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Feature: I am cancelling our friendship, Q Magazine (and my subscription)

Q like old rockers

Hey! Q Magazine!

Yeah, hi. Listen, I know things have been strained with us lately. I guess "lately" has a somewhat loose application here, as I am more specifically referring to the last few years, beginning around 2002. But still, every now and then I would see something on your cover to catch my eye (even through your thoroughly horrible and unnecessary redesign), and I would remember what brought us together in the first place. The reviews mainly, are still minor masterpieces, but your feature coverage with your tendency to trumpet Razorlight and Keane (and not forgetting your regrettable mid-nineties loves of Gay Dad and Texas) and all manner of other snooze-rock lightweights as the Next Most Important Band! EVER! was tiresome in the least. And so often my eyes would drift and more reliably someone else was interviewing someone vastly more interesting, like Lemmy say, and sticking his horrible mug on the cover and it was wonderful. Sold! We all stray, it is true.

And so it was Q Magazine, that many of your numbers left (your founders, no less!) and started up WORD which some might say now dominates the Dad Rock market, and that's okay as some others might say that Dad Rock is actually my favourite genre, even though I was born after 1980 (WAIT WAIT! MGMT! I know them! That means 'Management' -- how clever! Etc), and I had less and less reason to ever open your shiny pages. Especially with the lists, the endless, endless, increasingly pointless lists! "The Top 1000 Most Seminal Gigs In The History of The World, Ever! (EVER!)" "Beards! Rock's Most Essential Accoutrement! We Rate Them!" "Our Top Ten Top Ten Lists of ALL TIME (Until Next Year!)", Argh, make it stop! And before I knew it years had passed and we were both seeing other people and sometimes these things are just for the best. I'm sure you'd agree.

Though in other times of nostalgia-tinged regret, I cast my eye over my lovingly collected (and dutifully hauled) collection of your issues from the 90s dispayed in our house and I remember that yes, actually, there is that issue where Bono and Elton John interview each other, and that such as a wondrous thing as this did happen and happened only because of you, and noone else ever scored such a coup (strange as that interview was, and highlighted most wonderfully by Elton John's reported feelings of mortification at having one of his speakers blow out at the exact moment when Bono and Edge had brought over the latest unreleased U2 album to his house on the Cote D'azure where "they live up the road," so they were forced to listen to it in mono, and oh my God, yes, the unbearable pain of the incredibly wealthy! Marvelous) and at these times I forget all the bad times and only remember how exciting it all used to be and think that I was terribly wrong to let you go and think, yes, I'm going to rekindle our love. I can barely get to the newsagent fast enough.

But then when I get to the newsagent and see that plastered on the cover is Chris Martin and emblazoned also on the cover are the words: "The Best Band In The World: Coldplay" and I can only say that no, Q Magazine, they are not. In fact Q Magazine, there are no adequate words in our extensive lexicon to describe just how hard Coldplay suck. Perhaps if something (or someone, preferably Chris Martin) were able to suck hard enough on a garden hose so that a tennis ball might find its way from one end of it to the other, then you are getting close to how hard Coldplay suck. Then again it is highly possible that there is not even enough suck in the entire universe to compare with Coldplay's, not even at the gravitational core of the Andromeda Galaxy, poised as it is to suck our very own galaxy into its black heart (eventually). Still this is not enough suck to capture the exact suckitude of Coldplay. Coldplay; standing for nothing but the exact and perfect nadir of modern rock music ("rock" being a particularly difficult and inaccurate descriptor to attach to them): the watering down, codified, commodified, activist-lite, faux-sentimental nothingness we're drowning in - when Coldplay stand in for what is Big Music today, then things are much, much worse than they first appear. If you add to this then, that you Q Magazine, were reportedly punched in the chest by Chris Martin (jokes about Gwenyth Paltrow are funny, I back you on that one) at your own pointless awards ceremony, well, it's incredibly hard to work out which of the two of you suck harder.

So, that is it. This is the end. Let us divide our belongings once more: You can have all the Coldplay albums you like, I am keeping all the photo captions from the glory days to remember you by. If ever you were to curate an issue compiled exclusively from said photo captions, I would be there in a flash. Because you plain invented that, dammit, and it was hilarious. Particularly if you were to include one under a photo of Chris Martin: "Dear future, Sorry about all that 'Coldplay are incredible' nonsense. Who is Coldplay, you say? Oh excellent. Carry on!" How far the mighty have fallen, Q! Bono will never again pen something along the lines of "50 Reasons Why I Love Bob Dylan As He Turns 50" just for you.

For shame.

Elmo.

P.S. your compilations are also balls. 'Uncut' would never force Keane on anyone.

Filed Under
Articles
Coldplay
Chris Martin

 

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Comments

quack

I conquer. Q is terrible/horrible/brain-rape.

Except I dis-concur on one point: "The reviews mainly, are still minor masterpieces"

Q is probably the only source from which a bad review would actually pique my interest in a band/record. They're followers, not leaders.

1 decade ago

Sean

Q was a BIG influence on me when I was in my mid-to-late teens. I never buy the thing anymore (unless Radiohead are on the cover) but I still have a soft spot for the magazine.

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

yeh i have a bunch of Q Magazines from a while back.. I think we have now gone our seperate ways...
I recently picked up Under The Radar (after Wayne recommended it to me) and it's really good.. articles about artists I like.. wow

1 decade ago

Wayne

I think magazines like Q and Mojo tend to live in the past. 'Dad Rock' as the article said.
NME used to be good (many years ago), but now has nothing to offer.

Under The Radar is my favourite, glad you liked it Jonny. I also buy Magnet. Very well
written articles and great photos. Skyscraper is probably my other favourite. Has excellent interviews.

1 decade ago

Elmo Keep

To me, Uncut has never strayed from excellence. But the Believer is where it's at.

1 decade ago

gemdilem

ohhh I've been looking for a music mag to buy... might check out Under The Radar

1 decade ago

flukazoid

where the heck do you find Under the Radar guys, do you order it in from o/s or is there a newsagent somewhere that carries it?

I can't seem to track it down anywhere..

1 decade ago

Jonny Yes Yes

i got the latest one from Borders in the city
was like $14 though./. air freight
so i might get Angus to steal them for me in the future

1 decade ago

Wayne

The Believer is great, although more of a literary mag.

I subscribe to Under the Radar. Six issues a year.
Reliable service and you get a free CD when you renew your subscription.

1 decade ago

Sean

Wayne, I think MOJO is a great magazine. Their features are consistently some of the better writing you can find in mainstream music magazines. I don't buy it all that often but when I do I find myself enjoying well-written articles on bands I don't care about.

I used to get UTR all the time back home....but I can't justify spending 14 bucks on it here. Magnet's decent too. I find Uncut has its alright moments.

1 decade ago

Wayne

Sean, I take your point about MOJO having well written articles. It's just that everytime
I see a cover it features an artist that has been around for 20 years or so.

1 decade ago

flukazoid

Well, lookie here! Today I get a press release in my inbox and it says this:

"The benchmark for 2008's best electronic record has been set"
- MOJO"


The album?

The Crystal Castles debut.

COME ON.

1 decade ago

kidalias

CC just announced their Playground sideshows. Bah.

1 decade ago

missyel

I sincerely hope you sent this onto Q, Elmo. So succinct. Completely truthful.

I have been a big fan of Q for many a year. I remember frequently rewarding myself with a backissue of Q after an "afternoon of hard year 12 study". When I say backissue, I mean an issue anywhere between 1990 and 1997. Granted, it was 2002 at the time, but it was so easy to slip away into that time and place with this publication. I would completely immerse myself in Q, I really loved it. Not only did I love a significant proportion of the artists featured, but I loved how it was written. It was sarcastic, witty and intelligent.. and it presumed that you really KNEW your music. Artists or albums didn't need to be recommended to you - it was just intrinsic knowledge. Q presumed that you knew what happened with Morrissey at Finsbury Park in 1992. They presumed that you knew about the Clash "pigeon incident". They presumed that you knew that Depeche Mode's Devotional Tour was a terrible mistake (and probably never should have occurred). It was always interesting, but it was never, ever patronising.

Yet there has been a shift in Q of late. The wit and intelligence has gone. You are just left with this ridiculous influx of meaningless lists and countdowns which consistently feature the same tiresome adulation for the same three bands. There is no critical evaluation of anything, no sarcastic taglines or interesting articles. But I knew that this was going to inevitably happen to Q. I knew that they had to fulfill the needs and the expectations of a younger demographic. That is, a group of people who basically need a monthly list of recommended songs to download. There are some interesting song choices in there, admittedly.. but that is not journalism. Not journalism that would spur any sort of passion or interest in British pop. It's not what I'm here for.

Thank you for your article Miss Echo. I say stick to your back issues, they offer so much more!

1 decade ago

kristov8

Woah, try not to cringe at the Q's 50 Best Albums of 2008. #1 is quite hilarious...

http://www.qthemusic.com/cgi-bin/50bestalbums/month.pl?id=2

1 decade ago

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