newest entry 2001-10-22 8:50 a.m.

My So-Called Magazine

I bought the new Jane magazine for the free CD, which is very good (more below). Of course, this means I had to read the actual magazine, too, and folks, it's no Sassy or more accurately, it tries too hard to be Sassy but it can't be. Sassy was a smart, culturally aware and wryly self-conscious lifeboat in the open ocean of trite girl-mags....but Jane is ostensibly for grown-ups, and there are already enough good grown-up magazines (for men & women).

Jane wants to be Juliana Hatfield '92, to maintain the breathless, pale, introspective but fun-loving, slightly defiant slightly flower-power slightly bratty tone of its predecessor, without perhaps understanding that this is supposed to be a magazine for women. The slackerspeak writing, which was cute in Sassy, just seems lazy here. The lack of firm editorial focus is annoying. We kinda pick up a feminist tone one minute and then a silly "we're jes' cute girls" vibe the next. On page XX we get an article about "bulimia: yecch!" and then on page XX+3 we see full-page ads for fat-burner pills. On one page a liberal, "let's drink to the salt of the earth" attitude, followed by a fashion spread featuring clothing and styles that no one--no one!--can afford or get away with wearing outside of some club.

This month they have a little halfpage article-ette on what gear various female musicians use....which is kinda pointless unless it's going to be a regular feature. I mean, a one-shot mini-article in which we find out what kind of amp the guitarist of The Donnas uses is so...lame and girly. "Look at us! We know about gear!"

Anyway, toss the mag, keep the CD, it's got some unreleased stuff from a bunch of fine gents and ladies. A strong new Wilco song with a craaazy bass line....a plunky, interesting little piano tune from Mary Timony, a silvery-pretty live track from Sigur Ros, and then some nice but less-than-amazing offerings from Stereolab, Silver Jews, and the Beta Band. And there's a track from the late-20th century's most overrated band.

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