Fab Five Fridays 2232 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (at West Grand), Oakland 2232MLK.com
Faced with the demise of the Oakland Box -- once a hub for youth poetry slams, hip-hop concerts, and community art shows -- underground heads can dry their tears and rest assured that hot, affordable shows are still happening on the fringes of downtown. They've just moved south to Oaklandish, or west to the Noodle Factory, Black Dot Cafe, and the newly christened 2232 MLK. Run by promoter Andrew Jones -- who subleases the place with Starlight Janitorial Supply -- 2232 is a nondescript warehouse crouching on the outer lip of the town's main arts district. The club's interior is spartan and ghetto chic, checkered with diner-style tables and decorated with wild-style cartoons by aerosol artists Steel and Borg 1. Jones cut his teeth throwing weekly Jazz 'n' Juice shows with the Khalil Shaheed Quartet, which he later supplanted with Fab Five Fridays -- all-ages, five-dollar hip-hop shows featuring some of the top headliners in Oakland. Championing underground spirit over paper returns, Jones showcases hot acts such as Planet Asia, Pep Love, and P.E.A.C.E. for a ticket price that wouldn't even get you a gin and juice at most other clubs -- let alone a foot in the door.