I know you spent years designing and developing this magnificent looking site design, but it's looked the same for the last 5 years and functions exactly the same. When you announced a new design a few years back I assumed you were going to roll out with a new design and progress the site like the music scene. Silly me.
No one does websites like this anymore. You have so much content that could be taken out, integrated and simplified. This could be a top tier music blog again if the design wasn't such a piece of shit.
Let's compare: Pitchfork has more content (less of a community) but almost 3 times of traffic and design is a big part of that. Take stereogum (another buzzmedia classic) copycat'd PF and is double your traffic. Get back in the swing of things like the old days.
I remember the design back in the day when Home Grown graced the top featured spot like it owned the place, way before sliders, way before people featured things the way they do today. It's almost as if you gave up since buzzmedia. You kept it the way it is because you're afraid of change and the users you might loose because of it. I'm sure you want to get past your 150k monthly, so change, it could be for the best.
Simplify it goddamn it.
Jason's been working on a new design for quite a few months now. Read his blog.