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L.A. is seeing a mini-boom in mini-music clubs with Resident, The Lost Room and more

L.A. is seeing a mini-boom in mini-music clubs with Resident, The Lost Room and more

On a recent Wednesday night, dozens of David Bowie fans gathered at Resident, a new music venue in downtown L.A.'s Arts District. The club opened in late December, and it was one of the first to throw an all-Bowie tribute night after the singer's much-lamented death on Jan. 10.

As DJs spun staples like "Heroes" and "Fame," downtown barflies and art-rock fans took to the dance floor and debated favorite Bowie eras. It was the kind of genuine, spontaneous gatherings that make small local music venues essential.

All around L.A., similar small-capacity (usually around 300 people or fewer) independent music venues are opening or significantly revamping. They...

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