Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm telling Tim...

So I was in the bookstore again (my posts are gonna start like this a lot, sorry) and I did something I haven't done in years. I walk around the store, cropdusting as usual (the old ladies love that), when I mosey on over to the magazine rack. I look at it for a second and pick up this month's issue of Maximum RocknRoll. I am not sure what compelled me to do this. I once swore I would never pick one of these up again. I remember being very upset with what I read in the magazine last time. For those of you who are not aware, Maximum... used to be one of the most important taste-makers in the punk rock scene. They single-handedly were able to expose a lot of kids to some really important music over the years. They also took it upon themselves to decide for everyone in punk rock what was cool, what political affiliation they were allowed to have, and which bands to label as sellouts for any variety of reasons. So it has always been a love/hate relationship with me and the magazine. However, since the dawn of the internet age and the rise of message boards, punknews, and other resources, MRR has lost a lot of the influence it used to have. I for one see this as kind of a good thing. I have always said that punk rock is whatever you want it to be. I do not like being told what I am allowed to like. They are still an important source for what goes on in the greater world of punk rock, but they aren't the only source.

So what's MRR about these days? Well I can honestly say I was not disgusted with the issue I picked up like I have been in the past. I am a leftwing kinda guy, so the politics were never the problem with me. My problem was always the magazine's dogmatic approach to punk rock. If they don't think the band under scrutiny falls into their definition of the genre, they blast the band to hell. As a result they largely missed the boat on the innovations to the genre in the past 10-15 years. There wasn't a whole lot of that in this issue. In fact, there wasn't much of that at all. What I read was a kinder, gentler MRR. The interviews were interesting, they covered obscure scenes and bands, and god dammit George Tabb is still funny. Maybe the internet age has tempered the good people at MRR a bit? I somehow doubt it, but I think it's safe to say that things have changed just enough that I won't mind shelling out the $4.

Current listening: Los Crudos, Dead Kennedys, MDC, Operation Ivy

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