I mean, besides this cover
I subscribed to Rolling Stone magazine for about four years. I thought it was neat back in the day, being the first magazine that I actually paid to get every month. Now, to paraphrase Zack De La Rocha, there has been a rage building inside of me while reading this magazine of hypocrisy. If this was just another music magazine then it wouldn’t warrant so much of my attention. But this is Rolling Stone. The same Rolling Stone that was home to Hunter S. Thompson and Robert Altman.
I enjoyed Rolling Stone for a couple of years. The first album I ever bought was Ricky Martin’s self-titled album. So I wasn’t always into music, and Rolling Stone worked with that. They gave me all the advertisements and fashion stories that I couldn’t get from my television. Rolling Stone also exposed me to new bands, for which I am eternally grateful. There have been a few, but none more important to me than Kings of Leon (this is circa Aha Shake Heartbreak, before their sound was tainted by legions of screaming British teenagers).
Kings of Leon
Now, I love the Kings of Leon, and in my opinion they are the greatest southern band since Lynyrd Skynyrd. They renewed my faith in modern rock music. So, after Rolling Stone cried tears of joy all over their second album, Aha Shake Heartbreak, and ran a feature about their fashion, I decided to pick it up while it was still soaking wet. Needless to say, it was, and still is a great album. Now, after giving thanks, I have to wonder what the hell is going on in the minds of the people working at that damn magazine. I have pondered this, and the only solution I can come up with is that they don’t read back issues. They just put out the newest issue and erase what they have just written from their memories. Granted, they have many different writers working for them, but I think that a couple of editors wouldn’t hurt, if only for some sort of continuity (not counting their layouts, which, from a graphic design standpoint, have very little variety, but that is a topic for another time).
What am I talking about?
In Rob Sheffield’s review of the Kings of Leon’s 2007 offering, Because of the Times, he can’t help but drool over how great it is. I have no problem with that. I love the album. What I do have a problem with is his quick history of the band. He explains that they came onto the musical scene quickly and “they weren’t any good.” Hmmm… really? I wish somebody could explain to me why Rolling Stone gave their first album, 2003’s Youth and Young Manhood, four stars, the same as Because of the Times. If they weren’t any good then, why does their “best” album get the same rating as their “worst”? Also, a band that tours with Bob Dylan can’t be that bad, right? I mean, the big man himself said that listening to them play “Trani” (from their first album) was the most fun he had had in years.
Just because Rolling Stone hated Led Zeppelin and gave Nirvana’s Nevermind three stars (::cough:: less than Fall Out Boy’s Infinity On High ::cough::), does not mean that they lose all musical credibility. However, when Led Zeppelin are given an album cover as “The Heaviest Band of All Time” and Nevermind is in the top twenty of the “500 Best Albums of All Time“, then there is a problem. I mean, I personally think Nirvana peaked with Bleach, but saying that “Nirvana isn’t onto anything altogether new” would get anybody today at that magazine fired quicker than writing an article supporting Bush the second.
Some cruddy bands from like, forever ago
So, I hereby renounce my subscription to Rolling Stone and am currently without a magazine subscription in my name. That’s right, I am single now, and looking for a spicy new magazine that preferably focuses on music. And please, if you don’t like my opinion, please listen to Glenn Danzig, who has better reasons to hate the magazine. So, I leave you with words of wisdom on Rolling Stone from the Misfits frontman himself.
“It’s just an old hippie magazine who really love putting Beyoncé and Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on their covers. So why would I care about a magazine like that? It is not a real music mag anyway.”
If you ever read this Rolling Stone…I would still work for you because I could do more damage inside the system.