Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Paste at 50

Issues that is, not years. Congratulations to my favorite music magazine for making it to this milestone. May there be many more (issues and milestones) to come.

Along the way I've written about 150 articles/columns/reviews, and probably an equal number of blog entries on the magazine's website, and I have to say I'm thankful for the gig. On a personal level, the staff at Paste has been unfailingly supportive. And on a professional level I still think they're putting out the best contemporary culture magazine on the market today.

Six (seven?) years ago Josh Jackson, Paste's editor, badgered me to write an article for the first issue of the magazine. I procrastinated, thinking that I'd be contributing to something that might be a little better than a mimeographed fanzine. I was wrong. Appreciative articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal quickly followed, and so did numerous awards.

Times are tough, and they've got to be tough for any enterprise that essentially relies on the disposable incomes of people who may not have much disposable income. I don't love every single article I read in Paste (for that matter, I don't love some of the articles I've written myself), and I don't agree with every review, but I can confidently state that Paste has made the cultural landscape a better place, a more interesting place. "Signs of Life in Music, Film, Books, and Culture" is the tagline, and they keep uncovering those signs of life, those works (perhaps they can even be called works of art) that move beyond the shallow end of the cultural pool and may actually have something to say about who we are as human beings early in a new century on a fragile planet. I'd like to think so. I'm fairly sure I know so. Kudos to Paste.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Andy. It's a fine accomplishment!

Also: Is that Neko Case? My goodness. What a babe.

Andy Whitman said...

Yes, that is Neko Case. And at the risk of playing in the shallow end of the cultural pool, yes, she is a babe.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to be crass -- not overly crass, anyway. She's got a great voice, no doubt about that.

Anonymous said...

I'll second the kudos! When I picked up this issue, I had to check twice to make sure we were really at fifty. Wow. I started at 12 and I feel like a charter member, even though I was a year late to the party. :) Here's to signs of life, and another fifty issues and far beyond!