And Now, a Much Less Informed Opinion

After a one-issue absence, Dave Eggers has a column in the March 2005 issue of Spin Magazine (Enimem is perched in the top right corner, sneering at you; black & white Jack White bottom left corner). In recent years, Spin has taken a turn for the worse, that is, towards its main competitor, Rolling Stone. As a result, the number of reasons for continuing to renew my subscription to this publication have boiled down to three, the first monumentally more important than the other two:(1) Dave Eggers’ column, which is not guaranteed every issue, (2) Reader of the Month, and (3) the Spin 20. So I pay five dollars a year, or whatever cheapo price it is now, for Dave Eggers. And in case I ever get lucky enough to bribe him into coming here and reading my writing, I have to say, in all honesty, it’s worth every penny.

In case you’ve never heard of Dave Eggers, a light bulb should go off when I link his name as the author of a novel titled A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius, which made a big splash in the literary world a couple years ago. I’ve read this book, as well as an advanced copy of its corresponding adapted screenplay, the film production of which should be in the works very soon. While Staggering Genius was a fine memoir, I am infinitely more fascinated by Eggers' Spin columns. I look forward to reading them every month, and I’m disappointed when they are missing.

Good old trusty Chuck Klosterman, another excellent writer who enjoys reading himself write about music and prides himself on being a pop culture encyclopedia, also writes a monthly column in Spin, rain or shine. Now, without getting off track, I’ll admit that I find Klosterman’s columns overblown, condescending, and ultimately uninteresting, but I can’t help but read them every month. For me, Klosterman serves the sole purpose of leading in to Eggers, in very much the same way that an opening band simmers anticipation for the headliner.

After getting hit sideways by Klosterman’s what’s-your-point? “Let’s Talk About Sex Music” column, you turn the page and it’s instant comfort. Eggers always uses the over-modest, softly mocking title, “And Now, A Less Informed Opinion.” Suddenly, you feel okay that you’re not a pop culture guru. You’re safe now, because you’re reading a column in a music magazine written by a guy who’s just a music fan. He’s a music fan who happens to be able to write extremely well about being a music fan, who celebrates the way music makes us think, feel, act, and live. He’s a music fan who truly loves and cares about being a music fan, because no matter how corrupt and dire the scene is out there, something new might be hiding, something old might be resurfacing, waiting to jump out and wow us, because as trite as it sounds, rock and roll will never say die, even if sometimes it really sucks. With a tasteful measure of wit and personal touch, Eggers never fails to hit home with his column. Even the mediocre ones are good, but this month’s is exceptionally exceptional.

If you love music and love being a music fan, do yourself a favor and stop by your friendly newsstand, the kind that allows shameless browsing, and pick up the March 2005 issue of Spin and turn to page 42. You won’t be disappointed. And if you are, there’s a Q & A with Ozzy Osbourne on page 18 and a review of the Marilyn Manson’s most recent LA show on page 24. The accompanying picture of dear Marilyn should lap up any remaining disappointment. If you're not disappointed, you really enjoyed the Eggers column and you are still standing at the newsstand, tempted to pick up the new O, GQ, or Jugs, please do yourself a favor and bypass that bullshit for “Beards,” another side of music commentary by Jonathan Lethem in the February 28, 2005 New Yorker, page 62. Since I read it, I have not been the same.

2 Comments:

Blogger Hep Cee said...

Yep. You got it right about Eggers. I was looking for one of his Spin columns and found your post... and I liked it.

My blogspot site is pretty embryonic, but you're welcome to peruse it.
itsinmyblood is its name.

cheers, c.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous iheartbobbypins said...

"Juggs" magazine has two Gs.

I loved this article. Did you read Eggers' column about Kings of Leon. It was one of my favorites.
rjb

3:36 PM  

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