? Antic Clay is going to release a new album called "Broom of Fire". It was originally scheduled this year as a 10 year anniversary of the release of Hilarious Death Blues (HDB), which is a milestone in the dark americana (or if you prefer gothic americana) genre. On his website he proudly declares that fans of HDB will not be disappointed. He has hereby knowingly and willfully built up the expectations. It will be interesting to see if he still got the powers in him. DBUK recently announced the release of a new album in 2018 called "Songs Nine Through Sixteen" (a follow up to their debut album "Songs One Through Eight". That's basically everything that's in the pipeline next year. Again, you have to build resilience in the face of adversity. 



thinline3I'm fascinated over musicians who one day play metal and the next day begin to play bluegrass. Well, not exactly bluegrass. This particular kind of bluegrass is better known as trashgrass, streetgrass, punkgrass, speedgrass, murdergrass and other prefix-grass. Labels are often used profusely both diligently and resourcefully. At first glance, the shift may seem like a giant leap, but in fact it's a small step. We start with two questions: First of all: why change style in the first place? The main reason seems to be that metalheads tends to get bored with the head banging and therefore seeks a more traditional and true expression. Second: how is the dramatic change in style possible? The bluegrass genre is open and tolerant. Long-haired musicians can easily find refuge within the liberal bluegrass community. This facilitates the transition. Other factors are the intensity and drive in the two genres, but also the improvisation. One or more instruments each takes its turn playing the melody and more or less improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment. In the good old days, you could hear bass and drum solos in metal music. Nowadays, the guitar seems to reign. There are many bands that more or less fit the bill of transition, for example .357 String Band, Highlonesome, The Goddamn Gallows, Devout Sinners, The Pine Box Boys, Filthy Still, The Calamity Cubes, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy and Trampled By Turtles. There's a quote in "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby of how the protagonist's music taste evolved "I can tell you how I got from Deep Purple to Howling Wolf in just 25 moves". From metal to prefix-grass is only one small step. "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind".



All Blog Posts