Best music venue with a capacity under 30 (2008)

Rockwood Music Hall

The folks who opened Rockwood Music Hall have booked many great acts over the past year. Too great, at times: If you're not among the first dozen to arrive, you won't be sitting, and if you're not among the second dozen, you won't be standing without squeezing and bending to dodge waitstaff and the crowd every minute or so. "Music hall" implies a venue considerably more cavernous than this ATM-sized boîte; they claim a capacity of 74, but realistically it's about half that, unless patrons are perched on each other's shoulders. Still, the shows are free, the wine selection is several notches above most East Village club offerings, and it's well worth the pinch to catch Rockwood's smart spotlights of local talent: Jazzy popsters Nadine Goellner and Heath Brandon, balladeers like Alice Smith and Jodelle, and such manics and experimentalists as Guyora Kats and Brazz Tree.

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