My old friend Conor McNicholas, editor over at NME, is embarking on an innovative spin on the covermount. In conjunction with Oasis and Arts Council of England NME are giving away a CD that contains sheet music and lyrics of some songs from Oasisí forthcoming album. One of the underlying ideas is to get fans to upload their own interpretations of the songs before having heard them. Itís a cool way of engaging with fans, taking Radioheadís Nude remix into the Ďreal intrumentsí realm.
It also illustrates Conorís ongoing efforts to pull NME into the 21st century. Some critical observers have pointed to the declining print readership and to the more mainstream focus of the content. But such criticism ignores the facts that:
a) declining print readership is an industry wide trend, felt particularly keenly in the music press
b) NME used to be mainstream. Flicking through my dadís old 1960ís copies and itís all about Cliff Richard and the Beatles. Not exactly underground
c) NME is now becoming a multimedia entity (web, TV, live events etc), having the foresight to limit its dependency upon a dying medium