Dear Da-vid,

Since the time spent with you in Physics and in a power-outage struck library is not enough for our tenuous friendship, I figured I could continue our slightly disturbing conversation online, even though we’re sitting across the room from each other. Think of it as a message in a bottle, a letter in the tree, a little love note to you from me.

I’ve got to direct my undelivered valentines affections somewhere, you receive the glad tidings.

I did something brain-disturbing today, I sat down at a desk and flipped through the last five issues of Relevant. I was treated to a mildly interesting gushing interview with Ben Harper (who apparently might be the second coming of Jimi Hendrix and Jesus Christ), a deadly dull discussion about Christians and politics, a stretching rambling unintelligent thoughtpiece on Dylan, and more absolutely pointless reviews than I’ve ever seen compiled in one location.

The thing about Relevant is that I want to like it, I really, really do.

Once I get past the title and the content, the presentation of the magazine is actually quite excellent. It’s the same reason I always want to love Paste, no matter how crappy the content might be, I’m a sucker for aesthetically pleasing print publications. Relevant grabs interviews with people who could possibly have some interesting things to say, finds issues that could be interesting to examine. Unfortunately when it comes to the actual content and questioning, the melodramatic puff pieces can’t even keep my attention through the entire article.

The more I read, the more I get the feeling Relevant is saying, “Oh, look what semi-hip celebrity we got a pseudo-interview with,” and spends very little time focusing on the content of what those celebrities are saying.

Is the point of the magazine trying to show us the faith that each single celebrity or rock star might have, or is it to actually report on their life and encourage a good understanding of God and art?

Rather defining the cultural conversation, Relevant seems content to provide the PR spin on the semi-progressive area of society.

The magazine has the money and readership to be a powerful influence for good culture and art- but lacks any type of the will power necessary to create their own voice.

This is a boring note David, but I think my mind was stunted in the very short time I flipped through Relevant’s glossy pages.

Who cares what I think though? They are the one with the ridiculous readership and numerous lovely letters to the editor talking about how much the magazine has impacted their life, I felt like I was reading Chicken Soup for the Christian Hipster’s Soul.

We really aren’t cool David, I hope you realize it.
We’ll never be wealthy, we’ll never have a huge readership and we may never become a definitive voice for the changing world of media and art.

We may not put out material fast enough for people, but let’s never put out drivel that people will fall asleep over. Let’s accept the fact that I love music too much to write like a critic, and you don’t like sweating in the pit.

Just maybe though, when it’s all said and down, we’ll talk to a few rock stars, get a few free albums, see some great shows, and tell the world what we love about music (and off of that, what we hate about bad music).

It’s going to be a hell of a ride.



want a teaser trailer for the next month?


these interviews won’t put you to sleep.

About The Author

Nathan Martin

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