Farewell to Fallout Lounge

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Marina was her name. She had a short, dark mod haircut, and knew how to bring out her blue eyes with layers of teal scarves. We were Myspace friends. Still are, I think. But I never knew what became of her. Last I heard, she went north to try her luck in New York.

Some of the best times of my life happened just a few feet away from Marina, where she hovered by a now-antiquated set of DJ equipment in the corner of Fallout Lounge. It was a time when I was young enough to fit in with the crowd there. Shoving a burned CD-R into one deck and ejecting a disc out of the other deck while taking requests, Marina spun from a catalog of almost exclusively British artists. Joy Division and New Order lifted my mood most nights, while Pulp and Blur got plenty of airtime, too.

Even though it's been a few years since I was a regular at Fallout, I'm sad to learn today that they're finally shutting the place down. According to the venue's Facebook page, they've decided not to renew their lease, and according to FrontRow's Chris Mosley, Saturday night was their last.

I was wondering when it would happen. I've driven by the place recently and noticed the open sign was unlit, even as the neighboring Amsterdam Bar and Meridian Room were bustling.

Another time I was there, Pleasant Grove's Marcus Striplin performed a booze-fueled set with just an electric guitar and his voice. He stood near the door, awkwardly engaging young patrons as they entered. When he finished, he stumbled out onto the street with his guitar still strapped to his neck, and hopped in a car to another gig.

Though I'm sure he has no recollection of the night, it was magical. Same goes for the very last time I hung out at Fallout some years ago. After my fourth Modelo or so, Wanz Dover spun My Bloody Valentine's "Soon" so loud, I remember seeing the front windows of the bar pulse in time. Hard to say if it was the song's bass or my own heartbeat playing tricks on me. Things were a little blurrier back then.

It was a time when I was old enough to know my limits and young enough to test them. I did so regularly. Thankfully, I got a little older and hung it up. And now it looks like Fallout's doing the same thing.

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