Despite disillusioning developments in Jerry Brown’s live-work plan, there are still lots of warehouse venues in Oakland and around the East Bay. It’s quite simple — get a bunch of open-minded types together in a warehouse living space, and eventually they’ll realize their common area could probably host a bigger crowd on occasion. But, despite unique decor and friendly hosts, most live-work venues — like, say, the intimate and azurely appointed Fish Bowl — have sporadic and unpredictable schedules. They’re fine for a surprisingly good time, but if what you’re looking for is a more consistently good one, then you’d best seek out 40th Street. The revolving residents of the warehouse regularly open their home to underground culture lovers, offering art shows, local and national bands, frisky circuses, and much, much more. This ain’t no Studio 54 (at least there haven’t been any giant coke spoons descending from the ceiling on days we’ve been there), but the entertainment is relentlessly intriguing (not to mention dirt-cheap) and the vibe is usually festive as all get-out. So, if you don’t mind dogs roaming around your feet and keeping your own business off the street, then you really should start looking for the place.
Readers’ Pick for Best Live Music Venue: Yoshi’s