Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Plan B

Sob! Plan B, the only music magazine I deign to pay money for, is being sent to the big magazine rack in the sky. June will see its final issue hitting the shelves of selected emporia (including, bizarrely, our corner shop) and it’ll be the last time I feel genuinely excited about a magazine being published (I always got that same wee rush of anticipation when it was time for a new Plan B as I used to get when Smash Hits day came around).

I’ll add the final copy to my collection. I’ve got every issue, they look great all lined up on the shelf, their spines all solemn looking hiding the colour explosion inside. That’s the thing about Plan B, it’s a beautiful object as well as a good read, an exceedingly good argument for producing something in print, rather than online. It feels like a lot of love and care has gone into the creation of each issue. There’s always gorgeous photography - even accompanying the live reviews there are none of those crappy, what’s the point? shots of the singer with a mic obscuring their face, unlike in some magazines. The pages teem with brilliant illustrations; oddball images that halt you in your tracks and make you inspect them for a spell – you know, like decent art should. And isn’t it great that a music magazine should commission so much brand new illustration?

Granted, the articles and reviews sometimes left me wondering what the flip the artists being discussed actually, you know, sounded like, but it was always a dang good read. Always thoughtful and intelligent, the writing was a refuge for well-constructed sentences and lovingly honed prose amongst the maelstrom of poorly conceived fuck-wittering found elsewhere. Even the adverts were interesting: how else would I have discovered the terrifying trembling brilliance of Ben Nash’s ‘The Seventh Goodbye’ if I hadn’t been intrigued by Aurora Borealis Records’ slightly sinister ad?

At least it’s good to see the magazine going out on a high, not having compromised or capitulated, not slinking out on its belly in a horrifying state of degradation (e.g. Melody Maker). Thank you for the good times Plan B.

P.S. Everyone always said Plan B even smelled amazing! I never did understand that bit.

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