Smelling Out? On Our Feature About the Downtown Music Venue 

Plus, Silver Lake bourgeoisie be warned

Wednesday, Feb 25 2009

High Anxiety in Silver Lake

Re “Silver Lake Anxiety Attack,” by Joe Donnelly [Feb. 12, 2009]: Echo Park, Silver Lake and the surrounding areas are rich with a long history of gang violence. All you transplants moved there because of the gentrification, the hip scene and affordable prices. This history of poverty and gangs will not disappear overnight. Because you “CHOSE” to live here and take over, it is YOUR responsibility to become proactive in the bleeping community. The police aren’t the answer because they can only do so much. Figure out ways to give back to the place you live. If you want it to be safer now and in the future you must get involved in helping the troubled youth in the area. YOU transplants forget what being a part of a community is about. You walk around like you own the place and treat the original inhabitants as if they are invisible. SURPRISE SURPRISE! They see you and your wealth. You might not be rich, but you’re richer than they are. If you don’t care to get involved, then move to the suburbs or to Beverly Hills! The gangs were here way before you. Change will only come if you help make it happen.

Posted by Jason, Silver Lake

That Smell

Awesome article about The Smell [“Will the Stink of Success Ruin The Smell?” by Jessica Hopper, Feb. 5]. I’m a big fan of Ms. Hopper’s smart, openhearted and thoughtful writing. Glad to see her stuff in L.A. Weekly.

Posted by Jennifer Patton, L.A.


You are ruining something amazing. The press is taking the stories of The Smell and No Age and glorifying them so much, it makes me sick. Just stop writing about them, because it has a negative effect.

I actually read the whole article just to see what you’d write. And that’s part of the PROBLEM. It’s in the way that the writers are describing the scene. But also, No Age is to blame for a couple of things. You can’t expect me to feel bad about thinking No Age is lame after reading that they are making a fucking shoe.

I love The Smell and all the bands that play there. I think to some of the bands it’s going to their heads a lil bit. They used to do a lot of house parties and now it’s “talk to the manager.” Let’s be honest, even though most of these bands are DIY and chill and cool they are also trying to make a quick buck. Just be real about it and don’t put this fucking image of indie, diy, just stop.

Posted by Annoyed from The Smell

The writer does have a point — maybe the Smell is losing some of its original teen spirit — but does the subject really warrant such in-depth, pontificatory investigation? Um, no. It’s just the way of things: Clubs are born, they have their moment, they start to suck, and then they die ... or turn into the Whisky.

Posted by Malcontent, L.A.

I’m sure I sound like a jerk, but in subcultures past, publicity (not from LA Weekly; I was thinking more MTV and the like) ruins its aura. Offering it to everyone allows everyone to come, which can be a great thing or a huge backfire (especially if the Manson Family gets into it). I go back and forth between, “Yeah, it’s great! Come one come all!” and the ever-elitist, “You’re here for the wrong reasons and you put too much effort into your Myspace layout; go home and eat some bagel bites.” But maybe I’ve been hanging out at Chain Reaction for too long.

Jessica Hopper did an amazing job encompassing all the facets of the complicated downtown music world. (I wouldn’t have been brave enough to take it on!) I support everything The Smell has done, and it’s not their fault the mainstream is leeching off of the awesomeness to appear more “with it.”

Viva la Smell! Viva la underground!

Posted by Sarah Bennett, L.A.


I think this is the first article to really explain why it is that No Age and a few Smell bands are truly inspiring people who have never been to the Smell.

Posted by Corson Collins, Brooklyn


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