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Baltimore Arts

Frank Klein

Best Rock Club (Readers Poll): The Ottobar

Best Rock Club

Golden West cafe

1105 W. 36th St., (41) 889-8891,

There’s no chipped black paint, mottled and torn old Melvins and Big Black posters, or overflowing toilets at the Golden West. There’s not even a stage you could really dive from. You’re more likely to find a couple noshing on garlic fries at the back bar, a vanload of band gear in the restaurant waiting area, or a crew of hands hurriedly clearing the dining room of tables. Yet the Golden West, thanks in large part to booker-about-town Adam Savage, has come to dominate the sorts of shows that would normally be at a “rock club,” whether that’s this or that indie-wave band, buzzy black-metal brutality, or the garage band du jour. The Golden West is probably always going to feel a little ad hoc for a metal show, but, on the other hand, a clean bathroom and a bar that’s yet to discover the rock-club booze markup is kinda huge.

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