Home > Uncategorized > An Open Letter to Spin (from 2005)

An Open Letter to Spin (from 2005)

Note: This post is actually from a few years ago, and I’m only posting it now because a) I’ve started reading one of his books, for research purposes, and b) I’m illustrating some reasons I hate him for someone else. While my hatred for him is now tempered by my realization that he’s got to be doing something right, I still think he’s a pompous dick. You can disregard this if you want; it’s only here for posterity’s sake.

I’ve finally had enough of Chuck’s half-assed, only-doing-this-because-I-get-paid, better-give-’em-the-hick-schtick-they-love garbage that passes as journalism and music criticism. Out of every piece of his writing I’ve ever read, only his U2 feature was any good, and that was mainly due to Bono’s charisma. I can’t last more than 3-5 pages in his books, and his monthly columns and features are boring, insipid, and uninspired.

My complaints with Chuck are numerous, the first beginning way back in ’97, when he was still writing for the Fargo Forum. In the same week, Metallica’s Reload and Led Zeppelin’s BBC Sessions were released, and Chuck gave them both RANCID reviews. Now, I don’t claim to be a “professional music critic”, but there’s nuggets of damn good writing on Reload, and I have yet to hear a single person complain about the Zep album. Aside from Chuck, that is. An interesting side note: during Metallica’s “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You” Christmas radio show, they called a fan in Minnesota who happened to have a copy of Mr. Klosterman’s review, which he read to the band. James Hetfield then declared, “Well, looks like we’re never playing Fargo again.” And, until the summer of 2004, that was true. I blame Chuck for the 7 year absence of Metallica from Fargo.

Then, there was last month’s horrible feature on the Styx/Journey/REO Speedwagon cruise. One question: who the fuck cares? So what if a bunch of superfans want to take a cruise with their favorite bands as the entertainment, and pay through the nose for said cruise? People paid just as much for select tickets on Alabama’s last tour, Super Bowl tickets get scalped for as much or more. Just because it’s Styx, Journey, and REO? What’s the big deal?

And now Klosterman’s newest “Rant and Roll Over” article: “The Trying Game: Working at being cool is never cool.”

Hey, Chuck, Mr. Hipocracy’s on the phone. I don’t think I’ve read anyone that’s tried as hard to be cool as you do. Except, maybe, the bands you cover in your magazine. The Killers, the Strokes, Interpol, Maroon 5, Jet, how many cookie-cutter piece of shit bands do you people suck up to to sell magazines? For that matter, how long is it before the statute of limitations runs out on the bands you cover, so you can make fun of them? Example: Jimmy Eat World. Just a few months ago, your magazine was heralding the coming of the J.E.W. album, and now you’re telling me they try too hard? How? By touring their asses off and respecting their fans? Flickerstick tries too hard? How? Because they were on a TV show? Have you seen them live? Flickerstick live was one of the best concert experiences of my life, and I’ve seen Tool, Eric Clapton, Weezer, Type O Negative, Metallica, and many others. Oh, because of the way they dress? What about Jack White’s pretentious-as-hell black/white/red scheme? Or the whole screamo scene? Or the whole “The ______” scene, with their smoking jackets and “ironic” British fashion?

And as far as your 50 Cent interview: can you get any more cliche? “Do you worry about getting shot?” Hell, your first (that’s FIRST) question is about being famous for being shot nine times. How about you play into the cliche a little more? What did you ask him that Rolling Stone probably hasn’t already published?

Get bent, Chuck Klosterman. Take a look at yourself, take a look at your own magazine. Get off your high horse, stop with the act, and WRITE. I know you can, it’s quite apparent in your U2 piece. You have a huge amount of talent, but you waste it on articles that don’t mean shit and and opinions that are so out of line with reality they can’t be honest. Do you really expect me to believe you listen to Death Angel? You write for SPIN. SPIN! You can’t fool me, Mr. Klosterman. I live in Fargo. I was born in Grand Forks, and raised in Glyndon, MN. Everyone else may think your enlightened hick angle is great copy, but it SUCKS. I know what it’s like growing up in a tiny town in Fuckoff, Nowhere. And it’s nothing like what you purport it to be. You give the entire state of North Dakota, hell, the Midwest as a whole, a bad name. Either start writing better, or get a new job, because you suck at the one you have.

“You feel like the under-appreciated scholars, so you shit on the ones that know less than you.”
“No…”
“Which is everyone.”
“Yeah…”
~ High Fidelity

sent to Spin on 3-22-05

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