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Vilnius, Lithuania

By Gabriele Kizyte

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a jewel that everyone wants to own: the Russians, the Poles. The baroque streets and gorgeous views being constantly repressed and taken over made the youth of Vilnius rebel, listen to rock, go punk. But not punk as in blue mohawks, studded belts and always ready to riot. Punks of Vilnius wore yellow pants with three black stripes, tore sleeves off school uniforms, pinned them with little Lithuanian flags and protested for freedom. Not only their own, but the whole nation’s. The alternative music scene formed from such bands as BIX, Antis, Hiperbole. All of these artists were considered rock Gods of Lithuania. As a tradition the Lithuanian rock scene still remains quite underground and not every Tom, Dick and Harry knows about the amazing bands roaming the clubs and pubs of our glorious city. Of course, rock artists over the time have evolved and now the Vilnius underground can offer anything: from electronica to rock, metal to blues.


Clubs


Loftas
Svitrigailos g. 29
Established in a once factory, run by one of the hippest musicians in Vilnius. Loftas is the place where you should go to enjoy the live events, shows and gigs, not just to spend a boring Tuesday night. But, the brightside? Almost every night there‘s something going on. Loftas is adored by not only Lithuanian indie artists, but also visiters from abroad.
(www.menufabrikas.lt)

Brodvejus Pub
Vokieciu g. / Mesiniu g. 4
The club where you can hear live music play every night. From vintage disco to on the spot post-punk revival, heck, even you can be the star of the evening.
(www.brodvejus.lt)

Satta
Only the most exclusive of the exclusive know where to find this place. The rest of us have only heard about it existing, the magical electronica that is played there and the cheap alcohol prices. You can check out the outside version here:
(www.sattaoutside.lt)


Venues

Tamsta Club
Subaciaus g. 11a./ Strazdelio g. 1
A great place if you like your music with a drink, but there’s enough space to dance your arse off. Tamsta club is most liked by Lithuanian indie artists and tribute projects.
(www.tamstaclub.lt)

New York Club
Kalvariju g. 85
We like to believe that the venue name has been taken from a legendary punk club that used to be open in the 80s. Unfortunately (or maybe not) it has evolved to a musical theatre. Once in a while you can still see great gigs here, tho.
(www.newyorkclub.lt)

Vasaros Terasa
Vilniaus g. 39
An outdoor venue, only open in summer.
(www.vasarosterasa.lt)

Propaganda
V. Mykolaicio-Putino g. 5 (the white palace on Tauras Hill)
The oddest of projects, the best music in the most welcoming venue in Vilnius.
(www.facebook.com/clubpropagandaclub)


Bars


Muzikos Rusys
A.Jaksto g. 9
The bar for a true music lover. Live music nearly every night. Cheap drinks, foosball and air hockey tables will guarantee a good time and live TV sets that you’ll never miss the action on stage.
(www.muzikosrusys.lt)

BIX
Etmonu■ g. 6
Fifteen years old. A legendary bar founded by the legendary Lithuanian punk band. This bar got rid of its bad reputation and is now a must visit for a true rock lover.
(www.bix.lt)

Visu Sventuju Baras
Visu Sventuju g. 7
All Saints Bar. The newest and weirdest name owning bar. Yet, a great, cozy and friendly place to spend the evening. Live music every Friday.
(www.facebook.com/vsvbaras)

Pogo
Vilniaus g. 12
Yet another bar for a independent rock lover. The crowd might seem a bit scary, the space a bit too small, but the drink prices and atmosphere are heavenly.
(www.pogobaras.lt)

SMC café
Vokieciu g. 2 (Contemporary Art Center)
Live DJs nearly every evening, the place is usually crowded, but only the hippest people hang out here.
(www.cac.lt)


Record Shops

 

Physical records aren’t very popular in Lithuania. Records by foreign artists are usually quite pricy (unless you land on a sale) and the locals don’t really feel like selling them in shops.

Muzikos Bomba
The only chain of music in Lithuania. Offers CD, vinyl, sometimes even cassettes. You can find it nearly everywhere: malls, bookstores, plain corners in the city center, but our favorite is this one: Vilniaus g. 22
(www.muzikosbomba.lt)

Vinilo Studija
Pylimo g. 41/1, next to the Sinagog
A quite cozy and the only vinyl shop I’ve stumbled upon in Vilnius. From the newest, to the classic and even vintage records. A collector’s dream.
(http://vinilas.lt)

Thelonious
Stikliu g. 12
Second-hand CD, DVD, vinyl shop where you can also find all sorts of audio and video players.
Great variety of music, just have the time to browse through it.
(www.thelonious.lt)

Rudninku Knygynas
Rudninku■ g. 20
A bookshop where you can buy music merch, music magazines, CDs, LPs and bios of your favorite bands.
(http://rudninkuknygynas.lt)


Local Bands

 


Mantas and Kamle˙

A gorgeous duet inspired by Lithuania and Neofolk.
(www.facebook.com/#!/kamanes)

mmpsuf
Surreal electro-acoustic gang
(www.mmpsuf.lt)

The Colours Of Bubbles
One of the biggest truest indie bands in Lithuania.
(www.myspace.com/coloursofbubbles)

Electric Lady
A fairly grungy band that never gives up on experiments. Worth to see performing live.
(http://soundcloud.com/e-lady)

Freaks on Floor
With two albums out these guys are our favorite rock-funk-alternative party band.
(www.myspace.com/freaksonfloor)

Garbanotas Bosistas
If Led Zepp were still young and resided in Lithuania.
(www.frype.lt/gb)

Golden Parazyth
Not actually local, but if you have the chance to see these guys, you should.
(www.myspace.com/gparazyth)

96wrld
So young so many titles. If you’re looking for great beats you should check this guy out.
(http://soundcloud.com/misa-skalskis)

Kazam!
High school boys, playing some mean dance rock.
(www.facebook.com/kazam.band)


Miscellaneous


Liverpool Music
A music community helping create and support the Lithuanian music scene. Keeps us updated about gigs, band, festivals, organizes live camps and parties.
(www.liverpool.lt)

Indie cinema
There are two independent movie theaters in Vilnius. One of them can be found on the bank of Neris with the name Skalvija (A. Gostauto 2/15) and the other a bit deeper in the old town called Pasaka (Sv. Ignoto g. 4/3). Both theaters have a retro feel, are cosy, and have great program.
(www.skalvija.lt)
(www.kinopasaka.lt)

Main Vilnius photograph © Amanda In Lithuania

If you'd like to recommend a club, bar, record shop, band or any indie delight for inclusion in the Indie Travel Guide, please email us. If we've included a link to your band/shop etc, it would be lovely if you could link back to us. Thank you!

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