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Poll Position

Ruminations on polls.

By Margaret Moser, 2:16PM, Mon. Mar. 24, 2008

Lamberts,onward through the barbecue fog
Lamberts,onward through the barbecue fog
photo by Sandy Carson

In the odious task of tallying votes for the Chronicle's annual Music Poll, the Best New Club category kept my attention throughout the process. Lamberts won well, though Patsy’s Cowgirl Café came in strong behind them. The rest – with healthy voting campaigns from Qua and Pangaea fans – were an odd combination of refurbishes, high-dollar joints, and Sixth Street area addresses.

It was an interesting combination of venues because of the absence of a large club opening last year; in the previous poll, Mohawk creamed competition that included the heavily voted Emo’s Lounge, Red 7, Beauty Bar, the Belmont, the Oaks, and Continental Club Gallery in the Top 10. All of those clubs have since emerged as strong live music venues but in terms of voting numbers in the poll, couldn’t compete with Mohawk’s huge turnout.

In the absence of a huge vote-getter for this year’s poll, Lamberts emerged as the popular choice, and it was a victory not only for the club but the thoughtful choice of bands that booker/partner Will Bridges chooses. The club’s acoustically sound room upstairs from the barbecue restaurant offers a subdued setting that can be as unobtrusive as it is romantic.

That Patsy’s came close behind with an equally strong showing is also a measure of Austin’s love for good sit-down rooms. Its combination restaurant/venue approach is reminiscent of the beloved Jovita’s, which makes sense since Brad Reed moved from there to Patsy’s.

Gorgeous acoustics abound in the newly reopened north Threadgill’s. There, a section of the old stage has been retrofitted into the new, much larger one located at the north end of the building. The club room expanded across the length of the front of the restaurant, so deftly done it looks new only if you remember the old setup. Which I do, of course, but that brings up a whole different issue that my boyfriend likes to call my “rocking chair club.” Do I resemble that remark?

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