BEST ROCK CLUB - 2002
You know that a musician-frequented club is a good one. On any given night down in the Turf Club's Clown Lounge, one can find drummer JT Bates cracking a beer, Exercise's Preston Olson cracking a joke, or any number of riled-up local drummers looking as if they might want to crack some heads. In fact, you can gain so much from just people-watching in this place that you almost forget there's music to be heard. Yet drag yourself away from the bar and toward the stage, and you'll find some of the most promising local acts making their first performances. (Or some of the best national artists checking out the local acts, a fact that might be attested to by Clown Lounge visitor and Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst.) The gritty charm of the upstairs stage seems to attract performers who return happily and repeatedly to the venue--a roster that includes everyone from Alejandro Escovedo to Ike Reilly. And for those of you with more adventurous tastes, the Turf has four words for you: Tuesday-night taco bar.