blissblogger

Well-known member
on the subject of Melody Maker, the music press, etc - a while ago i started this very low-key blog to put up pieces by people that i grew up reading, things i would have cut out at the time and reread over and over... very unsystematic .... mostly NME stuff

and then recently i started on this jag of putting up pieces by my crew at MM (and who before that had done the zine Monitor with me), in particular Paul Oldfield, although there will be things by David Stubbs and others coming out - one of my time-filling activities of this enforced furlough

scans inexpertly done but readable.... some of it will be lost to time / trapped in original context , but some i think stands up as thinking and writing

http://musicpresspantheon.blogspot.com/
 

entertainment

Well-known member
I've read only Shock And Awe, which I loved. Now it functions very well in an encyclopediac capacity.

And I've read loads of articles. They are always inviting and informative. Charming but not flaunting. Extremely warm hearted and large penised.

Thank you Simon.
 

sufi

lala
this is my own attempt from several years ago to describe what the music press meant to me growing up, how it worked as a system

https://pitchfork.com/features/tpr/reader/worth-their-wait/
This is really lovely

Like tens of thousands of other young people, I would dash down to my local W.H. Smith, the big national chain of “newsagents” (along with newspapers and mags, it also sold books, stationery, and records). Since funds were limited and vinyl competed as a priority, I would buy one magazine loyally (NME) but stand there in the store flicking through the other three, speed reading as much of the content salient to my concerns as I could before the staff got cross.
How about Smash Hits though?
I think a lot of us young readers graduated to the inkies from there, and it was also impactful in a way that doesnt really have a parallel these days. I'd like to see an anthropology
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
i really liked the article on autotune from a while ago. dunno if it caused as a much of a splash as some of the other stuff (e.g. conceptronica) but i found it very helpful.

another really good one is the takedown (or two?) of squarepusher from the late 90s. blissblogger, do you think it's likely that you'll write something in that vein again?
 

mvuent

Void Dweller
The only outraged reactions I got from the 1996 Over-Rated list were from 'Pusher fans, so it's partly out of malicious perversity that I'm nominating him for the second year running
.
 

Leo

Well-known member
How about Smash Hits though? I think a lot of us young readers graduated to the inkies from there, and it was also impactful in a way that doesnt really have a parallel these days. I'd like to see an anthropology
Rock's Back Pages had a great audio interview recorded in 1996 with Neil Tennant where he recounts all sorts of hilarious stories of his time at Smash Hits and tales of the British music press (just checked, the interview is behind a paywall now, they must have opened up access for awhile because I certainly never paid for it).

from afar over here in the states, we imagined Smash Hits was just some throwaway teeny-bopper music rag with pin-ups of the latest pop heartthrobs, but Neil described it as actually staffed by people with good tastes who were being a bit subversive. They also full-on embraced an unabashed love of pop music, which seemed a no-go zone for the NME/MM of the 80s-90s.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
this is my own attempt from several years ago to describe what the music press meant to me growing up, how it worked as a system

https://pitchfork.com/features/tpr/reader/worth-their-wait/
Amazing piece. Gives me total flashback to my days of reading NME every week - mid/late 80s. I first bought one 'cos it had Def Jam on the cover.
I had a massive stash of them under my bed at some stage, alongside Melody Maker and incomplete runs of Blitz, The Face and i-D (my favourite). I'd read the word "archive" somewhere and decided to try and build my own, and this later fed my passion for fanzines. Would have *loved* to kept all this stuff but it was dispersed to the four winds long ago. Funnily enough I didn't get to hear a lot of the music because I was more into black music and pirates at the time but reading about it, discussed so vividly and passionately shaped my thinking I'm sure. Seeing music I did know and love when it cropped up in the those papers (LL, Beasties, Run DMC) was a joy.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I can't imagine having the sort of relationship with music writing a lot of you are describing here. I had no clue who worked for the NME when I read it and I don't think they covered a single memorable band. The skating mags on the other hand were a bit like what you're describing. They had regular photographers, lengthy features and felt a bit more serious - particularly Sidewalk.
 

Leo

Well-known member
I was #TeamNME, started reading it around 1978 through early-90s, a bible that turned me on to so much. it got to the point where you almost didn't care who your favorite writer was writing about, the piece was worth reading because they wrote it. and I would automatically buy things if those writers gave it a glowing review. they were tastemakers.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Yeah, that's completely alien to me. When I was reading it it was just disposable shit about Babyshambles, The Kooks and "Nu-Rave".
 

Matthew

FKA Woebot
this is my own attempt from several years ago to describe what the music press meant to me growing up, how it worked as a system

https://pitchfork.com/features/tpr/reader/worth-their-wait/
great article.

"If I were to condense all the interrelated aspects of the print-and-paper music press into a handful of words, they’d be synchrony, concentration, relative durability, institutional aura, and authority. All elements that have either been depleted and damaged, or have completely vanished, in the current online music media."
also to note:

Then, around 1973, it went through a drastic reinvention by recruiting the sharpest, most irreverent writers from the underground press (those small independent magazines like IT and Oz founded in the late ‘60s to cover the British counterculture).
seems as though pretty much all the vital cultural energy of the counterculture was channelled into the music scenes.
 

Matthew

FKA Woebot
simon discussing his own fandom.

reminds me of a conversation i was having with mrs ingram about how THE REALLY BIG BOYS/BIG GIRLS are the biggest authorities/obsessives. so for instance (her example) picasso obsessively collecting african sculpture in paris. or (mine) the rolling stones in their early days obsessively studying obscure american r'n'b tunes.

Starting with the Michael Watts piece on McLaren and followed by Burchill articles like her iconoclastic demolition job on James Dean as cult hero (written with co-assassin Parsons, a lapsed Dean fan), I started to cut out and keep particularly thrilling bits of music journalism, gluing them into a scrapbook at first and later keeping them loose in an old battered school briefcase. Soon it was stuffed with features, reviews, and think pieces by Paul Morley, Ian Penman, Barney Hoskyns, and others, the majority snipped from NME.
 
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