Truth in advertising

The Rough Guide to Music USA, a new book by former Option editor Ritchie Unterberger, purports to be "a tour through the most important and interesting varieties of American popular music." And it is, sort of. We just don't understand how Unterberger's musical trek from sea to shining sea could have bypassed the Dallas-Fort Worth-Denton corridor. Hey, we may bitch about the quality of local music from time to time, but that doesn't mean there isn't more than enough of it here to stand up to any other city in the country. Dallas has a past and a present that deserve attention. Unfortunately, The Rough Guide looks elsewhere, proving just how rough it is.

Sure, Stevie Ray Vaughan gets his usual due, and Ronnie Dawson gets a nice paragraph or so. But other than a cursory mention of The Old 97's, Dallas gets the shaft for the most part, which wouldn't be so bad if Unterberger didn't spend page after page slobbering over Austin and Lubbock and even San Antonio. While the book basically reprints the Austin Chronicle's club listings, not one local club made the grade. Same for radio stations (well, Unterberger's probably got a point there), record stores, and every other category of musical interest listed in the pages of The Rough Guide. Of course, we're not too worried about it. It's hard to take anyone seriously who still goes by the name Ritchie.

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