At the end of this month, I will no longer be a subscriber to a magazine or newspaper. I never thought this would happen back when I read the newspaper in high school or when I subscribed to Rolling Stone back in college. But after I let my Rolling Stone subscription run out, now I'm letting my subscription to Alternative Press run out.
I hold no grudges against the magazine, but I think it's time that I stop subscribing. The big reason why is that I'm definitely not in their target audience. As I experienced at the Warped Tour over the summer, I had a good time covering it for the Observer, yet I was definitely not the same person that was super-excited to go to the Warped Tour back in 1997.
There are only so many stories I can read about some band that I don't care for their music, and after reading about their fame-seeking ways, I don't like them any more. Not every band featured in the mag is like that, but there are plenty of bands that epitomize the metaphor that mall punk/emo/hardcore is very much the hair metal of today. There are still great writers on staff, and there are plenty of deserving bands that receive some coverage as well. But there's a trade-off.
Something seemed like the right time to not renew when a recent piece ran about classic, influential albums that were released ten years ago. While there were plenty of great albums mentioned (Braid's Frame & Canvas and the Dismemberment Plan's Emergency & I for starters), I couldn't help realize that New Found Glory is now (and has been for a while) considered a trailblazer.
To me, that band definitely blazed a trail for younger bands, but I've always seen that band a highly-derivative, watered-down version of pop-punk. And not a good one at all, no matter how many records they've put out. In other words, when I saw that band all those years ago open for Alkaline Trio and face to face, that band signaled a turning point for me: I was too old to like this band and there was no going back. I wasn't a proverbial "kid" anymore.
Flash forward to ten years later, and here I am reading about many bands that are watered-down versions of watered-down versions of stuff I loved back in the day and still love. Something just didn't fit right. I held onto my subscription while I worked on POST, but POST has been out for over a year now.
I can't blame a magazine that's still in business for catering to the audience that actually buys their advertisers' products. Plus, I always like to point out that AP was a magazine that gave plenty of nice coverage to bands like Braid, the Promise Ring, and Sunny Day Real Estate back when certain other highly-circulated magazines moaned about why music videos suck and why grunge is dead.
So after this month, I will have to find a way to properly store all my back issues of AP, Rolling Stone, Modern Drummer, and Guitar World. At least I won't have to worry about moving into a bigger house to store them all.