Friday, October 30, 2009

"It's Unlikely the World Will Ever Again Come Across Musicianship Like Sophie B. Hawkins's"

When you guys were young whippersnappers, did you ever find yourself at the Walden Books poring over the latest issues of Creem, Q, or Rolling Stone? I know I did. And while this experience hardly substituted for the more authentic virtues real relationships with other people might have fostered, it still introduced me to a writing genre that sadly seems to have gone the way of The Lemonheads, and for which I still feel just a twinge of nostalgia: Drop Cap Journalism.

In Drop Cap Journalism (DCJ), it's a rule that every article has to immediately drop the reader into the action with the great alternative pop stars of the 90's via the effective method of the decorative drop cap. And almost every article seemed to start the same stupid way.

Michael Stipe simply will not eat off a small spoon.


It should come as no surprise that Liz Phair wants to begin our interview with a discussion of blowjobs.

DCJ articles almost always featured evocative (kind of) and artsy (sort of) photography, sometimes with said decorative drop cap superimposed over it. If you got really lucky, the article would have the drop cap, the artsy photo and a lot of hyperbole about someone who at the time seemed timeless, and yet.

On this rainy night on the road in Ottawa, the world literally stops for Adrian Belew. (photo caption: "Belew boards Ottawa bus.")

And yet! And don't even get me started on Sassy. Don't even get me started.


  1. Oh no. I loved Sassy. Does that make me a dork? Wait, or was it Jane? Which one was for adult(ish) women? It was nice to see a "glossy" women's magazine that didn't take itself too seriously.

    I get bummed out when I buy a copy of Marie Claire or whatever, hoping to zone out while hunting for good haircuts, finding out that Angelina Jolie battles sleep drooling JUST LIKE ME, or discovering the best ab workout ever, and all of a sudden I'm subjected to an article on genital mutilation in Sudan or something. Not the venue, people!

    Anyhoo. Nice examples of DCJ. Did you make them up?

  2. I did make them up, but I'm glad they were faux-believable. You are so right about genital mutilation. All day long, I have to THINK about things. I turn to women's magazines so I can UNTHINK about things.

  3. This bit reads like a paean to the DCJ king: ex-Spin writer Chuck Klosterman.

    I believe his Bono interview began with something to the effect of, "Is Bono full of shit?"

  4. Hi Miss Sam. It's me, Miss Mandy. You know.

    Here's a tidbit about me you didn't know. Jane Pratt's brother, Ben, was my graphic design teacher at UW Stout. I was at his house a few times. Can that make me cool?