If you're looking for music on the Internet, you won't find a more comprehensive, exhaustive or downright addictive place to start than the "Web Wide World of Music." A wonderful master resource, the page has three main components. The Ultimate Band List includes links to more than a thousand music-oriented web pages, from the hopelessly obscure punk band down the street to Luciano Pavarotti to Pearl Jam. Similarly, the Ultimate E-Zine List is an invaluable resource for finding electronic fanzines and magazines on the Web. And if you just want to waste a few hours in cyberspace, the Ultimate Chat List can help you find a sympathetic ear to dish about any subject you can imagine, including the Smashing Pumpkins and rave culture.
Speaking of Pearl Jam, the "Official, Unofficial Pearl Jam Home Page" is a gorgeous example of what an average fan can do with a little imagination and some html know-how. Besides looking great (especially when viewed using Netscape 1.1), the site includes album info, lyrics, a photo gallery, guitar tablatures and an online chat feature in which Pearl Jam fanatics can meet up with others who share their obsessions.
For something a little more cutting edge, check out "Rocktropolis," which is nothing less than an interactive cyberspace theme park. The introductory map unveils a futuristic cityscape of alleyways and billboards. Click on the Newsstand and you can read about the latest indiscretions of your favorite pop stars. Enter the El Dorado Cafe and vote for your favorite indie group in a four-way battle of the bands. There's enough here to keep you glued to your PC for hours, even if you do have to sidestep the occasional product plug or commercial along the way .
This story is from the May 16th, 1996 issue of Rolling Stone.