Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hold Steady Now - A Change Is Gonna Come

It's the end of a very long era. Since the 70s, between the two of us we've bought Record Mirror, Melody Maker, Sounds, NME, New Music News, Smash Hits, The Face, Blitz, i-D, Flexipop, ZigZag, MixMag, Muzik(??), Select, Vox, Q, Mojo...

But for the past ten years it's been a strict diet of Uncut.

And recently it's become a chore, one in which, as a lazy person, I've not really participated. While Betty bites the bullet and reads all the chaff about the Rolling Stones, Neil Young and various other rock pensioners, I just skim through the new CD reviews and have a laugh at the letters written by extremely serious middle aged men who think The Hold Steady, for Christ's sake, are the future of music.

The Hold Steady - The Future Of Music

I saw she was struggling with the latest issue this week. Those golf and slippers dullards REM have apparently produced their "most straightforwardly enjoyable album since 1906's New Adventures In Hi-Fi."

"Just think of how much real reading you'll get done without all this shit," I said to her.

And I cancelled our subscription, just like that, two days before the next direct debit was due.

There is the worry that maybe we'll miss the odd gem like the re-issue of the brilliant White Noise album, An Electric Storm. But look, here it is on Uncut's website anyway.

So it's a final goodbye to the printed word. And a big hello to the 21st century.


  1. You need to get yourself of to "Word" Magazine Geoff. A Magazine, a CD, a web-site and a podcast. Son of Q. It's great. You'll fit in like a grape in an accountant's sandal.

  2. Elvis Costello? James? Hepworth & Ellen?

    I feel young again.

  3. Yes - Word magazine
    is good and I am a huge fan of Electric Roulette

    I went to see Supergrass (Diamond Hoo Ha Men) on Friday. Good god they were brilliant - I think I cracked a rib jumping up and down for so long.

  4. I always think of Portmerion when Supergrass are mentioned. We went there at the same time the video was out. Lovely memories.

  5. There is too much change lately in your household.

    I find it all very unsettling.

  6. Don't worry mj - it's taken him 8 years to say hello to the 21st century.

  7. Web subscription is fine, but I like to read magazines in the bathroom, even in the bath.

  8. MJ - I'm preparing for my retirement. Preparation is the key. Only another 19 years of work to go. I'm getting rid of all the shit, man.

    Kaz - I'm doing pretty well. I know people who are still in the 70s.

    Llewtrah - I never want to see a magazine again. There are too many words in them. I want short reviews. From there I can look up myspace sites and Bob's me uncle.

  9. Ewww, Uncut is so blokey. I used to like Stylus (if only for its ludicrously pretentious writing style) but it's gorn now. And Pitchfork. Although even Pitchfork is a bit blokey.

  10. Are you insinuating THE HOLD STEADY are not in touch with their feminine side? How can you say the Rolling Stones, The Faces, Neil Young, CSN&Y, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, U2, REM...wait a minute, they MUST have had a woman on the front cover in their ten year history!

    Jimi Hendrix was their token black artist.

  11. I think there's a sense of denial in the magazine industry: one key reason that people aren't buying any more is that all the decent writers seem to have upped and left. I think Q is to blame: they set themselves up against that sarky, opinionated, slightly pretentious NME attitude, and pitched to people who quite liked music, but weren't obsessive. The problem is, the hardcore music lovers were the ones who might just have kept all those mags afloat, but they were the ones who liked the old-style NME attitude.

    Still, there's always Plan B.

    (Has Morley become a simulacrum of himself? Discuss.)

  12. Looking at those magazine covers just depresses me. They're a good indicator of the tedium inside.

    Morley should be a regular DJ on BBC 6 Music, playing oldies of his choice. His shows a couple of years ago were the best music shows I've heard on radio.

  13. It's like living it up at the Hotel California.
    You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

  14. I set out my stall this year to quit buying guitar magazines. So far so good. I've even cut back on Mojo and Word, but never Uncut. It's the last great middle aged good read. The recent Faces issue featured a full page review of Drive By Truckers new album (fantastic) and a feature on The Byrds 'Sweetheart of The Rodeo' along with an eight page Faces special. I was in heaven. You'll rue the day...

  15. But I'm still a young man!