Saturday, November 26th, 2005
Music With Heart
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate one of my very favourite publications, The Big Takeover, on (finally) giving their website the overhaul it so richly deserved and desperately needed. What had been little more than a holding page and pointer to their online subscription form is now an impressive blog hub, with journals from almost a dozen magazine contributors. They’ve only been online for a week or so, but it looks like there’ll be a steady stream of reviews, editorials and features as well as, hopefully, content from the magazine. There’s also a weekly top 10 feature that should provide no shortage of worthy listening reccomendations.
Since I first picked up BTO about five years ago and was immediately struck by how different it was from most everything else on the newsstand. First, it was about five times the thickness and secondly, their coverage seemed immune to trend-following – they covered what they liked, fashion be damned, using their tagline (and this post’s title) as a manifesto. The enthusiasm and passion of the writers is evident on every page and it also translates in the interviews – the artists usually respond to to the sincere interest of their interviewers, resulting in insightful and candid conversations that can be light years away from the usual talking points you find in many music publications. It was inspiring to read journalism that didn’t feel influenced by PR or advertiser pressures, and I daresay that it’s been an inspiration to me as a music hack. All respect to EIC and founder Jack Rabid, who has been fighting the good fight for a quarter century now.
Their new issue should be out any week now, and features Death Cab For Cutie on the cover. Okay, that goes a little against what I was saying about them being immune to trends, but come on – any magazine that’d put a big ugly closeup of Bob Pollard on their cover deserves some credit for not pandering. And vote for The Big Takeover in the Plug Awards – they’re nominated in the “Zine Of The Year”.
Thanks go to Torr for directing me to this BBC broadcast, which features an interview with Rachel Goswell of Mojave 3 about 4AD’s 25th anniversary and a couple of more tracks from the forthcoming new album, due out next March (the M3 segment starts around 20:40). I will echo Torr’s sentiments that the new Mojave 3 record is at the very top of my most eagerly anticipated records for ’06.
And related – My Mean Magpie brings attention to Sarah Hepburn, formerly of Glorybox. Sarah’s Stars & Haze, which was produced by Neil Halstead and features performances from several Mojave 3-ers. He has a link to a video from the record – it’s interesting, not at all Mojave-like.
Rolling Stone enumerates the best DVD releases of the year.
Sony follows up their rootkit fiasco by invading San Francisco with bouncy balls. IS THERE NO DEPTH TO WHICH THESE PEOPLE WON’T SINK?!? Make sure to check out the making of clip as well.
np – David Bowie / Low