My first exposure to Stylus was an article titled “I’m Trading In All Of My REM CDs,” a heartbreaking, tragic piece about completely reevaluating a long-term relationship with a band that happened to be one of my personal favourites. I may have vehemently disagreed with Clay Jarvis’ provocative historical revisionism, but on some level I understood it, and I wanted to read more.
In the five years since, Stylus has become one of my favourite destinations on the web for music journalism, second perhaps only to Pitchfork. It was a little more global in focus, a lot broader in language and scope, and generally more charmingly irreverent. The reviews were okay and all, but the articles were the real reason to keep checking back.
As its good run came to an end this week, Stylus posted a “Bluffer’s Guide” to their own website, but there are so many personal favourites worth mentioning: the non-definitive guides to the hidden track, the pop protest song, the B-side and more; the “I Love the 1990s” series, going through each year and revisiting the cultural cornerstones; the great “Playing God” series where classic or flawed albums are reworked and rearranged; one of the better analyses of the distinctly Canadian phenomenon known as the Tragically Hip; and a thought-provoking look at the change in music industry PR thanks to this Internet thing.
This past Wednesday was Stylus’ last day of operation, but all of their content is staying online, so I urge you to drop by and spend some browsing the archives to see what you missed and what I’ll be missing.