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Uptown Nightclub (1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-451-8100, UptownNightclub.com) is one of many punk-oriented venues in the East Bay, but it stands out by striking a nice balance between out-of-towners and local mainstays and featuring acts that cover a wide spectrum from emo-prog to lesbian thrash, psychobilly to Afro-boho jazz-funk, and classic punk to indie folk.
Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero West, Oakland, 510-238-9200, Yoshis.com) jazz room is a jazz lover's — and jazz musician's — dream, specially built to enhance the listening and performing experience.
Clubs & Musical Venues — San Francisco
Amoeba Music (1855 Haight St., San Francisco, 415-831-1200, Amoeba.com) hosts live bands several times a week, usually prior to their performance at some big club in the city, which makes it a great opportunity to see your favorite band for free if you can't afford a regular ticket, and in a much more intimate environment.
The Boom Boom Room (1601 Fillmore St., San Francisco, 415-673-8000, BoomBoomBlues.com) was once a sultry, steamy place for locals to get down to some of the country's best blues acts; today, the club still hosts a range of blues, boogie, and soul bands, but it's got a little less roots and little more funk and jam-band.
Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th St., San Francisco, 415-621-4455, BottomoftheHill.com) is where fans of noise-rock, post-rock, punk-pop, and everything in between cram the beer-sticky checkerboard floor all the way to the pool table and spill out onto the back patio for standing-room-only smoking and serious tattoo watching.
Cafe du Nord (2170 Market St., San Francisco, 415-861-5016, CafeduNord.com), with its deep-red interior, Victorian-era styling, and large, carved wood bar, is one of the more classy and sophisticated places in San Francisco to see some of the best local and national alt-country, folk, indie rock, and singer-songwriter acts.
Club Six (60 Sixth St., San Francisco, 415-863-1221, ClubSix1.com) is a two-tiered industrial warehouse that's home to famously bombastic DJ parties such as "Reggae Gold SF," the hot dancehall night with Daddy Rolo every fourth Saturday of the month, and "Solid," a regular Thursday-night reggae and dancehall extravaganza.
DNA Lounge (375 11th St., San Francisco, 415-626-1409, DNALounge.com) is a two-tiered club that has a futuristic feel, a full bar, large stage and lounge areas, and often stays open after hours for DJ events — including hip-hop, house, dancehall, industrial, and breakbeats — on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Great American Music Hall (859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco, 415-885-0750, GAMH.com) is one of the best midsize venues in the City, boasting a huge oak dance floor with ample space for two hundred and drawing mostly national touring acts in diverse genres.
Hemlock Tavern (1131 Polk St., San Francisco, 415-923-0923, HemlockTavern.com) is the best place to hear the latest flying-under-the-radar indie acts.
Hotel Utah (500 4th St., San Francisco, 415-546-6300, TheHotelUtahSaloon.com) is the place to grab a bar stool, order a pint and a monster burger and fries, and hear a variety of folk and rock bands while absorbing some of San Francisco's lively history.
The Independent (628 Divisadero St., San Francisco, 415-771-1421, IndependentSF.com) stands out for its welcoming vibe and the variety of music booked — usually big-name acts in the worlds of reggae, funk, blues, DJs, hip-hop, and the indie-rock circuit.
Mezzanine (444 Jessie St., San Francisco, 415-625-8880, MezzanineSF.com) features hip-hop and DJ showcases (including local and international acts), video screenings, laser shows, and multimedia installations by artists associated with Blasthaus Gallery.
Slim's (333 11th St., San Francisco, 415-255-0333, Slims-SF.com) features rock, metal, jazz, blues, R&B, and reggae most nights of the week, and is one of the few all-ages venues in the city.
Yoshi's San Francisco (1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco, 415-655-5600, Yoshis.com) offers the same high caliber of talent in the genre of jazz as the Oakland original, but the state-of-the-art venue also books R&B, soul, and world-music acts.