Tegan and Sara at Minnesota Zoo (Apple Valley, MN)

This show was a different kind of experience for me. Most of the shows I've been to have been in "clubs" and this one...was in...THE ZOO. I will get into the ranting after the actual review of Tegan and Sara's set ...IN THE ZOO...

Tegan & Sara - They performed a good selection of songs, even including a mix of their "old Calgary sound." By old Calgary sound I refer to a time when they merely played acoustic songs (busker-ish) and were celebrated on Much Music's older version of "Going Coastal" (Much West?...I can't remember, it's been a while). I never cared for them, but I did celebrate the point that they made their home in Calgary (Calgarians: often hated by other cities in Canada for acting in a superior nature when comparing themselves to the rest of Canada). Back to the subject, I enjoy their music now and appreciate their further introduction of an "alternative" to the typical 4 (straight) man band.
Unlike their "supporting act" the stage banter that accompanied almost every song was witty and served as an actual introduction to the following song. To paraphrase: "I'm proud to be like our mom, a socialist humanitarian social worker, but one of us had to be like our dad. Sara, is uncomfortable with discussing her feelings, leaves me, ...(I forget)." (It was funny at the time, trust me...I was there)

As I mentioned before I don't have a long history of being a fan of the band, with that being said I was happy to hear a god mixture of the songs I'm familiar with from their latest release "So Jealous."

(Please stop reading if you've come for the review of the set, though it wasn't much of a review...what I'm really concerned with is, how you say...ah yes...THE RANT)
I have tried to get used to the fact that I'm #1 - not cool #2 - not young enough to fit in with the young hipsters #3 - not old to fit in with the 30 somethings who are still "on the edge...for their age." Waiting for the gate to open before the show I felt an unbearable emotion, almost a sickening bitterness with a hint of shame. I was surrounded everywhere by emo. Emo-yuppies with their weekend faux hawks. Emo-kiddies with their sh__ty $40 haircuts and Green Day buttons on their wish-it-was-a-thrift-store bag/purses. Emo here, emo there emo, emo everywhere. Just for kicks, watch this video.

During the slow walk behind his posse to the gate I overheard him talking about how (exact quote) "Davey Havoc needs to update his look." Normally, I wouldn't think twice. I was, however wearing my AFI shirt which I purchased almost three years ago. My emotions at this point in time? Well, I don't know. Here's this douche bag who's the indie equivalent to gutter punk talking smack about someone who he only knows of through MTV and Alternative Press. Either he was as ingn'nt as he was a douche bag, or he was making a weak personal attack, on me.

Next.

There was this dude...security guard. He had this gut that was absolutely brilliant. Normal guts, have fat. Lots of fat. Hanging droopy "sweet crap I've let myself go" fat. This gut did not. It went straight out, straight down, and back to the body. No hanging fat, no fat at all. One large rock of a gut. Imagine if you put a keg in your shirt. Now, instead of "you" imagine a bald 50 year old security guard. Nice.

Communiqùe. No no no, this isn't some fruity frenchie bisque. This is a band. They are bad. This is my opinion, and the opinion of the audience. THE audience, who was 1. not expecting to see them play, and were already pissed that the show started a half hour late...then more sitting through their mediocre rock crrrrrr(roll the tongue)rrrrrrrrrrap. Boring. But...

Their rhythm guitarist had his own world, he lived in it all alone, and in his world no one walked anywhere. Nor did they stand still. They thrashed and white-boy-James-Brown-ed everywhere they went. Imagine a spastic guitarist (similar to the lead singer from the Mars Volta, but on crack...and white) and imagine him sucking. He was a fine vocalist (back-up) and a fine guitar player. But he sucked. To you sir, tone the act down. I can only imagine what he was thinking:

"Oh man, I'm rockin' their lily white faces off. Can you feel this heat Apple Valley, Minnesota (lay some Sebastian Bach-ish type DAP on that last shout out)...or wherever we are. I should be on broadway with this kind of s__t. Ouch, step back, huh, got touch myself. Hey Minnesota, can you see your face in the mirror? S__t no son, cause I rocked it offffffff!!!" I've lost my damn mind. But the last clear thought I had...Communiqùe funkin blows.

DO NOT BUY SPIN MAGAZINE (aka ALL GOOD LISTS GO TO HEAVEN)


I must clarify that I was very happy, surprised even, when a "letter to the editor" I had written for a class was published in the magazine (January?). This commentary voiced my opinion (the right one, of course) that Thurston Moore was deserving of much more credit than he was given in SPINs annual "Cool Issue"....the title they gave my letter was "Kool Thing" if I remember correctly. Get it, it was in reference to the "Cool Issue" and it references Sonic Youth's song "Kool Thing." I joke, but in all reality, I could not have done any better.

Feeling quite well about the magazine, I thought that it would be a good note to end my subscription on (one that I had purchased at the low, LOW price of pennies an issue a few years ago). To my surprise I received the July issue...in July...months after I had received my last issue. "100 Greatest Albums 1985-NOW" graced the cover accompanied by my hero Bono along with Dr. "remember the album Dr. Dre presents The Aftermath, cause you'd be the only one" Dre and Beck (note that I will not make fun of Beck...he's got street cred and in doing so I would then drop even further into the realm of X-TREME street cred-lis...ness.

The top 20 of the list
1 Radiohead - OK Computer
2 Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back
3 Nirvana - Nevermind
4 Pavement - Slanted And Enchanted
5 The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
6 Pixies - Surfer Rosa
7 De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising
8 Prince - Sign O' The Times
9 PJ Harvey - Rid Of Me
10 NWA - Straight Outta Compton
11 U2 - Achtung Baby
12 Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
13 Husker Du - New Day Rising
14 Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
15 Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
16 Beck - Mellow Gold
17 Nas - Illmatic
18 Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
19 Hole - Live Through This
20 Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang

I was aware of the list before I received the magazine, but merely skimmed the list after seeing the expected albums at the top (Radiohead, Public Enemy, etc.). But the magazine...OK, it pisses me off to be honest. How can Pearl Jam's "Ten" (ranked 93) be considered a lesser album to that of most of the list? Let's take a look at history and see what we can find, shall we?

Taken from SPIN's list of the top 90 albums of the 90's

1. Nevermind - Nirvana (DGC, 1991)
2. Fear Of A Black Planet - Public Enemy (Def Jam, 1990)
3. To Bring You My Love - PJ Harvey (Island, 1995)
4. Odelay - Beck (DGC, 1996)
5. Slanted And Enchanted - Pavement (Matador, 1992)
6. Live Through This - Hole (DGC, 1994)
7. Post - Bjork (Elektra, 1995)
8. The Chronic - Dr. Dre (Death Row/Interscope, 1992)
9. OK Computer - Radiohead (Capitol, 1997)
10. Dig Your Own Hole - The Chemical Brothers (Astralwerks, 1997)
11. The Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails (Nothing/Interscope, 1994)
12. Check Your Head - Beastie Boys (Grand Royal/Capitol, 1992)
13. Exile In Guyville - Liz Phair (Matador, 1993)
14. Maxinquaye - Tricky (Island, 1995)
15. Endtroducing... - DJ Shadow (Mo' Wax/FFRR, 1996)
16. Loveless - My Bloody Valentine (Sire, 1991)
17. The Score - Fugees (Columbia, 1996)
18. In Utero - Nirvana (DGC, 1993)
19. Achtung Baby - U2 (Island, 1991)
20. Play - Moby (V2, 1999)

Five years later, "OK Computer" has somehow become a far better album. It moved from #9 to #1. OK, I understand that different writers, critics and music "buff"s are responsible for these lists, but there's such a difference between what they've written in the past compared with the present. Not only that, but SPIN apparently had a WTF was I thinking moment when they made the 90's list because they've now come to the consensus that "Odelay" isn't quite as good as it was...dropping it 12 spots. Many people feel that DJ Shadow's "Entroducing" is an amazing album (and I am actually one of those people) and should be included in any list where it meets the requirements. But #69 on the new list when just five years ago you put it at #15...that's bunk, straight up, to the max BUNK!

Green Day's "Dookie" was listed at #42 on SPINs list of the most essential punk records of all time, probably about where it belongs. By changing the context of the list does it belong at #44 of the list of the GREATEST ALBUMS from the era?

I've read various other criticisms of this list, suggesting that De La Soul shouldn't have been considered for the list, let alone the multiple albums of theirs which were included. Yes, they are there to represent a faction of the hip hop community which took a different approach to their art without becoming completely cause driven. But...OK, how about A Tribe Called Quest who's "The Low End Theory" was ranked at #38 while Soul's "3 Feet High and Rising" is on the list at #7. And to go further with that criticism, Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid in Full" makes the list at #47 while it is considered by many (not myself) to be a hip hop masterpiece. MTV (the true final word on all music-related lists, right?) recently named it the greatest hip hop album of all time.

I love metal...in fact (for lack of a better term) I love all things rock. Acoustic, indie, punk, metal, garage, low-fi, hi-fi, no-fi and all things in between.
Slayer...#67 on the list
Metallica...#58
Rage Against the Machine (arguably not even their best album...Battle of LA) #53

I think that with every other fan base they disrespected (alterna-cats, hip hoppers, etc...I've really got to think of better names than that...I'll worry about that later) they hurt the metal fans too. Slayer really changed some things with "Reign in Blood," and Metallica set some standards with "Master of Puppets" but are they the best representation of the best metal albums. UK metal magazine Kerrang thought (in 2003) that Faith No More's "Angel Dust", Tool's "Aenima" and Alice in Chains's "Dirt" were all more influential than Slayer's "Reign in Blood". Not saying that those are even metal METAL albums, but it questions the point.

I think that Rage Against the Machine's first album is a classic of the era because it melted the lines between rap and rock to a greater extreme than the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Beastie Boys. My opinion. But that's what all of this is, an opinion. It is the opinion of TEAM SPIN. A magazine which, up until last week, I thought was something of the past for me. Something I could think about as a stepping stone to the opinions and thoughts I now have. Something I wasn't planning on revisiting. But I did, and in my opinion...the magazine isn't worth your money or your time.


(As a sidenote as to the other things that irritate me about the magazine, Chuck Klosterman wrote in the most recent issue: "Mitch Hedberg - The funniest comedian of the past 20 years, dead at age 37 (for no g___amn reason). And Jimmy Fallon will probably live to be 110.)"

Why yes, he probably will. The money and fame he gained through a variety of media appearances put him in a position to milk Hollywood for what it's worth and put him in movies and make sure he keeps getting money. The same money that will allow him to live a full and healthy life. It would be wrong for SPIN to have anything to do with that when the magazine's opinion of him (even jokingly) is so negative...wouldn't it?