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simon silverdollar
18-10-2004, 07:05 PM
just wondering about this, spurred on by comments in another thread: what do people think of OMM? there seems to be a great deal of animosity towards it from lots of people, but i'm not sure why. ok, it's not a *great* publication, but i do get the sense that it's written by genuine music lovers [unlike the NME], and is reasonably forward looking and open minded [unlike the wire, ha!]. so what's the problem? i mean, that grime piece they did was pretty good, and the reviews often seem truly informed and enthusiastic, unlike so many reviews from so many other magazines.

as a 'free' supplement to a national newspaper, isn't it really pretty much as good as it could be?


or is it just shit? if so, why?

Baal's Eyes
18-10-2004, 10:11 PM
......trouble with 'genuine music lovers' is that often their taste is bobbins. I mean 'loving music' doesnt mean the music they love is any good.

its just a risible Q-lite isnt it? something for the Hornbys of this world to eat over their macro-biotic cornflakes of a Sabbath, nodding away to Keane as their neighbours clean their Galaxies with fire hoses.

Im wondering why they make it at all, surely their target audience buy Q, Mojo, etc anyway.....a shame as the Observer sport monthly is usually pretty good (I would say).

shaun L
18-10-2004, 10:32 PM
To begin with I really liked the idea of a music magazine with the observer, y'know .. read some mildly left wing journalism.. drink some coffee and then muse over a review of LFO... but OMM is tending towards the trite lifestyle end of the observer journo spectrum.... Liza Tarbuck interview, Robbie Williams photo story... purposeless columns and lists.
--- music as gossipfactory, pop as pub quiz.
There is plenty of that on TV.
For me the other major failing of OMM is that it is 'Later with Bilbo Baggins', cosy chat with deeply irrelevant people, music writing that participates in the usual myths--- Dylan the genius, Blur the post Britpop artband.... and so on... It's not that these myths are untrue, its simply that most people who read the observer have already been exposed to these ideas... and would probably benefit from a more eclectic 'John Peel' kinda magazine--- its not as if I'd have to hear Atari Teenage Riot, I could even turn the page if the words were too dissonant.

Yeah the grime piece was alright... but it seemed a little tokenistic, and more crucially it was published about 6 months too late-- like OMM in general.

Still, its nice to read music reviews on a Sunday morning.

Baal's Eyes
18-10-2004, 10:36 PM
'Dylan the genius' is patently untrue.

shaun L
19-10-2004, 07:37 AM
well yeah, ... I was feeling generous yesterday. Q-Lite is possibly the most damning criticism available... nice one.

simon silverdollar
19-10-2004, 10:29 AM
this is good! i'm pretty much convinced now that OMM is shit. i guess my initial indecision was due there really being like two whole different approaches within the magazine- the long articles that often actually make the effort to try to explain the importance that music undergrounds can have in people's lives [e.g the piece on grime, the piece on mexican gangster songs, the piece by the [admittedly obnoxious] helen walsh on taking pills at acid house clubs every week when she was 13]

and then there's the OTHER side to it- that insufferably smug, and yeah 'Q-lite' thing, where they review Keane, and do stupid lists, and get fucking members of supergrass to interview people that worked with the beatles...AND NOBODY IN THE WORLD TRULY CARES ABOUT ANY OF THIS. not the writers, the editors, or the readers.

so yeah, i'm a hater now!

Rambler
19-10-2004, 10:37 AM
I've only read it once in full, although I skip in and out of things online, but what annoys me most is that it feels like a missed opportunity: other than the occasional decent piece (and even the Big Issue have done a grime article), it offers pretty much nothing that you can't get in tedious quantity elsewhere. And the title 'Observer Music Monthly' annoys me since they're obviously working to a pretty narrow definition of music. It's like having a food supplement with the editorial brief to ignore anything not fish-based.

xero
19-10-2004, 10:49 AM
I have to say I agree with most of the above but one of the worst things about OMM is the shite newspaper that comes with it! And if the narrowness of the music covered by OMM is bad, how abut the music review section in the paper every week in which every record review & live review is written BY THE SAME PERSON

mms
19-10-2004, 10:58 AM
i actually went to their industry morning where they explained to people who were potentially gonna provide music and advertsing what they were gonna do.
the original plan i seem to remember was to have a nick hornby top 10 thing every month, and greater input from a certain mr pedris who i know is very popular in blogland, so lucky escape there.

me and people from other labels i was with were all pretty gutted because from their descriptions it did seem like a wasted opportunity, but then again you are talkimg about producing a magazine that has to appeal to people that buy 3 x cds a year.

Hpwever the magazine doesn't make music seem that exciting, rather for them music is part of some kinda coffee table aspirational lifestyle, without embarrasment, a good editorial mix of the popular classics and a bit of world music, maybe something new, a celebrity endorsement, all quite educated, self aware, liberal and reassuring, but without any irrational enthusiasim, no poetry, nothing smashed down or rethought , none of that kind of blind viral joy that music fans pass over to those who aren't that big into it.

stelfox
19-10-2004, 11:15 AM
it is more or less entirely atrocious. i mean, really, the idea of a "record doctor" is bad enough, but peter paphides prescribing the remedies necessary to cure your music taste - now that's just plain daft. and as for the inclusion of tom cox , well, i'm not saying any more at all. it's a very very boring read and even manages to make paul morely seem less interesting that he can be. the design doesn't help at all, either. still, i'm bound to say this. i applied for the deputy editor's job and didn't get it.

stelfox
19-10-2004, 11:20 AM
also, did anyone notice that in the "10 worst cover versions" thing, the nitwit wot wrote it picked "the tide is high by atomic kitten", referenced blondie but never mentioned that *their* version was a cover of the original john holt track?

boomnoise
19-10-2004, 11:26 AM
Every month I dispense with OMM after a quick scoff and turn to the weekly review supplement and thoroughly enjoy the writing of one Molloy Woodcraft. I initially formed an intense disliking for the man. Now, however, I have grown to love his sprawling mop of hair and uninspired, languid reworking of press releases. I wish i could remember some of his greatest lines to quote. His writing makes me laugh and entertains me where as I find that OMM frustrates and annoys me.

The problem is we are too discerning and we are not 50quidmenę OMM
isn't meant to appeal to us.

Grievous Angel
19-10-2004, 02:13 PM
I dunno, I quite like it, after reading the hysterical hipsterism of blogspace for a few weeks it's quite nice to take a languid stroll down 50quid man road.

I used to really like Q in the early nineties -- was so refreshing to read enthusiastic, knowledgable reviews of Sandy Denny rereleases.

I read the Uncut issue about The Clash -- it was alright, though I did have to let my bile about the tokenistic treatment of black music subside before I could relax with it. That and the terrible repro of Penny Smith's pictures.

gragy10
19-10-2004, 02:58 PM
I dunno, I quite like it, after reading the hysterical hipsterism of blogspace for a few weeks it's quite nice to take a languid stroll down 50quid man road.


I can kind of empaphise with you on that score - much as I appreciate the blog approach to music criticism, it can all get a bit too shrill now and then. Easy as it is to critique OMM, I can't escape the feeling that there's a dearth of half-decent music magazines out there at the moment- anyone got any reccomendations?

mms
19-10-2004, 03:59 PM
Easy as it is to critique OMM, I can't escape the feeling that there's a dearth of half-decent music magazines out there at the moment- anyone got any reccomendations?[/QUOTE]

i've been enjoying plan b whenever i've read it, there are a bit too many hairy faced troubadours in it , but the writing is lively, fun and enthusiastic, the photos are good and it's got a nice *professional amateur * feeling to it, and seems to have a broad spectrum of writers, and time for non guitar music.
http://www.planbmag.com/

mms
19-10-2004, 04:03 PM
what do you mean when you say 50 quid man?
is that reference to a person that spends that much on records a year?

boomnoise
19-10-2004, 09:14 PM
50quidman (http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1159112,00.html)

be.jazz
20-10-2004, 07:16 AM
Is 50quidman defined by the amount spent or the kind of music bought (apparently, things that remind him of his youth and hyped middle-brow stuff)? Because otherwise, aren't most of us already (or will be one day) part of them?


"But frankly," says Hepworth, "blokes get the same giddy rush from buying CDs and DVDs that most women get from shoes. It's a spiritual thing."
I don't know if it's spiritual, but I definitely get that rush, even though I very, very rarely spend 75 euros in one go.

Backjob
20-10-2004, 07:24 AM
50quidbloke is defined demographically. Middle-class, late-30s or older, likes to spend 50 quid on music, dvds etc on a friday afternoon.

mms
20-10-2004, 10:15 AM
Because otherwise, aren't most of us already (or will be one day) part of them?


not me sir!

and i'm very well aware of the other kind of person, the old raver who spends all their money collecting

first gen chicago and detroit records and for whom nothing else surpasses them.

Grievous Angel
20-10-2004, 11:10 AM
Any minute now I'm gonna blow 50 quid at soundquake on every cut of pepperseed and big up I can get my hands on...

I haven't bought any records for over a year, I'm due for some payback.

Chef Napalm
20-10-2004, 01:43 PM
i'm very well aware of the other kind of person, the old raver who spends all their money collecting first gen chicago and detroit records and for whom nothing else surpasses them.

You've got it wrong.

The 50 quid man refers principally to someone who is desperately trying to stay in touch by shopping at HMV and Amazon.com , NOT someone who collects obscure *glances at Woebot* titles from the past. Your ex-raver scours thrift shops and combs eBay for the types of records he's looking for. For him, setting foot in an HMV would be akin to country line-dancing.

Well, maybe not THAT extreme, but you get the idea.

mms
20-10-2004, 06:34 PM
[QUOTE=Chef Napalm]You've got it wrong.

The 50 quid man refers principally to someone who is desperately trying to stay in touch by shopping at HMV and Amazon.com , NOT someone who collects obscure *glances at Woebot* titles from the past. Your ex-raver scours thrift shops and combs eBay for the types of records he's looking for. For him, setting foot in an HMV would be akin to country line-dancing.

yes i know!!!!
thats why i said he was the other kinda person, comparing him to 50 quid man using the words *i am aware of the other kind of person*

the original idea proposed by be.jazz was that we're all getting a bit like 50 quid man.

keep up!

:p

Loki
20-10-2004, 07:22 PM
50 quid man? haven't spent 50 quid for ages....for what it's worth I think OMM is an honourable (free; important that - we're not paying for it's cultural authenticity) failure....nine chunks better than the NME etc and they're trying hard(ish) with the reviews (the Volga one set me searching)...and as for blogging well I was discussing the other day with a fellow blogger that it's just a way of playing records around your friends house when you don't have any friends who buy records any more and as such has a comforting nostalgia that settles me as i dip into middle age... i mean, all these posts that start: 'I'm not that familiar with the Croydon Grime Scene...' - of course you're not; you're a 32 year old Dad of three and you live in Hemel Hempstead.

be.jazz
20-10-2004, 08:34 PM
the original idea proposed by be.jazz was that we're all getting a bit like 50 quid man.
What I meant to suggest is that as serious music people, surely we spend a fair amount of money on music, unless you're slsk'ing everything and not going to any shows, surely we easily spend as much as 50 quid man, even if it's not in one go. But if it's actually about middle-brow anxiety, then the point is moot.

simon silverdollar
20-10-2004, 09:10 PM
i spend fuck all on music. i just listen to the radio.

simon silverdollar
20-10-2004, 09:11 PM
...but i would spend lots if i could

mms
20-10-2004, 09:24 PM
What I meant to suggest is that as serious music people, surely we spend a fair amount of money on music, unless you're slsk'ing everything and not going to any shows, surely we easily spend as much as 50 quid man, even if it's not in one go. But if it's actually about middle-brow anxiety, then the point is moot.



i thought you were highlighting the behavioural activities and purchases of said gentleman of the 50 english sterling, i was simply comparing and contrasting that with the behavioural patterns of another demographic/stereotype, the die hard acid daze obsessive, of a similar age, but with a different hunting instinct with the anxiety sublimated into unwavering nostalga. A different beast indeed and hardly any use to todays marketeers.

I think personally i probably buy less records and spend less money nowdays because i'm more selective about what i buy, if it's an older rarerer object then i might spend more money on it, if its a contemporary record it has to be great, or fit into to some kinda "investigation" i'm pretending i'm carrying out. :)

grimly fiendish
20-10-2004, 10:37 PM
in my humble opinion ...

... better a mass-market, mildly interesting, at-least-they're-trying-what-do-you-want-blood? magazine such as OMM than a smug, holier-than-thou, let's-be-obscure-to-mask-our-social-inadequacy pile of piss like the wi [+++NO CARRIER]