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#1690760 - 03/27/06 01:09 PM A kind word for Mike Molenda
american pig Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/03/05
Posts: 138
Loc: here
About a year ago I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed by Mike Molenda's occasional jabs at President Bush. So I did what any self respecting rabble rouser would do and I hopped on the old SSS forum to excoriate him. Well the response was immediate, not from Mr. Molenda but the numerous, shall I say, liberal members of the forum. They gave me some suggestions regarding what I could do with various body parts and where I could put them. I actually found it entertaining and rather expected. And I didn't hesitate to respond in kind. I threatened at the time to cancel my subscription but I never did because despite my displeasure, I still got a bit of enjoyment from the magazine.

I was also tired of seeing the grotesque body piercings and tatoos on posers and rebel wannabees plastered throughout the pages.

Well since that time I've noticed that the magazine has seemed to feature more true guitar "heroes" (for lack of a better term), the piercing and tatoo laden schlocksters appear to have been largely replaced by guitarists who rely more on skill and less on image.

Whether all this was by design or merely coincidence, I don't know. Nonetheless it's only appropriate that I express my appreciation to Mike Molenda and the staff at Guitar Player for apparently listening to the readers (I wasn't the only one to complain about those matters)and doing what Mr. Molenda discusses in this months "noise", adapting.

Finally I have an additonal compliment and one criticism. The emphasis on technical matters is very helpful, as is the increased number of lick transcriptions. Keep it up!

My one complaint is the layout of the writing. It's freekin' maddening having to flip to the back of the magazine to finish an article or interview. While marketing/merchandising may suggest that such disjointing is the best way to insure that readers see the ads, I'd prefer to have a given article all in one place, or at least separated by no more than a few pages.

Thanks again,

AP

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#1690761 - 03/27/06 03:36 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
ihategarybettman Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/18/03
Posts: 1404
Loc: Buffalo, NY
american pig has raised many points I agree with. While I really don't care for the present administration, I too believe that a guitar magazine is not an appropriate forum for political discourse. However, I also concur with Mr. pig's observation that Editor Boy and the entire GP staff do a good job at listening to their readers (in fact posts on this site often get immediate responses) and adapting. The amount of tinkering the staff does with the magazine's layout, content, articles, etc. is amazing. While I don't care for everything they've tried, I believe that Mr. Molenda and crew do an admirable job of balancing the needs and wishes of readers, advertisers, artists, and themselves in every issue.

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#1690762 - 03/28/06 02:22 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Sunbreak Music Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 138
I wouldn't have started this thread, but I'll add to it.

I just returned from completing a tour overseas, and one of the things I looked forward to was getting the next issue of GP. However, I did get the feeling that things were structured to allow comments made that were far outside the realm of music. If the point is to be made that music is political, then I can understand that--although I think that's a copout.

As an example, I just really wasn't interested in reading Robert Cray's simple assessment of world matters--esp. when I am living in the conditions that he claims to know so well. I don't recall him coming to play for any of us....

Just an added rant. Thanks for listening.
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#1690763 - 03/29/06 11:13 AM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
mavick Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/13/04
Posts: 327
The Deception continues and oh yeah, GP has been kicking ass recently too............VVV

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#1690764 - 03/29/06 07:11 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Editor Boy Moderator Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/14/01
Posts: 368
Loc: San Mateo,CA,UNITED STATES
Wow. I'll have to jump to the SSS Forum and see what was said!

Sometimes, it DOES suck being even an extremely minor public figure, because you absolutely get your lumps from anyone who cares to toss a grenade of "piss off" in your direction.

I appreciate that many readers acknowledge that we listen to our community and try to steer the ship accordingly. I also agree that everything we try doesn't always work. But I appreciate that our readers let us experience so readily, because we'd simply get stale and boring if we took the same solo (so to speak) chorus after chorus. Hey, we're all creative people, and as I deplore comfort zones, I love changing bits of GP each and every month. It keeps the staff energized, our audience on its toes, and it raises a glass to the muse. And if we blow it with something, it'll be gone in a issue or two, because you'll tell us you hate it. No one dies.

On the political front, I agree that GP "may" not be the best forum to rant liberal or conservative, but sometimes you just can't keep your mouth shut. Blame it on being in a creative field that's full of rebels and rabble rousers. And, as I've always said, who we are informs what we do as artists, and even if we say something dumb or provocative, the resultant discussion (and, at times, fevered rant) is democracy in action. I forget Robert Cray's point, for example, but I support his freedom to say it, and if he was wrongheaded, then I support our readers' freedom to roast the sucker -- just as I support the readers' freedom to roast ME, or rage at the magazine itself.

It's a tricky world out there. But if we respect each other, then no words are scary. It's all just data to be considered, debated, and assimulated.

Best to All,
Mike

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#1690765 - 03/29/06 07:27 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
american pig Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/03/05
Posts: 138
Loc: here
Mike, rest assured I respect you. in fact as much as I was pissed at you for jammin' my boy Bush, you're still a big part of the reason I stayed. I've always enjoyed your musings, and it's plainly obvious that you care very much about your craft and your magazine. So despite our political differences, I tip my hat to you for bustin' your butt and putting out such a quality product.

For what it's worth, I looked for my original bitch and there were so many pages I couldn't find it. I was basically telling you to stick to music and shut the *&^% up about politics, but it's all water under the bridge. You're a good guy and I appreciate hearing from the man himself.

Chip

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#1690766 - 03/30/06 04:54 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Gruupi Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 2145
Loc: Dallas
I'm not going to participate in the political aspects of this thread. I do want to add my 2 cents on the having articles spread out over the whole magazine. If this was just a newstand rag that people bought on impulse at the convenience store checkout, then that format would be appropriate. But this is a serious magazine for avid guitar fans and we don't need to see all the pictures and headlines in the first 50 pages of the magazine. I read the mag cover to cover and just get plain annoyed when I have to jump around. I don't know any serious readers that like having to skip 50 pages in the middle of a sentance to go and read the final paragraph of an article.

I am sure its tied into how the advertizing layout works with the content layout. But please consider that the GP reader base is different than the base that buys "People" at the grocery store. I think this topic has been addressed before but it still is a point that bothers me.
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#1690767 - 03/30/06 07:37 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Editor Boy Moderator Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/14/01
Posts: 368
Loc: San Mateo,CA,UNITED STATES
Dear Gruupi:

What issues are you talking about? We had ONE jump in the May issue (in the budget guitar roundup), and I can't remember what we may have done in the rest of the 2006 issues. Please let me know.

Like you, I HATE jumping stories to the back of the magazine, and so does our current art director, Paul Haggard. So your note is a bit of a surprise because it implies that you are constantly "jumping around" and skipping "50 pages to read the final paragraph of an article." I just don't see how this experience could be part of GUITAR PLAYER.

But if my memory is glitching, I'll certainly guarantee that I'll fix the problem pronto!! Please...give me the dates of the issues that have forced you to jump around so I can show them to Paul.

Thanks tons,
Mike

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#1690768 - 03/30/06 11:35 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Justus A. Picker Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 1415
Quote:
On the political front, I agree that GP "may" not be the best forum to rant liberal or conservative, but sometimes you just can't keep your mouth shut. Blame it on being in a creative field that's full of rebels and rabble rousers. And, as I've always said, who we are informs what we do as artists, and even if we say something dumb or provocative, the resultant discussion (and, at times, fevered rant) is democracy in action.
There seems to be some sort of backlash against musicians making political statements these days. As a product of the sixties, I'm not sure where that is coming from or why. I've always kinda figured it was our sacred duty, whichever side of the fence we stand on.

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#1690769 - 03/31/06 04:46 AM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Kramer Ferrington III. Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 9412
Loc: Wellington, NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by Justus A. Picker:


One may like it or one may hate it, but if songs are going to get political, at least they'll be about something More Important than the current roundup of vapid pop bullshit.
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#1690770 - 03/31/06 02:07 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Eric Iverson Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 5247
Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
Come to think of it, there haven't been too many protest songs about the war in Iraq, compared to the many that the Vietnam war spawned, or the civil rights movement. (At least, I haven't heard them!)

In rap there have been, of course, but that's not what most of us here seem to be into!

Regardless of one's political views, we certainly have the right to express them in song!

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#1690771 - 04/03/06 03:15 AM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Kramer Ferrington III. Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 9412
Loc: Wellington, NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by Eric Iverson:
Come to think of it, there haven't been too many protest songs about the war in Iraq,
Well, if they were FOR the war, I wouldn't buy them.

But even so, they'd (hopefully) be more intelligent that the usual crap we get these days.
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#1690772 - 04/03/06 07:21 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Guitar55 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 1901
Loc: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Eric Iverson:
Come to think of it, there haven't been too many protest songs about the war in Iraq, ...
Of course the one that pops to mind is Sprinsteen's "Devils & Dust"

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#1690773 - 04/04/06 06:47 AM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Eric Iverson Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 5247
Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
I just want to get the feeling that the songwriter actually CARES about something!

Whether they would get heard on pop radio or not of course is problematic, but hey, there are OTHER venues!

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#1690774 - 04/04/06 09:05 AM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Kramer Ferrington III. Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 9412
Loc: Wellington, NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by Eric Iverson:
I just want to get the feeling that the songwriter actually CARES about something!
Precisely.
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#1690775 - 04/04/06 11:41 AM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Sunbreak Music Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:
Quote:
Originally posted by Eric Iverson:
Come to think of it, there haven't been too many protest songs about the war in Iraq,
Well, if they were FOR the war, I wouldn't buy them.

Case in point. Would you buy a magazine that was obviously one-sided in it's support of the war? Probably not. There certainly ARE artists who do, but has GP sought them out as readily as those who don't?

Professionalism dictates that one not use a trade magazine (which is what GP should be) to espouse the editor's own viewpoints. It doesn't make business sense to alienate a large portion of your client base.

That's what I'm talking about--no one suggested censorship, and folks would be well-served to actually understand the definition before jumping to conclusions or attempting to steer the discussion along those lines.

Music as a form of protest? It's just so.....Sixties......... ;\)
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#1690776 - 04/24/06 08:02 AM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Eric Iverson Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 5247
Loc: Jackson Heights, NY
Not so much "music as a form of protest" as "music as a form of expression"... of many aspects of life, including, but not limited to, politics.

But I have to agree that things have changed a GREAT deal since the '60s. For better AND for worse!

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#1690777 - 04/25/06 01:51 PM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
Gruupi Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 2145
Loc: Dallas
Wow, if the article jumping has been remedied then kudos. I guess I haven't checked it recently. I am a few issues behind in my reading. I apologize for complaining about something that has been fixed \:\) . I do know that in the last few years that there was alot of jumping and it made it really hard to follow a good article. Again, thanks for changing this small but important (to me) aspect of the magazine.
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#1690778 - 04/28/06 11:33 AM Re: A kind word for Mike Molenda
sharkfin73 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 6


the day when a feature was really that long and detailed that it jumped 3 or 4 times. Yep, Yep, Yep....those were the good ol days.

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