Recent Posts in venues

October 7, 2015

The Best Buy Theater in Times Square, which used to be the Nokia Theatre before that, is no more. It has been renamed the PlayStation Theater. (Before Nokia it was the Sony Astor Plaza movie theater, so it's a bit of a return, corporate-wise.) Upcoming shows at the now Playstation Theater include Danzig on 10/21 and King Diamond on 11/19 - 11/21. So if you have tickets for those, don't forget, and don't get confused: Best Buy is no more. This is the dawn of the age of PlayStation.

October 5, 2015

Asbury Lanes

Asbury Park, NJ venue Asbury Lanes had a party on Saturday (10/3) which will be their last event until this coming spring (tentatively). The venue is now closed for renovations, which they announced in a Facebook post that also mentioned the cancellation of the Waxahatchee show that would have happened on 10/10. The venue writes:

Sadly, our show with Waxahatchee has to be cancelled...Our renovation schedule for the Lanes got moved up to October 5th, so, we don't want anyone to have to risk life and limb to come to a construction site to see a show...Even know we know that Waxahatchee would make it a wonderful experience nonetheless...We apologize for this.If you bought tickets, you can get a refund from your point or purchase. Go to NYC and see them open for Kurt Vile...We hope you will forgive us! adds:
After Saturday, the "approval and renovation process" will begin, said Brian Cheripka, senior vice president the development for iStar, the owner of Asbury Lanes, via email. "The renovations will be completed in phases, with the exterior improvements taking place over the next several months"

The renovations are expected to last into the spring. iStar will share their initial plans with the city in the coming weeks and those plans include keeping live music at the venue.

"We're committed to keeping it an iconic music venue," Cheripka said.

As the Lanes' announcement points out, you can see Waxahatchee on their tour with Kurt Vile, which hits NYC this week on Tuesday (10/6) and Wednesday (10/7) at Webster Hall. Both shows are sold out.

October 2, 2015

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis

Nico Muhly / Philip Glass / Tanya Tagaq @ National Sawdust 10/1/2015
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1
National Sawdust Opening Night: Volume 1

Years in the planning, new not-for-profit, artist-led venue National Sawdust finally opened its doors on Thursday night with two disparate "discover the space" inaugural shows. A former actual Williamsburg sawdust factory, the space has been radically tranformed into a very unique space. The entrance and bar occupy a narrow, but tall space with shiny black walls jutting at odd angles. When the door to the main space opened, it revealed a chamber hall, all white with geometric pattern on the walls which can be used as a movie screen (or to project names of the performers). It looks kind of like the Death Star.

It's also smaller than I was expecting. (Official capacity is less than 200.) There's no stage and it feels a bit like a recording studio (which it will double as). The early show, featuring Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, Chis Thile, Nels Cline, Canadian inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, NS artist in residence Glen Kotchke, and NS curator Jeffrey Zeigler, was seated. But the late show -- Cibo Matto (with Nels Cline and Sean Lennon), a collaboration between steel drum composer Andy Akiho, Zeigler, and poet Roger Bonair-Agard, and a DJ set from James Muphy -- was standing room only and felt more like a DIY show where bands play on the floor. (Albeit a DIY show where people were dressed to the nines and tickets were $100.) There's a balcony across the back of the chamber hall as well. Sound was great and both the Roger Bonair-Agard and Cibo Matto sets were really fun.

A show like that, for me, is where this space's potential really becomes evident. You get intimacy as well as acoustics. While watching Roger Bonair-Agard my mind immediately went to Kate Tempest and thinking how incredible it would be to see her at National Sawdust. Something like Majical Cloudz, who play the venue on October 21 (tickets only $15 for that one), should be interesting too. Most of the programming is of the BAM/Ecstatic Music Festival variety, definitely something Williamsburg hasn't had too much of before. It will be interesting to see how programming goes forward -- but if there's a performer you like playing here, it will mostly likely be a unique experience.

Tonight at National Sawdust, Tanya Tagaq will perform her score to silent documentary Nanook of the North at 8 PM (tickets), and then at 10 PM pianist and keyboardist Leo Genovese will present Legal Aliens, "a new set of compositions for a large ensemble comprised of musicians from around the world" (tickets).

Other shows of note:  MatmosJohn ZornRoomful of Teeth, and more on Saturday (10/3) as part of the Terry Riley festival (tickets); Pitchfork/Blackened Music's Tinnitus Music Series with Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley, Glenn Branca Ensemble guitarist Reg Bloor and Psalm Zero's Andrew Hock on October 25 (tickets); and Real Estate's Martin Courtney on November 20 (tickets).

More pictures from National Sawdust's opening night, below...

Continue reading "Philip Glass, Cibo Matto, Nico Muhly, James Murphy, Chris Thile & more played National Sawdust's opening night (pics)"

October 1, 2015

photos: The Catenary Wires @ Cameo in May (more by PSquared)
Cameo closing

Well the rumors are now true. Williamsburg venue Cameo Gallery will close near the end of next month. They just posted the announcement on Facebook:

As all good things must come to an end, Cameo Gallery will be closing its operations on Nov. 21st, 2015. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to have been part of an amazing music scene. We want to give a heartfelt thanks to all those who have been a part of our existence since we opened our doors 7 years ago.
The November 21 closing is almost exactly (minus a day) the one-year anniversary of Death by Audio's final night. Cameo says they'll be announcing their final round of shows soon, but in the meantime they'll be business as usual, including a very busy CMJ. As we mentioned before, those streamers were as iconic a stage backdrop as Glasslands' clouds and it will be sad not seeing them -- or seeing shows or dancing -- at Cameo once it's closed. You'll be missed.

September 27, 2015

Silent Barn

Friday night we reported on a fire happening at Brooklyn music venue, apartment building and artist collective Silent Barn. The venue, which can no longer host shows in their main performance space until further notice, issued a statement with lots of updates. You can read it in full below...

Continue reading "Silent Barn fire aftermath: shows cancelled, residents displaced, money being asked for"

September 25, 2015

UPDATE: more shows are cancelled and Silent Barn has issued a statement.

Silent Barn

As you can see in the above photo by Nicole Brydson, firefighters were on the scene at Bushwick music venue Silent Barn tonight. According to obfvscate, and somewhat evident in the pictures, an apartment upstairs caught fire. Jack Greenleaf confirmed that all of the venue's residents are safe.

The event inside Silent Barn tonight is Freak Out Fest which is now officially over for the night, but continues on Saturday at ABC No Rio and Sunday at Cake Shop. As of this post (11pm Friday night), the show is on hold.

UPDATE: more shows are cancelled and Silent Barn has issued a statement.

A few more pictures and a video of the fire below...

Continue reading "fire at Silent Barn tonight (Freak Out Fest cancelled for tonight, but will continue Saturday & Sunday)"

September 24, 2015

photo via Brooklyn Flea Facebook
Brooklyn Flea

As previously mentioned, the 2015 fall Brooklyn Flea Record Fair happens Saturday, September 26 at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg. The vendors were already announced (4AD, Warp, XL, Other Music and more) and now the DJ lineup is here. It includes members of Small Black, Yumi Zouma and Lemonade, label reps from Mute, Ghostly International and Beyond Beyond Is Beyond, record store employees from Captured Tracks Shop, and a WFMU DJ. The full lineup of DJs with set times is below.

In related news, the Smorgasburg that was in Brooklyn Bridge Park is now in Prospect Park. It opened at the end of last month, and will stay there every Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM through October 11. The new location is a spot called Breeze Hill. Via Smorgasburg's site, "Breeze Hill is just north of the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, and just off the main bike/jogging road across from the Lincoln Road entrance to the park. The closest subway is the Q to Prospect Park, but you can also walk from the F to 15th St. or the 2/3 to Grand Army Plaza."

Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea will also now have a winter edition at Industry City in Sunset Park. It opens the weekend of October 17 & 18, and runs every weekend through March. Here's what Brooklyn Flea says:

The gigantic market will be held in a 50,000 square-foot space overlooking the Manhattan skyline from the second floor, every weekend through March 2016, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The entrance address is 241 37th Street, just two blocks from the 36th Street D/N/R subway station--only two stops from Manhattan on the D train!--and a short walk from the B35, B38 and B70 bus stops. The 39th Street exit off the Gowanus Expressway/BQE also takes you pretty much to our doorstep (and to the second-busiest Costco in America next door.)
The one in Williamsburg runs through Sunday, September 27, the day after the record fair. Record fair DJ lineup below...

Continue reading "Brooklyn Flea Record Fair DJ lineup revealed; Smorgasburg open now in Prospect Park, coming to Sunset Park this winter"

September 21, 2015


Grabbing a falafel at Bereket after a show at Mercury Lounge, Pianos or another East Village or Lower East Side venue was a tradition cut short last year when the Turkish kebab house suddenly closed to make room for a bigger building at its Orchard and Houston location. I don't make it over that way as much as I used to, so it hasn't even fully sunk in that Bereket and the surrounding businesses are now completely gone and DEMOLISHED. Photographer Gabi Porter posted the above depressing photo to Instagram yesterday. We miss Bereket. Do you?

NYC POP artist Marco was the man resposible for painiting the funky octopus/ATM art above the door. He stopped by the shuttered business to make sure he had some video footage before it was gone. Watch his video and other older ones below....

Continue reading "We miss Bereket (which was totally demolished in July)"

September 16, 2015

photo via HRBC Instagram
Huntington Rd Beach Club

Earlier this year Long Island got a new DIY venue, Huntington Rd. Beach Club. The venue is located in industrial Bohemia, NY, and it hosts shows on weekends that are mostly free to $5 and BYOB. At the moment, there are two upcoming shows on the schedule. One is this Saturday (9/19) with new DFA signees Guerilla Toss and support from Thee Terrible Ghosts, Sad Magic and Jarvis Probes (6 PM doors) and the other is a Halloween party with some local bands.

More info at the venue's Facebook.

construction progress of Tobacco Warehouse (in 2013)
Tobacco Warehouse St. Ann's

Brooklyn's long-running live performance group St. Ann's Warehouse, which "has commissioned, produced, and presented a unique and eclectic body of innovative theater and concert presentations that meet at the intersection of theater and rock and roll" for over three decades, has had various homes over the years, but it will now permanently be at the old Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO. Brooklyn Paper describes the new location like this:

The new home of Saint Ann's Warehouse is under construction in the roof-less shell of the Tobacco Warehouse on Water Street in Dumbo and we got a sneak peek at the work that is underway. The $30-million construction job will place a shiny, steel-and-glass box within the confines of the old brick walls, leaving about an inch of space to preserve them. Honchos of the neighboring Brooklyn Bridge Park give the design rave reviews.

"It's a great design," said David Lowin, vice president of real estate for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which controls the property. "It enhances the street-scape, but remains respectful to the historic building."

The structure, which from above will look like a rectangular box lodged in a trapezoid cubby, will house a theater and a community space and leaves a triangular sliver of open space within the old walls that will contain a public garden.

The new building's roof will extend about seven feet above the worn facade, enclosing the theater and a community space, with the top portion of the wall made of glass bricks to allow in light.

From the inside, the new playhouse at the corner of New Dock Street will still look something like a place to store dry goods, the architect said.

The new St. Ann's Warehouse will officially open on October 6 with a ribbon cutting at 10 AM. There are other opening celebrations planed for after that, including Brooklyn Youth Chorus & Kronos Quartet on 10/17 (noon-6 PM, free); Aoife O'Donovan, Sam Amidon and Thomas Bartlett on 10/18 (5 PM start, tickets); and more. The new season kicks off fully in November with a run of Shakespeare's Henry IV and continues into 2016. Check out the full upcoming schedule for more.

Recent shows at St. Ann's include the Karen O opera and Jherek Bischoff's guest-filled shows with David Byrne, Zola Jesus and more.