Best Underground Venue for Music or Arts

Strange Matter

Readers' Pick

929 W. Grace St.
447-4763
strangematterrva.com

Second Place: The Camel

Third Place: Gallery5

"Nice place you got here," singer Kurt Vile said before he launched into a song during a March appearance at Strange Matter — formerly Nanci Raygun, formerly Twisters. Really? A nice place? This nondescript room with the narrow bar passage, still sweating and rattling from 30 years of punk-rock shows, littered with vintage video games, stray amplifiers and PBR-drinking hipsters? Yeah, really. Every town should have a Strange Matter — a vibrant indie-rock club run by people with imagination and great taste (they make good burgers too). So who cares if the bathrooms have been nasty since 1984? Second place goes to the Camel, one of the friendliest rooms in town, which also brings in a stellar mixture of local and national acts. And in third is the always formidable Gallery5, which brings in a wide assortment of music and arts attractions.

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