Photo by Jeanne RiceJ.R. GRIFFIN, EDITOR, MEAN STREET MAGAZINE
> Macster. "I'm a Macintosh guy, so how jealous was I when I heard about the PC-only Napster program that people can use to search for, trade and download MP3s? Macster (www.macster.com) is the Mac version of the same thing and has saved my life. I've already wasted hours online with it, discovering tons of live versions and demos of my favorite songs, unique collaborations and other strange musical odds and ends. It's great. The last thing major labels and bands should be doing is suing Napster. Instead, they should be working with companies like these so the artists can be fairly compensated and fans can still have access to this great music database."
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> LINCS (Local Independent Network of CD Stores). "LINCS is a coalition of nine independent record stores in Southern California (Fingerprints in Long Beach; Aron's in Los Angeles; Benway Music in Venice; Bionic Records in Cypress, Huntington Beach and Fullerton; Sounds Like in Riverside; Rhino Records in Claremont; and Salzer's Music in Ventura). They've come together to have a better say and more buying power with record labels and various advertising avenues. It's a bunch of backroom record-industry stuff, but basically LINCS allows these cool indie stores to grow and not be undercut or, worse yet, run out of business by lame and faceless record-store chains."
> Chain Reaction in Anaheim. "Tim and his crew at Chain Reaction host not only one of the best clubs in OC, but also one of the best clubs in Southern California. The atmosphere is cool and friendly, the ticket prices are cheap, and the bands that play there usually amaze me. I don't get there as much as I would like, but if I could, I'd move in and sleep on that couch in the back."
> Mean Street. "Is it lame to put this? Whatever. Mean Street is what I'm working on or thinking about every second of every day (and sometimes in my sleep). We're coming up on our 11th anniversary, and it's continuing to grow and diversify (so don't complain if we don't cover all of your favorite bands). The staff is fun, and I think they do a great job. Our small troupe works very hard to make the magazine fair, fun and informative. Besides, it's free."
> Travis covering the song ". . . Baby One More Time." "This Scottish band has just put out one of my favorite albums of the year, The Man Who. On tour, they often play a cover of this Britney Spears hit. They always preface it by saying they think it's a good song and that her version is just incorrectly produced. Their version is passionate and joyful (and actually good). You can find it on a couple of import single B-sides, or you can do what I did—download it using Macster."