This is wholesome in its own way, but it ain't your mama's church basement. The rec room of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Berkeley, nicknamed the Ramp, has in recent month hosted indie-rock superstars gone solo (Rob Crow), various Tigerbeat6 luminaries (Sagan, Wobbly), a Portland indie-rock invasion (Six Foot Sloth and the Spooky Dance Band), Hella's math-rock to the nth degree, Anticon's Why?, Dear Nora's self-conscious folk, and a smattering of art-punk weirdness (Deerhoof, Danielson and the Nine-Fruit Tree). The Ramp is bigger than your average basement and, though it doesn't sell booze, it does offer soft drinks, amazing chocolate-chip cookies, and a few other goodies. And it's not just family-friendly -- it's a family affair. Justin Lewis has been booking shows there since December of last year, and his wife, Deanna, runs sound and provides baked goods. Plus, where else but in a church basement could a life-size Mighty Morphin Power Ranger and a vintage Duran Duran poster stay so blissfully unstolen? Coming soon: the advantage (members of Hella and ENT doing instrumental covers of 8-bit Nintendo games), Damien Jurado, Tussle, Crime in Choir, and art showings during music events.
Readers' Pick for Best All-Ages Venue: 924 Gilman
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