247 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9001234.050143 -118.245302
Neighborhoods: Central LA, Downtown, Historic Core
Music served in authentic urban grit. Oh my! – If you are tired of claiming hard core and but no one believes you, try the Smell. A small unpretentious warehouse setting in Los Angeles' historic core serves a variety of indie & art bands that one would only "discover" on college radio. Very low cover, vegan snacks, drinks (no alcohol) and plenty of cool as it is "run" by non profit volunteers. Entrance is in the alley. Plenty of street and lot parking. The stage is in your face so if you mind stuffy, bring a battery operated fan!
A distinctly Downtown underground venue, serving up indie pop and local art rock every weekend. – In Short
Sharing the block with a ranchero bar and pool hall, the Smell is an anonymous building with a decidedly spartan interior. Essentially a non-profit, the club's cover rarely goes above five dollars, but for a warehouse in a terrible neighborhood, it manages to book some of the best indie bands on the scene. With attendance usually well below capacity, shows are always intimate. Audiences are rarely less than attentive, and with little separating the band from the crowd, the music is thoroughly accessible.
This place ain't for everybody – The Smell is aptly named. You can smell Skid Row and everyone pees on the side walk. It's basically just a place to see bands play - not a bar, not a club, more like a rundown house party. The crowd is mostly young punks and hipsters. I've seen moshing and crowd surfing. There's no A/C or ventilation, so it gets very hot and sweaty. You hang out in the alley to smoke, cool off, drink beer from your car. You will be bombarded by bums asking for money. There's no way around it in this part of town. It's a pretty fun place, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart.
vegan food, great bands, great price! – The Smell is unlike any other trendy venue/club in Los Angeles. It is the only D.I.Y. all ages venue around, with shows ranging from loud experimental punk to jazz. The cover is $5 bucks 99% of the time, which goes directly to the bands. There is an all vegan snack bar, with a vegan cook who makes affordable (everything is $2 or $3) food hot, to order, cold drinks, hot teas, and deserts. The showroom was recently remodeled with a brand new stage, new and better sound equipment, and a knocked down wall to expand the size of the show room. The venue is covered with miscellaneous art by various people, as it is an open art gallery as well. One has to also appreciate the character of The Smell, as it is in an alley of downtown by Skid Row and also next to a Mexican transvestite bar.
This is the gate to hell – I'm all for the dive bars. But I have my limits. This venue is in a horrible part of town. Which is skid row/"tent city". The streets are desolate, except for piles of trash and vagrants. And the venue is in an alleyway. In order to get to it, you have to pass another bar thats filled with I'll be kind and say "unique" individuals, and you'll have to step over many different forms of body fluid as well. Once inside the venue, its nothing more than a hollowed out, decripet old building. The only furniture is broken down chairs strewn against the walls. And even though its a large building, the bands perform in a small, enclosed room in the back. Which gets too crowded to even see the bands.
Smell the Magic – An all-ages venue that showcases offbeat genres such as noise, experimental and those political punk rockers. The owners are friendly, and the cover hovers around $5.
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