Volume 91, Issue 30

Wednesday, October 22, 1997

Suzuki side kick


Another roadside attraction

By Jamie Lynn
Gazette Staff

Going on a vacation? Well, rock 'n' roll fan, are you ready? Pack up the car, add some gas and fold up those maps, because it's time to embark on the ultimate rock 'n' roll road trip. That's right! You're on your way to the good old U.S. of A. and you're gonna visit the cities, see the sites and go to the hippest spots. Now, if only you knew where to go and what to do?

For all those interested in such grandiose cross-country adventures, SPIN magazine has published SPIN Underground USA. This pop culture guide to entertainment travel is an extremely thorough and extraordinarily helpful guide for any young person planning on visiting a new city for the first time. While the Candian Automobile Association may offer a few of their corporate entertainment suggestions in their travel planners, most kids under the age of 50, who still have a functioning pulse, will find the SPIN guide an indispensable asset.

With one quick glance, the book's usefulness will be immediately apparent. The introduction describes visiting a city as "always more fun when you have insider information on where to see bands, eat and hang out. It's the next best thing to having a friend in town." SPIN delivers on this promise!

The book is clearly useful for individuals visiting big cities like New York and Los Angeles. It provides some general directions, along with pertinant information on the best transportation, bars, clubs, restaurants, coffee houses, record shops, books, body alterations, clothes, radio stations, hotels and so on. Each of these headings are further divided into sub-categories like "best meat-packing district experimental club" or "best post-club, 24-hour Greek diner" or "best mock-croc vinyl miniskirts." Detailed descriptions are also provided for each of these sub-divisions. When in such a giant metropolis, it is surprising how helpful these type of suggestions can be.

Nonetheless, it is the smaller cities which can be equally enticing. That's why when you're in Athens, Georgia, you can eat at the Michael Stipe-owned restaurant, Guaranteed or when visiting Columbus, Ohio be sure to stop at BW3 where one can get a huge quaff of cold suds for a $1.75. Also, If you are ever at 2200 Second Ave. in Seattle, SPIN recommends you walk on in because you'll be at the Crocodile Cafe. Aside from its Wednesday night acid jazz party and the fact that it is one of America's best rock clubs – Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and members of R.E.M. have been known to pop in for intimate and unannounced gigs.

The book's only drawback is that the American editors did not include any of our fine Canadian cities. Perhaps one of our top publications will come to the plate in the near future and provide a similar guide for Canadians.

While some may criticize the very opinion-based manner in which this information is presented, SPIN makes no apologies, as this is precisely the point. The editors, through the aid of local writers, musicians and critics, have compiled a wide-ranging guide which rather valiantly tries to encompass the broad-reaching interests of American youth culture. Whether its gay disco in D.C. or polka lounges in Minneapolis, SPIN's underground USA, provides detailed and interesting information on it all.

So hit the road next holiday. SPIN will make sure you don't miss a beat!

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997