music venues

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Williamsburg Loses Another Venue, as Cubana Social Closes This Weekend

(Photo: Linnea Covington for Nymag)

(Photo: Linnea Covington for Nymag)

Just a few months after the closure of Black Bear Bar, its neighbor on North 6th Street, Cubana Social, is leaving Williamsburg after six years. No, it’s not the changes in Cuba that are to blame. According to the closing announcement by owner Christina Bouza, it’s changes in the neighborhood.
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Inside Michael Psilakis’s Sparkly New Williamsburg Music Venue, The Hall at MP

Taps at the bar at MP Taverna's The Hall in Williamsburg (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Taps at the bar at MP Taverna’s The Hall in Williamsburg (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Well, we can’t say we didn’t see this one coming. Having just opened MP Taverna on Driggs and North 10th Streets (pretty much ground zero for Williamsburg’s shiny new condos) chef and restauranteur Michael Psilakis is now getting into the business of venues. What better way to connect to the neighborhood and a now nearly mythologized North Brooklyn cultural movement and indie rock scene? The Hall, a new music venue that boasts a mission to “put the focus back on supporting local arts, musicians, creatives, students and neighborhood residents,” won’t officially open till later this month. But we attended a preview event last night to see what we’re in for.  

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SugarCube, South Street Seaport’s Sweet Attempt At DIY

cube1

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

“I like to think of it as rising from the ashes of Kent Avenue,” Drew Briggie of 100m records explained, twice actually, once when I met up with him last Friday night, and again in a follow-up interview this week.

Drew was talking about the SugarCube, the second iteration of an inflatable rectangular igloo of sorts that made its second annual debut on the South Street Seaport at the start of December. The cube is open to the public, with programming curated by 100m Records scheduled through the end of January. “It might go until March if they let us, we’ll see,” Drew said when I stopped by last Friday to take a look at the place and check out the show featuring Relations and Savants. Each Friday at the SugarCube there’s a free show featuring bands and DJs, and the event is made boozy with either a bar or BYOB policy.

“We’re trying to keep most of the acts local,” Drew explained.

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Trash Bar Confirms It’s ‘Following the Flow of Creativity’ Eastward to Bushwick

(Gavin Thomas for NY Mag)

(Gavin Thomas for NY Mag)

Over the holiday break, Timeout reported that Trash Bar “could be closing for good” in Williamsburg. Now the bar has confirmed on Facebook that “the rumors are true,” though it insists it has “definitive plans to re-open at a yet undisclosed Bushwick location.”
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Backstage at Shea Stadium With Adam Reich of Titus Andronicus and So So Glos

Adam_Titus

Photo courtesy Jason Persse

Shea Stadium, the DIY music venue in Bushwick, celebrates its fifth anniversary on July 4, thanks in large part to co-founder Adam Reich. Reich is Brooklyn born and raised, and started Shea in ’09 with childhood friends and current bandmates The So So Glos. Besides running a business and playing in the Glos, Reich is also a music producer and plays guitar in Titus Andronicus (releasing a 7″ and July 7). Reich sat down with me on one of Shea’s signature ratty old couches and told B+B a little about himself.
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A Love Letter To Not-Yet-Dead Goodbye Blue Monday From an Open-Mic Regular

(Photo: Chris Tonucci)

(Photo: Chris Tonucci)

While I usually look down on eulogizing something that hasn’t yet passed, I thoroughly endorse any preemptive tributes for Goodbye Blue Monday. This isn’t to say that I want or expect the longstanding Bushwick venue to close. The opposite is true: I think anyone who’s ever gigged or killed time there should come out black-veils-and-all and throw money to its piles of twisted scrap-heap metal and forever-untouched records.
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Monday: An Evening With the Owners of the Night

Brooklyn_nightclub

Sure, it’s fun to sit around remembering CBGB and the Mudd Club, but what about the great clubs and creative hubs of today? Join us Monday at the B+B Newsroom as five trailblazers of North Brooklyn nightlife discuss the state of play circa 2013.

John Barclay will be coming off of a win this week’s Paper Nightlife Awards, where his Bossa Nova Civic Club scored Best New Club (New York considers it the Best Dance Club, period, and gave it another shout-out in last month’s Everything Guide to Dancing).

Barclay operated 285 Kent before legendary DIY promoter Todd Patrick (aka Todd P) turned it into a nightly destination for all-ages indie rock shows. Patrick, also the founder of Showpaper, is now in the midst of reopening beloved underground spot Market Hotel as a fully licensed indie music venue; last month he announced he was also reopening the original location of Silent Barn as a yet-to-be-named artist’s studio space and an all-ages venue for avant-garde and experimental music.

Also joining us will be Peter Shapiro, who owned celebrated Tribeca club Wetlands before opening Brooklyn Bowl in 2009. A couple of months ago, the bowl-o-drome announced its expansion to London and Las Vegas. Shapiro, also the publisher of Relix magazine and a founder of the Great GoogaMooga, recently relaunched Lower East Side burlesque mecca The Slipper Room and the venerable Capitol Theatre in Port Chester.

Jify Shah will be coming off of a blockbuster week at his Williamsburg venue, Cameo, which just hosted CMJ showcases by some B+B favorites (Mexican Summer, Cascine, Wild Honey Pie, etc.). In addition to attracting some of Brooklyn’s most exciting indie-rock and electronic acts and DJs, Cameo is New York‘s Best Stand-Up spot of 2010, thanks to house fixture Max Silvestri.

In 2008, Jake Rosenthal co-founded PopGun Presents, which produces concerts, parties, festivals and events around town. He and his partner Rami Haykal began booking Glasslands — one of B+B’s favorite places to catch a show — in 2009 and assumed ownership of the Williamsburg venue last year.

We’ll get the party started Monday at 7 p.m., at 155 Grand St., off of Bedford Ave., in Williamsburg.

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A Look Back at the Electric Circus, the Greatest Show on St. Marks Place

ElectricCircus6Few nightclubs exemplified the excesses of the drug-fueled ‘60s like the Electric Circus. Trapeze artists, mimes and jugglers illuminated by pulsating strobe and black lights created a psychedelic atmosphere; predictably, the Circus became the club of choice to smoke pot and drop acid. But the Electric Circus also presented a powerhouse array of rock bands, many of who would become superstars: Sly and the Family Stone, Dr. John, Deep Purple and the Allman Brothers Band all played the Circus early in their careers.
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