As a former Rolling Stone subscriber who just became so fed up with the mag that I let my long time subscription lapse, I felt slightly hypocrytical this past summer when I found myself buying not one but three copies of the mag in a row over my holidays. Except for the issue with Led Zeppelin on the cover I didn’t actually pick it up for the music-related content but more for the articles by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on voting irregularities in the last U.S. election but I have to say I kind of enjoyed the read. Has it improved much since I was last subscriber? Yes it has. Could it be considered some kind of bellweather for new and emerging rock and roll bands? Uh, no not really but at least I can see what Eddie Vedder is up to.
In this day and age of blogs, podcasts, Myspace and the like it is a pretty tough for any magazine to be some kind of musical barometer. There are a couple that do a good job in my books (like The Big Takeover, Bucketfull of Brains and Amplifier to name just three) but really, I find myself reading Rolling Stone much the same way I’ll pick up People magazine if I see it lying around by the pool. An interesting read that is uterly dispensible. Is this a good enough reason to subscribe? I’m starting to think that way but damn, it is a considerable waste of paper when I toss it out after finishing each issue. Decisions, decisions.