Friday, January 30, 2009

Venue Review: Lit Lounge

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Location: East Village, Manhattan
Address: 93 2nd Ave (between 5th and 6th)
Size: Small
Directions: F/V to Second Ave., walk five blocks north

Acoustics: D
Booking: C-
Helpfulness to bands: C-
Atmosphere: B+

Acoustics - Despite copious amounts of foam attached to the walls and ceiling, Lit Lounge somehow still sounds completely jumbled. Moreover, the PA strips the richness out of vocals. A lot is lost.

Booking - It's fairly easy to get a slot at Lit Lounge, but your experience from that point is a crap shoot. They tend to throw together completely ill-fitting line-ups, you know the kind where you have an indie pop band followed by a metal band. Even if you think you've booked a full night to pick your own line-up, they aren't the best at communicating and have been known to make changes without letting bands know. It's less a problem of them being bottom-line focused and more a problem of them having employees who are disorganized and unprofessional.

Helpfulness - In addition to being non-communicative, Lit Lounge has been known to cram too many bands into to short a time, then pressure the bands to tear through their sets as quickly as possible. The venue hosts club parties on certain nights, and bands will be shut off at whatever o'clock sharp if a party is scheduled. Which is fair enough, but not necessarily the most pleasant experience, especially since the last band often starts far behind schedule.

Atmosphere - Lit Lounge is a basement bar, but club-esque, with little nooks here and there. It's still got an indie feel to it in a way and while it's nothing special, it's good enough.

Miscellany - A couple more things: The stage is very, very small. Big bands or bands with members who have contagious deadly diseases - beware! You're going to be very cosy up there. One positive, though - prices are reasonable for Manhattan, both to get in the door and to buy drinks.

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