Entries tagged with: free shows
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
De La Soul's Posdnuos @ Bud Light Hotel 1/31/2014
De La Soul's groundbreaking debut album, 1989's 3 Feet High and Rising, turns 25 this year. To celebrate, the Long Island trio are offerning up their entire catalog as a free download (320kbs MP3s) for 25 hours on the group's website starting today at 11 AM EST. MC Posdnuos told Rolling Stone:
It's about allowing our fans who have been looking and trying to get a hold of our music to have access to it. It's been too long where our fans haven't had access to everything. This is our way of showing them how much we love them.De La Soul were among the classic hip hop acts who played one of the Bud Light Hotel cruises (1/31) that happened during Super Bowl mania here in NYC. The Roots, Run DMC, Naughty by Nature, Busta Rhymes, Slick Rick & Doug E Fresh, were among the other performers and a belated set of pictures from that are in this post.
Meanwhile, Maseo of De La Soul will be DJing at East Village club Fat Buddha on Monday (2/17) with DJ Mike Loe & Chosun. Doors are at 8PM and it's free.
More pics from
by Bill Pearis
Jim Jarmusch's new film, Only Lovers Left Alive, stars Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as two vampires whose relationship spans centuries. (Twilight or Vampire Academy, it ain't.) The film made its US debut at the 2013 New York Film Festival and will see actual release on April 11 in select cities. You can check out the trailer below.
The soundtrack to the film is unsurprisingly pretty interesting and is orchestrated by Jarmusch's frequent musical collaborator, Jozef van Wissem. It features collaborations with SQÜRL (Carter Logan, Jim Jarmusch, and Shane Stoneback), Zola Jesus, Lebanese singer/actress Yasmine Hamdan (who is in the film), and Cults singer Madeline Follin, the latter of whom provides vocals on a heavy, trippy cover of Wanda Jackson's classic "Funnel of Love." You can stream the whole soundtrack (via Dazed Digital) below.
Speaking of, Cults have a few dates lined up over the next few weeks, including NYC at Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 6. Shoe company Steve Madden is sponsoring and it's FREE but you do need to get your no-charge tickets through Ticketmaster and are available starting at noon today (2/14). No openers have been announced for the MHOW show, but most of the other dates are with their old tourmates Mood Rings. All Cults tour dates are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher
LA rapper Nocando, who hosts the Low End Theory hip hop night and founded the Hellfyre Club label, is releasing a new album, Jimmy the Burnout, on March 18 via his own label, and he's just released a single from it, "Lucid Dream." The track sees Nocando impressively flowing over a funky Dam-Funk beat, and singer Piatra Hawkins flirts with indie-R&B on the airy chorus. It's a solid track, and can be streamed below.
Nocando is currently on the road for the Hellfyre Club-presented 'Dorner vs Tookie' tour which also includes Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle and Milo. That tour hits NYC on March 6 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets are available. List of all dates and tour flyer below.
Dam-Funk has a few upcoming dates too, including a free NYC show happening on March 7 at Brooklyn Night Bazaar with Maya Vik, Gordon Voidwell and DJ Thanksgiving Brown. Like all BKNB shows, it's no cost to enter and watch the music, and there's also tons of not-free food, drinks, shopping, and games. All of his dates are listed below too.
Listen to "Lucid Dream," with both lists of tour dates, below...
Chicago rapper Tree recently put out The @MCTreeG EP. In addition to answering the question "wait, but what's his Twitter handle?" we said the EP "opens with Tree's raspy voice over the seemingly slow-moving 'Probably Nu It,' which gets to grooving as the hi-hats slide in. That track precedes the booming 'Like Whoa,' soul-sampling 'Soultrappin / I Believe,' and the somber 'Stay Away.'" If you haven't heard it yet, you can stream The @MCTreeG EP below.
Tree will be returning to NYC for what appears to be a one-off happening TONIGHT (2/12) at Knitting Factory with excellent local rapper Bodega Bamz. That show is presented by Scion and it's FREE but you do have to enter Scion's contest for a chance to gain entry. The contest is open until 8 PM tonight.
Show flyer, EP stream and a video below...
As mentioned, Yellow Ostrich are releasing their new album, Cosmos, on February 25 via Barsuk. We're got the premiere of a live video of the band performing the single "Shades" and you can watch that below.
While the band's tour hits NYC's Bowery Ballroom on April 4, Yellow Ostrich are playing a private NYC show on Wednesday (2/12) at Pianos, showcasing much of the new album. BrooklynVegan is presenting the show and, though it's invite-only, we are giving a few pairs away to lucky BV readers. The show is early -- the band's on at 7 PM -- and details on how to get tickets are below.
If you can't make the show, tickets for Yellow Ostrich's Bowery show in April are still available. They'll also be at SXSW too. Updated tour dates are listed, along with the live video and another Yellow Ostrich album track stream, below...
by Bill Pearis
Toronto dark-hued noisemakers Odonis Odonis will release their second album, Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, on April 15 via Buzz Records. It's the follow-up to 2011's Hollandaze -- do these guys like brunch or what? The title also alludes to the nature of the album; side 1 is punishing goth/industrial/punk, while side 2 is more ethereal. You can stream the definitely hard-boiled "New Obsession" and watch its twisted music video below.
As mentioned, Odonis Odonis will be in NYC on Friday (2/7) playing Brooklyn Night Bazaar with Speedy Ortiz, Krill, Heeny and Infinity Girl. Like all BKNB shows, this one is free. And if you're going to be in Austin for SXSW, look for them there too. All dates are listed below.
Tinariwen at Austin Psych Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Malian band Tinariwen are about to drop their new album, Emmaar, next week (2/11) via ANTI- and they're about to kick off a North American tour too. That tour would have had them at Rough Trade NYC earlier this week (2/3), but that show was cancelled (the venue is still having sound issues). However, you'll still get a chance to see them in NYC this week, as they've since added a FREE show happening at Ace Hotel TODAY (2/6). It's part of the venue's 5at5 series, which means they'll be playing five songs at 5 PM. Admission is first come, first served.
As discussed, their tour also includes a not-free (but later and longer) NYC show happening on March 23 at Brooklyn Bowl with The Melodic. Tickets for that show are still available. Updated dates are still available.
Also, you can stream Tinariwen's new LP in full on NPR.
All dates are listed below...
When many of us think of the song "Respect," we think of Aretha Franklin. Many people are shocked to learn that Aretha never made a penny from all the radio broadcasts of her performance of R-E-S-P-E-C-T (this is because she wasn't the composer.) It's true--many musicians receive little compensation or struggle to pay bills despite having widely-aired recordings...If you support artists' pay for radio play, you will probably want to sign this petition for the I Respect Music initiative. There will be a concert/rally for the cause at Le Poisson Rouge on February 25 featuring appearances by David Byrne, Janita, John McCrea, Mike Mills, Marc Ribot, and more. It is a FREE show but you do need to RSVP by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More info here.
...With its denial of a Performance Royalty to artists, the U.S. stands with a short list of countries that includes: Iran, North Korea, China, Vietnam, and Rwanda. Most other countries in the world pay out at least small amounts to performers for the use of their performances of songs on radio--a use that makes up the content of their broadcasts. To clarify, songwriters and publishers of songs do get paid a little bit, but there is nothing allotted for the folks who record and sing the versions of songs that we hear all the time and whose recordings are used to sell advertising on commercial radio.
- David Byrne
In related news, still no word on tickets for the Byrne's Here Lies Love which is set to return to the Public Theatre at the end of March.
The full text of Byrne's letter about I Respect Music is below....
Team Spirit @ BV SXSW 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
More upcoming shows have been announced for Brooklyn Night Bazaar. For those looking for a cheap Valentine's Day (2/14) date option BKNB has headliners Team Spirit, who you may remember last V-day released the Love is for Suckers EP. The night also features The Liza Colby Sound, Hard Nips, Blue & Gold, Lowell, and DJ Pegasus Warning. This was the night that Bernie Worrell was originally supposed to play. And if you're also the forgetful gift giver, you can also do last-minute gift shopping while your significant other is in the bathroom line. They'll be none the wiser.
The next night (2/15) is the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the rest of that line-up has been finalized, with D'NT (formerly Don't), Low Fat Getting High, and DJ Andy Animal.
Then on February 28, it's a pop/dance line-up with Body Language, Joywave, Echo Friendly, and Jamaican Queens.
And a bit further out, on March 21 Brooklyn Night Bazaar has 8-bit champions Anamanaguchi with the rest of the line-up TBA.
Meanwhile, this weekend at BKNB, on Friday (1/31) it's The Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra, Spanglish Fly, Los Hacheros, and DJ Mickey Perez; and on Saturday (2/1) it's Streets of Laredo, Lily & the Parlour Tricks, Rocket & the Ghost, Mall the Horse, and Mikey Palms and Friends.
As always, Brooklyn Night Bazaar show are free.
Hop Along at BV-CMJ 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We at BrooklynVegan are thrilled to announce that we've teamed up with Shiner and Transmission Events to put on a free show in Brooklyn on February 24 at Saint Vitus. Some pretty exciting bands currently from (or at one point tied to) the Philly indie rock scene are coming over for the show, including Hop Along, Swearin', and Great Thunder (aka Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield and Keith Spencer of Swearin'/Waxahatchee's live band). The show is totally FREE, though you do need RSVP, but "RSVP admission is on a first come first served basis, subject to capacity of the venue." Flyer below.
Streams from all three bands and the show flyer below...
German psych-rock jammers (of the Pink Floyd variety) Okta Logue were last on our side of the Atlantic this past fall, and they've since announced that they'll come back this March. Upon their return, they'll play SXSW and they'll make stops in Brooklyn before and after for free shows at Knitting Factory on March 7 and March 21. The first Knit show is with Marianne's Wish and the second is with Such Hounds. Both are midnight shows. All currently announced dates are listed below.
On their last tour here they filmed a video for the song "Chase the Day" off their Tales of Transit City LP. The video splices together clips of them all over country, and it makes its premiere in this post. You can watch it, along with the list of tour dates, below...
Blondie in NJ in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
This past Sunday's Grammys telecast is behind us, but another televised event that will have a ton of Americans in front of their TVs happens this Sunday (2/2): the Super Bowl. A bunch of NYC-area concerts have been announced for the weekend-wide celebration, and since we last spoke, even more have been added.
NYC punk/new wave legends Blondie will play a FREE show at the Super Bowl Boulevard Concert Stage on Saturday (2/1). The stage is located in downtown Manhattan at Broadway & 40th Street, and Blondie go on at 8:30 PM. Blondie are also set to speak and perform at SXSW this year.
Jay Z (who performed and won an award at the Grammys) is also playing a Super Bowl concert. His happens on Saturday and is an invite-only DirecTV party.
Howard Stern's 60th Birthday Bash happens Friday (1/31) at Hammerstein Ballroom at 6 PM and will stream on SiriusXM. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the event, and guests include Louis C.K., David Letterman, Sarah Silverman, Jon Bon Jovi, John Fogerty, Steven Tyler and others. Hopefully if you're there you'll get to see Steven Tyler dance again.
Meanwhile, catch Louis CK and the Arctic Monkeys on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight (1/27).
There's also ASPIRE'S Ultimate 70s Soul Party with The O Jays at Time Warner Cable Studios and the 15th Annual NFL SUper Bowl Gospel Celebration with Patti Labelle, Mary Mary, Natalie Grant, Tamela Mann and Donnie McClurkin at MSG, both on Friday.
JSBX @ Bowery Electric, 2012 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
We just posted about Speedy Ortiz being revealed as the "secret headliner" at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on February 7, and that's not the only new addition to its upcoming winter schedule. On February 15 they'll have the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion blowing things up. Pitchfork reports that Jon and the band are currently working on a new album and, for Record Store Day '14, will release a live cover/mashup of early Beastie Boys' gem "She's on It" with Link Wray's "Jack the Ripper" which they've been playing at shows for a while. The JSBX also have some West Coast dates in April and those are listed below.
In other Bazaar news, on February 22 Savoir Adore will be bringing their danceable pop to the party. Rest of those line-ups are still TBA and the shows, like all at BKNB, are free.
Also:Bernie Worrell is no longer playing on February 14. New headliner to be announced soon.
This weekend's Night Bazaar entertainment should be fun. Friday (1/24), Macaulay Culkin's novelty act Pizza Underground are amongst an otherwise cohesive bill of slick, '80s-leaning pop with French Horn Rebellion, Rush Midnight and Heavenly Beat. Then on Saturday (1/25) it's Har Mar Superstar plus Computer Magic, Not Blood Paint, and Static Jacks.
Of course in addition to the music, there is shopping, food (they just added Pok Pok as a vendor), beer and wine, neon mini golf, ping pong, old arcade games and more.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Los Campesinos! / Speedy Ortiz @ Irving Plaza - 1/22/14
Cardiff indie rockers Los Campesinos! are over in the US for a short tour supporting their newest LP, No Blues, which hit NYC's Irving Plaza last night (1/22). The band were characteristically enthusiastic and gave us a good mix of the old and the new. Speedy Ortiz opened, and pictures of both bands (including one of Los Campesinos' setlist, though it may not be 100% accurate) are in this post.
Speedy Ortiz have a ton of other dates coming up, and now that last night's show is in the past, they've added another in NYC. They'll be the previously-unannounced guests at the Golden Ratio/Shea Stadium/My Social List-presented Brooklyn Night Bazaar on February 7 with Krill, Odonis Odonis, Heeney, Infinity Girl and
Blessed State (update: though Blessed State are listed on BK Bazaar's site, they're not actually playing). Like all Night Bazaar shows, that one is FREE, but if you want to skip the line, you can RSVP.
Speedy will also be doing an 8 PM in-store at Other Music on February 10, the day before their Real Hair EP comes out.
Updated Speedy Ortiz dates are listed, along with more pics, below...
Floor at Saint Vitus in 2013 (more by Lukas Hodge)
We just mentioned that Floor are releasing a new album, and now Converse Rubber Tracks have announced a FREE Floor show at Saint Vitus Bar on 1/29. Kadaver and Ruby the Hatchet will open. Though the show is free, you need to RSVP for entrance; registration starts here at 3pm today. Even if you RSVP, entrance isn't guaranteed. Show up early!
Speaking of Converse Rubber Tracks, as discussed, El-P and The Bots are playing a free show at Converse Rubber Tracks Live on Friday (1/24) as the conclusion to the venue's creative workshop series. For a chance to get into that very intimate show, you have to RSVP which is open until midnight tonight (1/22), but RSVP does not guarantee entry.
Janelle Monae at Coachella 2013 (more by Wei Shi)
The Celebrate Brooklyn! shows at Prospect Park are returning this summer, and the first free show of the season has been announced. On opening night, June 4, R&B/soul great Janelle Monae will kick off the season with a headlining show at the venue. Show starts at 8, and again, it's totally free.
Meanwhile, Janelle Monae will be in NYC much sooner, first to play a Super Bowl weekend show at Lehman College (1/28), and then to play Hammerstein Ballroom on 2/1 with Schoolboy Q, Just Blaze, Mack Wilds, #Been#Trill, and D.J. Cassidy. Tickets for the Hammerstein show are still available.
All upcoming Janelle dates are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher
Josephine Foster - 'I'm A Dreamer'
Colorado folk singer Josephine Foster has been making bare, 60s/70s-style folk for over a decade now, having last released her album I'm A Dreamer in late 2013 via Fire Records. No less impressive than the albums that preceded it, Josephine's wide vocal range is still the star here and thanks to her choice to still sound like she has little more than a mic in the middle of the room, her songs stay haunting and raw. This record's certainly gone a little unfairly overlooked, and if you've yet to hear it, you can stream it in full on RDIO and listen to the title track below.
Josephine is continuing to support the album on a tour with past collaborator and husband Victor Herrero, which began in Baltimore last night (1/15). That tour brings Josephine and Victor to Brooklyn for two shows here, including one at Issue Project Room on January 22 and one at Todd P's new venue Trans Pecos on January 30 (915 Wyckoff Ave, aka the old Silent Barn space). The Trans Pecos show is one of the Northern Spy-presented shows, and also features Blood Warrior (aka Greg from O'Death), The Kinematics and Ancient Ocean + Daniel Carter. More info at the Facebook event.
That Issue Project Room show is with '60s-era folk legend Ed Askew, whose sound (and the sound of his contemporaries) was likely influential on Josephine Foster. Tickets for that all-around great lineup are on sale now. You can also catch Ed playing a FREE Brooklyn show a few days later at Union Pool on January 25. That one's an afternoon show starting at 4 PM.
All Josephine Foster dates are listed, along with streams, below...
Paint It Black in Philly in 2013 (more by Alyssa Tanchajja)
It's been years since Philly hardcore greats Paint It Black (fronted by Dan Yemin, also of Lifetime and Kid Dynamite) have played NYC (Songkick says not since 2011) but fortunately that will finally change this year. They'll come back for a Noisey-presented show on March 8 at Brooklyn Night Bazaar. Like all Night Bazaar shows, it's totally FREE, and making it even better there's a great support lineup of fellow Philly faves Hop Along, NJ/Brooklyn surf/skate punks Night Birds, and Bad Canoes, who are fronted by Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females/Noun. Like we said, it's free, and like all nights at Night Bazaar there's shopping, food, and more.
Hop Along play NYC sooner as an opener on the first of two final Bomb the Music Industry! shows, which is now sold out.
Night Birds also play sooner at the Don Giovanni showcase on February 6 at Death by Audio with Tenement, Vacation, Nuclear Santa Calust and The Groucho Marxists (tickets); and Marissa Paternoster plays the DG showcase with Screaming Females at MHOW on 2/8 with California X, Brick Mower, Priests and Black Wine (tickets).
Flyer for the Night Bazaar show and streams from all four bands below...
The Underachievers at NXNE 2013 (more by David Andrako)
NYC druggy rap duo The Underachievers play around their hometown a lot, and they've announced that their next show is a free one happening on Saturday (1/18) at Villain (50 N. 3rd St in Brooklyn) with Roofeeo. It's the afterparty for a Vice/North Face screening, and RSVP is open now.
Still no word on their new album, but you can watch a video of a song that's supposed to appear on it, below...
Dave Chappelle @ Knitting Factory last night (via @optimisticdaze)
One of the best free weekly comedy shows in NYC is Hannibal Buress' Sunday evening show in Knitting Factory's front room. It is always packed to the gills and for good reason -- serious A-listers regularly show up for suprise performances. (Chris Rock and Louis CK have appeared multiple times.) Last night (12/22), Dave Chappelle dropped by for an impromptu set. Hopefully the knit crowd was a little more appreciative (and less inclinced to yell "I'm Rick James, Bitch!") than the ones he dealt with on this summer's Oddball tour.
Comedy Night at Knitting Factory starts at 9 PM but fills up much earlier than that. Who will be at this Sunday's show (12/29)?
Dev Hynes may have lost his apartment earlier this week in a devastating fire but he hasn't lost his spirit. Perhaps as a way of giving back to fans who have shown him much support this week, he's playing a FREE NYC show Saturday night (12/21) at Cameo under his old Lightspeed Champion guise. It'll just be him solo and doors are 6 PM with the show over before 8 PM. You do need to RSVP.
Dev plays with his full Blood Orange band in NYC on February 6 at Webster Hall which is sold out.
by Bill Pearis
We're past Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and fully in the holiday season, which for some of us means the annual office party. But who just wants to drink with the person in the cubicle next to you and that weird guy in Accounting? BrooklynVegan and pals at doNYC are throwing a joint holiday party -- and you're invited too. It goes down on December 19 at Videology in Williamsburg from 8 - 10 PM with complimentary Goose Island beer (while supplies last).
In addition to the refreshments, there will also be clips from holiday specials and movies on Videology's big screen, from the warm and familiar to some really weird stuff (Star Wars Christmas Special anyone?). Also, yours truly as DJ for the evening. You're welcome to stick around after 10 PM, too, I'll still be spinning tunes till they make me stop, with still more holiday weirdness to watch as well. It's free (21+) but you do need to RSVP (though admission with RSVP is still first come, first served, capacity permitting). Hope to see you there!
Speaking of Videology, the Williamsburg spot (where, full disclosure, I clerked for years and years) turned from neighborhood video store into a neighborhood bar/screening room/video store about a year ago. Videology is celebrating it's 10th anniversary on Friday, December 13 starting at 8 PM. There will be drink specials, a mash-up of their popular Twin Peaks and Arrested Development bingo nights, food, trivia, prizes, gourmet cotton candy and more. Also, me again DJing starting at 11 PM. It's free and if you RSVP you get half-price drinks all night.
by Klaus Kinski
Comedy-wise, if there was one night where I wish I could be in two places at once, tonight (Thursday, December 5) is it for there are two spectacular shows happening this evening that unfairly pit Gowanus versus Williamsburg. Geographically and line-up wise, Williamsburg has a slight edge for me as Over The Eight (594 Union Ave) will play host to The Bobby Tisdale Show. As part of a recurring series of shows called The Talk Show Series, these shows are set up more like casual conversation panel talk shows with incredible guests. Tonight's line-up is particularly stacked and features Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing, author), Tim Harrington (Singer of Les Savy Fav, beard owner), Kevin Corrigan (famous actor), Andy Blitz (comedian, amazing man and one of my personal favorites), Jon Benjamin (Bob's Burgers, Home Movies, Archer) and, if you can handle it, more. And it's hosted by the affable, hilarious, Bobby Tisdale (Bobs Burgers, Invite Them Up, Wards of Merkin). The show starts at 8:00pm and is ABSOLUTELY FREE. I haven't been this erect about a line-up since the old days of Rififi. Gonna be a scorcher! Flyer below...
Several subway lines, bus routes, or one expensive cab ride away in Gowanus, prolific performer and mind warrior Greg Barris brings his long-running comedy-life experience Heart of Darkness to the confines of The Bell House. Tonight's installment, entitled HEART OF DARKNESS: IN SPACE! features Gold Pass Klaus Kinski Favorite Todd Barry, mind warrior Elizabeth Gallager Kennick (NASA, Space Frontier, Teachers in Space), comedian Jena Friedman, house band The Forgiveness, musical guests Rich Stein and Matt Kilmer, guest band The Mast PLUS a special guest. A smattering of tickets are still available, so if you find yourself in that neighborhood this evening and have a hankering for a life changing life experience, do venture inside The Bell House and absorb. Doors are at 8pm, show is at 8:30pm. It is going to be a doozie!
Run the Jewels at Webster Hall in August (more by Amanda Hatfield)
El-P and Killer Mike are each about to wrap up another great year, having both been active on their own and as their collaborative duo Run the Jewels. RTJ appeared in NYC a few times, including their big headlining Webster Hall show and a slot at Fool's Gold Day Off, but before 2013 comes to a close, they'll do another headlining gig in NYC at Music Hall of WIlliamsburg on December 13 with White Mandingos (ft. Murs and a member of Bad Brains) and Phony PPL. It's a Converse Rubber Tracks Live show which means it's free but do you need to get tickets, which go on "sale" Wednesday (12/4) at noon. Their only other US date scheduled for this year at the moment is New Year's Eve in Raleigh, NC.
In related news, Stereogum points to an instagram from El-P with a picture of a handwritten note of what you should not ask Run the Jewels in interviews. El-P specifies, "Do Not Ask: How we met, What we think about the state of hip hop, How we feel about other artists," then ends it with "Thank You + Good Luck!"
In more related news, El-P and Killer Mike are promising a second Run the Jewels album for 2014. In the meantime, check out their video for "Banana Clipper" (feat. Big Boi) from their self titled 2013 LP, below...
by Bill Pearis
The counter Rough Trade (w/ Morrissey Autobiography) (more by Chris La Putt)
As you may have maybe -- just maybe -- heard, UK indie record store Rough Trade opened its first-ever NYC branch yesterday (11/25). As a record lover and Williamsburg resident, I headed over to N. 9th after work last night to check it out.
The store is big and warehouse-y with plenty of space in between shelves for easy browsing, and a centralized checkout area. (It is still small compared to the late-'90s days of Virgin Megastore and Tower.) There is a mezzanine with magazines and books (like import copies of Morrissey's Autobiography) on one side of the space, and on the other there is the Guardian Green Room which is a "multi-purpose digital lounge" and an exhibition space that currently has a recreation of Donald Glover's bedroom in Community. Main Drag music has a little vestibule with cool analogue synths, and a cafe run by Five Leaves will be open soon.
Donald Glover's 'Community' bedroom at RT
The store seems more in "must open" mode than "ready to open," as the record shelves are a little sparse right now. Prices for records are on the high side -- I saw very few less than $18 -- and they don't put records "on sale." But many of their featured items do come with "Rough Trade Exclusives," usually bonus discs which do add value. There are also no used records, which seems an odd choice to me given the way all other record stores in the area operate. Though in that way they're not so much treading on other's turf? They are, however, promising to stock imports, including the entirety of their 101 Albums of 2013... but that has not happened yet. (I was ready to buy the new Suede album, too.) I did buy the Morrissey book, which at $14.99 for an import seemed a bargain. Give it a month, and we'll hopefully see what the store is like.
I showed up too late for Sky Ferreira's live set, but there was a long line of people waiting to get their records/CDs signed. I watched a little bit from the mezzanine, as bf and DIIV frontman Cole Smith showed up to say hi. One fan asked if he would sign Sky's album too. He obliged, writing a note right on the most, uh, exposed area of the LP cover. Pretty funny.
I did, however, stick around to watch Charles Bradley. The performance space at Rough Trade is really nice. Official capacity is 250 but, with a seated balcony it felt bigger than that. There were ping pong tables in the back part of the balcony last night, that I'm told won't be there during ticketed shows (but will be available during the day). Lighting was good and the sound was better. Bradley has a pretty crack band who make any room sound good but I was really impressed with the acoustics. There are lots of small rooms in Williamsburg already, but this is a nice addition to the area.
Charles Bradley sounded fantastic. His years as a James Brown tribute artist have bestowed him with killer stage moves, and the dude just oozes charisma and soul. It was a real treat to see him in such a small room and the whole crowd was grinning the whole time. NYC will have two more chances to see Bradley in January.
Today (11/26) you can catch a free show from Danny Brown which happens at 5 PM. You do need to grab a wristband first which are available at the counter. Wednesday night (11/27, 7 PM) is a free in-store with Matthew E. White. Two shows from NYC legends Television will be Rough Trade's first ticketed shows (both are sold out).
In addition to having his bedroom there, Donald Glover will perform as Childish Gambino at Rough Trade on December 6. You need to buy a copy of his new album Because of the Internet. There will be a record signing following the performance.
Did you check out Rough Trade on opening day? What did you think? Buy anything?