Monday, April 28, 2008

A Musical Reference Guide From My Past... now online, and I'm totally psyched! Actually, they've officially been online since 2002, but I just stumbled across them so it's new to me. They say they're currently in the process of updating entries, and it becomes very obvious very soon. The Flaming Lips entry, for instance, stops after "Clouds Taste Metallic" which was released in 1995. But it's still a blast! Especially glancing at all the old covers under the "Magazine" section.

Trouser Press used to print (remember books?) an Alternative Music Guide which focused on under-the-radar type bands with entries that included a very detailed discography, album notes and comprehensive commentary. I spent hours and days pouring over it's contents until the covers were worn, and discovered many new excellent bands and artists in the process. Elvis Costello, as an example, was considered 'alternative', which just seems silly now in retrospect. And there's now which is the difinitive resource for all things music related, but it's still going to be fun revisiting an important part of my musical past.

Here's part of the Wikipedia entry for Trouser Press magazine which eventually spawned the reference guide:

"Trouser Press was a rock and roll magazine started in New York in 1974 as a mimeographed fanzine by editor/publisher Ira Robbins, fellow Who fan Dave Schulps and Karen Rose under the name "Trans-Oceanic Trouser Press" (a reference to a song by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and an acronymic play on the British rock TV show Top of the Pops). Its original scope was British bands and artists (early issues featured the slogan "America's Only British Rock Magazine"). Initial issues contained occasional interviews with major artists like Brian Eno and Robert Fripp and extensive record reviews. After fourteen issues, the title was shortened to simply Trouser Press, and it gradually transformed into a full fledged professional-level magazine with color covers and advertising.

As the 70's music scene transformed, so did the magazine's editorial focus. From 1976 on, Trouser Press frequently centered on the growing punk movements in both London and New York. The magazine provided in-depth articles on bands like the Sex Pistols, Boomtown Rats, The Clash, The Damned, the Ramones, Television, and many other similar groups, long before other U.S. music publications did. In 1980, the magazine introduced "America Underground", a recurring column devoted to local music scenes from different areas of the country. By the early 80's, the magazine's focus was almost exclusively on new wave, alternative rock, and underground rock from both sides of the Atlantic. Starting in 1982, flexi-discs were included with every issue to subscribers only, many of which have since become collector's items. Although the magazine seemed to be thriving with an ever growing circulation, editor Robbins ceased publication after the April 1984 issue (#96), citing a lack of interest in the continuing but stagnating new wave scene that left his writers with very little left to say."

For those that are interested, I've posted a link on the right rail.

1 comment:

GE said...

I too love the record guide, but had no idea it was online. Great find.