Q Fanatic BBQ

Q Fanatic is my new go-to restaurant whenever I’m in the area. Located in Champlin, Minnesota, the place is tucked away in a little strip mall just off Highway 169.

Words, photos nor video can do justice to the most charming thing about the place: The moment you walk through the door of Q Fanatic, you’re hit with a wall of smokey, St. Louis barbecue aroma. The ribs are wonderful, of course, but try the sandwiches, too. My favorite thus far is the rib tip sandwich with Espresso BBQ sauce.

Though I love this place, some of the sides have kept it from being a 100% positive experience. My mashed potatoes for one meal tasted just…weird. They only tasted normal after I brought the leftovers home, threw some garlic and sour cream on them and reheated. Also, I’ve tasted bland, uninspired coleslaw before, but I’ve never had slaw that was too vinegary. Until now, that is.

Nevertheless, Q Fanatic is well worth a visit…and return visits.

Jim Thome, Bottom Of The Ninth

Minnesota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome takes the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals on June 10, 2010 at Target Field, and strikes out.

Tribute Bands

I don’t get tribute bands. I don’t get them on any level whatsoever. On Saturday, I was compiling a “Perfect Albums” post on my Audiolicious.tv blog for Led Zeppelin’s first album, when I came across a Zeppelin tribute band, Led Zeppelin Story.

YouTube was lousy with this band’s videos. The casual observer might mistake the tribute band for the real thing were it not for the HD quality of their videos. Found at YouTube from AgatteR.

As you can see from the video, this band is a pitch perfect replica of the legendary band.

But why? Why would a musician spend all their hard-earned skill and talent emulating a band you’ll never surpass in talent? Why spend so much time and energy playing music for which you’ll receive only refracted recognition?

I love Led Zeppelin. They are one of my favorite bands, but as a musician, however much I admire their work, I’d much rather put what skill and talent I have to use on behalf of my own songs.

I can’t imagine spending a career as a musician doing covers only, especially covers of only one band. And there’s something very strange about adopting the identity of another band.

From a music-lover’s perspective, I guess I can understand the appeal of tribute bands to this extent: If you’ve never seen Led Zeppelin, tribute bands are likely to be the closest you’ll get.

But still, how satisfying is that pale imitation of the original. Am I missing something?

Joe Mauer Flies Out To Right Field

Minnesota Twins starting catcher Joe Mauer flies out to right field against Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Bruce Chen in the bottom of the third inning during a home game on June 10, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Bruce Chen Strikes Out Joe Mauer

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Bruce Chen strikes out Minnesota Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer on three pitches at Target Field on June 10, 2010.

Minnesota Twins slugger Justin Morneau is on deck.