THE DELETE BIN
Ten Years After
On the lower right hand side of this site there always has and always will be a link to The Delete Bin, one of the most thoughtful and well written music blogs on the lifehouse grid. On December 18th, exactly one decade to the day, founder, writer and editor Rob Jones published his last post.
“I was mostly interested in talking about pop music as a means to understanding what it is to be alive and human. I felt like it was important work to do, as well as being a lot of fun. In terms of pure numbers, everyone loved blogs of the kind The Delete Bin was in 2008-09, which is roughly when I enjoyed quite a bit of traffic and interaction. I was lucky to get a number of regular visitors and commenters; very smart and articulate people who would add dimension to what I had written. That’s how that relationship used to be when it came to bloggers and blogs. It’s a lot tougher these days to be heard above the din and to get a sense of that connection.”
I first became acquainted with Rob on a music chat board with a British URL about 15 years ago. We learned that we were neighbours, sort of, the
Rocky Mountains in
the way. We’ve met over pints of beer on a couple of occasions at the Lennox
pub on Granville Street
in downtown .
I was a sporadic, irregular contributor to The
Delete Bin. Rob said to me once, “You know, you should start your own
“When I started The Delete Bin, I knew I wanted to talk to people who didn’t already have a fixed opinion on everything that moves; I wanted to talk to people who were ready to be amazed by something they’d never heard before, or had heard but never thought about in a certain way. Aside from that, and to be honest, one of my biggest motivations to start my own thing was just to have some vehicle to force me to write something new every day, however that turned out, and for that to be mine. I wasn’t even sure if anyone would join me in my pursuit, or that I had much to really say that would resonate with anyone. It was just calisthenics at first.”
The Delete Bin was a doubly inspired endeavour. The name evokes a bygone era of vinyl, of record stores with dusty racks purveying discounted albums with the corners of their sleeves clipped, of radio play lists generated by payola instead of corporate computer programs; the days of a parallel and thriving music press. Rob says, “I got into reading music journalism primarily when I lived in
where that kind of in-depth
writing and music history is treated pretty seriously, and not strictly as a
means of furthering celebrity or selling ad space. Great music journalism
reminds me of how important artists are to civilization. Artists’ efforts and
the fruits of it help us to understand each other, to empathize with each
The masterstroke came once Rob had found his stride. He avoided lists and the current hypes. The majority of his posts were narrowly focused, insightful, entertaining essays about specific songs: new releases, obscurities or classics. “Listen to this, good people!” That format allowed The Delete Bin to evolve from a daily scan into an archival resource. The content can never get stale because great records never die, and the Internet is forever presently.
“As much as I love the album format, I realized fairly early on that when it came to writing about music, it was ‘the song’ that is the base unit for me. That really helped to unlock a direction for the writing. From there, it was a lot easier to figure out what the nature of pop music and artistry is for. It was about the concept of connection as the prime motivator for creating anything meant to be consumed on a wide scale, whether that’s a song or a piece of writing about a song. Songs are written for different reasons. But for me the most interesting ones are those that touch on something personal, but also have some bearing on the human condition in some capacity.”