City Pages:

The A-List

Minneapolis, MN

It was kind of fun writing these byte-size blurbs about upcoming events. I did this for a number of papers, but these are a few of my favorites, written for City Pages. As my former roommate at the time, Michaelangelo Matos, once said about writing A-List blurbs, “One hundred and fifty words is like sneezing!

City Pages
January 6, 1999

Edwin McCain [Thursday 1/7; First Avenue]
According to Edwin McCain, the story of an everyday guy trying to cope with the ups and downs of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle is a saga that remains untold. (Hmmm …try telling that to Jackson Browne, or even Grant Lee Buffalo for that matter.) Scrapping the urban grittiness of his critically lauded 1995 acoustic debut, Honor Among Thieves, for the lavishly produced and rather underwhelming country / R&B flavor of his 1998 release, Misguided Roses, McCain seems willing to stake his reputation on the loyalty of his earlier fans. And they won’t be disappointed when he pulls out his hit “I’ll Be.” Jeffrey Gaines opens.

City Pages
January 13, 1999

Black Sabbath / Pantera [Sunday 1/17; Target Center]
Alternately the most revered and reviled metal band of all time, the Birmingham, U.K., outfit isn’t necessarily back – they never went away in the first place. Nearly three decades and numerous lineup changes later, Black Sabbath’s setlist reads like a blueprint for countless bands that have unsuccessfully tried to follow in their footsteps. 1998’s Reunion is the band’s latest bid in re-establishing their reputation as the reigning dark lords of heavy metal once and for all. Speed-metal openers Pantera have their work cut out for them on this tour: Despite the impressive following they’ve garnered since 1982, die hard metal fans can be some of the most unforgiving audiences around. Incubus opens.

City Pages
January 20, 1999

Nation Of Fear [Wednesday 1/20; Foxfire Coffee Lounge]
It might be argued that Marilyn Manson has provided a better take on the glam scene than Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine. Manson’s former bassist and cohort Brian Tutunick (aka Olivia Newton Bundy) has apparently picked up the torch from Nine Inch Nails with his current outfit, Nation Of Fear. Their second release, Everything Beautiful Rusts, is a call to arms for the kids of the shock rock persuasion, a stylistic mesh of street-level anthems and sociopolitical dogma. Mixing up genres like a game of musical chairs, Mr. Bundy abandons the bass and takes the mic front and center, flanked by turntables and keyboards, and enough hard-hitting industrial ambience to keep Ministry fans in the flock.

© J. Free / City Pages; 2001; 2022

Bits & Pieces I’ve managed to salvage which appeared in City Pages:

The A-List Frank Black: Catholic Boy Catholic Boy – Take 2 MogwaiWicketran