Edited by Julianne Shepherd

Cover art by Kathryn Rathke

The other day, my friend mentioned that his entire life is a quest for that perfect piece of music that will blow his mind. I found myself nodding, pensively, in hushed agreement. Yeah, I thought.


Immediately, we got into a fistfight.

The search for musical perfection is totally Quixotic, subjective and therefore unsolvable. That's why we were so jazzed by the idea for the Mercury music issue, like wayward moths jazzed by the fluorescence of the zapper: it hurts, and yet it's so fun!

So we all got together and talked about it. While Kimberly Chun brought up that karaoke is the ultimate in musical perfection (this page), Adam Gnade made a list of the top ten songs written about perfection (p.39). Roland Couture and Aaron Miles dove into an unofficial point-counterpoint RE: the lifelong debate over digital vs. analog (p.33, p.37). It was totally infuriating! Then Andy Wang was all, "No, this song on The O.C. is perfection," (p.31) and Joan Hiller was like, "EFF THAT! It's this dude from Talk Talk!" (pg. 39). And on and on and on, arguing into the night, until the walls of the Mercury offices, and the sole 1988 boombox we got at the Value Village, were bathed in blood.

Fortunately, despite some last-minute K.O.s--and the part where Adam furiously rammed his Tercel into Joan's bike, resulting in a temporary restraining order--everyone turned in their assignments. The unlikely result is Perfection: The Mercury's Spring Music Issue. It's total devotion to the musical sublime--anointed in nothing but brains and guts. JULIANNE SHEPHERD