Tag Archives: Lennys Bar

The Closing of Lennys Bar: An Insider’s Perspective

The following statement reflects the perspective of a longtime Lenny’s supporter, who has witnessed the demise of his beloved club. In an attempt to help him convey his ideas and feelings about this unfortunate circumstance as he’s watched it develop, this post contains a summary of our conversations. Having been involved throughout the struggle to keep Lenny’s afloat, I sympathize and recognize the many facets that have lead to the owner’s decision not to renew the liquor license. At the end of 2010, Lenny’s Bar will close. This post is one person’s opinion as to why.

“Lenny’s was a staple in the community where you can bring your music and be yourself. Though rumors have been spreading for years that Lenny’s future was uncertain, it wasn’t until the tornado in 2008 hit that things started getting bad. The owners of the building refused to replace the air conditioners that were blown off the roof until the insurance companies paid them. We went weeks without air conditioning in the middle of the summer. At the same time, The Graveyard Tavern opened and all the hipster kids went there, along with our DJ, Brian Parris.

The next big problem was Bean Summer (booking agent) leaving. Bean left for a better job, he was awesome and still worked with us after he left. But, after that, the next two promoters made promises that they couldn’t keep, causing empty days on our calendar with no shows and poor promotional efforts. I don’t know how this is the venue’s fault, when they are the promoters.

Then there was a restructuring of activity and things were looking up. That’s when one Lenny’s owner decided to add promoter, Chris Conway to the club, thinking that he’d bring in national acts and take us to the next level. Chris turned out to be a con artist. He promised bands outrageous money that he didn’t have, double-booked, and didn’t follow through on any shows, leaving most of two months of the calendar empty. All these changes happened within a year and a half, causing utter chaos between transitions.

If a club doesn’t generate money, they can’t stay open. There are numerous bills that people don’t normally consider, like sales tax, liability insurance, inventory, employees, gear, upkeep and maintenance. Being a DIY club, we offered door deals like most clubs in town. But, the doors closed too often to keep up with the bills.

There are several reasons why Lenny’s (or any other club) ends up having to close its doors. These are the reasons I’ve witnessed during my time in Atlanta’s music scene.

1.    Poor promotion
2.    Elitist attitudes
3.    Bands forgetting where they came from
4.    Negative press
5.    Dishonesty

In order for a venue to work, it takes cooperation between the scene, the owner, and the press. Atlanta’s scene seems to be too cool for itself. Atlanta exists with so many small scenes that all hate on each other. It is truly hate city. As a venue, we tried to embrace a music scene, but we made you a salad and you wanted to throw out the cucumbers and tomatoes and keep only what you like.

Until you guys get behind the music, not just a scene, you’re always going to be losing venues.”

The Chosen Ones – October 11-16, 2010

Wednesday, October 13 – Merkava, Laertes, and We Are The Willows @ Drunken Unicorn

Merkava delivers impressive ambient rock and their live performance isn’t just aurally pleasurable, but the band keeps two drum sets on stage, between which their drummer plays his own game of musical chairs, providing just as much visual entertainment. With two vocalists and an entire group of talented musicians, Merkava can easily sustain your attention.

Joining Merkava are two other bands. Laertes is another Atlanta band that shares the ambient musical nature of Merkava.  Minneapolis band, We Are The Willows will also be playing. Minneapolis has a thriving music scene that I’d love to explore one day. We Are The Willows is a folk-pop band that plays more into the indie sound, rather than rock. Even though they differ from the spacey rock of Merkava and Laertes, they still provide plenty of atmosphere.

$5, 21+, Doors at 9pm

Thursday, October 14 – Siberia My Sweet, R_Garcia, and Brenn @ Lenny’s Bar

Siberia My Sweet is an all-girl new wave, dark-electro-pop band that feels like an updated version of an anima-stricken Duran Duran. The music is melodic with dance beats to move you, but it never gets too pretty or sugary. Siberia My Sweet combines a dark vibe with an upbeat tempo, making the music seductive and fun.

R_Garcia (Randy Garcia of Nerd Parade and Nophi Recordings) will be putting on an intense electronic set to intoxicate your mind and keeping within the electro-dance channels, Nashville’s Brenn combines stunning vocals with an impressive concoction of synth and rock infused, melody-driven tunes.  Great show to get your dance on!

$6, 21+, Doors at 9pm

Others:

Monday, October 11 – So So Death, Social Studies, Kosha Dillz, The Son Red @ 529 FREE

Wednesday, October 13 – Knaves Grave, The Prids, Lookbook (Portland), Spirits and The Melchizedek Children @ 529 $7

Thursday, October 14 – Free Moral Agents, 2mex, The Ruination, Odist @ The Five Spot $10

Thursday, October 14 – Netherfriends (Chicago), Living Rooms, Goldilocks @ 529

Friday, October 15 – Spree Wilson, Tendaberry, Ben Carson & the Dolldaze @ WonderRoot

Friday, October 15 – Vegan Coke , Nigredo and Mata Haris@ The Highland Inn Ballroom

Friday and Saturday, October 15, 16 – Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade

Saturday, October 15 – Matt and Kim, Donnis @ The Masquerade