Friday, November 22, 2002

Something to read

From Simon Reynold's site, a piece he wrote originally in 1996 to explain the UK pop press to Americans. In passing he had to explain Romo too, of course.

Now, there are points at which he's plainly wrong - especially when he claims that the Melody Maker would focus on bands at the start of their career and the NME would muscle in and start to applaud them when they were about to break. This is arrant wasp toss - there always were Maker bands and NME bands, and the Maker bands would never be touched by the NME unless they broke big - indeed, the same was true of whole scenes; so Romo never actually got beyond the Maker and the two magazines called Shoegazing by different names for so long they nearly fell over.

But the article remains a solid reminder of a time lost - even though "right now... something so revolutionary is happening that nothing will ever be the same again" (according to the liner notes with the new NME CD) there's still a feeling of consensus, consensus, consensus. And part of that is down to the loss of any sense of competitiveness in the music press - the days when there was a race to be first to get the bands into print have gone, and as such, the then-weekly nme is short of compulsion.

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