Saturday, August 23, 2014


This week's Billboard featured their list of the 25 hottest clubs (their words, not mine) in North America.

Let's just dive in and take a look at their list....

I've got three words to, type.

What a crock!

First off, the fact that several clubs in Los Angeles are not on this list seems criminal to me (The Troubadour, The Whiskey a Go Go, The Roxy).

But even before we go there...House Of Blues makes this list twelve times. And the franchised Fillmore (the original deserves to be here) is on here four times.

So sixteen of the "hottest" clubs are chains?

I left a comment on Arlee Bird's Tossing It Out blog that I will paraphrase here-if the best of anything in your opinion is a chain, you probably need to get out more. 

And if the best of anything in your city is a chain, you probably need to move.

Reading Billboard's small print, their list is based on attendance.

So this is not about the hottest clubs at all, because attendance is more a function of what acts were booked there than the club itself.

Would anyone go to a House Of Blues to see an unknown band?

I doubt it.

In Phoenix, the clubs that need to be on such a list-The Cresecent Ballroom, The Marquee Theater, The Rhythm Room-are the clubs that feature the music that is the future.

Philadelphia is not represented at all. And San Diego's Croce's is not there (along with the rest of the Gaslamp District).

I would also point out that I find it hard to believe that New York and Chicago have only one club each on the list, while Columbus Ohio is on there.

Nothing against Columbus, but I find it hard to believe that anything in Columbus Ohio is better than Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago.

And the Columbus Ohio venue (which at least does not appear to be a chain) ranked above Stubbs Bar-B-Q in Austin, TX.

Anyone who has been to Stubbs would have to agree that it friggin' ROCKS!.

And if you haven't been there, go! Austin is one cool city. And Stubbs deserves to be at the top of this list-no House Of Blues that I have been to can touch it!

In fact, most of the clubs on Sixth Street in Austin are far hotter than any House Of Blues.

Come on, Billboard-get a clue!


  1. You ask the impossible of the uncaring...

  2. >>... And if the best of anything in your city is a chain, you probably need to move.

    That's probably true.

    And after about 16 years of living here (if it's fair to say that anyone actually "lives" here), the best Mexican restaurant I've found is Abuelo's ...a Mexican restaurant chain.

    And, in fact, I AM planning to move from here.

    (However, I should add that I really do like Abuelo's, and I consider myself fairly knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to Mexican food, which is my favorite kind.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. I should modify one thing-a chain I feel differently about.

      My favorite Mexican is La Parilla Suiza, which has three or four locations...

      But each year, the "Best Of Phoenix" names Olive Garden as the best Italian restaurant.

      With half of my heritage being Italian, that's just insulting.

    2. Hit "publish" too fast...

      Not sure I have ever tried Abuelo's...but I just looked and it's bigger than regional....

      So you're gonna hafta move.

  3. LC, you are SO-OOO RIGHT - I am gonna hafta move.

    But before I do, let me urge ya to give Abuelo's a try. I've been to La Parilla Suiza a number of times (the one at 35th Ave. and Peoria), and it's good... but I do like Abuelo's better. So, I recommend you give Abuelo's a try one o' dese days.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: The next time you're headed out to L.A. let me know and I'll tell ya how to get to my all-time favorite Mexican restaurant anywhere. In fact, it's my favorite restaurant of ANY kind - a true Los Angeles institution.

  4. I'm not and have never been much of a clubgoer so I can't comment much on the survey. It does sound a bit suspect though. And I guess "hotness" depends a lot on definition. I would call House of Blues more of a concert venue than a club.

    I do eat in chains a lot--including when I'm on the road. I've had some lousy eating experiences just popping in on some unknown place as well as some outstanding ones. Chains usually provide a certain amount of consistency in what I'm going to get and how I'm going to get it. My preference would be to go to a good unique establishment with great food and excellent service, but if I'm in a hurry then sometimes Wendy's or Denny's or the like is the answer for me.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Lee-my chain rant actually was inspired by a misunderstanding from your blog-I thought you were saying that burger chain was the best burger in America.

      You're right-local restaurants can be hit-or-miss, but with the internet, you can often find out a lot if you know you'll be in an area.

      Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives and Man Vs. Food have both given me great ideas for casual dining while on the road. There was also a show about the best hamburgers in America (that may have been the title).

      I agree with your take on HOB and this list-this is more about venues than clubs.

  5. There's nothing in Philadelphia either. The town that gave a lot of music is given up for Pittsburgh. Pfft. Whatever. Your right about chains. I like them because I know exactly what I'm going to get, but I try to avoid them regularly because I know exactly what I'm going to get.

    1. Samuel-

      After visiting the R&R Hall Of Fame, which does not mention Philadelphia (I suspect due to the fact that they were a rival location when the Hall was established), I am used to Philly getting dissed by the music community, even though there's no denying the contributions made by Gamble & Huff, Hall & Oates, a certain Todd character who gets mentioned on this blog...I could go on.

      There's nothing inherently wrong with a House Of Blues franchise.

      But there are so many clubs with rich history still operating, that I can't believe they are not represented....except the criteria really skews the result.