Skip to main content

Nothing Gold Can Stay

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's a Long Way Down

There was a time when I listened to Ryan Adams' music practically all the time. Back in 2001, as I finished college and tried to navigate post-college life, the double dose of Whiskeytown’s Pneumonia and Adams’ Gold led me to everything else he had made before. It was countrified rock music that spoke to me in a deep way, mainly on the musical front. I don’t tend to really pay attention to lyrics, but I connected with Adams’ lyrics about being young and perpetually heartbroken. I thought some self-inflicted mental pain about awkward and failed attempts at relationships put me in the headspace to relate to songs by Adams, as well as Bright Eyes. There was so much time and energy spent on anger and sadness directed at myself for things not working out, so I found solace in songs like “Harder Now That It’s Over” and “The Rescue Blues.” As it turned out, there was a pattern in my life: if I had a little taste of a feeling of sadness or anger, I could relate to those who had it

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Catherine Wheel

Originally posted: Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 Despite managing to release five proper albums, Catherine Wheel was one of those bands that always seemed to slip past the mainstream rock crowd. Yes, they got some nice airplay in their day, but people seem to have forgotten about them. You may hear “Black Metallic” or “Waydown” on a “classic alternative” show on Sirius or XM or maybe even on terrestrial radio, but that’s about it. For me, they were one of most consistent rock bands of the ’90s, meandering through shoegazer, hard rock, space rock and pop rock, all while eluding mainstream pigeonholing. Led by the smooth, warm pipes of vocalist/guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson), Catherine Wheel featured Brian Futter on lead guitar, Dave Hawes on bass and Neil Sims on drums. They weren’t a pretty-boy guitar band, but they weren’t a scuzzy bunch of ragamuffins either. Though the band hailed from England, Catherine Wheel found itself more welcome on American

Best of 2021

  Last year, my attention span was not wide enough to listen to a lot of LPs from start to finish. Too much went on in 2020 to focus on 10-15 albums, so I went with only a couple to spotlight. Well, 2021 was a little better, as I have a list of top four records, and a lot of individual tracks.  (I made a lengthy Spotify playlist ) So, without further ado, here’s my list of favorites of the year: Albums Deafheaven, Infinite Granite (listen) Hands down, my favorite album of the year. I was not sure where Deafheaven would go after another record that brought My Bloody Valentine and death metal fans together, but they beautifully rebooted their sound on Infinite Granite. The divisive goblin vocals are vastly pared-down here, as are the blast beats. Sounding more inspired by Slowdive, the band has discovered a new sonic palette that I hope they explore more of in the future. It’s a welcome revelation. I still love their older material, but this has renewed my love of what these guys do.  J