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Last call at Lenny's Bar

Lenny's closes, Eyedrum makes tapes its saving grace



Last week, when Lenny's Bar posted on Facebook that it's losing its liquor license on Dec. 31, the statement wasn't entirely accurate. It's not that Lenny's is losing its license; the owners just aren't paying the fee to renew it. The bottom line is that Lenny's is going out of business. Co-owner Steven Hicks says he's not ruling out the idea of reopening later in the same location, but the bar isn't making enough money to support itself right now.

"We've had problems finding a good booking agent ever since Bean [Ben Worley] left to take a job with PBR," says Hicks, who co-owns Lenny's with Shannon McCarty. "If we were a normal bar, not having a booking agent wouldn't be that big of a deal. But we are a music venue and we haven't had a show booked in a while — which is what keeps us going. But right now I'm at the end of my financial rope." In the meantime, Hicks hopes to book a final "going away" blowout, but nothing has been announced yet. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Eyedrum board chair Robby Kee and longtime board member, music director and soundman Nathan Brown have launched Eyedrum Cassettes, a new tape label dedicated to releasing material from Eyedrum's massive archive of live shows. The first release is a three-way split cassette that features an entire live show by Dan Wakefield and Lockett Pundt (Deerhunter), along with snippets from Warning Lights and Young Again shows. The tape will be released this month in a limited edition of 300. (Read this week's music feature on Eyedrum's impending fate, "Out With a Bang.")

Eyedrum's stockpile of archives stretches as far back as 1998 -- most of which was meticulously recorded, mastered and stored on mini-discs by former Eyedrum sound engineer Jeff Rackley. Why choose cassette tapes as the means of making these recordings available to the rest of the world? "Because people don't buy CDRs and vinyl is too expensive," Kee says. "Cassette tapes are cool, and unless you find a bag of money lying around that's labeled, 'For Eyedrum Records,' we're going with tapes."

On Monday, Nov. 8, a 4-3 vote by the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that Nuçi's Space in Athens qualifies for a property tax exemption, thus reversing a Georgia Court of Appeals decision made earlier this year. Nuçi's is a nonprofit arts space that offers facilities where musicians and others can listen to and practice music, and attend support groups that offer help for depression and emotional disorders.

In new-releases news, roots/alt Americana foursome Faithless Town will celebrate the release of debut EP When We Were Lions at the Earl on Wednesday, Nov. 24. Social Espionage recently released Things That Hurt. Isness also recently released a debut EP, It's Like This, and Roman Photos will celebrate the release of its "Rib Cage" b/w "Closer" 7-inch for Army of Bad Luck with a party on Nov. 20 at 529. Obeah from the hip-hop crew ContraVerse just released his solo EP, So, I Was Thinking. And MC/producer Jack Preston recently celebrated the release of his solo EP Trouble, which marks his fifth release this year.

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