Now that Rolling Stone plays to a million-seat corporate arena, Spin is not too far behind, and Blender just doesn't seem to be popping off the newsstands, there is room for Filter. The music magazine embodies the earnest, anti-hipster attitude of the generation of new indie rockers. The tag line is "good music will prevail." This attitude, however, is not the grunge attitude of the 90s, in which the musicians were anti-commercial and self-consciously anti-style. This new generation is self-consciously about the details of style, and working the powers that be.

The magazine publishers even have their own creative group focused on developing grassroots marketing campaigns for major companies like Universal, Virgin Records, MTV and Urban Outfitters.

My favorite thing about Filter is the headline type: that retro '70s script that makes words like super and rainbow look so good. But the writing in the magazine, while raw and visual, is almost impossible to digest, and the article font is just too small to read comfortably (note: I have 20/20 vision).

Good music writing demands simple and bold language, and most of the articles are too full of derivative references. For example, a profile of the band Sons and Daughters in the front-of-the-book section called "Getting to Know" says: "The outcome of their exertions, The Repulsion Box, is one part Smog, a jigger of Pogues, a shot of Lou Reed and a splash of Johnny Cash." There is also no editor's letter, but since the point of view is not defined up front by an authority, the book feel undirected and thrown together. Even the interviews -- one with the director and lead actor of the film "Everything is Illuminated," and one with "Thumbsucker" director Mike Mills -- are all over the place, and therefore read like they are about nothing.

The CD reviews are scored simply, by percentages, in that great script headline font -- but here again the writing is atrocious. The new Nada Surf CD gets an 80% and this comment: "The verdict: ain't no sophomore slump, but ain't no coach's son favoritism neither." Huh? Ultimately, the magazine's editors do have a point of view, and it's clearly sitting on the cutting edge of rock music culture. They like bands like The New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene, and Death Cab for Cutie, but they might want to take some lessons from the old guys at Spin and Rolling Stone when it comes to editing a rock music magazine.

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