A Rolling Stone Gathers A Bias

Rolling Stone MagazineA recent issue of Rolling Stone featured a cover article on the 100 greatest guitar songs of all time.  It also features interviews with several guitar greats.

It is completely useless.  It could be used as evidence in obscenity cases that writing can be artistically worthless.  It validates the statement that rock criticism is like dancing about architecture.  

Why was this article written?  At first I scanned it for mentions of Bo Diddley’s death, but the opening paragraph (the only actual writing in the entire piece- everything else is a two-sentence blurb about the songs) is some garbage about how rock and roll is “the sound of independence” and that the guitar is “liberating”.  It gives no coherent reason why the article is here; apparently they wrote this article because guitars just totally rock, dude.  And this is a front page article.  Is nothing happening in music that Rolling Stone deems important enough to write about?  

Maybe if this article was well done, I wouldn’t mind how unnecessary it is.  Let’s examine the article.  In the interviews,the extremely articulate Eddie Van Halen (Quote:”The first time I turned an amp all the way to 10 and it distorted, I went, “Yeeeah! This is fun.”) is interviewed.  As he is a forgotten master of the guitar, it is very interesting to hear his thesis-worthy responses to intriguing questions about his guitar playing.  And that incredibly innovative John Mayer is interviewed as well, adding even more insight (Quote:”It’s a completely exposed craft. There is no facade.”- my god, has he heard of overdubs? An even worse quote: “Because everything else you can buy, man. But guitar is the stuff that takes your life to figure out.”) to the article, which truly redefines our idea of the guitar (The only actual technique discussed is distortion.  That’s a novel idea).

And I haven’t even talked about the actual songs chosen yet. Well, the Ramones (18 for “Blitzkrieg Bop”) beat out Television (41 for “Marquee Moon”!?), Sonic Youth (hipster cred… because they’re such an obscure band) shows up once at 79 for “Silver Rocket”, Pearl Jam (77 for “Even Flow”) beats out My Bloody Valentine (93 for “Only Shallow”), and Jimi Hendrix is second only to Chuck Berry (because according to Rolling Stone, the older it is, the better).  All this could be an indication of how in touch Rolling Stone is with music nowadays.  It just might indicate they have nothing else to say and that their magazine is useless, out of touch, and hopelessly biased.  Cancel your subscriptions.

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