When SPIN announced in January that it would review 1,500 records a year at 140 characters or less via Twitter, I couldn't help but clap my hands.
In his announcement, senior editor Christopher Weingarten said the @SPINReviews were "aiming to be an exhaustively definitive listener's guide and argument-starter for virtually every album or EP or mixtape that matters in 2012." He went on: "Think of this as a passionate cheat sheet, a jumping-off point to explore your own opinion and fandom."
We've been engaged in a similar experiment here at Reverb Monthly since we set up shop last August, when I announced that in each issue we would review every release (albums, EPs, mixtapes, singles . . . everything) put out by Seattle's bands and labels. In many ways, our reviews are intended to do what SPIN's do. In 25 to 50 words, we're not trying to provide a definitive critical assessment of a record, but to offer a road map of our scene's offerings. In other words, our reviews aren't the end of a discussion, but the beginning.
When we launched this endeavor, there was no single clearinghouse of what Seattle was producing each month. Our first issue had 64 reviews. Our second, 54. This month we have 69 reviews. Every month we assume the number will fall off, that there will be a slow season. But there's always another single from a local favorite (Red Jacket Mine), a band of up-and-comers (Eighteen Individual Eyes), or a random harp record inspired by a silent Peter Pan flick (Leslie McMichael). To date, we've reviewed more than 300 pieces of music. Never underestimate the diversity, quality, or quantity of your local producers.
In this seventh issue, you'll probably notice a few changes. Some columns have come and gone, some new ones have popped up. We've also launched a few experiments outside these pages. For example, we're partnering with Josh Kerns and the fine folks at KIRO 97.3 FM on a new show, Seattle Sounds, which airs every Sunday at 3 p.m. I'm co-hosting, and my colleague Erin Thompson—responsible for corralling and editing each issue's reviews—is a regular guest.
We've also launched a Kindle edition of Reverb Monthly. If you'd rather read our prose on an eReader than on a computer screen or via a dead tree, you know where to find it. Expect more improvements—digitally and in print—in the months to come.
Enjoy the issue, wherever you're reading it.
Editor, Reverb Monthly