Best All-Ages Venue - 2012
Earnest rock stars, cynical politicians, self-absorbed athletes and maudlin telethon hosts alike often claim that they're doing it "for the kids," but the kids usually are much better off when they do it themselves. Case in point: Kota Wade, who didn't want to wait until she was old enough to drink to see bands play live, so she opened her own club, AmplyFi. Granted, the precociously talented, then-19-year-old rock singer had some help from her mom and dad (who pitched in mainly by selling tickets and running the sound board, respectively) last year when she made over her Melrose Avenue rehearsal room into a legitimate, live-music venue. It looks like a pop art '60s crash pad, decorated with lava lamps, gold records, mirrors and illuminated mannequins. Since AmplyFi is all ages, the club can't serve alcohol, but Wade makes up for it by booking an impressive variety of tunefully intelligent, rising new bands, most of whom have been overlooked by the other indie-rock clubs in town. It's easy to miss AmplyFi's barely marked entrance — a nondescript green door in the alley behind Astroburger — but the intimate room (with a capacity of 70 people) is worth the search. 5600 block of Melrose Avenue, Hlywd. amplyfi.com.