Thursday, April 20, 2006

...and four years later 'spin' still sucks

The banner ad assumes that music geeks have sex; what Spin has failed to realize is that no geek has sex

Growing up, "Spin" was something that I would read and covet. It was the perfect foil to the big mess that was "Rolling Stone" (which, at that point, was only desirable for its photography): it was the size of a standard magazine, it covered the bands that I gave a shit about, and more importantly, it still had enough street cred where you wouldn't feel ashamed of having it amongst your copies of "Punk Planet" and "Maximum Rock & Roll." Then every issue after 1997 started to blow. Hard. Sure I've picked up copies of "Spin" since then, but they've increasingly become more like "A.P." except for the fact that they've been pretty late hitting every successful band or milestone in all genres of popular music. In fact, the earliest fliers for "Halftime" had an issue of "Spin" with Jimmy Fallon on it (man, I loathe that guy) and in bold print: SPIN SUCKS SHIT. A crude message, but effective nonetheless.

Given the downward spiral of "Spin" in the last nine years, I wasn't too surprised when people -- including Chuck Klosterman -- starting getting the axe and major changes were being made to the rag.

I was, however, surprised when I was cruising through "Spin's" website and found a banner ad asking for submissions for their new sex columnist, Joanna Angel (of Burning Angel fame). Upon further prodding on the interweb (mainly Gawker), I've come to find that the new editor-in-chief of "Spin" is Andy Pemberton formerly of "Blender" (you also may have caught him on VH1 or MTV from time to time).

While I realize that "Blender" is a relatively successful music/mixed media magazine, it also piggybacked off of the success of "Maxim" and, stylistically, the two very rarely differed. In short, "Blender" is the lowest common denominator of music rags, and with this sex column firmly in place, I can see "Spin" heading down that direction as well.

Before I continue on, let me state that I have nothing against the Joanna Angel at all, especially since she was kind enough to grant me an interview when I was cutting my teeth at "Redefine."

The issue here is that we already have a "Blender," "Maxim," "Seventeen," "YM," "FHM," and so on and so on. I don't read music magazines to read sex advice. If that were the case then I'd just stick to reading The Onion's AV Club since they publish "Savage Love." And while I'd be naive to assume that music fans -- indie or otherwise -- don't have sex or may seek sex advice, I truly think that has little to do with reading about K-Fed's life or what went down at South By Southwest. You want sex advice? Ask your friends or your/a doctor. I also realize that a kneejerk reaction to my opinion could be "Well then don't fucking read it...." It's not really that simple. This sex advice column is the start of "Spin" completely deviating from music altogether and becoming more like "Blender/Maxim," a medium that sells because it will exploit human desire. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if there was a feature with Tommy Lee speaking at length about how to bang groupies.

But maybe I am jumping the gun here. Pemberton's reign has only been going on for a month and a half, so we'll only begin to see what effect, if any, his influence will have on "Spin" this summer. Oh well, it's got to be better than "A.P."


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