It's true, we'll miss wandering the swamp-cooled aisles of this cavernous vinyl trove, which recently closed its 12th Street location after nearly 20 years. But we don't have to miss the Pair's impressive assortment of dirt-cheap albums and 45s because -- best-kept-secret alert! -- the owners haven't really shut down at all. Although little was made of it last spring when owners Roger and Elaine locked the doors on their fusty record warehouse, the duo is now located exclusively on the Web, offering undistinguished and downright hard-to-find records.

Another secret: The vinyl selection posted on the shop's cyber site is only a fraction of Prickly Pair's inventory. A quick e-mail to this site helped us find Sonny and Cher singing in French ("Je M'en Balance Car Je T'aime") and a copy of Bob Lind's debut disc that everyone told us we'd never see. The only thing we like more than scoring cool old vinyl in a cavernous old record shop is doing it from home in our underwear.

It's true, we'll miss wandering the swamp-cooled aisles of this cavernous vinyl trove, which recently closed its 12th Street location after nearly 20 years. But we don't have to miss the Pair's impressive assortment of dirt-cheap albums and 45s because -- best-kept-secret alert! -- the owners haven't really shut down at all. Although little was made of it last spring when owners Roger and Elaine locked the doors on their fusty record warehouse, the duo is now located exclusively on the Web, offering undistinguished and downright hard-to-find records.

Another secret: The vinyl selection posted on the shop's cyber site is only a fraction of Prickly Pair's inventory. A quick e-mail to this site helped us find Sonny and Cher singing in French ("Je M'en Balance Car Je T'aime") and a copy of Bob Lind's debut disc that everyone told us we'd never see. The only thing we like more than scoring cool old vinyl in a cavernous old record shop is doing it from home in our underwear.

If a tribute band is good, it'll get some props from the organism it's replicating. But in the case of TNT, the Valley's AC/DC tribute band, the line between Who Made Who is getting ever blurrier. First the band did a Rattlers halftime show at America West Arena -- a venue the real AC/DC played just a few weeks later. Then TNT played a pre-AC/DC concert show at Jackson's, which the band's road crew checked out. They were knocked out enough to invite TNT backstage to meet Angus and the boys. More recently, AC/DC has given the green light for TNT to record an unreleased song. For those about to rock in their own AC/DC tribute band, we rebuke you: TNT is already miles ahead of you down the highway to hell.
If a tribute band is good, it'll get some props from the organism it's replicating. But in the case of TNT, the Valley's AC/DC tribute band, the line between Who Made Who is getting ever blurrier. First the band did a Rattlers halftime show at America West Arena -- a venue the real AC/DC played just a few weeks later. Then TNT played a pre-AC/DC concert show at Jackson's, which the band's road crew checked out. They were knocked out enough to invite TNT backstage to meet Angus and the boys. More recently, AC/DC has given the green light for TNT to record an unreleased song. For those about to rock in their own AC/DC tribute band, we rebuke you: TNT is already miles ahead of you down the highway to hell.
According to a report in Rolling Stone (the one with 'N SYNC on the cover), the current generation has no use for radio. Of course not, after five bleeping years listening to bleeping baseball-cap-wearing mooks making the middle finger innocuous and turning modern rock into a format with no future.

Want a real alternative? Try to get your radio to hold the frequency between country station KNIX-FM and dance powerhouse KISS-FM at the same time and, voila! Alternative Alternative Radio. Here are two formats that really need each other. Country music used to be about adultery, drinking and outlaws; now every song sounds like it was written by a couple and their marriage counselor. Meanwhile, Top 40 dance music has the attitude and the rhythm but no songs with a narrative. Put the two together and suddenly Alan Jackson sounds like he's got a pulse cuz Jessica Simpson's mistaking him for a DJ. If you ever thought Lil' Kim needed fiddles or imagined a catfight between Madonna and the Dixie Chicks, this is your ticket.

According to a report in Rolling Stone (the one with 'N SYNC on the cover), the current generation has no use for radio. Of course not, after five bleeping years listening to bleeping baseball-cap-wearing mooks making the middle finger innocuous and turning modern rock into a format with no future.

Want a real alternative? Try to get your radio to hold the frequency between country station KNIX-FM and dance powerhouse KISS-FM at the same time and, voila! Alternative Alternative Radio. Here are two formats that really need each other. Country music used to be about adultery, drinking and outlaws; now every song sounds like it was written by a couple and their marriage counselor. Meanwhile, Top 40 dance music has the attitude and the rhythm but no songs with a narrative. Put the two together and suddenly Alan Jackson sounds like he's got a pulse cuz Jessica Simpson's mistaking him for a DJ. If you ever thought Lil' Kim needed fiddles or imagined a catfight between Madonna and the Dixie Chicks, this is your ticket.

Renamed once again over the course of the past year, this Tempe dance palace (formerly Pompeii, then Club Freedom at Pompeii) remains the premier location to shake dat ass. Regular bows from world-renowned turntablists ranging from LTJ Bukem to Paul Van Dyk, appearances by old-school legends like Afrika Bambaataa, and celebrity DJ sets from the likes of Boy George and Perry Farrell have let Freedom reign as the number one spot in town for urban entertainment. In addition, the club keeps its weekly calendar packed with the best in local talent and special events, and you'll always find an army of nubile bodies letting it all hang out in this two-story mecca of music and movement.

Renamed once again over the course of the past year, this Tempe dance palace (formerly Pompeii, then Club Freedom at Pompeii) remains the premier location to shake dat ass. Regular bows from world-renowned turntablists ranging from LTJ Bukem to Paul Van Dyk, appearances by old-school legends like Afrika Bambaataa, and celebrity DJ sets from the likes of Boy George and Perry Farrell have let Freedom reign as the number one spot in town for urban entertainment. In addition, the club keeps its weekly calendar packed with the best in local talent and special events, and you'll always find an army of nubile bodies letting it all hang out in this two-story mecca of music and movement.

We don't know who's behind the excellent jazz selection at these Valley superstores, but he or she is onto something. The Valley isn't exactly known as a jazz mecca, but to see the selection at Best Buy, you'd think that the late Thelonious Monk was in his prime. Best thing is, the stores aren't fixated on the "smooth" jazz pabulum that's infected the local airwaves for too many years. You want modernists Greg Osby, Don Byron, Joe Lovano, Regina Carter? You got 'em. You want oldsters Ellington, Fitzgerald, or Sun Ra? They're yours for the taking, and the prices are the best in town.

We don't know who's behind the excellent jazz selection at these Valley superstores, but he or she is onto something. The Valley isn't exactly known as a jazz mecca, but to see the selection at Best Buy, you'd think that the late Thelonious Monk was in his prime. Best thing is, the stores aren't fixated on the "smooth" jazz pabulum that's infected the local airwaves for too many years. You want modernists Greg Osby, Don Byron, Joe Lovano, Regina Carter? You got 'em. You want oldsters Ellington, Fitzgerald, or Sun Ra? They're yours for the taking, and the prices are the best in town.

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of