- Format: Magazine
- Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
- Publisher: SPIN
- ASIN: B00005N7SU
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (64 customer reviews) This magazine subscription is provided by Spin
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Spin [Print + Kindle]
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Spin focuses on the progressive new music scene and young adult culture involved with alternative music. Each issue includes reviews, essays, profiles and interviews on a range of music from rock to jazz.
Founded in 1985 by Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione's son, Bob Jr., Spin magazine aimed to occupy a space forged and outgrown by Rolling Stone, which had since moved on from counter-culture reporting to a more pop-culture focus. Due to its well-funded birth, Spin rode the wave of the burgeoning alternative rock movement and was afforded the luxury of being as controversial as it wanted, forsaking at times somewhat slanted reporting in favor of the punch and jibe. Nonetheless, it brought into America's peripheral vision early stories of the ravages of AIDS in Africa, in addition to standard artist interviews and album reviews. Switching from a tabloid format to a glossy perfect-bound publication, the magazine now reports on fleeting music trends and the Next Big Thing more than it unearths alternative-rock gems, but it still does a good job of uncovering behind-the-scenes-stories, such as the violent acts and deplorably unhygienic conditions of 1999's Woodstock III music festival, in a way no other music magazine does. When the Beastie Boys released Hello Nasty in 1998, Spin published three different editions of the magazine--each with a separate headshot of one member of the renegade hip-hop group. Three years later, Rolling Stone copied the gimmick, featuring the members of boy band 'N Sync individually on five different covers. If Spin's influence in rock journalism was ever in question, this event provides irrefutable proof. --Beth Massa
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Top Customer Reviews
Spin has articles on great new music and hot developments in the music industry. For example, the current issue focuses on R.E.M. and their "resurrection." I love it! They also have smaller articles with pictures of other newcomers to the music scene.
In addition, look for interesting articles like "who earns what" and "the honor roll" of new gadgets like t-shirts and wireless earphones that are rather informative about what's "hip and happening" today. It could be construed as tabloid gossip; but to me it's a great reprieve from heavy duty thinking!
Overall, Spin magazine is a fine choice for those of us who want the latest news and trends from the music industry. The writing isn't exactly Shakespearian; but you didn't buy this to read Shakespeare! The articles are actually rather well written and the humor is OK by me. I recommend this magazine for fans of modern music and people who enjoy updates about their favorite artists and bands.
Spin covers some of the same turf as Rolling Stone and Blender, but less lasciviously -- lots of coverage of popular bands. Some of them are quite good -- the Hives, for example, or indie newcomer Steve Burns (who quit his job on "Blues Clues" after hearing a Flaming Lips album, and reinvented his life as a rocker).
Unfortunately they overemphasize whatever bands are hot at the moment, and then overemphasize them again -- as well as tacking them up in whatever "coolest"/"best" lists they chalk up for the year/decade/century/history of rock. Indie cred is maintained by a few half-page articles on potentially hot bands like the Comas and Metric, but this info is halfhearted. It's like they're reluctant to tear themselves away from articles on better-known bands, regardless of talent.
The writing, however, has that certain affliction that a lot of major rock magazines have: the Need To Be Cool. Their writers always are trying to be funny, but rarely come across that way. It seems silly and strained, like a soccer mom wearing a spandex tube dress. Even the CD reviews are mediocre. However, one recent highlight is Dave Eggers' columns -- witty, funny, and a little bit skewed. In fact, they are often the best things in the entirety of the magazine.
One of the problems is the emphasis on stuff in Hollywood. Scarlett Johanssen is a wonderful actress, yes. But she doesn't sing, nor has she appeared in a music-based movie -- Jack Black yes, Scarlett no. And what is up with party coverage on TV starlet Mischa Barton and MTV couples?
Check out sublimely indie mags like Chord, Filter, Under the Radar and the online Kludge for in-depth looks at some worthy bands. As for Spin? It's still trying to convince us it's cool, but Eggers is the only regularly cool thing about it.
If you are looking for a higher quality magazine of music criticism and rock journalism, I'd suggest seeking out some of the lower circulation, genre-specific magazines out there. Spin caters too much to evaluating pop trends and pushing bands that are already popular for my taste. If the subscription price is cheap enough and you just want something to browse, then go for it. But if you really want a quality music magazine, you'll have to look a little harder at your local bookstore, there are some out there.