June 3, 2004

Hey, kids? Do you dig music?

You know, some things come when I least expect them, but are very pleasant when I receive them. The attention of a beautiful woman, the affection of my cat...and my regular issue of The Big Takeover.

The Big Takeover is a music fanzine, but it's not your typical rag like Rolling Stone or Spin, or even Blender (which does for music criticism what Charles Manson did for Beatles music). It's an intelligent, half-yearly (almost yearly) compendium of all that is hip and happening in music. It's subtitle is "Music With Heart", and that's precisely what this magazine is about. It opposes a statement made by one of my favorite musicians, Graham Parker, who declared, "I have seen the future of rock...and it sucks!!!"

But what makes it great is not the editorials by Jack Rabid (who is one of the most intelligent, insightful individuals I have ever read), or even the value for the money (tons of interviews and reviews). It's the philosophy - to give you an idea, issue 54 (currently out) focuses on

Modest Mouse
Pernice Brothers
Killing Joke
Rocket from the Tombs
Poster Children
The Mekons
Jim DeRogatis
Greg Dulli
The Zombies
Stereolab (featured on the cover!)

This magazine, in a non-nostalgic way, takes me back to high school, when I would head to Kroozin Music in Chicago (now gone) and just browse the racks, finding some obscure treasure...or just something that I had never heard before. In a time when modern music is oriented towards pushing product, towards moving units, this is always a timely reminder that music (like much of life) is always best when it comes from the finest parts of ourselves.

So head to the website, check out the sample articles, and subscribe. Tell them you were referred from me - I don't get a kickback, other than the joy of bring a hidden treasure to light.

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