Best Rock Band
In an era of ultra-emotive, ultra-earnest indie rock, and in a town with a history pocked by nostalgia and legacy, what does it really mean to "rock" these days? Is it irreverence? Balls? An astute ability to break shit? Lodged somewhere between the grittiness of the punk bands of yore and the showiness of some of our flashiest pop acts lies Hastings 3000, a one-man-fuck-all-band and the namesake of '60s garage-rock revivalist Joe Hastings, whose other band, the Sex Rays, could just as well occupy this space. But what really sets Hastings 3000 apart from other Twin Cities rock bands is the way he has devoted himself completely to the project, developing an image (an all-white suit, plus his trademark gas mask), rehearsing an intricate stage show (complete with white spotlights and dramatic entrances and exits), and catching a plane to win over fans in Japan. The antics could fall flat or seem foolish in the wrong hands, but Hastings has the guitar chops to back up the gimmick, and it's allowed him to blossom into a serious—and seriously promising—showman.