THE SMELL TURNS 20 AND THE LA UNDERGROUND IS HERE TO CELEBRATE
Excuse us if were a bit sentimental. The Smell, LA’s landmark safe space for underground DIY music, community and culture turns 20 TODAYYYYY!!! AYEEEEEEE
Yessssss. We’re so excited because their are few places like The Smell that exist, period. The orginal owners, Jim Smith, Ara Shirinyan, Jarrett Silberman, planted The Smell at the same time similar venue’s were shutting down around LA.
(Lesson to you business execs, if you do anything, do it because its necessary).
THATS exactly why The Smell continues and is so important to the culture of Los Angelos, because other venue’s like Jabberjaw and the Impala Cafe didn’t exist anymore. These extremely creative, honest, experiemental, unapologetic, hardcore, DIY creatives needed a home…and The Smell provided that.
By 2000, the other owners had left the venue, leaving Jim to run and operate The Smell by himself. Being the only full time employee, Smith put up his own money when The Smell shut down in 2003 due to fire-code violations, to get it back up and running.
Extremely dedicated to this center of experimental music and culture, Jim has worked with, and essentially helped raised, many of the DIY punks and indie musicians around Los Angelos and the greater LA area.
One of those such kids, became Minty Boi Presents, the go-to booker for all things indie, punk and experimental on the east and west coast. Minty Boi has put together some incredible shows filled with a DIY love, openness and creatively so potent you could taste it. He’s brought together punk, noise and expereiemtnal musicians from all over the country, curating bills that get our blood boiling each time.
Sold out show after show out show, Minty Boi books these bands, not to prove anything about his live show prowess, but because the DIY music scene saved his own life and gave him direction. And the place where all this occurred?… was none other than at The Smell, with Jim Smith and bands like Surf Curse, Moaning, French Vanilla, Wild Wing, Post Life and Small Forward… all who are playing tonight’s sold out 20th anniversary show.
Minty Boi has put together not only one night to celebrate The Smell and all she is to the music community, but a WHOLE WEEKEND OF SHOWS. Yep, thats right LA will be partying at The Smell for 3 days straight. I mean it only makes sense, with all the life’s this iconic venue has touched, you can’t rush that shit.
DAY 1: SOLD OUT: SURF CURSE, FRENCH VANILLA, MOANING, WILD WING, POST LIFE, SMALL FORWARD – DOORS 7PM
DAY 2: CHERRY GLAZEFF, FUTURE SHOXXX, LUNCH LADY, DAVID SCOTT STONE, CRIB – DOORS 7PM
DAY 3: LOS BOLOS (Members of Fidlar & Together Pangea), BEACH BUMS, CLIT KAT, ESPRESSO, SUPER LUNCH, SABRINA IS NOT THIS CHAT – DOORS 7PM
With all this going on we had to catch up Minty Boi and dig a little deeper, about The Smell, their history together, the bands and community that landmark the LA underground, and what’s next for the iconic venue.
S3R News: Tell us your name and how you developed Minty Boi Presents
Minty Boi Presents: My name is Yiwei. I book events under the moniker Minty Boi Presents. Minty Boi Presents is event organizer entity I started a year and a half ago. Started from a DIY show booking in Los Angeles, has expanded in East Coast. It’s bi-coastal project now, based in New York and Los Angeles.
S3R: You stated publicly that this event means alot to you, elaborate on your history with The Smell.
MB: The Smell means everything to me. The first time I went there, I was 17. I did not speak English well; I just moved to the states. I went there to see Sean Nicholas Savage. The music blew my mind and I thought people were so cool there. I was bullied in school because I am an Immigrant. But people at The Smell didn’t care, they hung out with me. We just had a good time and listened to music. The Smell goers were themselves. At The Smell, I felt accepted and respected for being who I am. I fell in love with the space and started coming everyday, then volunteering. I made friends, got to see cool music, learned about DIY culture…
S3R: Two of your most memorable moments/shows there?
MB: ‘Aclu Benefit Show with Surf Curse in February.’ Everyone from our generation singing to Surf Curse, knowing their lyrics. It felt like a family reunion. Surf Curse is my favorite band of all time.
‘Downtown Boys at The Smell with Alice Bag as the surprise guest.’ LA punk symbol, Alice Bag jumped on stage and started singing with Victoria from Downtown Boys. Downtown Boys is from my second home, Providence. Their music is about fighting inequality for the people. They stand up for the under represented people. One of The Best shows I ever presented.
S3R: That one pit you’ll never forget.
MB: I got knocked in the nose at a Surf Curse pit. My septum was deviated and I could not really breath out my nose for two years until I recently got a surgery.
S3R: How did you end up choosing the line-up thats playing the 20th anniversary?
MB: Surf Curse, Moaning, French Vanilla, Wild Wing, Post Life were playing at The Smell a lot when I first started going. They created my Smell experience. They are like older brothers and sisters. They take care me, teach me things. I look up to them and enjoy their music.
Jacob from Surf Curse’s old project Casino Hearts was the reason I started booking shows. Because I want to see him live. Everybody has their own versions of Smell bands and these are mine.
S3R: Why is The Smell so important the artistic culture of LA?
MB: The Smell is Los Angeles to me. It’s home to me. Every time before I travel, leave LA, the last thing I do is go to The Smell. Every time I come back, the first I do is go to Smell.
S3R: Any others Smell events we should look out for in the near future?
MB: Bedroom (Noah kittinger) will be playing at the smell in march 🙂
Pull up this weekend to celebrate this crucial hub for underground music and culture 20th birthday. Doors, hearts and community are open. You won’t regret it.
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