Best of Boston

2009 Best Music Venue, Small

T.T. the Bear’s Place

Somewhere between a band’s first roadie and their first rider, they play T.T.’s, a beer-soaked cranny in Central Square now in its third decade. For about 10 bucks a night, the club gets music geek nation on its feet with both established and rising acts from the East Coast (the Damnwells), the West Coast (the Thermals), and beyond (Denmark’s Efterklang), along with local favorites like the Motion Sick and Faces on Film. Although it’s true that Allston’s Great Scott is increasingly booking tomorrow’s Middle East and Paradise headliners today, for that pure ear-pounding, sweat-drenched, punch-drunk rock-club experience, the Bear remains the one to beat.

10 Brookline St., Cambridge, 617-492-0082,