Rolling Stone was the first adult magazine I subscribed to. I’ve been getting it delivered to my home for over twenty years now. But I let my subscription expire this month, and I’m a little nostalgic about it.
Its musical focus was what first got me reading Rolling Stone — especially the music reviews. Over the years though, they’ve added more features on pop-culture things like fashion, television, and video games. Lately a good deal of their random notes section looks like it came from a sleazy tabloid. Often the music news in the bi-weekly magazine was not news to me. I had already heard about it online. I became less and less interested, and issues would pile up, unread. Over the past few years I wondered why I was paying for a subscription, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to stop.
This month however, I finally let my subscription expire. Just the other day, the post office delivered my last issue. I’m not ignoring Rolling Stone’s editorial content though, I’m reading it online. In my browser (or RSS reader), I can get Rolling Stone’s album reviews, music news and even read some of the current issue’s cover story. Of course, if I really want to read the whole thing I can go to the library, or access the full text from the library’s periodical databases.
In a lot of ways other websites have long ago replaced Rolling Stone as my favorite sources for music news and reviews. The folks at Glorious Noise do a great job. They’ve also got a nice section of message boards where I tend to be a bit of a lurker. The NPR Music site is another excellent source. While at the NPR site, be sure and check out All Songs Considered, a weekly program available via streaming audio, or podcast.
For music reviews, my favorites are below. If you read just one, check out Metacritic, which compiles reviews from a wide range of sources, often linking to the original review.
So while I’m a little sorry I let my Rolling Stone subscription expire, I’ve definitely moved on. Any other good music websites I’m missing?