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1. Notsuoh

If there’s one venue that defines the Houston music scene, it's Notsuoh. It’s as erratic as the scene itself. Located towards the end of Main Street in Downtown Houston (right next to the Light Rail), Notsuoh is home to some of the most energetic and innovative shows in the city.

The venue was created from a converted thrift store and the architecture is as captivating as the shows themselves. Local art — usually grotesque — lines the walls, a standing suit of armor greets you as you walk in the door, and manikins stare safely from the upper corners of the room. It’s not uncommon to see a few locals playing chess on the board set up next to the stage.

Notsuoh is Houston's equivalent to New York City's legendary CBGB — albeit minus big name acts. There’s not a bad spot in the house, either; the band is always visible and easy to hear no matter where you’re standing. The venue is meant to hold under 100 people, but will jam in 120 depending on the demand. In short, Notsuoh is one of the quintessential indie venues in Houston. As an added bonus, they also have an analog tape recording studio upstairs, where they broadcast local radio shows and record bands.

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