Wednesday, July 12, 2006

we're still fighting it

In the "...are you serious? I just told you that, a moment ago" department:

Reuters has decided to release an article on "grups". Which is great, I guess, for the three people who didn't know about this phenomenon before and could possibly care, but COME ON. Stereogum had their indie yuppie contest back in April 2005, and even Newsweek--late to the party--ran an article about grups/indie yups last January. (I know this because I just threw said article away... today. Have I mentioned that I subscribe to too many magazines?)

Anyway, we got it. There are 30-40 somethings who used to be "Gen X" and are progressively middle-aging, but still love the music, fashion and lifestyle they enjoyed in the '90s. Great. Any future articles should be presented as sociological studies, NOT freaking "news." Sheesh.

And as long as I'm on a tear (*growls*), the "new" Spin magazine sucks.

Yeah, I'm a little behind the ball on this one (see above post about subscribing to too many magazines). I'd heard about the editorial overhaul, and I could see by the FLASHY GEE WHIZ bombast on the cover that things weren't quite the same. But hoo, boy, is it awful inside. A sex column? Do we need a sex column in a music magazine? And gone are the couple of in-depth music reviews in the back in favor of a "capsule" review style. Here, for instance, is Jon Dolan's capsule for the Twilight Singers' Powder Burns:

"Greg Dulli has 'a dick for a brain,' or so he once sang in his '90s band Afghan Whigs. And on the fourth offering from his Los Angeles crew the Twilight Singers, cocaine-cranked punk-rock R&B gives scary emotional power to similarly rakish soul-baring. When his drama-king croon hits its mark, only the cruel of heart could resist letting him have his day."


No, seriously. If anyone can explain what that last sentence means, you deserve a cookie. A cocaine-cranked punk-rock R&B cookie, even. (But not you, Brad Renfro. I refuse to enable your addiction.) Hell, it's obvious the "dick for a brain" line is there purely for shock value, because, again, wha? Just shut up, Spin. I'm SO sorry my subscription doesn't run out till next April, but you can bet I won't be renewing. I already subscribe to one Blender (and that lost a lot of its luster once it stopped running its Monthly Crossword Contest, to be perfectly frank). I did just renew my subscription to Rolling Stone, but I have considerably more faith in that magazine. For one, it has miles more street cred, and its National Affairs articles are usually incredibly well-done. The 1,000th Issue Collector's Volume was pretty awesome, too. I think I'll let the other two music mags go, when their time comes. And Jane, you're not off the hook, either. I'm so sick of new editors breezing in and destroying a perfectly good magazine with their concept of "vision." Bah.

I suppose I should be reading more books, anyway. Or my little Time magazine, or whatever it's called.


whitetrashmocha said...

You know, I used to subscribe to Rolling Stone, Spin, Glamour, Cosmo, Harpers, Natural Health, and the New Yorker. Only I found that I never read them. Now, I'm down to Glamour, Natural Health and Women's Health and I still never read them. I don't know why I bother.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Spin's makeover was very ill-advised. I had grown pretty disillusioned with it before then, and thankfully my subscription ended right before the change (my last issue was the surprisingly decent one with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the cover). I too subscribe to Blender, just because it usually offers trivia or snarky comments that just aren't found in other publications. I also like the little lyrics they have throughout the mag, and I tend to laugh at least once while reading it. As for Rolling Stone... well, I enjoy the "Get Your War On" strip, and yeah, the political stories are usually pretty good. But as far as any kind of music credibility, they just don't have it. If you're an independent release or a debut, you will never get more than three stars. Actually a lot of reviews are getting to be that way, across all the mags. About 85% of releases for a given month get the same score in the review, whatever the equivalent of three Rolling Stone stars is. Except NME. If I had long hair and a guitar, and captured a fart on vinyl, they would put me on the cover and give me a 9.


Rent60 said...

Well I suppose I don't have to be so embarassed about my girlish gush at Chuck Klosterman last year then. I must say I only started reading Spin recently and I'm so sad that it seems I've missed the boat alltogether. See if I apply for your internship now Chuck!