Best Metal Scene
6355 Rolling Road, West Springfield, Va., (703) 569-5940
2nd Best: Guitar Center Around the Holidays
Various locations; Maryland and Virginia
The best metal scene around here can be found at Jaxx, the Springfield club owned and operated by rock ’n’ roll hero Jay Nedry. Hang out there long enough and you’ll realize that bands you’ve never heard of rock harder and have more fun than bands you have. But the second-best metal scene comes at your local Guitar Center on any Saturday or Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s when single parents who’ve caved to their teenagers go shopping at these music superstores. The parent stands around while Junior or Juniorette, usually in a black Misfits T-shirt and accompanied by a significant other in equally dirtball-ish garb, pulls a pointy ax from the wall and gets to shredding. Year after year, the Guitar Center holiday scene is a gift that keeps on giving—and despite the lack of technical skills, a lot of the kids’ licks are decipherable. I asked a guy behind the counter at the Falls Church store what the current crop of newbies play when they plug in. He pointed to the Three S’s of rock ‘n’ roll riffs: “Sweet Child of Mine,” “Smoke on the Water,” and, of course, “Stairway…” Long live rock.