ALL TALK: NME at the Gates…

Consumption target #1: “You’re the NME, you used to be big!”
Corporation Capo: “I am ‘big’. It’s the world that got small.”

This week has seen the Greek people tell the EU to ‘Ay gamisou’, women’s football showing the men how to fail with style and the real Greek tragedy that is the news that the artist formerly known as the New Musical Express is to cease being purchasable. After 63 years and successive straw-clutching make-overs and numerous attempts at validity and relevance, the towel’s been thrown in; it’s all over. But is it? *Janis taps vein*

Previous slumps resulted in ruthless revolutionising and ripping up ‘what was’ and creating ‘what is and will be’; it used to hold a mirror up but having turned its own gaze into the mirror, it became scared of its own reflection and in retreat of the shadow of its past, trading on its former potency yet treading water like a cat in a lake. *Jim has a soak*

With every re-launch, each journeying towards the dumbed down, txt-spk desultory garble, the message was spread ever thinly like cheap margarine. From 18th September Time Inc. will employ someone to stand at all public entry/exit points and thrust it in your face along with myriad other publications all existing for the same thing: consume, consume, consume. Conspicuous consumption and aspirational accoutrements you didn’t know you needed or lacked. *Jacko pops pill*

The biz-blurb piss-stream of unconsciousness feels like a nauseating dream: “Iconic brand NME announces the latest stage in its evolution … audience-first … will continue … gateway into wider conversation around film, fashion, telly, politics, gaming and technology.” *Amy convulses*

Musicweek put a brave face on it “…the battle of many publishers of passion brands face trying to navigate the shifts in media consumption habits”, which when translated comes out as: ‘How do we further commodify the reader/consumer?’ followed by mealy-mouth-pieces applying the 4th law of blue-sky, out-the-box Brentian Management speak. *Marc spies tree*

Spot the insurrectionary chat within Marcus Rich, Time Inc CEO: “…because music is such an important passion and is now the right time to invest in bringing NME to an even bigger community for our commercial partners.” *Jimi vomits*

Over to NME of the intellect Mike Williams: “NME is already a major player and massive influencer in the music space … every media brand is on a journey into a digital future.  The future is an exciting place and NME just kicked the door down!” Think your position’s safe with that one, Mick. Nothing says ‘nostalgia ain’t what it used be’ more than this. *Mama chokes*


In effect Time Inc. has bought the past and is ready to start (re)selling it (again) with its ‘curated content across all platforms. *Kurt pulls trigger*

How did it come to this? Increasing irrelevance, complacency, music being just another facet of the entertainment industry, attention spans spun out, castrated and co-opted op-eds, the proliferation of media, democratising of opinions, in an over-saturated market, quantity vs quality as social media disseminates: ‘all that is solid melts into air’. *Ian eyes bedsheet*

In later years it seemed like writers, having graduated in BA ‘How to be a music journalist’, were smitten with their place in the pantheon, the kudos of treading in past footsteps to the point of churning out mindless rehashed dirge with occasional facts. It was once contrarian and spiteful with testing and arresting prose as opposed to rehashed press releases. Where it once led now it chases the internet speedboat leaving the jetty. *Buddy feels turbulence*

These factors allied to a lack of incisive interrogation beyond the release/tour/release rigmarole, ever fearful of irking the PR-grip of access has led to this slow, painless death. Why not pick at the scabs, get to the nub, turn it into artistry, be pretentious and provocative? *Whitney runs bath*

Keep the customer stultified. The bland brand plays on as a conduit for commerce, the corporatising of culture gathers apace. Conglomerationomics neuters subversion and dampens the spark of creativity, the NME at the door of irreverence. *Brian goes for dip*

Sales (or lack thereof) = conformity or death. Resist.