Is SPIN really circling the drain?

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Not-as-good-as-it-used-to-be it may be, but give me Spin over Rolling Stone ANY DAY of the week. You?

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Thursday, 26 February 2004 13:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

OTM

Baaderist (Fabfunk), Thursday, 26 February 2004 13:40 (10 years ago) Permalink

True, but you can say that about any magazine, give me O over Rolling Stone any day of the week.

Jedmond (Jedmond), Thursday, 26 February 2004 14:02 (10 years ago) Permalink

I prefer Rolling Stone. Music coverage is equally bad in both, but Rolling Stone occasionally has interesting political features.

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 26 February 2004 14:39 (10 years ago) Permalink

Magazines suck.

Jasper Patches (Dating Ikea), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:01 (10 years ago) Permalink

yeah, i agree about R.S. Rollong Stone's non-music reporting/coverage has always been its strong suit.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:02 (10 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but seeing features on Toby Keith and DMB is just too depressing..

Baaderist (Fabfunk), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

SPIN used to have some really great pieces in the back of the magazine about non-music stuff that were real eye-openers. I haven't seen any good ones lately. What irks me is how the staff has turned itself into celebrity figurines. I read the magazine thinking, "I feel too uncool to be reading this shit." And I'm a frickin writer. I imagine it's incredibly off-putting for some kid in her bedroom.

Jeanne Fury (Jeanne Fury), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:14 (10 years ago) Permalink

Remember when Spin had like 10 features about how HIV and AIDS were not causally related? This was late 80s.

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:27 (10 years ago) Permalink

Last time I read Spin, Guccione Jr was still at the helm, pimping John Mellencamp. So I guess Hank Rollins and Legs McNeil don't write for 'em anymore either?

I feel old.

doug watson (solid air), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:32 (10 years ago) Permalink

Well, they still have non-music features, like... "Friendster more addictive than crack!!!"

Baaderist (Fabfunk), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:35 (10 years ago) Permalink

Celia Farber's AIDS coverage was overall pretty impressive, especially considering the venue.

I agree with you Jeanne that the staff thing is getting annoying; Sia Michel's Letter From the Editor has been completely cloying from minute one (complete with all the "Look at me, I'm at the cool places with the cool people pictures") and the endless pimping of staff tomes is a chore. Spitz' gossip column is unbearable. But I still like the reviews quite a bit.

don weiner, Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:35 (10 years ago) Permalink

SPIN needs to be put out of its misery. It hasn't mattered since about 1988.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:38 (10 years ago) Permalink

I think it's been even longer than that...

Jasper Patches (Dating Ikea), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:41 (10 years ago) Permalink

what did Sia Michel do before Spin? I had never heard of her until i saw her picture in Spin.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:55 (10 years ago) Permalink

She was a receptionist somewhere.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:56 (10 years ago) Permalink

Once SPIN lost Legs McNeil and John Leland it was all over (though I still like Klosterman).

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:57 (10 years ago) Permalink

man, Spin hasn't mattered since 1972 when I was reading it

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

Don, all "letter from the editor" pieces in any given magazine are like that. It's sort of the purpose. But I know what you mean. The mag feels like a big Friendster publication or something.

Jeanne Fury (Jeanne Fury), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

really? and then she became the editor in chief of Spin? cool.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

Jeanne otm there. "Letter from the Editor" pages are almost universally cringe-worthy (really wanna vomit? Read Alan Light's one from the debut issue of TRACKS).

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 February 2004 15:59 (10 years ago) Permalink

i still miss the old details. when it was just pictures of stephen saban on a couch with diane brill.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:00 (10 years ago) Permalink

and i still miss rock scene when it was just pictures of lisa robinson on the couch with joey ramone.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:01 (10 years ago) Permalink

How great would it be if Letter from the Editor *actually* portrayed what went on: "Motherfuckers in the mail room misplaced the press kit for the new Dinkie Bubble album so that fucked shit up royally. And don't get me started on motherfuckin' Hack McInkspot handing his review A WEEK LATE. Thanks, assmonger, it's not like we're on DEADLINE or anything..."

That would rule.

Jeanne Fury (Jeanne Fury), Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:03 (10 years ago) Permalink

the offensiveness of "Letter to the Editor" is nothing compared to the "Making Out with UltraGrrl". i just want to rip that page out every month and forcibly shove it down the throat ofd the next pseudo-hipster i see.

SPIN was a godsend for me in high school (1990-1994), living out on a farm in the middle of central Illinois. sure it wasn't all that subversive or underground, but to someone raised on country and Top 40 it was a whole new world. i still pick up an issue from time to time, mostly because it's more affordable than the import prices on the decent British mags. but i'm always wondering why.

jonviachicago, Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

Hack McInkspot!! Ha Ha, i've got a new nom de plume. thanks, Jeanne!

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

It's true that most Letters From the Editor are unbearable, but I don't remember as many celebs-with-editor pictures as the Michel years have produced...maybe the Bobby Jr. years had the same thing but I can't remember anymore.

While we're on the subject of Tracks, I can't believe how lifeless and personality-free it is.

The UltraGrrl thing is awful. I'd forgotten about that.

Gawker calls Details "The gay magazine for straight men" or something like that. Classic.

don weiner, Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:24 (10 years ago) Permalink

Sia does seem especially intent on telegraphing her celeb-compatibility. Still, Guccionne Jr. wasn't that different.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:26 (10 years ago) Permalink

Did Tracks just steal their whole idea for a magazine from Harp?

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:52 (10 years ago) Permalink

i agree about R.S. Rollong Stone's non-music reporting/coverage has always been its strong suit.

What? You mean the non-music journalism about the NYC guy with the biggest penis in the world or people who make living room speed and eat it until their teeth fall out?

I'd call it the white-trash beat for voyeurs but not hard-hitting or strong.

George Smith, Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:53 (10 years ago) Permalink

Remember when Spin had like 10 features about how HIV and AIDS were not causally related?

Yes, SPIN, supporter of whackos and rubbish science.

George Smith, Thursday, 26 February 2004 16:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

Killer email ady...CompuServe is still going?

Mark (MarkR), Thursday, 26 February 2004 17:10 (10 years ago) Permalink

>>> Remember when Spin had like 10 features about how HIV and AIDS were not causally related?

Remember when Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl were pushing this agenda, playing benefit shows for that wacko group "Alive and Well." That was insane... I wonder if they still support that cause.

That said, I think Spin is perfect. I expect nothing more. Each issue lasts me exactly one lunch break, once a month, where I look at the pretty pictures as I eat some soup.

Ben Boyer (Ben Boyer), Thursday, 26 February 2004 17:40 (10 years ago) Permalink

it really ws better two or three years ago but its still ok

$$, Thursday, 26 February 2004 17:42 (10 years ago) Permalink

is anything in your world as good as it was in 1988, alex? anything? if you love 1988 so much why don't you go live there

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Thursday, 26 February 2004 17:54 (10 years ago) Permalink

What's up your ass?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 February 2004 18:32 (10 years ago) Permalink

George, they've had better stuff than the dude with the big penis in Rolling Stone! Now, come on. I mean all those killer white trash kids! Don't forget about them. They were great. when i was 16 i had a picture of ricky kasso on my bedroom wall right next to a huge piece of paper with the chemical formula for LSD on it.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 18:45 (10 years ago) Permalink

that sounded harsher than i meant it to, alex, but seriously you go on about how everything's gone downhill since 1988 so often!

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Thursday, 26 February 2004 18:48 (10 years ago) Permalink

I was speaking strictly in terms of SPIN magazine, Fritz, and it wasn't one of my usual tirades about how stuff was much better then (which isn't categorically true, by the way). SPIN, however, used to be ahead of the curve. Now it struggles to keep up with the curve, panting like an exhausted walrus.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 26 February 2004 18:51 (10 years ago) Permalink

Alex is right Fritz. Except I guess I'd put it a bit later, maybe '90? I dunno, whenever Leland and Kogan and Sheffield and Eddy and Coley and McNiel and so forth stopped writing. I mean, no offense to any ILXors who contribute but the current writing just can't compete with that lineup, no fucking way.

Broheems (diamond), Thursday, 26 February 2004 18:52 (10 years ago) Permalink

i drank a lot of Meister Brau in 1988.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 18:53 (10 years ago) Permalink

My favorite "letter from the editor" ever was in a Details magazine from its latter "phase one" days. The editor wrote a column talking about this wonderful $3500 leather jacket he purchased, and then weeped about how he was too frightened to wear it out anywhere, lest it get damaged by rain/wind/etc. I hope it's keeping him warm in Central Park at night, haha.

Gear! (Gear!), Thursday, 26 February 2004 18:53 (10 years ago) Permalink

a lot of Blatz and Iron City too.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 18:54 (10 years ago) Permalink

I drank Miller that I would steal from the convenience store I worked at as a stock-boy (16, 1st ever job!) I would go carry some garbage out to the dumpster in back, except I'd carry a six pack out with me and then hide it behind the dumpster. Then after my shift was over I'd drive around back and grab the beer.

Broheems (diamond), Thursday, 26 February 2004 18:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

Meister Brau--back when a microbrew was a microbrew. Now there's a thread--microbrews circa the 1980s (or even more fun, the 1970s when I was collecting beer cans as a kid.)

Either way, Alex is right that SPIN was way better back then. Anyone remember the Michael O'Donohue columns? That guy was a scream, the best back page they've ever had. I've got a few of those columns on my hard drive if anyone wants a repost (SPIN used to keep them at their website, back when they first came online.)

Rolling Stone used to have better non-music writers, too. William Grieder I liked even though I never agreed with much of his stuff. PJ O'Rourke is better than anyone they've had in at least five years on staff there.

The more I think about it, the more I think I've been harsh on Sia for putting her mug all over her page. Bobby Jr. was more of a publicity whore, and she's better looking. But the direction of the magazine is still shit.

don weiner, Thursday, 26 February 2004 19:07 (10 years ago) Permalink

i need rolling stone and spin to stick around though cuz i have too much fun complaining about them. what would i have left?

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 26 February 2004 19:15 (10 years ago) Permalink

fair enough. i haven't read spin in ages myself. when i do, i'm always hoping for one of those great sleazy smalltown teen crime or killer drug craze stories but i don't think they do them so much anymore.

I moved recently and actually came across some of the fabled golden age pre'88 issues in a forgotten milk crate at the back of my closet. some of it was pretty great indeed - especially an article on cookie-puss era beastie boys, but a lot of it was pretty thin. there was really LESS in it - huge empty spaces on the pages, big fonts disguising 3 paragraph long stories, fan-ziney articles about nothing and only a couple of pages of record reviews. and legs mcneil was way past his prime by that point too - if you want to get all golden age-y about stuff. he mostly wrote about how shit everything was compared to 1978!

i was into spin more later because - before vibe & the source & rappages, maybe even before Word Up! - they were the only magazine I could find covering hip hop - albeit with a pretty big NYC Def Jam Beasties-PE-Run DMC slant to it but that was fine by me at that point.

I read it pretty much every issue up until the end of the grunge and the beginning of Electronica Fever in the summer of Trainspotting. I have no idea if it's good or bad anymore. Pretty much all music magazines bore me to tears now - but I think that might have as much to do with me as it does with it not being 1988 anymore ;)

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Thursday, 26 February 2004 19:17 (10 years ago) Permalink

I'd be sad to see SPIN go. I've been reading that magazine since I was 14 or so. It's lame often enough, but every issue has at least a couple things that are either interesting or funny, so I feel like my money's worth. It's a cheap subscription too, which is nice.

Matthew Perpetua (Matthew Perpetua), Thursday, 26 February 2004 19:21 (10 years ago) Permalink

I used to read Spin almost every month, but it's just so dull now I won't even pick it up to browse it at the store. It doesn't even piss me off like Rolling Stone does, it's just sitting there, boring me silly, telling me that the Strokes are really good.

Gear! (Gear!), Thursday, 26 February 2004 19:30 (10 years ago) Permalink

I find the idea that it's "gotten" insular in the last two years sort of mystifying, if only because the typical non-music-geek complaing about Spin is that it's ALWAYS been insular. I mean, five years ago they were writing about turntablism and sound-boys, stuff that, for better or worse, is WAY more insular than rock bands with hooks and attractive frontpeople.

that big sound-boy article in the year end round-up in 97 or 98 was a really great article though, and it made me feel like i wasn't the only one like that in the universe ;-)

lets not forget that they used to also have some great stories about electronic music. There was that one issue with Rage on the cover (ugh) in the mid-90s that had articles on Orbital/Underworld/Chem Brothers, a guide to underground electronic music (mentioning Spooky, Mouse on Mars, Jacob's Optical Stairway) and a list of some of america's best producers (everyone from RZA to Wink) and their best productions. Reynolds also used to write for them, and I would wager that his little sidebar on BC/CR/Maurizio is probably the only account of that music to appear in a major american magazine.

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Thursday, 26 February 2004 19:30 (10 years ago) Permalink

The Superficial and WWTDD payin' everybody else's salaries.

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Thursday, 11 September 2014 14:11 (1 month ago) Permalink

Misogyny is a great business plan.

maura, Thursday, 11 September 2014 14:12 (1 month ago) Permalink

Phil knows that as well as anyone

, Thursday, 11 September 2014 14:20 (1 month ago) Permalink

Not really; I got laid off from my porn job almost a decade ago. My salary was too high. Sound familiar?

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Thursday, 11 September 2014 14:32 (1 month ago) Permalink

Before the latest cuts:

Spin has been through multiple rounds of layoffs. In early 2013, the company reportedly had about 250 staffers. Its current headcount, Blackwell told Capital, is “just north of 120,” plus freelancers

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/media/2014/08/8550866/beleaguered-spin-medias-new-ceo-stephen-blackwell-lays-out-plan

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 September 2014 14:55 (1 month ago) Permalink

http://www.spin.com/writers/carl-wilson/

Spin's review section for albums now being released may be gone, but Carl got to write about the new U2.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 September 2014 15:03 (1 month ago) Permalink

thank god there's somewhere we can go to read an old white dude write about U2

le goon (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 11 September 2014 15:31 (1 month ago) Permalink

bozack horseman (Whiney G. Weingarten), Thursday, 11 September 2014 16:58 (1 month ago) Permalink

Talking of U2 and old dudes, I notice Rolling Stone's obligatory five-star David Fricke review has been published. Didn't see that one coming.

Position Position, Thursday, 11 September 2014 17:07 (1 month ago) Permalink

you're gonna be an old white dude one day jordan

socki (s1ocki), Thursday, 11 September 2014 19:05 (1 month ago) Permalink

is that track 4 of the new album?

the other song about butts in the top 5 (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 11 September 2014 19:08 (1 month ago) Permalink

to the tune of

bozack horseman (Whiney G. Weingarten), Thursday, 11 September 2014 19:32 (1 month ago) Permalink

So the claim to fame of Spin's current CEO, Stephen Blackwell, who dropped EIC Marks, is just having run website death and taxes

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 September 2014 17:00 (1 month ago) Permalink

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/6251409/spinmedia-ceo-qa-with-stephen-blackwell

Who's going to fill the positions left by departing employees, like those from SPIN?

There had been changes in the workforce on a property-by-property basis. Acquisitions are delicate, and when there’s an acquisition, a lot of times that can lead to people leaving because values might change or missions might change. When I came here and looked at the scope of what our workforce is actually doing, we’ve got an incredible team here. We’re a little light on the editorial side in my opinion, so I'm treating our brands as best as I can; how do our brands function in the market and with our audiences. The way that I’m building the team back up is with a focus on that, and making sure we have an agreeable split between how many editors and people not on editorial. We’ll be hiring eventually for people to fill those positions, and creating new positions.

maura, Thursday, 18 September 2014 02:17 (1 month ago) Permalink

a staff of three people seems light, yeah

snrub goin up on a tuesday (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 18 September 2014 02:21 (1 month ago) Permalink

tbf lots of places are lax about updating their About pages: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.spin.com/about/

katherine, Thursday, 18 September 2014 02:30 (1 month ago) Permalink

Carl Wilson back at Slate too.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 18 September 2014 02:41 (1 month ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

the extended spin joke running through tonight's SOUTH PARK was pretty fun

maura, Thursday, 9 October 2014 03:13 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

wow what was that???

u2 removal machine (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 9 October 2014 03:21 (3 weeks ago) Permalink


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