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BEST ROCK CLUB Minneapolis 2008 - Turf Club

Turf Club

Turf Club

1601 University Ave. W.

St. Paul, MN 55104


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St. Paul's Midway neighborhood can be a desolate place. There's something defeating about those chain stores and DMV outposts gazing imperiously on Snelling and University from their bituminous moats. But nestled here in this wasted economic hub is St. Paul's crown jewel of live music, glowering in the rough like a guerrilla sniper. With a capacity of over 250, inviting booths pushed far enough back from the stage to accommodate a crush of crazed concert-goers, and a staff of world-wise music lovers to separate you from your money, the Turf Club makes for the most inviting space to lose your keys and cell phone within three area codes. For the concertgoer, the Turf provides a stage tall enough to ensure enthralling sight lines from any spot in the crowd. It also happens to be a preferred spot for musicians local and national (the keen-eyed will spot several local music heavyweights working the doors and bars), with an obliging sound staff always willing to accommodate the most absurd whims of the performers. With shows rarely costing more than $5 and an endless roster of big-name touring acts, the Turf Club provides the perfect way to stimulate Midway's flagging economy while giving Spruce Tree Centre a drunk, sweaty middle finger.

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Quite right.

It has changed a bit since Tom Scanlon bought it, but it is still the go-to place for great music in St Paul. I loved the SPMC, and wish it was still urging us to get with it. Several years ago, Ralph Stanley--yes, THE Ralph Stanley-- gigged here for pennies. It was like a movie.

Now that the smoking ban has happened, I go there a lot more often. I love the Tamale Lady. 4 for $5!


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