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Friday, 5 September 2008

Music mags come good

If you're in the UK (or even if you're not), be sure to pick up the new issue of Uncut magazine. It's got Pink Floyd on the cover (meh), though you might not be able to tell that because it's in a cardboard bag this month, but more importantly it comes with a quiz book that has something like 96 rounds to it, including a Bob Dylan crossword and a round specifically relating to songs with stations on the Norther Line (part of the London Underground). If you don't think that's freaking awesome, then you probably don't have a pulse. Actually, rewind a bit - if you are reading this from abroad you might want to check that the extra bits are included in foreign editions, because I know free magazine CDs often aren't. Don't say you weren't warned. Check out the magazine's website here for more details, but pick up the mag while it's still on shelves.

According to the intro notes, the Uncut quiz book was 18 months in the making, so hats off to them even more if that's true, because in my book that's above and beyond the call of magazinely duty. My favourite round is the one where they've taken one letter from a band's logo and you have to guess the band. Metallica, AC/DC, Yes, Oasis and a few others were all pretty easy, but there are about forty of them and I'm not sure I got half. Thinking about it, I think I'll challenge Will Communication to a music quiz duel (he'll win), which means I should probably take the book out of the spare loo and stop reading the answers whenever I'm having a quiet moment to myself.

And in other praise of the British music press (and the pursuit of knowing in fine detail every band's logo), I'd like to also draw your attention to and, specifically, its online feature about the 50 greatest band logos of all times, which is here in case they move it off the homepage.

I tell you what, I never realised that the Led Zeppelin 'Zoso' logo was in fact not a word spelt z-o-s-o, but just a logo that was meant to embody Jimmy Page. Looking at it now, it actually doesn't look like a word. Also, I'm surprised how many metal logos are in this NME list.

My least favourites of the 50? The Offspring's is too much like a computer game graphic, and Linkin Park's is just shit - a total rip off of a million logos that came before it.

The best? Van Halen's is very cool, especially in colour when it looks like metal, which is actually the same reason why I love Daft Punk's. And you can't deny Motorhead's pure rock awesomeness, ditto for Aerosmith. But you've got to hand it to the logos that don't require any words to tell you who they represent - The Rolling Stones' mouth, skulls from both the Grateful Dead and The Misfits, and Bauhaus' angular visage, and of course Prince's squiggle and the more modern floating cross of Justice. But in a way all of them are more to do with the success of the artist, rather than purely the power of their symbol.

The absolute best in my opinion? It should go without saying that it's ABBA, bitches. Read it and weep.

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