"As an indie artist I stay up on my monthly music magazines. Occasionally, there are stories and interviews in them that I know I would've been perfect for. Is there a way to know what magazines are going to cover before they hit the news stand?"
Ab-so-freaking-lutely! All organized media outlets have Editorial and Production calendars that provide a list of the major stories their publication will cover that year, by month and the publication's "Issue", "Copy" and "Sale" aka newsstand dates.
I know all this stuff sounds like it may be "top secret" [laughing] but, you'd be surprised what useful info's on your favorite media websites; besides the latest gossip.
98% of magazines have this information available online under the section labeled Media Kit and for those very few that don't should be able to provide you with the same info via email or good old fashion "snail mail" upon request.
Anyways, once you've located or received this information, contact the publication to find out who's the editor and/or journalist covering the piece that peaks your interest. Once you know who to contact it's very important to find out their personal deadlines and submission guidelines, especially due to the fact many big stories and interviews are worked on or completed as much as three months before the posted dates on the Editorial and Production calendars. You don't want to miss your window. So contact the right people a.s.a.p.!
[Side bar: It may also be a good idea to do your due diligence on the journalist] This extra step will familiarize you with their writing style and personality.
Normally, most editors and journalists encourage the creative input of those who take the time to contact them with valid, useful and entertaining information. So good luck and remember there are never any guarantees, but there's always the possibility of making great connections.
Do you have something you'd like to know? I'm here every week answering your questions. Send me an email: contactsaidarie[@]gmail.com and follow me on twitter at: www.twitter.com/leirapr_ceo