Recent Posts in venues

July 14, 2015

Kendrick Lamar at House of Blues (photo by @s_adegoke, via Facebook)
Kendrick Lamar

LAist reports that a few Sunset Strip locations will have to close this year so new hotels can be built, including the original Hustler store and the House of Blues. The music venue opened in 1994 and an official closing date has been set for August 7. A demolition date is still TBA.

As of now, the final schedule includes Soul Asylum & Meat Puppets, Freddie Gibbs, Anthrax, Stiff Little Fingers, and more. There are still a handful of open spots in the venue's last weeks, so perhaps some final shows are planned. If so, we know it won't be a metal band, as Blabbermouth points out that Anthrax show will be the venue's last metal show.

Regarding the venue, Anthrax bassist Frank Bello said, "Every show we've done at the Sunset House of Blues has been a party. Everyone who we're friends with who's not on tour shows up, either to jam or drink or just hang out. And I'll really miss that. Sunset Boulevard has lost its last great place to play."

Watch a video of Social Distortion playing the House of Blues Sunset Strip with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, below...

Continue reading "House of Blues Sunset Strip closing in August so hotels can be built (Anthrax, Stiff Little Fingers & more playing final shows)"

July 10, 2015

LIt Lounge

East Village party palace and venue, Lit Lounge, will close sometime in the next two months after 13 years in business. EV Grieve noted last month that there was a big "FOR RENT" sign on the building and confirmation came Thursday (7/9) via who interviewed Lit owners Steve Lewis and David Schwartz:

Steve Lewis: What was the primary reason for closing and moving shop to Bushwick?

Erik Foss: The new East Village crowd and the flight of the creative types to creative Brooklyn . It was inevitable. NYC is an ever changing animal. I am just glad that I got to be here before downtown changed into what it is now.

David Schwartz: Ehh, not happy with the newbies in the East Village. Millenials don't go out and the artistic ones left for Brooklyn digs 4 yrs ago.

In addition to being a place to dance and indulge in some late-night hedonism, their downstairs venue used to be home of the much-missed Precious Metal nights, as well as hosting lots of hyped shows during the "free Sparks" mid-'00s years.

Lit's sister club in Bushwick is still not open but its restaurant component, Currant Cafe, is and has been for more than a year. Says Foss, "Lit Bk could open next week or in 3 months, it's really a mystery as we have no real control of this last step." Foss also told Clubplanet that Aaron Pierce, founder of Williamsburg's soon-to-close Trash Bar, is now a part of the Lit team.

July 1, 2015

Barclays Center's roof Atlantic Yards Webcam
Barclays Center

The 135,000-square-foot area is in the process of being covered with a layer of sedum, a genus of flowering plants that store water in their leaves. The idea is to capture rainwater, reduce noise output, and provide a more pleasing view for both passers-by and future residents of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park highrises being built around it.

The Architect's Newspaper recently got an exclusive tour of the roof in construction, and the photos give the otherworldly impression of a park floating above the streets of Brooklyn.

The green roof plan was raised from the dead thanks to a joint venture between Forest City Ratner and Greenland Holdings Group, a real estate development company out of Shanghai. A new roof structure had to be built on the existing roof to support the sedum, which is shipped in from Connecticut and hoisted onto the roof by crane. - [Brownstoner]

Brooklyn's Barclays Center just hosted David Byrne's "Contemporary Color" and now the outside of the venue is getting some color of its own -- a green roof -- which should give the rust-colored exterior more of a woodlands feel. That should be a nice selling point for real estate agents looking to move the first condos on the market at Pacific Park Brooklyn, the $4.9 billion project formerly known as The Atlantic Yards.

In other news, Barclays is getting ready for hockey -- the venue will host the Islanders starting this fall, after the team's 43 years at Nassau Coliseum. The first game will be October 9.

Barclays also recently hosted a couple New York legends: Bette Midler, as well as her former piano man (and Williamsburg native), Barry Manilow. Were you there?

June 26, 2015

by Klaus Kinski

Q.E.D. Astoria

One of NYC's most interesting and criminally overlooked-by-me venues has to be Astoria Queens' multi-use space Q.E.D. The place opened back in November of 2014 and has since played host to an incredible array of performances, lectures, comedy events, and more and someone should probably punch me and the yams for waiting this long to blab about it. Q.E.D. was started by a superior lady named Kambri Crews, a long-time producer and promoter of stand up comedy who, for four years, served as the Director of Marketing and PR for the comedy club Comix. During that time she also created and ran the 50-seat venue Ochi's Lounge. Those are two venues I miss very much. She followed that by becoming the comedy booker for the 92Y Tribeca. Kambri is also the author of the heartbreaking memoir Burn Down The Ground and an accomplished public speaker and storyteller, giving speeches and performing around the USA.

Q.E.D. is very much a venue for the people, by the people. Not only do they present us with a staggering variety of their own free or cheap programming and classes, (like a special effects make-up class that looks crazy awesome on Saturday [June 27]), but they're also all ears if YOU want to teach a class or if YOU want to curate your own show. It's DIY without all the pretension and affectation.

And Kambri very much keeps her roots as a comedy producer and curator alive and well at Q.E.D. July in particular has a ton of great shows on the calendar, including such names as Aparna Nachrerla, "TV's Frank" Conniff, Myq Kaplan, Ted Alexandro, and more.  So when you're done cooking yourself to tumor city on Rockaway Beach, cool of at Q.E.D. yo!

Notable QED comedy shows are listed below...

Continue reading "Astoria, Queens space Q.E.D. hosting comedy, classes & more"

June 22, 2015

The Federal Bar (photo by @TheFedBK)
Federal Bar Brooklyn open

The Federal Bar, the restaurant from (and attached to) Brooklyn's Knitting Factory, opened on Friday (6/19). They describe it as a "relaxed and inviting restaurant and bar offering a menu featuring a unique take on traditional home cooking through locally sourced ingredients." In addition to the space (formerly the Qoo Robata space), you'll be able to get food in Knitting Factory's front room as well. As for what's on the menu: a veggie burger and roasted cauliflower seem to be the only vegan items available.

Hours: Weekdays and Sundays 11:30 AM. to 11 PM, Saturdays 11:30 AM to midnight.

June 17, 2015

by BIll Pearis

The Hall at MP on opening night (via @thehallbrooklyn)
The Hall at MP

More new Brooklyn venue news for ya. The Hall at MP just opened on Driggs at N. 10th and is attached to MP Taverna, the newest restaurant from star chef Michael Psilakis. The Hall threw a big opening party last Thursday (6/11) that was hosted by comedian Eddie Brill and featured some music (including Jackie Greene of The Black Crowes), some burlesque dancers, and lots of drinking and eating. But was basically a chance to check out the space. Like the restaurant, The Hall is big, kind of fancy, and seems more set up to be something like City Winery where you can dine while watching the night's entertainment than a rock club. (They refer to it as a "unique hospitality driven music and event space.")

As to what they'll be booking, there's not a whole lot on their schedule yet, but Eddie Brill will host "Stand Up Stand Out" on June 30 with Carmen Lynch, Ted Alexandro, and Myq Kaplan also performing. Tickets are on sale.

Rare Sun playing Kings County Saloon in May (photo by @juanlicarrion)
Kings County Saloon

Though Brooklyn has sadly lost a few great venues recently, new ones continue to pop up. In addition to Palisades, Aviv, Alphaville, The Shop and more, shows have been happening at Bushwick bar Kings County Saloon (1 Knickerbocker Ave). Perhaps you've already seen one there, like Roadside Graves or Las Rosas.

They've got shows booked this month into next, including Starlight Girls, Dead Stars, Melt (which currently has Cassie Ramone on bass), a Smokers Cough label party on July 4 with GDP (who opens for The Front Bottoms soon) and more. Check out the current schedule below...

Continue reading "Bushwick bar Kings County Saloon hosting live music (Dead Stars, Starlight Girls, GDP & more on upcoming schedule)"

June 15, 2015

photo: The Charleston in 2009 (more by Ryan Muir)

One of the events during this past weekend's Northside Festival was the Jameson Block Party happening at different locations each day. It would've been at The Charleston yesterday (6/14) but was moved to The Gibson after an incident at The Charleston Saturday night. Gothamist reports that a server at nearby restaurant Sujo said there was a fight at the bar that night, and police found a 32-year old man around 1:30 AM inside The Charleston, unconscious and unresponsive with severe head trauma.

The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital in critical condition. Police say no arrests have been made, and they're still investigating.

June 12, 2015

Footlight Equinoxio

Ridgewood, Queens already has Trans-Pecos, and Gothamist reports that a new rock venue is set to open in the neighborhood later this year. The venue will be called Footlight, which co-owner Laura Regan tells Gothamist will be "a small venue and neighborhood bar" that she hopes "will successfully integrate into the community and help maintain it's integrity." The other co-owner is Gabriel Rodriguez.

Footlight is taking over the Equinoxio Bar & Lounge at 465 Seneca Ave, the corner of Harman St and Seneca, which closed a few years ago. It's walking distance from both the Seneca M stop and the DeKalb L stop. That's a photo of the exterior above, and there's a couple more below.

They also launched an IndieGoGo campaign to help fund the project. They write:

OuterBoroughArts is proud to present The Footlight! We hope in early fall 2015 to bring to the Ridgewood community a beacon of music, art, and entertainment. The Footlight will function as a bar and multi medium venue that will include local music of all genres as well as independent film, theater, and community events open to neighborhood families as well as providing a much needed nightlife cultural institution.

We are asking for a little financial push from our community to build an elite sound system that can facilitate any type of event. From the smallest emerging act to international touring talent, we want our patrons and our artists to feel like the had the best sonic experience in their life!

You can donate here.

Continue reading "new rock venue and bar, Footlight, to open in Ridgewoood"

June 9, 2015

Four Horsemen's vintage McIntosh soundsystem / wine racks (via @fourhorsemenbk)

While James Murphy has his hands full with his new wine bar in Williamsburg, he's not letting it completely rule his life. He'll be spinning at Output on June 19, performing back-to-back sets with Eric Duncan which he's done a few times now. Tickets are on sale now.

Returning to that wine bar -- Four Horsemen opened to the public this past Sunday (6/7). Bon Appetit got a first look at the place which features a lot of blonde wood and a vintage soundsystem:

"You can buy $20,000 speakers, but put them in a room that's not right and it sounds terrible," Murphy said. "If you buy $20 speakers and put them in a room that's tuned right, it'll sound great." The acoustics are serious business at The Four Horsemen--and no wonder given Murphy's background. The cedar slats on the ceiling are absorbent, and the burlap on the walls helps, too. "Imagine the wall was a mirror. If you shone a flashlight on it, the light would bounce right back in your face. If that mirror that was a bumpy, chaotic surface like a disco ball, the light would disperse and go all over the place," Murphy explained.

As for what tunes will be blaring through the sound system, which Murphy purchased on eBay, Murphy said it'll be whole albums. There will be no Pandora or Spotify (he "hates that stuff") and no electronic or dance music. Instead, expect feel-good energetic music, anything from The Monks to Van Morrison.

Four Horsemen is open daily at 5:30 PM, with the kitchen open till 11 PM and wine served later than that. Anybody gone already?

Stream his David Bowie cover from earlier this year below...

Continue reading "James Murphy opened 'Four Horsemen' wine bar, DJing at Output this month"