Once known as a haven for math-rock and emo-core aficionados, the Rocket Bar now boasts a more inclusive booking policy, one that welcomes '60s jangle-pop, eccentric post-punk and all manner of other alt-rock subgenres. With a healthy mix of national touring bands and high-quality local acts, the Rocket Bar beats out other strong candidates on the basis of its consistent, imaginative booking and its generally excellent sound. We adore the high tin ceiling, painted -- like the remarkably clean, comfortable and spacious ladies' bathroom -- a rocking black. We also dig the stage, which is tiny and high, forcing all those onstage to crowd together in comic (and decidedly un-rock-star-like) clumps and compelling the audience to crane its collective neck to watch them as they stand so awkwardly above us (no room for strutting, of course). And what could be more rock than the fact that it's open until 3 a.m.? The Rocket Bar is the place rock fans go when the other clubs boot them out, the place where the beat don't stop until the break of dawn (or practically). Another fun fact: Local hero Bob Reuter name-checks the downtown hotspot in his great anthem "Last Call."