Sunday, January 13, 2008

nothing pressing.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

Spin Magazine was hugely influential in my introduction to music. Unfortunately, they really jumped the shark a few years back, and I really haven't read it in years.

While at the airport, waiting for my flight back to LA, I saw Kanye and Daft Punk on the magazine's cover. Since they were two artists who I enjoy quite a bit, I decided to pick the magazine up. "Maybe they've got back on track", I thought.

I was wrong.

The writing was still terrible, and I had three main gripes that underline how terrible the magazine remains:

a) no Jens Lekman on the top 40 albums of last year? But you've got Rilo Kiley's "Under the Blacklight" at number 40 and Against Me!'s "New Wave" at number one?

b) Simian v. Justice had a song in the top ten song of the year--for "We Are Your Friends". This song won the European VMA for Video of the Year last year--and was the award that made Kanye rush the stage and freak out. Spin actually wrote about this exact freak out a few pages later. The song was from 2006, NOT 2007.

c) The biggest song of the year--Justice's "D.A.N.C.E." was not in the top twenty songs of 2007. I'm not trying to be a snob, but this just plainly illustrates that Spin has completely inept music writers.


And speaking of jumping the shark, have a look at Ayumi Hamasaki. Her first three albums rival Radiohead's "The Bends-OKC-Kid A" as my favorite run of three great consecutive albums by bands not called the Beatles.

She's become really laughable--she wears her Mariah Carey love on her sleeve way too obviously (the best song on her newest album, "Guilty", is called "MY ALL") and it's really unfortunate, because I really love her first three albums. They're excellently written and the aesthetic is sort of the same as M.I.A.'s "Arular"--it was done before either was really a big artist and before they had a conscious of who they were and how they were perceived by the world at large.

My last trip marked the first time I didn't buy a single Ayumi album (she usually has one come out the week I'm there)--and, in fact, I didn't buy a single japanese album during my entire stay. I don't know whether I should be proud or ashamed.