Tuesday, November 22, 2022

"The Calls Are Coming From Inside The House!"

Every two years or so, something (or a series of somethings) makes me question whether it's worth the time and effort to keep this place afloat. Early on, it was what I perceived as a lack of interest that made me take an unplanned vacation. But during my time off, I realized that I was doing this as much for myself as I was for the entertainment of others. It suddenly no longer mattered if a post got two or twenty two comments, as long as I enjoyed creating the piece.

During the T***P years, a few too many anonymous trolls took offense to my lefty leanings and I received a few shocking messages, including a death threat or two. That may sound easy to ignore, but I wonder how you would handle it if it was you receiving the threats. 

Recently, a new phenomenon has reared its ugly head. Long time readers, friends real and virtual, began commenting in ways I hadn't been used to before. It was no longer a difference of opinion. It was brash, almost as if some were losing patience with what I had to offer.

In 14 years, I've tried to moderate and reply to comments respectfully. While I am sure everyone has something better to do with their time than to fact-check me, I challenge anyone to find any sort of rude or offensive reply from me, even when the music I love passionately gets crapped on repeatedly, in both subtle and not so subtle ways. Even through passive-aggressive accusations and false claims--you know, some people like to comment before reading or listening--, I've done my best to keep a cool head, because once you say "Fuck You," you have already lost.

Even those T***P trolls who flung shit so aggressively were met with what I had hoped were polite, albeit snark-filled retorts. I've rarely lost my head, and man, I want to lose my head every time Neil Young releases a record and the congregation all simultaneously shout "Not bad. A few good songs."

About this new Bruce Springsteen record...it's not that I don't mind it. Or that I actually really dig some of it. It's the vitriol with which the detractors have condemned it. People have trashed it without listening to it, just because it's a record full of covers. Critics seem angered by it, a fucking innocuous covers record!  

I have a friend, someone I have known for some time and who has supported my writing like no other, who keeps sending me bad reviews from the internet, as if to say "See?" This is worse trolling than the T***P trolling. This is a friend. What's his point other than to wind me up? He sealed the deal with a live audio clip of Bruce performing "Lonely Teardrops." Yeah? So? That was 1988. He is 73 now. I will continue to make my argument about any record I feel is worth the time. That is not personal, nor it is me saying, "I'm right and you are wrong!" It's why I created this damn blog!

If you want to discuss music, I'll do it all day long. We don't have to agree. But I find it somewhat insulting that after 14 years of sharing thoughts and music covering just about every genre that exists, that someone would imply that I don't know what I am talking about. This is all I know! It's almost 60 years of constant reading and listening and selling and listening and reading and selling and playing and recording, and still I have a lot to learn.

I don't know everything, but I know something, including the difference between a comment based on fact and one that is full of shit. 

For the record, I have an iPhone, and I know how to work my way around a Mac pretty well. I read Brooklyn Vegan. I will occasionally have a smoothie. I love Wet Leg! And The Beths.  I don't "live in the past" because I get more pleasure out of a Thin Lizzy record than I do out of an Olivia Rodrigo record. Fair enough?

I almost shut down last night. A few too many comments rubbed me the wrong way. But, I love this too much, and the best way I know how to handle it, is to talk about it. And I'll tell you one more thing, if you only want to discuss the positive without ever addressing the negative, that is not a relationship. It's a fucking sham. I'm all about the hippy-dippy, love one another way of living. But removing yourself from the field of play because friends disagree with you is amateur. No one has ever died from a disagreement, or constructive criticism. I admit, I don't always accept it like a man. But I am always willing to listen and talk.

The easiest and best way to move forward is to simply stop reading what I write if you find nothing here for you. If you want to read about the Top New Emo Records, I am sure there are many other places to go. I am here to talk about what I love and occasionally what I don't. And I welcome everyone to participate for better or worse. I just ask that if you'd like me to be a bit more self-aware of my shortcomings, then I expect the same from you, otherwise, you keep a daily blog for 14 years. See how quickly you snap.

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you.

I mean that.




Unknown said...

Keep being you
Fuck anyone who says different

softshoebanana said...

There's more that connects than divides the vast majority of your contributors, regular or otherwise (I'm in the otherwise group). The world is and always has been full of arseholes it's just that lately it's been far easier for the arseholes to commandeer the airwaves and fuck everyone or everything over....fuck them Sal, keep listening to and writing about whatever you like. I, for one, appreciate your labour of love...more power to your elbow brother.

Unknown said...

This is my favorite blog. I don't always agree with your opinions, but I'm equally sure you might not agree with all of mine. Still, they come from a thoughtful place, and that is enough for me.

As to the Springsteen. I really like it! Seems every artist of a certain age circles back to their roots, just for fun, and as an homage. I see this album as that kind of thing. It is a good, hard rocking soulful album. Most of all, it's fun!

Palakaloo said...

Sal, Please don't let the turkeys gobble you up! There are a lot more of us out here who appreciate your work than the haters who are just internet jerks. I don't agree with everything you write but somehow I click on your site each and everyday. And if BRUCE FLIPPING SPRINGSTEEN hasn't earned the right to record a bunch of favorites, who the hell could ever earn that right? Sheesh, I remember in his earliest days hearing him doing "Pretty Flamingo", "Stay", "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" and a hundred others as far back as the seventies. Anyway keep up the good work (only if you want to that is)!

Joe said...

Sal, my morning coffee would not taste the same without your blog.

At 71, I may be one of your oldest readers. While I not always interested in some of the music being discussed, I am always listening and still searching. Still searching, that is the key for me. Not sure that I can quit doing that.

Music is a journey and you make it fun and enjoyable. You add value to the journey.

David said...

Sal, I truly enjoy checking in with your blog when I can. Though I may not comment much, what you have to say and share is truly a joy to read. Thanks for being you and sharing the great music that moves you. Happy Thanksgiving holiday.
Dave in SF

Walt said...

Sal, this is my first post ever. I am following you since years and find it by far the best and most insightful music blog. Your insights, stories and not least your fantastic writing deserve respect. You opened a lot of doors to new music and artists for me, and for that I am deeply grateful.

kodak ghost said...

Joe is 71... I am 73... and I would reiterate his comments. I try to log on every day and have a read to see whats new and news. I guess I am more into "Americana" and acoustic music these days, but love the New Orleans stuff and old soul and Motown.... and could sit and chat (and bore people!) about these topics for ages.
Shane for Irelnads comments are interesting, and I feel the same.

So love to read what you have to say... much of the music you post does very little for me... but evry now and again there is something that I love. Love the weekly song digest. So all power to you . and many thanks.

OldRockr1 said...


I don’t comment near often enough, but I stop by most days. I’ve found so much good music here I can’t thank you enough for the blog. Keep being you and ignore the naysayers. And the Springsteen get more enjoyable every listen. High art? Nope but a lot of fun…especially the tracks I wasn’t familiar with.


Tumblingdice70 said...

Sal, I've recommended your blog to a number of people over the years, and here's my description: "This guy is awesome, a salty New Yorker (much appreciated here in Nashville.) You'll hear great music consistently, he will bring up great points you never thought of, he'll go on about some things you're not interested in, and he'll blow his stack every so often when enough people write dumb stuff. Have you ever heard of Tim Christensen?"

Today I'm writing this at the end of a nonstop 14 hour work day, and just being able to finally check the blog out today made me happy. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!


Stephen said...

Excellent write up....and didnt even mention the FIFA World Cup.....Brilliant!

Claude B. said...

I am always surprised by some of the comments that I read on social media or blogs. People trying to be smart or insightful... and writing the most ignorant stuff.
Your blog is just fine. I always enjoy reading it.
And the new Springsteen lp is much better than I thought it would be, for what it's worth :-)
Happy Thanksgiving.

heartsofstone said...

One of the things I am thankful for is your blog and your wonderful insights. I hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Noel M said...

I'm sure you know I'm always a fan of your blog, and always here to discuss music with balance and grace. (And to trash T***P and his ilk, down with that too.)

Also, I enjoy the comments from others - this is generally a smart and knowledgeable bunch - even with the occasional epic fail to which you refer.

Keep up the great work as you have for years.

ken49 said...

Driving back home today I listened to the Pretenders, Graham Parker and Costello's Imperial Bedroom. If Elvis isn't one of the finest lyricists in the last 60 years and I wondered what Sal might have to say about this.

Troy said...

Hey Sal, are you getting these a*hole posts here at BW, or are they coming in through other channels? TBH, I don't see the group here pulling the crap you've mentioned. Are there posts you haven't allowed because of the bullshit? Or are the comments that have pushed you to the edge coming from other media, email, etc?

I'm sorry you have been pushed this far. Your blog is a great place to discuss and learn about new music. TBH, there are artists you post about (incl some of your favorites) but that don't do it for me...so I read, process,  and then wait for something later that does push my buttons, and then I'm back in the chat.

Keep on keeping on, and have a good Thanksgiving ✌🧡🦃

JB said...

Reading about music is not as great as listening to music. But it’s damn good and I enjoy it very much. This has always been a great place to do it.

Civility, never abundant, has been in especially short supply in recent years. Nastiness was let off it’s leash. And I think the trauma of the pandemic pushed some of our fellow humans who were close to the edge, over it. Unfortunately public people like yourself receive a disproportionate share of abuse. Couldn’t blame you for hanging up your keyboard. Thanks for hanging in there.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sal, count me in as another longtime reader who never comments. I should have done so before as I personally love the reggae recommendations and I think you could have used the support!

Happy Thanksgiving.
Titanic Days

Sjm said...

I would say that I really don't like around half of the music you like and promote. But I love your blog because of your perceptive writing and the way you celebrate the music you enjoy. I would never even think of disparaging anyone's taste in music. Long may you keep writing!

George said...

Hear, hear, Sal. And Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Jim said...

I love your blog but like most social media you will get people hide behind the anonymity of the internet and moan, whinge, slag off and give abuse because they can get away with it.
I for one enjoy music and like you I prefer listening to Thin Lizzy than say Ed Sheeran.

I remember someone at work slagging of the Osmonds, I said you’re a Zeppelin fan, listen to the Osmonds album the Plan. Not saying they are in the same class but those Osmonds boys can rock.

You’re not going to please everyone social media or not, someone will walk into a record shop and say you don’t stock what I like, well you can’t stock everything, but while you’re here show respect to those artist I do stock, my opinion and I will try and listen and stock your likes.

People today don’t know how hard it is to run a blog, to keep it entertaining, topical and fresh. I visit your blog because you can steer me to something I might not of heard and that could brighten up my day or life depending on the artist.

I can tell you don’t let them grind you down but if they haven’t listened to Thin Lizzy it’s their loss not yours and to be honest Phil would have told them to F off and F off to social media.

Thanks for everything you and I hope you will continue and not let these Wan*ers get to you.

kevin m said...

Hi Sal - one of the things I'm thankful for is this board and community. Happy that you will continue moving forward despite the actions of some shitheads.

Wishing you and your family a happy thanksgiving.

Now as for that new Neil Young/Crazy Horse LP....yeesh

Anonymous said...

Sal, this is not trolling but this post/rant is a classic from a few years now. In other news, Wilco Johnson passed away, you may have a few words about Dr. Feelgood.

Chris Collins said...

As always, thankful for this site. Always. I admire you for being brave on the internet in the court of opinions :)

Happy thanksgiving!

Rodger Stroup said...

Good morning Sal!
The previous comments have summed up my feelings about Burning Wood pretty well. I would add that I have enjoyed discovering a ton of music that I missed the first time around. My ears may not have been ready the first time around, but your observations and descriptions have moved me toward those albums I missed, plus some more recent music that I was unaware of.
Have a great Thanksgiving, enjoy the music that will fill your days, and we will be here when you return!

Kirke said...

Giving thanks to you and Burning Wood for all the entertainment and information. One of my favorite habits is checking the blog each morning.

Kirke in Austin

art58koen said...

Just keep up the good work, I enjoy reading your blog a lot. Don't let the negative types get you down.

Honest Ed said...

Don't let the bastards grind you down.

Unless I'm one of the bastards...

Jobe said...

Happy Thanksgiving Sal

First might I say that I'm envious of you and your informative home here. For the most part, you generate numerous comments for all of your posts. While we struggle to get even crickets chirping over at our place. I know what a thankless job this can be. While you and I have some serious disagreements about say...Billy Joel I still respect your opinion and at times have gone back and re-looked at "The Uptown Girl's" catalogue. Still don't hear what you do. Anyway how many of us here would love to write linear notes for some of our favorite bands and have them grace the inlay cards of major label CD's? Soon, let's have a discussion on whether Todd R has stretched himself too thin by releasing over a 100 albums in over 32 years. But first (and this is the last time I will mention it) Would you please give a listen to the solo album by ex Dwight Yoakam guitarist Eugene Edwards and let me know what you think?

Cleveland Jeff said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Sal. Keep up the good work. Love the blog.

Sal Nunziato said...

If you're going to make a comment about Tood R.,let's get the facts straight. It's 97 albums in 30 years.

Listening to Eugene Edwards today!

Jobe said...

Is that counting the Utopia records too?

ken49 said...

The mornings would not be the same without a visit to Burning Wood. It is rarer and rarer to hear or find someone to talk about the great music we all love.

Shriner said...

If you didn't come at me (bro) for saying I didn't think that much of "What's Going On" -- I know you can keep your cool. :-)

And I'm enjoying the follow-up album from Bird Streets. It's not the (super) high bar that the last album was, but there's a lot of good stuff there and it's a slow burn.

Keep on keeping on, Sal!

pmac said...

I think its just a reflection of what has been happening in the US. Just flew bck to the US for the first time in 2 years for a brief visit. As soon as I landed in Miamai, the mood around me changed. People just look so damn beaten down here, now.
Hang in there, buddy. I hope I haven't added to your problems, and if I did, lo siento, hermano.

cmealha said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Sal, you are the best. I can't keep track of all the incredible music and artists you have turned me on to. I can safely say, if you feature it I'll give it a listen. Multiple listens if it doesn't hit me right away just because you wrote about it.

That said, I've stopped reading comments. Any and all comments on any site I visit. I just found it better for my overall mental health (such as it is). Your post has me rethinking this strategy. I'll give it a shot.

paulinca said...

I want to thank you for your daily posts. You've expanded my understanding of so many bands, so much history. You're like my favorite film critic, with whom I read even when I disagree. Keep up the good fight. Happy Thanksgiving and know that you make countless readers' lives that much happier because of this blog.




We live in a goofy world where Internet trolls exist and feel entitled to poking.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate how you have enriched my music experience. And I am in awe of the work you put into Burning Wood week after week, month after month, year after year. (And I'm pretty sure I ain't alone in those thoughts!)

You should be proud!

Happy Thanksgiving

soundsource said...

There is always ukuleleism (kinda like buddhism with four stings) to ease your pain. Just keeping a thought going.


Mr. Baez said...


Checking in to your posts is truly one of the highlights of my day. I'm another 70+er and very much appreciate what you do. I hope you keep the fire burning for as long as it satisfies you to do it. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Rave on my friend.

Strummer62 said...

Your blog got me into Todd Rundgren, I only knew the "hits" and your enthusiasm for his work and that of others has lead to some amazing new , at least new to me , music for which I am profoundly grateful. I love the Weekend Mixes as SOTW summaries. There are plenty of fawning fan sites out there, we don't need any more. Thank you for all you do and please keep it up, the internet would be a sorrier place without Burning Wood. Thank you again !

Michael Giltz said...

Hey, I remembered Noel M is "Walk In The Woods" just when he stopped reminding us! Kudos to me. And who was it who always began their posts, "No, no, please, sit down." ?

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving! If I was a dick, I apologize. Not for being a dick; I can't really help that. But for letting it come out in some unhelpful way. And thank you for never making fun of me for loving Teddy Thompson so much.

I'd say don't read the comments but I know you like to encourage a dialogue so that doesn't work. Def let off steam when you need to, take a break and then get back to the blog when it will be enjoyable for you. It's always enjoyable for us.

Anonymous said...

Looking at these comments, it occurred to me, after some thought, that yours and my shared likes are far fewer than our differences musically, but jeez it would never occur to me to take the effort to actually write some slag on you/your music; I find it easy to merely refrain from commenting, and at no point have let my dislike of something you've proffered bleed into my thinking of you, the one proffering it. I can't imagine why just keeping one's thoughts to oneself, if they are neither reflective, constructive, neutral or complimentary, would be so goddamn hard. Folks don't walk down the street calling out their criticisms to those they encounter, do they? Why on earth do it here, especially if you like the site?
I would really really miss BW if you chucked it in, and be very disappointed if some dickwads' comments were the reason you did chuck it in. So I hope you focus on the positive (community) rather than the negative (dickwads).
C in California

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving, BW!!!
And thank you Sal for continuing to update the Now Playing section during your sabbatical - very much appreciated by those of us looking for musical suggestions to start the day.
Peace and love to all!

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for a long time and love the variety of stuff. I am just listening to that Bruce Springsteen version of "Lonely Teardrops" as I write this. Apart from being mildly disappointed that it's not the Blue Oyster Cult song of the same name it sounds pretty good to me :-). I trust your opinion on stuff I haven't heard and often seek out your recommendations. There is enough XTC, Elvis Costello etc on here to let me know it's coming from the right place. By the way it's been a bad few weeks first losing Dan McCafferty from Nazareth and now Wilko - two of my absolute favourites growing up - so thanks for the tribute box at the side of your screen. Wilko was a legend. Can't pretend he was much of a singer but what a guitarist and showman!

Todd said...

Happy Thanksgiving Sal!

I'm Thankful that you consistently expose me to music that is new to me (whether it came out in the 60's or the 2020's!) I know it can be a grind especially when people are insulting or proudly ignorant but there are hundreds of us that believe your little blog is a bright spot of our day.

Anonymous said...

My day has been made thanks to Shriner - I wasn't aware of Bird Streets' new record.

That's what this blog is about. The music.

Happy Thanksgiving, Sal. I'll raise a turkey leg today in your honor.


dogbreath said...

Crikey! I dip my toes into the blog fairly often and have wondered in all innocence how you manage to keep it going in the face of some unnecessary negativity, a lot of which we probably don't see as you kindly spare us that. But I'm very glad you do keep your end up and I'm more than pleased to see all the great and supportive messages above. You nail your colours to the mast. You know your onions. And you're not ready for the knacker's yard yet. Long may it continue to be so. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sal, I was hoping to send you Ted Cruz’s book for some holiday weekend reading pleasure, but I don’t have your address.

- Paul in DK

PS. I’m with Shriner and Randy on Bird Streets.

M_Sharp said...

Just keep doing what you do, Sal, that's why I'm here. Thanks for doing it, and have a great Thanksgiving!

Martyj said...

Sal, whether you continue or end this (and I HOPE it continues for a long time) you have earned more thanks than I can ever give you. Your thoughts/tastes/knowledge has expanded my music appreciation in so many directions. It's rare at least one track from your Song of the Week hasn't made its way onto my permanent playlist. Thank you for enlightening me to Thin Lizzy being more than "The Boys Are Back in Town." For hipping me to The Nude Party. And Southern Culture on the Skids. And, never thought I'd say this, but Grace Jones (!) Where do I stop? I feel guilty for the amount of MP3s I've download from you without me giving anything in return. Oh...and John Sally Ride's Nothing Doing is awesome!

-- Marty, in Maryland near Washington DC

ThroatWarblerMangrove said...

I try to live my life with as few regrets as possible. One of my biggest is that I don't read your blog enough. Trying hard to remedy that. Please don't stop, It's always informative and often a lot of fun. If it wasn't for you I'd only be listening to Metallica...

Anonymous said...

As an ocassional visitor I visit to learn and expand my musical horizons. There would be little point in visiting a blog that just shares my opinions- so I value your viewpoint regardless of wether I agree or not. Dare I say "keep on rocking in the free world"!
And thanks for keeping it interesting.
Lord Geldeston

Wise Ice said...

Don't stop. Just keep at it, your audience can figure it out. You keep posting, I'll keep reading.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm, let's see.....politics - music - politics - music.....yep, MUSIC wins.....and DESPITE your 'devotion' for a few artists whom I find nauseating - that's what makes music such an interesting 'art form' and as Chris Youlden once sang, "Wouldn't it be a real drag if we were all the same?" so what if i don't think much of amy winehouse (or some of the 'auto-tune' pop crap being served up to todays' youth)? YOU, my friend, are providing a great service to ALL OF US (whether we know it or not) so please keep it up. And speaking of "The Calls Are Coming From Inside the House", if you think YOUR situation is bad, how would you like living in an environment where a family member (let's say your it's your older brother, who always picked on you as a child but now needs a place to live after his marriage exploded) who CHASTISES YOU FOR ENJOYING THE MUSIC OF PEOPLE WHOSE POLITICS DON'T AGREE WITH HIS?.....yeah, that's where I am now.....and for someone with a masters degree in PSYCHOLOGY.....you'd think he would've paid more attention in class~ GMB