Friday 8th December 2006
since I can count on a few of my friends who know what I like, to recommend me something. However, if your friends don’t have good music taste, a magazine might help you out. Enough NME slating, I want to discuss the role – in Everett’s mind – that Plan B plays; I think it fills a void between the vacuous nature of NME (OK, not all the slating was finished) and the pretentious nature of publications like The Wire (independent magazine that discusses more avant garde artists). He [Everett] partially agrees when he says, “We like to think we’re both vacuous and pretentious at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with being vacuous!” He begins to chuckle a little and elaborates, “The problem with being vacuous (and pretentious also) by nature is that it often isn’t entertaining for opposite reasons. I was actually writing about this a couple of days ago, that the Paris Hilton single is actually a very good single but the album is absolute rubbish. That is a very good example of being vacuous in small portions.” Plan B came directly as a result of Careless Talk Costs Lives ending and Everett says, “Careless Talk enabled us to do a rival commercial magazine out of it [Plan B].” But in his own words, Plan B is: “Another community really. A community that is interested in searching out exciting music that doesn’t necessarily follow the fashions of the day but follows its own slightly weird, tangental path. It’s like one big music club. In the old days, there would’ve been a priest or something.” This article does intend to be informative and so discussion should move onto the internet and zines. The internet has made opinions more accesible; anyone can start a music blog for free and there are many words out there for you to read all over the internet. A lot of these words are written by over-enthusiastic fans defending their favourite band. There are online communities like www.DrownedinSound.com with forums, reviews and interviews. I often frequent the advertisement-free www.DustedMagazine.com for my obscure music fix and for music news and happenings in the US, there is www.PitchforkMedia.com. On the subject of online communities, Everett True says, “I’m all up for online communities, I love online communities. It shouldn’t be confused with magazines because they are an entirely different form of communication. It’s great for enthusiastic people to get their views across without having to worry about toning it down at all or writing in a certain style as with magazines.” I read an article the other week that compared online zines to magazines, I thought it was a bit of a pointless exercise as I don’t see many people reading books on their laptop screens. Everett seems to agree when he says, “It’s like saying just because something is being shown on TV means you shouldn’t listen to the radio. TV and radio are two entirely different media in the way that the internet and magazines are different. I am really shocked that after all this time, people are still confusing the two.” Of things online, he also thinks that, “MySpace is just fantastic, it’s so much fun, and YouTube’s the same way.” Music should be accessible and the internet has revolutionised this, so much so that the establishment has grown to fear it in some ways. Back to home ground in some ways with the fanzine. I asked what he thought the role of the zine is, he responded: “It depends why you listen to music, and what you get out of it, but personally I always loved writing that makes me feel enthusiastic about music, and makes you want to check it out. Zines are incredibly important, even now, especially now in electronic form or written form. I think they’re great because they make people enthused about music. This is one of the reasons why I like Artrocker. It is made by a bunch of people, who are not the most professional in the world but are enthusiastic about their music.” I recommend you all go out now and make a zine about your favourite music and distribute it at wherever you frequent, or even better, get together and make one. Write about something. Do something. Now!
From top to bottom above: Artrocker, DrownedinSound, Dusted Magazine, Pitchfork
Useful links of Independent Media Plan B Magazine Dusted Magazine DrownedinSound Artrocker Playlouder Pitchfork The Wire
www.planbmag.com www.dustedmagazine.com www.drownedinsound.com www.artrocker.com www.playlouder.com www.pitchforkmedia.com www.thewire.co.uk
The Imperial and LSE (possibly with UCL and King’s College inclusion) Alternative Music Societies are planning on starting a zine in the new year. It will contain reviews and articles of general music happenings and advertising each others’ gigs and an attempt to get involved with other London colleges as we leave the University of London. If you want to get involved then e-mail email@example.com if you are interested in getting involved.