Uncle Kracker. Blues Traveler. Papa Grows Funk. The VonBondies. Not playing some arena in west Broward, but right here in the Culture Room, an ode-to-black storefront bar in a nondescript strip center that has the drawing power of much grander venues. Bands stop here after playing New York, Washington or Boston.
Think of it as a rougher, rawer twin of Lake Worth's Bamboo Room. And like the 'boo, it has expanded its core genre of live acts, in this case tossing in a little relief in the form of the Jazz Mandolin Project, which plays Oct. 8. (Uncle Kracker plays tonight at 8, with Two-Story Double Wide opening. Saturday.)
The 5-year-old Culture Room hasn't abandoned its roots, outlasting such rivals as the Chili Pepper as a showcase of local acts. Either way, the large, multilevel room, recently redone and lightened up a bit, now offers a bit more standing room. National acts have the place to themselves, while the room showcases up to five local bands.
Service is good once you make your way to the bar, where bottled beers are typically $5 or less. Customers tend to be younger than 35, and many seem to know each other already. Although when most bands are in full swing, forget about conversation, except outside.
In addition to an attractive bar, there's an outdoor patio and cozy plush seating.
Multiple colored spotlights beaming onto the high, sweeping stage pierce the darkness.
The Culture Room is one of Broward's pearls.
Tonight: Celebrate the start of Velvet Fridays at the Roasted Pepper, 9893 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines (954-450-8800). Dance on the newly installed dance floor, check out the 10 p.m. to midnight happy hour and enjoy the new band.
Saturday: Enjoy the intimate surroundings, cozy atmosphere and rustic design of Three's Company, 242 E. Dania Beach Blvd. (954-921-4970). A band plays dance music geared to a 35-plus age audience.
Sunday: Catch entertainer Walt Rooney's early-evening performance on the outside patio at Crabby Jack's, 1015 S. Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach (954-429-3770). Stick around for the 10 p.m. Brazilian dance party.
Monday: Listen to Bahama Bob perform from 6-10 p.m. at Fisherman's Wharf, 222 E. Pompano Beach Blvd. (954-941-5522). Fisherman's has a large indoor bar, plenty of dining room space and an outdoor bar area. Get there early to watch the sun set.
Wednesday: Help welcome Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale (954-727-0950) to the scene. Find a reggae party at the club's outside amphitheater and a garage band party inside the club, both showcasing live music and DJs. The tropically designed facility is open from 10 p.m.-5 a.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Thursday: Arrive at 7 p.m. and stay for both the 7:30 and 9 p.m. flamenco dance shows at Paella Seafood Grill, 12389 Pembroke Road, Pembroke Pines (954-885-7566).
Staff writer Jeremy Lang can be reached at email@example.com or 954-356-2338. Joan Brazer Durante, a freelance writer based in Plantation, writes the nightlife news portion of this column. Please fax news concerning local entertainment events and performers to 954-835-2347, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Joan Brazer Durante, Entertainment Department, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293.