As I’m sure you’ve already heard, Blender, the music magazine that everyone seems to love to hate, has ceased publication. I’m not going to front; I’m a little sad about it.
I’m sad for a few reasons. First up, I’m like three issues into a subscription, so I’m a bit unnerved about that. But as a guy who pretends that he might one day venture back into freelance writing, I’m saddened by the demise of another potential employer. And I guess, as a guy who enjoys music, I’m less than happy that there are fewer music magazines out there.
I’m a pretty big fan of publications. I could go to EW.com and read the same articles that I get in my magazine every week, but I don’t like reading that type of stuff on the net. I like reading blogs on the net. I think that everything has its place; blogs aren’t supposed to be on paper and magazines are.
So when I heard about the dire situation that Vibe magazine was in earlier this year, it was troubling, even though I don’t read Vibe. It was just a bad sign for the industry as a whole. That’s why I wasn’t that surprised when I heard that Blender folded.
I remember when Blender first hit the stands. I was a music magazine fiend. Revolver also debuted at around the same time and they both had pretty much the same style. Revolver eventually shifted its focus to hard rock and metal, but in its early days it was essentially Blender II.
What I liked about the early days of Blender was how snarky the magazine was. It was a mag with attitude that didn’t really take itself too seriously. The Source was “Hip-Hop’s Bible” and XXL was speaking for the streets. But Blender wasn’t afraid to say that something sucked, which was refreshing.
I especially liked their “33 Things You Should Know About…” and “Greatest Songs Ever” features. And the oral histories and profiles were always solid and the reviews really didn’t hold much back. It was a solid magazine.
But to be fair, I’m actually part of the problem. The last issue that I picked up was the July 2008 issue. I’d realized that I wasn’t really reading the entire magazine anymore, and I didn’t want to keep throwing the money away. So I stopped getting it.
Then I joined up for some survey site where the credits had a symbolic dollar sign in front of them. For “$10.00” I could get a year-long subscription to Blender, so I went for it. The first issue I got was the year-ender, and it was slimmer than I’d remembered. Blender looked like it had lost weight over the last year, and not in a good way.
And three months later, this magazine is gone.
I’ll always remember Blender as the vibrant magazine it was in its prime and not the wasted away shadow of its former self that it ended up.