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On the music charts, Details magazine rates Baltimore at the top


So, you're in the mood to party to some slammin'-jammin' sounds or maybe you and your sweetie would rather buy some oldies music then chill at home.

Where to go party? Where to look for records? What's a Baltimorean to do?

Don't fret, hon! According to Details magazine, Baltimore is a happening place when it comes to music.

Its annual music issue -- which hit the newsstands Tuesday -- listed the "in" radio stations, record stores and clubs in major U.S. cities.

"We've cultivated local networks of writers, club goers and musicians and then we polled them," explained James Truman, editor of the New York-based magazine that caters to "stylish" young men.

Everything from hip-hop to techno-house to rave music is done well in this town, according to the poll. For those of you -- and you know who you are -- who don't have the foggiest idea of what any of that music sounds like, there's a record store that specializes in oldies on the list.

Top Cat Record and Novelty Shop, 2001 W. Pratt St., is described as "heaven for retrophiles" and "best place to cadge a 7" of the Ohio Players' "Love Rollercoaster."

Vernon Gardner, owner of Top Cat, was not surprised, to put it mildly, to hear he had made the list. "The hot record store locally?" he asked. "I'm the hot record store in the universe!"

Besides Mr. Gardner's store, here are the other happening places on the list and what the pollsters said about them:

Record stores:

* Metro Stereo, 203 Metro Plaza. "The house for house. In-store DJs play rave music on Friday nights."

* Modern Music, 241 W. Read St., "Baltimore's best selection of industrial and techno."


* Odells, 21 E. North Ave. "For b-boys on the Bronco/gold rope tip. You'll know if you belong."

* Orpheus, 1001 E. Pratt St. "Underground dance music ranging from techno-house to grunge to reggae."

* Paradox, 1310 Russell St. Hip-hop music on Fridays for "a chaotic weekend crowd."

Radio stations:

* WEAA, 88.9 FM. "Saturdays from 8 p.m. to midnight, D.J. Pope throws down a slamming mix of house, reggae, and dance hall."

* WXYV, 102.7 FM. ". . . plays some of the best hip-hop around."

* WERQ, 92.3 FM. "HI-NRG for step aerobicists."

Doesn't matter if you've never heard of Details, making the list is still an honor, said Bill Hooper, the general manager of WERQ radio station. "I'm old and square. I haven't heard of them," Mr. Hooper admitted. "But this is great news!"

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