Like the bands that frequent them, new music venues are born and every day it seems. Great venues are able to deliver a sense of magic and meaning to musicians and the fans that watch them alike, but setting yourself apart as a music venue is almost as tough as creating meaningful music. Here’s a list of five great new American venues doing just that:
Zebulon–Los Angeles, California
Though it’s new, Los Angeles’ Zebulon is already a destination for everyone from eclectic DJs to famous comedians like Reggie Watts. Zebulon is rare in the fact that its food and cocktail selections are as impressive as its live show offerings, stage setup, and sound system. Like the best venues out there, Zebulon offers shows featuring artists we’ve all heard of as well as those we’ll probably all know of in the next couple of years.
Artists you’ll see at Zebulon:
Body/Head, Thurston Moore Group, Simone White
The Foundry–Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Starting a new venue is a hefty undertaking in any city, but starting something new in Philadelphia’s competitive and solidly established live music scene makes it especially difficult. But, with help from The Fillmore’s series of venues, The Foundry has already proven itself as a reliable place for solid show and booze offerings. Located on the upper level of the Fillmore, The Foundry specializes in showcasing great small and unknown acts from around the world.
Artists you’ll see at The Foundry:
Helado Negro, Tigers Jaw, The Mowgli’s
Lost Lake Lounge–Denver, Colorado
Lost Lake Lounge is evidence of Denver’s newfound popularity and national prominence. Operated by the same folks who run Larimer Lounge, one of Denver’s most reliable alternative music venues, Lost Lake Lounge is a sleek way to catch some of the best acts going through the Mile High City.
Artists you’ll see at Lost Lake Lounge:
Shamir, Avi Buffalo, Porches
The Ante Room–Charlottesville, Virginia
“An anteroom is a small room that leads into a larger, more stately room,” states the website for The Ante Room, a fantastic music venue and restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia. The name is fitting due to the fact that The Ante Room has quickly built its reputation by delivering audiences to new, profound auditory territories with its excellent indie and dance shows. Already a Charlottesville music staple, The Ante Room can credit its success due to its philosophy of showcasing new and overlooked artists.
Artists you’ll see at The Ante Room:
Nettles, The Anatomy of Frank, Litz
The Liquor Store–Portland, Oregon
The Liquor Store, Portland’s newest and most not-actually-a-liquor-store-ingest music venue, has already won a couple of impressive local awards including Best Sound System In Portland and Best New Bar. While this venue isn’t actually a liquor store, it does provide intimate live shows and excellent cocktails. The Liquor Store is still quite new, but it’s already proving to be a welcome addition to Portland’s thriving music scene.
Artists you’ll see at The Liquor Store:
Eliot Lipp, Naomi Punk, Fire Nuns
Patrick McGuire is a musician, writer, and educator currently residing in the great city of Philadelphia. He creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.