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Best Place to Hear Local Music

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The best places in Atlanta for local music.

Best Place to Hear Music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2018
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Critics
529 Bar (Featured)
The beloved East Atlanta indie music venue and neighborhood bar recently underwent a facelift that more than tripled the size of its hallowed music room. That means bigger crowds, an amped-up sound system, a second bar, and, oh yes, more bathrooms (sorely needed). The change has perfectly positionedmore...
The beloved East Atlanta indie music venue and neighborhood bar recently underwent a facelift that more than tripled the size of its hallowed music room. That means bigger crowds, an amped-up sound system, a second bar, and, oh yes, more bathrooms (sorely needed). The change has perfectly positioned 529 as one of the city's premiere small concert venues. Local and touring bands alike flock to play there pretty much every night of the week. As such, music and merriment seep through walls and onto the village streets, inviting regulars and passersby to stop in, grab a drink, and join the rowdy crowd. less...

Best Place to Hear Music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2018
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
Eddie's Attic (Featured)

Best place to hear Best local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2017
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
The Earl (Featured)

Best outpost for adventurous music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Critics
The Mammal Gallery (Permanently Closed)
Tucked away on South Broad Street in Downtown, THE MAMMAL GALLERY is a stronghold for obscure, challenging, and outsider music. The music programming in 2016 alone provided a crucial service for young and old alike in the experimental music scene. Mammal hosted a low-key potluck and open jam sessionmore...
Tucked away on South Broad Street in Downtown, THE MAMMAL GALLERY is a stronghold for obscure, challenging, and outsider music. The music programming in 2016 alone provided a crucial service for young and old alike in the experimental music scene. Mammal hosted a low-key potluck and open jam session with German krautrock legend Faust. The club also opened its stage to such wild jazz luminaries as saxophone player Joe McPhee and the group Universal Indians. Sun Ra Arkestra sax man Marshall Allen also found a stage there with his improv music and film outfit Cinema Soloriens. But in between these nights of skronking mania the stage has been taken over by the likes of New York songstress Shilpa Ray, Atlanta party-pop weirdos Salsa Chest, Club Morph’s genre bending queer-friendly club music nights, and trap music icon 2 Chainz and Sonny Digital on stage together. By providing a home for such a broad cross-section of underground music, legends are being born in a gritty, DIY spot far from the bustling nightlife scenes of East Atlanta and Edgewood Avenue. less...

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
The Earl (Featured)

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2015
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
Eddie's Attic (Featured)

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2014
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
529 Bar (Featured)

Best place to see local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2014
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Critics
529

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2013
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
529 Bar (Featured)

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2012
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
529 Bar (Featured)

Best off-the-radar place to see a local show BOA Award Winner

Year » 2011
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Critics
tunnel shows
Forget a Facebook invite; you couldn't stumble upon this place with a pocket compass. That's because the location of the tunnel shows that take place along the southwestern stretch of the Beltline remain shrouded in secrecy. Imagine the Southern gothic atmosphere of a William Faulkner novel, channeledmore...
Forget a Facebook invite; you couldn't stumble upon this place with a pocket compass. That's because the location of the tunnel shows that take place along the southwestern stretch of the Beltline remain shrouded in secrecy. Imagine the Southern gothic atmosphere of a William Faulkner novel, channeled into a strange but beautiful outsider folk scene. Ramshackle and hobo-esque acts with names such as Pony Bones, Melissa Lonely, the Subliminator, and Shitty Bedford howl at the moon while carving out a sound that's anything but urbane. less...

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2011
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
Eddie's Attic (Featured)

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2010
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
Eddie's Attic (Featured)

Runner-up: The Earl


488 Flat Shoals Avenue S.E., 404-522-3950, www.badearl.com/

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2009
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
The Earl (Featured)

Runner-up
Eddie's Attic
515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur, 404-377-4976, www.eddiesattic.com

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2009
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Critics
529 Bar (Featured)

Best place to hear local music BOA Award Winner

Sugarhill (Permanently Closed)
"Harpo, this here is our juke joint!" Like a scene straight out of The Color Purple, SUGARHILL stands as Atlanta's contemporary juke joint. It's dark, sexy and laid-back, with plenty of local soul bouncing from the stage. The intimate scene allows you to get up close and personal with the artists, whilemore...
"Harpo, this here is our juke joint!" Like a scene straight out of The Color Purple, SUGARHILL stands as Atlanta's contemporary juke joint. It's dark, sexy and laid-back, with plenty of local soul bouncing from the stage. The intimate scene allows you to get up close and personal with the artists, while you cozy up next to that special someone. Sure to satisfy your sweet tooth for homegrown R&B/soul, Sugarhill is addictive. The weekly Tuesday Jam session, hosted by Joi with DJ Kemit, is full of surprises - you never know who might hit the stage, from the soulful sounds of Eva Kennedy and Phillipia to the hard-hitting hip-hop of Malachi and Hollyweerd. Since it's located in Underground Atlanta, it stays open until 4 a.m., which causes me to be late to work almost every Wednesday. 50 Upper Alabama St. 404-658-0068. www.sugarhillatl.com. less...

Best Place to Hear Local Music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2008
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Critics
Drunken Unicorn

Best Place to Hear Local Music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2008
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
The Earl (Featured)

Best Place to Hear Local Music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2007
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Critics
Lenny's Bar (Permanently Closed)
Moving out doesn’t always mean moving up, and LENNY’S proves that even with a newer and bigger location, it can still proudly call itself the “CBGB’S of Atlanta.” Despite the new location, the floor is still scuffed and dirty, the music is loud, and the PBRmore...
Moving out doesn’t always mean moving up, and LENNY’S proves that even with a newer and bigger location, it can still proudly call itself the “CBGB’S of Atlanta.” Despite the new location, the floor is still scuffed and dirty, the music is loud, and the PBR is always flowing. The rock ’n’ roll venue has doggedly stuck to a slate of local bands, from new prospects to such local kingpins as the Carbonas and Brass Castle. And it always kicks off the weekend with the raucous and drunken Trashed Friday night dance party. Now settled into its bigger building, Lenny’s crowd has the room to do what it does best — get drunk, loud and rowdy. less...

Best Place to Hear Local Music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2007
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
The Earl (Featured)

Best Place To Hear Local Music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2006
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Critics
The Earl (Featured)
Throughout 2006, there’s been an ongoing debate around the office: Does fried okra and nitrates on a stick make music better? Well, recent trips to THE EARL have confirmed that yes, a little salt of the earth makes for a meatier experience. Not that anyone was concerned about the quality ofmore...
Throughout 2006, there’s been an ongoing debate around the office: Does fried okra and nitrates on a stick make music better? Well, recent trips to THE EARL have confirmed that yes, a little salt of the earth makes for a meatier experience. Not that anyone was concerned about the quality of music at the Earl to begin with. We turn to the Earl not just because we’re hungry in our tummies but also because we’re hungry in our hearts for that prime grade-A local music. less...

Best Place To Hear Local Music BOA Award Winner

Year » 2006
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Readers
The Earl (Featured)

Best Place to Hear Local Music and Best Rock Club BOA Award Winner

Year » 2005
Type of Award » After Dark
Picked By » Critics
The Earl (Featured)
Listening to the earnest heartland rock of Bob Seger makes us want to drink PBR. So does THE EARL. We’re not saying Seger and the Earl have much in common — thanks to booking agent Patrick Hill, the mood is more jamming and idiosyncratic Neil Young — but we will say that Seger’smore...
Listening to the earnest heartland rock of Bob Seger makes us want to drink PBR. So does THE EARL. We’re not saying Seger and the Earl have much in common — thanks to booking agent Patrick Hill, the mood is more jamming and idiosyncratic Neil Young — but we will say that Seger’s “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” could be the Earl’s theme song. There’s nowhere else in Atlanta so dedicated to not letting people forget the rawk, showcasing the top tier of local bands alongside nationally acclaimed indie acts. With its junk-store chic, the Earl embodies the garage-band spirit and we raise our tall boys to it. less...
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