I have been a big fan of Q Magazine for many a year. In fact, a metre-long row of Q Magazines decorates my family room. I remember frequently rewarding myself with a back issue of the magazine after an afternoon of Year 12 study. With this reward, I would slide back into 1990 (or 1992, or 1994, even). I could slide back into a time where there was still great hope in the Stone Roses' sophomore release. A time where Richey Edwards would still be alive (and still somewhat unbalanced).. a time where there would be some truth in Oasis's aggressive proclamations they were, indeed, the best band in the world.
I would completely immerse myself in Q. Of course, I loved a significant proportion of the artists featured, but I also loved how it was written. It was writing that was tweaked with a very wry, knowing type of sarcasm. It presumed that you really knew your music, too. It wasn't a publication that needed to recommended artists, albums, singles, books or films to you. You just knew it. Q presumed that you knew what happened with Morrissey at Finsbury Park in 1992. They presumed that you knew about the Clash "pigeon incident". They presumed that you knew that Depeche Mode's Devotional Tour was a terrible mistake (and probably never should have occurred). Always interesting - never, ever patronising.
So when did Q go downhill? There has been much conjecture about this. Perhaps it coincided with the death knell of Britpop? Or perhaps it was around the 2000 musical drought? Regardless, it happened at some point. You pick up the magazine - just to browse, of course - are you are bombarded with an influx of meaningless lists and countdowns. These same stupid meaningless lists and countdowns would consistently feature the same tiresome adulation for the same three middle-of-the-road artists. There is no critical evaluation of anything, no sarcastic taglines or interesting articles.
But I knew that this was going to happen to Q. Call me a cynic, but I knew that they had to fulfill the needs and the expectations of a younger demographic. That is, a group of people who basically need a monthly list of recommended songs to download. My friend tells me that the writers of Q don't even describe these songs anymore. The writers don't place these songs into any sort of genre or context. It's so fickle, lazy and uninspired.. and don't get me started on the self-congratulatory aspects of the publication.
So what do I do when my favourite publication has become utter mince? I save my pennies. I sit in my family room and I read a back issue. I don't dismiss what it was and I try hard not to dismiss what it has become. I just read and remember why I get excited about this writing and this music in the first place.
Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Mod Podcast #8
Tommy Sands & Annette Funicello - The Parent Trap
Cat Stevens - The Laughing Apple
The Cake - Rainbow Wood
France Gall - Faut-il que je t'aime
Lou Christie - Trapeze
The Poets - That's the Way It's Got To Be
The Sonics - Have Love, Will Travel
The Lambrettas - Daaaaance
Timebox - Beggin'
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