When we came across these fascinating photos of a seminal underground punk club on Sasha Frere-Jones’ blog, we were captivated by the simple charm of the cooperatively designed space.
Dedicated to the principles of DIY since it opened its doors 15 year ago, today The Smell is the humble mecca of Los Angeles’ influential punk, noise and experimental scene. As the website declares, “the community of individuals who call The Smell their home, whether it be the musicians who play there, the artists whose work hangs on the walls, or the dedicated supporters who attend the events week in and week out, are the same individuals who book the shows, run the front door, provide quality sound engineering services, staff the vegan snack bar, and help with cleaning and general upkeep.”
An inspiring study in what it means to do-it-yourself, here’s a look at the clubs that were home to the vanguard crusade that shunned anything mainstream in an effort to create the ultimate local scene. The hardcore predecessor of the hipster locavore, indie artisans, and the thriving handmade movement, these raw spaces showcase the fundamental tenants of artistic expression and experience.
From Madame Wong’s punk and New Wave club in Los Angeles’ Chinatown to Berkeley’s 924 Gilman, an all-ages performance club and community space, to the dizzying basement bathrooms of CBGB’s, click through to take a tour of authentic DIY design at its finest, past and present.
Image credit: Theresa K
The Germs with frontman Darby Crash playing in Pat Smear’s garage in 1977.