Iron Chef was apparently mugged by a magazine salesman because now our family is subscribed to Entertainment Weekly, Atlantic Monthly and Rolling Stone. Which means I find myself in the awkward position of a) knowing more than I should about American pop culture, b) attempting to engage in unwanted conversation about bank regulation, or de-regulation as the case may be, and c) (and most importantly) wondering if Rolling Stone once featured stories about music.
I used to spring for a Rolling Stone magazine when it was big and impressive and almost everything, including the ads, could be used as a makeshift poster for your room. This thing that comes in the mail now is full of politics and football, neither of which are inherently bad in podunk’s opinion, but both of which are not at all music.
Rolling Stone, by my recollection, used to be a terrific place to find out things like what else Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo were up to aside from Crimes of Passion and whether or not Loverboy was made up of true Canadians. Now, I read about Obama’s battle with fugitive methane, the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy’s opinion of football, and breath-taling sentences like this about the New York Jets (presumably),
“Watching a chastened, slimmed-down, prediction-abstaining Rex Ryan forced from above to find snaps for the Tim Tebow circus while Mark Sanchez’s fragile pysche shivered under a blanket of yay-team cliches was crazy theater that ultimately exploded in the comic orgasm of the Thanksgiving-night Sanchez ass fumble, a play destined to become the top NFL blooper of all time…”
BREATH. before finally stumbling across a diminutive story about David Bowie’s latest recording. This reminds me of a few months ago when our son, the Odd Number, found a retro sweatshirt at Aeropostale, the hub of the junior high fashion universe (if you are not in junior high BUT are wearing Aeropostale fashions, stop, drop and roll), and said, out loud, “Oh. MTV. Music Television. I get it now.”
Cultural erosion, pure and simple. I’ve no doubt that writing fresh things about music is tough work, much like finding new language to describe red, red wine. So, we’ll give a nod to the kibbles of music writing Rolling Stone has strewn across its monthly garage floor. I’m quoting from author Jon Dolan’s review of Free Energy’s Love Sign, otherwise described as “A young band’s hair-feathering Seventies-rock fantasy.”
“The follow-up moves the nostalgia dial to that hair-feathering, creepy tank-top-wearing end-of-the-Seventies moment when AOR rock, Cali soft rock, disco and New Wave melted into the same pot of fool’s gold.” Songs like “Dance All Night” and “Girls Want Rock” could get wink-wink annoying if they weren’t so crisp and catchy, or if singer Paul Sprangers didn’t convincingly sound like a neon-sweatband stud who has no idea that he’s soon to be ground into cocaine traces by his rock & roll fantasy.”
Bank deregulation, anyone?