By Chris Ziegler
Photograph by Dan Monick
Moral Support by Charlie Rose
Downtown L.A. was post-nuclear when The Smell first moved in a decade ago, but now it’s all neon. There’s a dog groomer, a gourmet pizzeria and a velvet-rope nightclub just around the corner from The Smell’s alley entrance, and there’s even a boutique cinema that opened in December: “On their artist’s rendition of their facade,” says Smell founder Jim Smith, “our spot is completely blank.” But except for a modestly painted sign of their own — and a much-improved sound system, installed in 2002 — The Smell remains the same, a durable and dedicated successor to vital all-ages D.I.Y. venues like the PCH Club, the Jabberjaw and even the original ’77 punker cave The Masque.
When they started in January of 1998, Smith and founders emeriti Jarrett Silberman and Ara Shirinyan weren’t thinking much beyond month to month; the always-volunteer-run Smell recently planned ten days of anniversary celebrations to mark ten years of undaunted persistence and a rejuvenating new wave of L.A. music affectionately collected as “Smell bands.” Read More…