SPIN kicks off their five-night string of shows tonight at Terminal 5, each one promising to boast five hours of music — bringing the week’s total to 25 hours, get it? — by seminal acts of the last 25 years: Smashing Pumpkins tonight, Flaming Lips tomorrow, The Black Keys on Wednesday, The National on Thursday and Spiritualized performing Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space in its entirety (complete with choir and orchestra) at Radio City on Friday. Each show, bolstered by a solid round of supporting bands, will stream live over at Spin.com if you weren’t able to score tickets or are just over Terminal 5 once and for all.
It’s all to celebrate the magazine’s 25th year of publication, a big deal not only in the days of dwindling print media, but as to what SPIN has represented over the years. As the only major publication to cover college radio’s heyday in the 80s, to writing about hip-hop when most outlets were largely ignoring the genre, to being the only rock-oriented publication to appoint a female editor in chief with Sia Michel, they’ve stood as the anti-establishment (ignoring their brief infatuation with Fall Out Boy in 2005-2006) to industry bigwig Rolling Stone. As its relevancy is continuously tested in this day and age, it’s easy to forget that SPIN provided one of the only, if not the best, channels for “alternative” bands to reach the masses during the 80s and 90s. All sorts of retrospective coverage of the last two-plus-some decades can be found here.
The first SPIN magazine I ever bought had Green Day on the cover promoting Nimrod, a photo essay of Lollapalooza and a feature on Hole. I still have it. It’s what made me want to write about music.