The Hearsay blog » Other music magazines are available

 0 Comments- Add comment | Back to Blog Written on 02-Dec-2008 by neil_p
Has the Hearsay spirit re-emerged anywhere in better-resourced arts criticism since our mag’s demise? Having run two-score 5,000-word interviews, it’s surprising to see how much conventional journalism shirks that level of depth. So many interviews to me read like soundbites, or stop the moment they’ve begun. While the other extreme, our own approach of running unexpurgated splurges and allowing the reader to edit as they read, eyes alighting on whatever engages them, is perhaps too far the other way, where do we go to read nothing more than the transcript of a good chat with an interesting person? Well, online I’ve enjoyed the Onion’s AV Club enormously over the last few years, and their interviews (style and subject matter) are probably closest to ours. Getting Ben Gibbard to interview Mark Kozelek resulted in a moving and thoughtful discussion with someone (MK) we always tried, and always failed, to interview ourselves. In print I enjoy Word magazine a great deal, for the tone which seems to blend appealing disdain for the ephemeral and nonchalance regarding fashion with a real love of music, comedy and art. They seem to choose just the right sort of interviewees, whether it’s Randy Newman or someone from Radio 4, who emit wisdom. I like the way every page lets you know they’re playing the long game. And one of their youngest writers, Kate Mossman, is a wonderful talent, who caught the myriad complexities of Joe Henry’s style in a couple of elegant paragraphs. The cover-mounted CDs are hit’n’miss but I’m glad to have discovered the Czars, Corrina Repp, Blonde Redhead and others through their colourful playlists. A colleague told me that Word is for people who think they’re too cool to be Mojo readers but are actually even worse. I’ll say to you what I said to him: ‘When you’re 35, you’ll understand.’ I randomly picked up an issue of Paste magazine in San Francisco earlier this year and enjoyed it a great deal. Like Hearsay, it doesn’t care if someone is perceived as cool, embarrassing or legendary: it’s all about the quality and integrity of the work under discussion. I’ve only seen one print issue but enjoy some bits online and was pleased to note we have interviewed four of their 100 Greatest Living Songwriters. I’m not convinced there’s anywhere decent for Hearsay/GLR-type stuff on the radio these days. If I listen to the radio, it’s a blend of occasional BBC London shows (the more loyal to the GLR template the better), odd scraps of Radio 2 (who would have thought?) and very occasional blasts of 6music, when they can be bothered to move on from teenage boys-stuff/landfill indie. Adam and Joe are great and the music seems to have improved in the last couple of weeks. For a while I toyed with KCRW online, which has a dream repertoire, but it all sounded too intimidated to express an opinion or a personality of its own, and the music, however sporadically wonderful, seemed to have been chosen algorithmically rather than from the heart. Oh well. I’ll plough on.
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