In one of the greatest feats of gimmicky magazine bullshit I’ve seen in a very long time, the editors of Time Out New York invited the Jonas Brothers to serve as honorary Music Editors of their July 9th issue. It sounds like a terrible idea, of course, but considering there was exactly zero chance I wouldn’t read it, I guess it was the opposite of a bad idea.
The music section opens with a four-page spread, with photos of the band sitting in the magazine offices looking really serious. It’s nice, I guess, but also sad—like it never occurred to them that this might be something of a gag. Writer Sophie Harris gets them talking about music—about criticism, how they hear new things, what they like, and ultimately what they’d be assigning in the issue.
And it turns out they seem like pretty decent kids. They don’t know much, of course, and they say lots of stupid things, but they’ve got a healthy curiosity about lots of different types of music, if not the musical vocabulary to speak about them with any real insight.
We learn that Joe thinks its unfair for a writer who loves underground hip-hop to review a Jonas Brothers record. We also learn that he likes Phoenix. We learn that a bum note on Tapestry made Nick wary of Pro-Tools. And that Kevin is at least passingly familiar with the world outside his private jet, when he asks, “What’s the up-and-rising neighborhood in Brooklyn? Umm, Williamsburg?” It’s the kind of thing that would ordinarily induce heavy eye-rolling, but coming from a Jones Brother, it far surpasses expectations.
They go on to assign coverage of Wilco (obviously), Matisyahu (oh boy), Stellastarr (whatever), the Beastie Boys (sure, yeah), the Rolling Stones (who?) and Hannah Montana, which I guess is a joke.
Best part, though? In the beginning of the piece, there’s a quote from Kevin:
“I think the important thing, especially in New York, is you always wanna know who’s playing, what’s happening in your area.”
Er, Kevin? Remember that ring you’re wearing? I don’t think anyone is playing in your area.