Perfect Sound Forever (magazine)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Perfect Sound Forever (est. 1995) is one of the longest-running online-only music magazines. Along with Michael Goldberg's Addicted to Noise (est. 1994), it is one of the very first publications to post recurring, feature-length music journalism online.

PSF's origins trace back to New York freelance writer Jason Gross, who began a now-defunct website called Furious Green Thoughts (from the famous Noam Chomsky quote). The site was first hosted by the pre-Earthlink ISP Pipeline, and included articles covering politics, music and fiction. In 1995, Furious Green Thoughts was splintered into three sections, with the main title covering political (usually far-left) stories, "Assorted Realities" covering fiction and "Perfect Sound Forever" covering music. Laboring as a staff of one, Gross eventually folded Furious Green Thoughts and Assorted Realities, simplifying the zine's name to Perfect Sound Forever by the mid-1990s. PSF also moved from monthly to bi-monthly publication, with approximately 14 articles in each issue.

Apart from occasional review columns (notably Outsight, written by Tom Shulte, and Digitaljukejointbox), the 'zine concentrates on in-depth op-ed pieces and interviews, usually of obscure, often reclusive artists. Its design is a dark background with white lettering, which some readers have complained is difficult to wade through. However, a 2004 redesign prompted many calls for reversion to the original code.

Other than Outsight, PSF's longest running column is Marc Phillips' "The Vinyl Anachronist" (which began in 1998). The site's most popular article remains The Bad Songs of the '70's, which was written in 1995 and still generates hate-mail.

Several of PSF's articles have led to reissues of the artists involved, including:

Former Pitchfork editor Chris Ott briefly worked as co-editor, and put together a redesign of Perfect Sound Forever that ran in late 2004 and early 2005. Current editors include founder Jason Gross, Robin Cook, Ken Cox, Al Spicer and Kurt Wildermuth. Gross also contributes an annual report on the state of music criticism to

The name "Perfect Sound Forever" originated in an early 1980s Sony ad campaign about the first generation of CDs, promising the highest fidelity possible, and that the discs would outlive their owners. The same term would be later used as the title of a Pavement EP.

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