Playboy Votes The Earl One of 10 Best American Rock Clubs

She Wants Revenge @ The EARL

Considering that eleven of the thirty live shows I saw in 2006 were at The EARL you should have some indication why Playboy magazine picked it as one of the “10 Best American Rock Clubs.”

It never ceases to amaze me to think of the acts that have played on The EARL’s stage within the past year — The Hold Steady, Alejandro Escovedo, She Wants Revenge, The Mountain Goats to name a few. Recognize any of those? I thought you might. In addition The EARL has also provided a stage for Atlanta’s revitalized local music scene by hosting shows by Snowden, Manchester Orchestra, Sovus Radio, Gringo Star (ne A Fir-Ju Well) [who are the band pictured in the Playboy article], The Selmanaires and more.

What do you get when you see a show at The EARL? You get a close “intimate” stage and loud music, usually at a reasonable price. What more can a concert-goer ask for? You also usually get a heavy dose of second-hand smoke. So the place is not perfect — deal with it.

What’s really strange about The EARL (which stands for East Atlanta Restaurant and Lounge) is that the music stage is but one reason to visit. The EARL serves up one of the best hamburgers in Atlanta and provides a wide array of beer for you to drink. Playboy mentions the decor of the bar, screw that look at the people instead. At The EARL you’ll usually find an array of patrons ranging from the conservative to the extreme.

There are a handful of great music venues in Atlanta, but I’d have to agree with Playboy and choose The EARL as the best. What says you?

Paulie [eatl/ga]

btw- if you want to know about Emo’s which is also on Playboy’s list check out this Austin Metroblogging entry

11 Comments so far

  1. Tim (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

    The Earl is the right choice by a country mile. Smith’s Olde Bar would be OK if the acts and location were better.

  2. barbecuesteve (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2007 @ 9:38 pm

    Absolutely. It’s why I moved into this neighborhood. I’m a live show junkie and it’s the best thing going in town, and yes, top ten of the nation easily. Top five in my book.

    And that burger’s ONE of the best? What’s better?

  3. Paulie [eatl/ga] (unregistered) on January 3rd, 2007 @ 10:28 pm

    I’ve always enjoyed the burgers at The Vortex as well.

  4. Funkman (unregistered) on January 4th, 2007 @ 2:01 am

    Earl is no doubt the best rock venue, but I have yet to check out the star bar, though it seems dicey at best. But at the earl I’m 70% likely to see someone I know, which always bumps it up.
    However, for other genres (particularly funk) I have to go with SOB. I just can’t get past Dirty Dozen BB or Dumpstafunk. Although I have heard some awesome acts play at Fivespot, even though it’s not as established. And Apache cafe has its moments as well, as well as Eyedrum for the Avant Garde. To ever genre let there be a venue. It’s all about what you like.

  5. Paulie [eatl/ga] (unregistered) on January 4th, 2007 @ 7:57 am

    Good point Funkman. If I was looking for different genres like funk, bluegrass, or blues The EARL probably wouldn’t be on the top of my list.

  6. Annie (unregistered) on January 4th, 2007 @ 1:18 pm

    Great post. I think the EARL deserves the top ten billing and the top burger billing. LOVE their blue cheese burger. My only question on the Playboy list is not listing the 40 Watt in Athens – it is a venerable venue, affordable, great range of acts, all-around great place to see a show. A little less claustrophobic, but not as intimate as the EARL.

    It sure is cool that we waited around for what seemed like FOREVER for the EARL to open and now the little baby is all grown up and featured in Playboy. . .

  7. twnkltz (unregistered) on January 4th, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

    Wow. i really like the earl but national ranking? I just assumed every city had places like it and that New York had 10.

  8. Paulie [eatl/ga] (unregistered) on January 4th, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

    Twnkltz, I tend to agree with you. Reverse engineering the list I think that Playboy may have targeted certain cities and picked the best club (or two in NY’s case) from it.

  9. james (unregistered) on January 5th, 2007 @ 9:12 am

    hah! paulie the smoking situation at the earl once forced me into an existential crisis, as you can read here

  10. Paulie [eatl/ga] (unregistered) on January 5th, 2007 @ 9:16 am

    I used to joke that there was a “two pack minimum” in order to see a show at The EARL.

  11. Smoove D (unregistered) on January 6th, 2007 @ 2:15 am

    Since I’m critiquing your photos today, Paulie, the ISO on your camera goes to 1600 for a reason… Get the 50mm f/1.4 and step away from the flash.

    I liked Vinyl in it’s previous incarnation. 18 and over so there were mad young tenders towards the end when it was starting to find its niche. Then the idiot owner changed it to the Park Bench. That went over like a lead balloon and rumor has it, it’s back to Vinyl. I haven’t been back on principle, but Spy is playing Saturday, the 6th so I’ll take one for the team and check it out.

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