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Mercury Lounge, Lower East Side

217 E. Houston Street
Lower East Side
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 260 4700's insider take:

This tiny Lower East Side spot has been the first New York stop for many a now-famous band. Because music booking titans Bowery Presents are in charge of scheduling, you're likely to see on-the-rise groups that are opening for big-time acts at music clubs like Webster Hall (125 E. 11th St.; 212-353-1600; and the Bowery Ballroom. This also means that they're able to score intimate last-minute and secret shows with bands that normally play much larger venues (Broken Social Scene rocked a secret show to a handful of people before headlining the massive Siren Festival in 2008). Stop by on any given night and you're likely to get a mix of unheard-of-outside-Manhattan and on-the-rise acts like Sunset Rubdown and Oxford Collapse.

Call or visit Web site for showtimes.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.