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Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends of West Texas Music
by Christopher Oglesby
Published by the University of Texas Press:
"As a whole, the interviews create a portrait not only of Lubbock's musicians and artists, but also of the musical community that has sustained them, including venues such as the legendary Cotton Club and the original Stubb's Barbecue. This kaleidoscopic portrait of the West Texas music scene gets to the heart of what it takes to create art in an isolated, often inhospitable environment. As Oglesby says, "Necessity is the mother of creation. Lubbock needed beauty, poetry, humor, and it needed to get up and shake its communal ass a bit or go mad from loneliness and boredom; so Lubbock created the amazing likes of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Terry Allen, and Joe Ely."

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"Indeed, Oglesby's introduction of more than two dozen musicians who called Lubbock home should be required reading not only for music fans, but for Lubbock residents and anyone thinking about moving here. On these pages, music becomes a part of Lubbock's living history."
- William Kerns, Lubbock Avalanche Journal

Daily Toreador's music critic offers her picks for Lubbock's 10 best live music venues
by Chelsea Roe, contributing writer - October 16, 2008
Chelsea Roe is a contributing writer for virtualubbock.com. She lives in Lubbock where she writes about music. This article originally appeared in the Texas Tech University Daily Toreador.

Recently I have noticed a decline in the number of students venturing out to the bars at night and noticed there are too many people missing too many good shows. It hit me shortly thereafter: Maybe the people here just don't know where to go anymore. That is why I am now offering a list of my Top 10 favorite live music venues.

No. 1: Lone Star Oyster Bar (3040 34th St.)
Also known as the "O-bar," this little dive joint by far makes the top of my list. Since the moment I turned 21 years old, it has been my favorite place in Lubbock. The thing that makes the O-bar such a great place to go listen to live music is its stellar reputation for bringing in the most talented musicians in Lubbock to play four and sometimes five nights a week. Not to mention the drinks are cheap, the atmosphere is relaxed and it's a place where everybody knows your name - Lubbock's own Cheers if you will.

No. 2: Bash Riprock's 2 (620 19th St.)
Bash's 2 may not always be the most happening bar in town, but it is definitely one of the best venues for live music in Lubbock. I rank it second simply because the sound in that place is great. The way it has the stage set up, coupled by solid sound setups makes music here extremely pleasing to the ear. Formerly a Stubb's Barbecue joint several years ago, that stage has been graced by a number of famous musicians, including Monte Montgomery I saw play about three years ago.

No. 3: BarPM (1211 University Ave.)
Lets be honest, Bar PM does not have an incredible stage or even a remotely good sound but it is this far up on my list for two reasons: The first being that the owners Mike and Paige have built a good rapport with musicians. The second reason BarPM is ranked third is for the sheer number of students it draws to hear music. Located across University Avenue near campus, it's got a great location, so it targets that crowd. Also, BarPM patrons rarely seem to receive its performers negatively. In fact, they seem to love them.

No. 4: The Buddy Holly Center (1801 Ave. G)
This one may seem like it's out of place, but I actually debated ranking it higher on my list. Every summer the Buddy Holly Center offers all citizens of Lubbock a free summer showcase series in its courtyard. The bands it hires are always good. It's atmosphere is always positive. It serves drinks, and there is an art exhibit featuring some of the musicians from Lubbock. It's nice to have something interesting to look at while you're listening to good music.

No. 5: Texas Café & Bar (3604 50th St.)
Also know as "The Spoon" to those who have been in Lubbock long enough, one cannot deny this establishment's appeal. It has at one time or another been home to some of the most noteworthy musicians to come out of this town, but it also has hosted a slew of others. Proof? Just check out the pictures on the wall. You might be in awe. The Spoon also offers an open-mic night on Sundays, which is usually a pretty good time.

No. 6: The Blue Light (1806 Buddy Holly Ave.)
The Blue Light makes the list because it has its own sound system, which means its bands do not have to worry about lugging one around when they perform there. The stage is elevated, making it more enjoyable to watch. I've seen some of my more favorite shows throughout the years on that stage.

No. 7: Rocky LaRue's (2420 Broadway Ave.)
Located across from campus smack in the middle of Broadway Avenue, owners of this bar could not ask for a better location. Since they moved tables around on the floor there has been a lot more room for both dancing and standing. The owner's of this establishment have also built a good rapport with the musicians they hire.

No. 8: Bash Riprock's (2419 Main St.)
Much like its other location, Bash's has for a long time been known to host some killer shows, plus they have pool tables, which I personally love.

No. 9: Jakes Sports Café (5025 50th St.)
Technically, Jakes has not been reopened long enough to warrant its ranking with the other music venues. The place is simply the most entertaining if you want to jam-out. Shows at Jakes have a reputation for getting crazy. The sound system Jake's provides its bands is extremely convenient, and there's more room to pack people into than anywhere else in Lubbock. Jakes should probably be in the top three, so we will see if it can make the climb back toward the top in coming months.

No. 10: Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen (3703 19th St.)
Jazz made it onto the list because I love to go and watch little shows. Jazz's small setting provides an intimacy that you cannot get at larger venues. It also has a reputation for hiring quality performers.

So, now that you have a list of the noteworthy music venues in this town, I hope there will be no more excuses for the lack of faces I've noticed at shows. Granted I know that it is only my opinion, and many may not agree, but perhaps you now have a place to start.


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