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Jupiter Sunrise performs at The Whole Music Club.

The Whole Music Club in Coffman Union has hosted everyone from Bonnie Raitt and Leo Kottke to the Replacements and The Dead Kennedys. Pictured here is Jupiter Sunrise.

Yeah, we rock

(And our academics are pretty good, too)

By Rick Moore

Published on August 31, 2005

To the good folks at Rolling Stone, this long-distance dedication goes out to you.

Most people who have their fingers on the pulse of higher education already know that the University of Minnesota is one of the top colleges in the country, and getting better by the day. We don't need no stinkin' rankings to bear that out.

But since we got 'em, we might as well spin 'em.

Turns out that the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, is ranked No. 9 by in the category of "Schools that Rock," culling from data in the book Schools that Rock: The Rolling Stone College Guide.

According to the article on, yes, prospective students should concern themselves with checking out a school's academics, student-faculty ratio, extracurriculars, etc., but "what good will those perks do you if there's not a good student-rock ratio? You don't want to arrive on campus and discover that there's nowhere in town for a music geek such as yourself to get your ya-ya's out."

We couldn't agree more.

Rolling Stone says Minneapolis/St. Paul is No. 9 in terms of accommodating your ya-ya's, just ahead of Portland, Oregon, and behind--believe it or not--cities like Detroit, Austin (Texas, that is), Nashville, and St. Louis. Seattle, apparently still riding some sort of post-grunge wave, is ranked No. 1.

Nowhere on the list is Cambridge, so take that, Harvard. And we don't see Madison on the top 10 list, either.

"Fortunately for you, the cities offer not only a great rock & roll scene--the same one that spawned Prince, the Replacements, and Soul Asylum--but also a strong music department within the university's College of Liberal Arts," notes the guide. It praises the school's myriad offerings, flexibility, and diverse performing groups. "Like some type of music-major dating service, the university's Web site boasts that, 'Regardless of your major, schedule, or ability level, there is an ensemble for you.'"

In addition to a quick guide to area music venues and record stores, there's also a shout-out to the U's Radio K (KUOM-770 AM), "...the only radio station in town that matters." "[Music journalist] Greil Marcus once noted that the University of Minnesota's broadcast bunker is 'the best college radio station imaginiable,'" the guide says, "and even the post-graduation set agrees with him."

For music geeks and college-bound students alike, these are all things to consider the next time you're evaluating colleges.