I always have this plan that I'll go through the mags and do a mag report. Then I put one aside, then another, then end up taking them to a friend's art class where the children cut them up for collage. (Which may be giving the mags more life than they deserve.)
But I've got the new Rolling Stone and I've got a little time so I'll comment on it.
This is the March 23, 2006 issue. Heath Ledger is on the cover and I'm getting why I really don't care for him. He's a blank. He's like a professional football player that probably has a really interesting story to tell but so worried about being anything other than generic and white bread that he never moves beyond "Hi, Mom!" in his statements. In terms of looks, he really does look, in the face, like a defensive football player. Or maybe just like a slightly younger Michael Bolton? I'd forgotten he was in 10 Things I Hate About You. (He looks just like Michael Bolton in that.)
The article sucks, by the way. But what can you expect from a writer who says "Rolling Stone is like a team you play for and you walk back in, open up your locker and your jersey is still there , and you put it on and it still fits great, and you hustle out on the field." That's David Lipsky. The last journalist who should be writing for Rolling Stone because RS is never about 'good, clean fun.' Then again, in the days when Rolling Stone does "Rock's Top Thirty Moneymakers," maybe Lipsky does belong? "Yea! Jimmy Buffett, you made money off your food joints!" When RS thinks it Fortune, readers lose interest.
Page 14 has one photo of Bono where he looks like Jerry Lee Lewis in the Killer's faded years.
It's all about how he's nominated for a Nobel Prize, a Nobel PEACE prize. For the man who can't speak out on the Iraq war? A peace prize?
Here's real news from page 16:
Michael Stipe, Rufus Wainwright and
Bright Eyes will headline Bring 'Em Home Now! an anti-war concert being held on March 20th at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Also on the bill:
Chuck D, Steve Earle and peace activist
Cindy Sheehan. "We continue to make more enemies and set a breeding ground for terrorism and anti-American sentiment, rather than create a foster tolerance and goodwill," says Stipe. "It's an endless cycle of hatred."
The "Spring Roundup" deals with upcoming releases. The Dixie Chicks have an untitled release scheduled for May 23rd. Rick Rubin's producing. Mike Campbell did some work on the album and I'm confused why Rubin's getting credit for that when it's more likely that Stevie Nicks was the entry point there. She and Campbell (one of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers) have worked together and written songs together and she sang on the Chicks' last album. Pearl Jam releases their self-titled CD on May 2nd.
Bono photo on page 32 makes him look like a bloated country & western star.
Pages 42 to 43 are a two page ad of James Blunt and Back to Bedlham which notes that over 7 million copies of the CD have been sold worldwide.
Gavin Edwards has an article on Mary J. Blige which isn't all that. It's rehash her stats when they could have had a free wheeling interview wit her. But there's a great full page photograph by Sheryl Nields on page 56.
I'll skip the reviews because I'm listening to two albums reviewed and don't want to read about them before I've absorbed them. On Page 84, you have the charts. James Blunt's at number 5 with Back to Bedlam. Blunt also offers his list of five tracks (and why he picked them as faves). The include The Killers' "Mr. Brightside"; Gorillaz's "Feel Good Inc."; Hard-Fi's "Cash Machine"; Prince's "Let's Go Crazy"; and Cat Power's "Maybe Not."
And smartest writer in the issue (not kidding)? Jessi Stephen from New Lowell, Ontario who appears on the letter page:
I'm glad that you addressed the fact that teens are listening to classic rock, but I was pissed that you didn't interview any girls. What the hell? I love classic rock and I'm a fourteen-year-old girl. Dudes, that was just so not cool.
Hope Jessi becomes a professional music writer. She's not taking any crap at 14 so you better believe she won't play the game on down the line. Smartest writer in the whole issue.
Now go check out Rebecca's "when the fbi spied on laugh-in" (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude); C.I.'s "NYT: 'G.O.P. Plan Would Allow Spying Without Warrants' (Shane and Kirkpatrick)" and "Claude Allen, one time Bully Boy nominee to the 4th Circuit, arrested"
(The Common Ills); and Cedric's "Thoughts on Michael Jackson and heroes" (Cedrics Big Mix).
I'll have some more recommendations when I blog tomorrow.