Recent Posts in venues

July 25, 2014

by Wyatt Marshall

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Sad news for Upper West Siders of the no-collar persuasion: Ding Dong Lounge, the punked-out dive bar and venue at 106th and Columbus, is closing on Thursday, July 31 after 13 years in business. The bar will be relocating to an as-yet undisclosed location.

From an announcement on Ding Dong Lounge's website:

Like so many other unique New York City businesses, the Ding has lost its lease, despite having the highest sales in its 13 year history and being named the Best Cheap Manhattan Dive by both the Village Voice (link added - ed.) and Gothamist.

This is not the end of the Ding, as we will be relocating & reopening in the near furture (watch this space for details). However, for right now, please come out to show some love and say goodbye to our beloved Ding Dong Lounge during our last days at the Columbus Ave & 106 St. location.

We love you all!

Ding Dong Lounge was a grungy oasis for people looking for a no-frills place for cheap drinks in an otherwise pretty bleak part of town where forgettable, overcrowded bars are the norm. As mentioned above, the bar received accolades for being the best dive in Manhattan -- not bad for a place not much further than a stone's throw from Columbia University. Good music and colorful staff -- which allegedly included a stuntman who was, among other interesting gigs, a weapon specialist in Mortal Kombat (the movie) -- helped make the place great. Ding Dong DJ/doorman Chris should be familiar to patrons of The Acheron, where he also works. Mark, thank you for all the drinks.

The space played host to hundreds of shows, typically of the somewhat-underground indie/punk variety, and had a number of weekly regular events. One memorable show for me was headlined by the experimental noise rock band White Suns, who just played Summerscreen. The opening band was a three-piece named Bob Crusoe, an absurdist "guitar," drums and off-key trumpet (I think) band that delivered one of the most ridiculous performances I've ever seen -- pure cacophony, with nonsense lyrics/noises that were alternatively spoken and hysterically screamed over one of the worst improv sets of all time. Lots of rolling around on the ground. A+.

It's been a bad week for NYC dives. The Ding Dong Lounge will be missed. Here's to a quick reopening.

July 11, 2014

by Bill Pearis

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My first apartment in NYC was on Third Ave between 27th and 28th, and at the time my friend Jason was in an alt-country band. Between the two, I spent a lot of time at the Rodeo Bar, one of the few places that consistently booked country music in Manhattan. (Rockabilly and folk too.) It was also the filming location of Lou Barlow's infamous interview on MTV's Sex in the '90s which some of you may remember. (You would think a clip of this would be online somewhere.) I haven't been there in a few years, but was sad to hear this:

Dear Rodeo Bar patrons and music lovers,

We are deeply saddened to announce that after 27 years in business, Rodeo Bar and Grill is closing its doors after July 27, 2014.

Here at New York's longest-running honky-tonk, we stayed open during some of the city's toughest times -- Hurricane Sandy, the 2003 blackout, 9/11 -- but recent rent increases, combined with a changing landscape, have made it impossible for us continue.

For the past three decades, Rodeo Bar has been home to thousands of bands, and we're proud to have helped define the country, Americana and rockabilly scene in New York City for all these years. But more than that, we were supported by an incredible community of people from New York and all over the world who helped make this bar great. We can't thank y'all enough.

For the rest of July, we're open every night, and the music schedule is killer -- and free, as it always has been. So come on down and join us for every show, every Shiner, and every moment with the horse trailer we call home. We're going out with our boots on.

Much Love, and Until the Buffalo Sings,

Rodeo Bar

The NYC Real Estate market is no joke these days. As the note mentions, The Rodeo Bar will be open until July 27 with free music every night. Tonight (7/11) it's guitarist Joe Taino. Sorry to see you go, Rodeo Bar. Its remaining live schedule below...

Continue reading "NYC's Rodeo Bar closing at the end of July"

July 8, 2014

by Scab Casserole

Melody Henry serving a drink @ Lucky 13 in 2007
Lucky 13

South Slope heavy metal watering hole Lucky 13 is leaving its namesake address. Formerly located at 13th Street and Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, the headbanger's dive is relocating to 644 Sackett Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenues, where it'll have a bar in front and a full live stage in back.

"The rent is too damn high, for one," says co-owner Melody Henry of the motives behind the move. "With the new place, we can get more space, and we move away from people. I don't want to upset neighbors anymore. At this new location, we have no one living around us."


Lucky 13


Melody promises the feel of the original bar in the front-horror movie and heavy metal paraphernalia as far as the eye can see, soft-core ninja porno on the TV-but is most excited to see bands play Lucky 13 on a real stage, in addition to even more live burlesque and pole dancing (a staple of the current location).

"When we first opened Lucky 13, I knew it was a little small to have shows, but we made it happen with what we had," says Melody. "Cerebral Bore played at Lucky 13! That was awesome, but sometimes it got a little scary, because we had guys diving off the bar. I'm really excited to have shows again. The new space used to be a five-truck garage, and we're leaving a lot of that industrial feel. Jeff [Blanchard, co-owner] bought some awesome doors that once belonged to a church, so that's going to be the front-these massive church doors. It's going to be bigger, better, more awesome, more noise."


the new space
Lucky 13


Building your bar (a second time-Jeff and Melody built the original Lucky 13 themselves in 2003) is expensive as fuck, so keep your eyes peeled for a crowdsourcing campaign to help aid Lucky 13's relocation. Big contributors will get a special place of honor at the new location: "We don't own the jukebox from the original bar," says Melody, "so we might have it that our biggest contributors get to pick a CD for the new bar's jukebox as a prize."

Stay tuned for more info as things progress. Meanwhile, go have a drink at 273 13th Street while they're still open. Read more in the Daily News, and check out more pictures and some videos below...

Continue reading "South Brooklyn metal dive Lucky 13 to relocate, become kickass new venue"

July 3, 2014

Gramercy Arms

The Guardian reports that Rough Trade will open a new shop in Nottingham, the "independent music chain will establish its fourth store, following last autumn's opening in New York."

As you know, the NYC shop, located in Williamsburg, is both a record store and music venue. Upcoming shows at the NYC venue include new Frenchkiss-signed Cold War Kids side project French Style Furs (who also play Mercury Lounge), the 5-year anniversary of 'Let's Play House' (free entry and beer with RSVP), Sub Pop-signed Seattle psych band Rose Windows, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip (who relocated from Joe's Pub), a free Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens show (with Daptone DJs), and a free-with-purchase Gramercy Arms show.

Gramercy Arms, who we first mentioned in 2008 (the same year they last released anything and when we caught them at Bowery Ballroom with Nada Surf and Delta Spirit), "is a revolving New York based collective of musicians and artists, masterminded by main songwriter/producer Dave Derby (Dambuilders/Lloyd Cole) along with Rainy Orteca, Sean Eden and Kevin March. The group is releasing its second full-length record, The Seasons of Love, on Reveal Records on July 21st."

The Rough Trade show is their record release show and will feature: Kevin March (drums), Sean Eden (guitar), Rainy Orteca (bass), Carl Baggaley (keyboards), Claudia Chopek (violin), and Kendall Meade and Renee LoBue guesting on backing vocals. They have no other scheduled dates at the moment. You can watch their new video for "Always in Love", below...

Continue reading "Rough Trade opening a 4th store; Gramercy Arms, Naomi Shelton, French Style Furs & more playing the NYC one"

June 23, 2014

(photo via @beauvans)
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"The same old Bushwick story," told us the bar manager, Tuck on the phone today confirming that indeed, Wreck Room is closing on Saturday. "Landlord, new lease, rent increase...." Tuck refused to tell us the specific numbers but told us that the owner was over it already. "After nine years...."

An employee whose name we didn't catch on the phone mentioned also constant trouble with the maintenance of the place and the landlord.

Arancini Bros, the famed rice ball maker will be closing too. - [Bushwick Daily]

It's not just Williamsburg that's seeing a makeover happen. Bushwick bar -- and host of many metal and rock shows -- The Wreck Room will close after nine years this weekend. Saturday (6/28) will be last last night to get wrecked there. We'll miss ya.

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Last fall, WFMU reclaimed the ground floor space in their building at 43 Montgomery St in Jersey City, NJ with plans to turn it into a performance space. That's finally happening with the grand opening on July 12 featuring performances by Pampers, Watery Love, Doug Gillard, and Spectre Folk. Tickets are $12 and all proceeds go to benefit WFMU.

July 12 looks to be a busy day, with the 4Knots Music Fest and the Exploding in Sound's all day party happening as well.

June 18, 2014

Palisades with no people in it
Palisades

Now on the map thanks to a high profile Trash Talk show at the venue last night (that even the NY Times previewed), Palisades in Bushwick is a new DIY venue that has been throwing events for over a month now. Their official opening was April 25th. The invite came with this description:

Palisades is a new music-venue/art gallery opening on the corner of Bushwick and Bedstuy located at 906 Broadway, Brooklyn, New York one block from the Myrtle JMZ-Train stop. This cultural event-space and consciousness-expanding visual gallery will display works of various mediums from local and international artists, host a diverse range of musical performances, and sell beer, liquor, and dumplings to stay alive.
The bill on opening night was a modest one that looked like it was ripped right off Sidewalk Cafe's antifolk leaning schedule. One of the bands was The Johns who they pointed out "are an offshoot from the harmony-rich and sharp-witted antifolk quartet The WoWz, who actually held a secret reunion show after a 2-year hiatus at Palisades at 1AM Saturday, April 19th." Palisades hosted an art show on May 15th for Preston Spurlock who plays Sidewalk Cafe this Thursday. Antifolk scenester Brook Pridemore, who recently released an album recorded 'Live at Sidewalk Cafe,' already played there and is scheduled to again. You get the picture.

Is Palisades antifolk's new home in Brooklyn? Will it fill a void left vacant by the closing of Bar 4 in Park Slope. Maybe, but Palisades is a DIY venue in a hip section of Brooklyn, so naturally things are already looking more diverse. Trash Talk, who played a free show at 285 Kent with members of Odd Future in the past, played a free show at Palisades with members of Odd Future last night. Earl Sweatshirt has now been there. There was a hip hop show there in May, and ex Vivian Girl Cassie Ramone played there on 5/29. Upcoming shows include EULAs 7" record release show with Big Ups, one of the nights of Ascetic House's long weekend in NYC, and a Yung Lean show on 7/10 (tickets) the day after he plays Webster Hall's Marlin Room (all of his dates and a video, below). Check out Palisades' full calendar which currently goes out to 7/25. For now, it looks like all of their shows will be easy to get into, unlike Trash Talk last night...

The line to get in Trash Talk @ Palisades (via Ric Leichtung)
Trash Talk

Have you been there? How was it? Did you go to Trash Talk? Did you get in? If so, how long did you wait in line? We heard from someone who was there last night that it was very hot inside.

Continue reading "Palisades is a 'music venue / art gallery / full bar' in Bushwick (906 Broadway)"

Black Bear Bar only has 4 pics on Facebook. This is one of them
Black Bear Bar

As Ted Chase first told me, the Northside Festival showcase happening in the front room of what used to be Public Assembly (but is now called Black Bear Bar) was shut down by the police on Friday night, presumably due to noise. Yes, that's the same Friday the 13th full moon evening that Omar Souleyman postponed due to "travel issues" and The War on Drugs/Woods show postponed due to rain. We opened doors at Baby's All Right a bit late that night and Little Big League broke a string, but we were otherwise lucky. The BrooklynVegan showcase that night with Operators, mostly went off without a hitch.

Locals EULA were the band that was playing when the police turned the power off at Black Bear. Luckily for Eula fans, there's another chance to catch the band this week, and the band says, "for anyone who missed our epic 1 song set at Northside, we will be extending our set on thursday." The Thursday show they're referring to is the 6/19 show at Trans Pecos in Queens which we mentioned in a post about guitarist Alexander Turnquist who is also on the bill along with his collaborator Christopher Tignorm, and Advaeta.

EULA are releasing a new 7", "Orderly" b/w "Meadows", on July 15th via Bloodmoss Records (whose showcase they played in May). It was produced by Swans/Sonic Youth producer Martin Bisi, and EULA's next show after Thursday is the release show on July 31st at the same DIY venue Trash Talk played last night, Palisades in Brooklyn. Big Ups, Pile, and Courtship Ritual are also on that bill.

Listen to "Orderly" now, below...

Continue reading "Police shut down Black Bear Bar show, so EULA will play extra long Thursday (maybe tracks off their new 7")"

June 13, 2014

50 Kent

We hope we don't have to find out, but there is a Flash Flood Watch that "remains in effect until midnight EDT", right through the entire War on Drugs, Woods, Julianna Barwick show. Meanwhile, Northside Fest says "The show must go on!"

UPDATE: As of 6:30, IT IS RAINING HARD, but still no word on the show being moved or cancelled.

UPDATE 2: The War on Drugs is postponed until Sunday!

Beirut, Ratking and Malang Jobarteh play the same outdoor venue Saturday.

June 10, 2014

Special Guest

It's always exciting trying to figure out who a 'Special Guest' is playing a show, especially a show at an intimate venue like Mercury Lounge in Manhattan where a 'Special Guest' just so happens to be playing this Sunday night. After a reader tip about this (thanks Joe!), we got our detective gear in motion.

The venue has no picture up (see above), and the band's only link goes to Spotify's Twitter. The opener doesn't even list the show on their pages. Hmmm... It didn't take long to be disappointed though, as we quickly found out that this show is ACTUALLY a band called Special Guest! To quote one friend: "that is the dumbest thing ever, besides naming your band TBA" (not to be confused with VBA who plays Merc on 6/20), though another more positive buddy thinks it's the "best name since Free Beer." What do you think?

The Clydes open this $10 Father's Day show, which despite the "Ticketfly" bio picture, only has tickets at the door, Pillar Point play earlier the same night.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of great shows at Mercury Lounge (now free of sinkholes), like Curtis Harding TONIGHT (6/10), Incan Abraham (6/16), Biblical (6/20), White Lung & Pop 1280 (6/26), Strand of Oaks (6/26), FREEMAN (7/22), The Wytches (7/24), Drenge (7/25), Cherry Glazerr (7/31), Twin Peaks (8/13), The Handsome Family (8/30), Man Or Astro-Man? (9/11), and YACHT (9/20). Check Ticketmaster for tickets and more.

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