The backyard at Trans-Pecos. (Photo: Todd P

The backyard at Trans-Pecos. (Photo: Todd P’s Instagram)

Todd Patrick writes in to share some more details about Trans-Pecos, the venue now hosting a series of “preview events” at 915 Wycoff in Bushwick. He notes that the Silent Barn’s old home still has “quite a ways to go,” and the to-do list ranges from adding a state-of-the-art sound system to “painting over the bad murals / preserving the good murals.” See his message below for a list of some of the folks who will curate the space collaboratively, details on the espresso cafe run by the folks behind Fort Greene’s Red Lantern cafe and Fresh Till Death, and a little bit about the conversion of the Silent Barn’s old bedrooms into skylit studio spaces.

While we are hosting this limited run of shows right now, we still have quite a ways to go and the renovation of the space continues. We are working hard not only to give a 2nd life to a beloved old show space, but also to make something new: a comfortable, put-together, organized, uncluttered, clean, all-ages venue with all of its legal paperwork in line – renovated on a modest budget, that is neither slick nor upscale. We expect to have everything completed in the next few months.

This is what’s been done so far:

-resolved the space’s legal issues related to the shutdown 2 years ago
-put in a second fire exit and reconfigured the doorways and the entrance
-given the entry doors “panic bars” and made them swing out rather
than in (for safety in emergencies)
-added Exit signs and emergency lighting
-added windows to the front doors so the place doesn’t hide from the
neighborhood anymore
-gutted the drop ceilings throughout the building to expose the
beautiful dark-wood joists and vaulted ceilings that always were
hidden (the acoustics are terrific!)
-added skylights for light and for ventilation
-removed old vestigial pipes and dead electrical gear on the walls
-cleaned up, and finished properly all holes in the walls and
unfinished Sheetrock corners
-gotten the heat working again (it’s been 7 years!)
-rented an enormous, gorgeous, tree-canopied neighboring lot to serve
as the venue’s backyard —

Some improvements on the way are:

-adding a modest stage
-resurfacing the hardwood floors
-upgrading the electrical throughout the space
-cleaning dusty surfaces and smoothing rough edges everywhere
-adding a permanent bar in a separate room from the show space, that
will be open on nights even when there aren’t shows
-rebuilding and beautifying bathrooms
-cutting in direct access to the new backyard
-planting plants and seating in the backyard
-adding 6 restaurant-style booths along the walls of the venue space,
plus several folding “library style” tables and chairs for daytime
cafe use
-replacing all of the chipped and cracked glass window panes
-painting over the bad murals / preserving the good murals
-painting over all of the tags and grime
-adding a state of art soundsystem
-etc etc etc

The booking of Trans-Pecos is a cooperative effort by a coalition of knowledgeable and tasteful stalwarts of the intellectual music
community, led and wrangled by Sam Hillmer of the band Zs. Trans-Pecos sees our mission as a continuation of the tradition of places like
Zebulon, Tonic, and the original Knitting Factory – as a home for a wide variety of “new” music genres, whose commonality is quality and
deep knowledge of the cannon of intelligent music. Trans-Pecos is not a space for buzz bands, but nor is it a recital hall – we see the
space as a showcase for great performances, as much as meeting place for tasteful lovers of music, where it’s also ok to socialize and have
a good time. An “out” venue you might bring a date too, if you will; with its heart in the right place but putting taste before good intentions.

The folks involved in curating will vary somewhat from season to season, but here is who is on board for our inaugural run:

-Northern Spy Records – Brooklyn avant label whose office is in the space
-Words + Dreams – Boutique tape label from Brooklyn
-ExCathedra – Patrick Higgins’ new out classical record label
-The Bunker Limited – Bryan Kasenic’s legendary out techno party, but on a
limited, connoisseur scale
-Chaos Bodies – Out-goth post industrial, post metal intense party
from Charlie Looker and Andrew Hock (aka Psalm Zero)
-Victoria Keddie/ESP TV – Amazing projection based alt music
organization famous for TV, cooking shows, rad music, and awesome
-MV Carbon – OG noise artist, Metalux, Violet Raid, founder of
Paris/London/West Nile, etc…
-Uumans – Matt Mehlan of Skeletons, founder of the original Silent Barn
-Trans Culture Party Systems – Emi Kariya, who has been expounding on
the many connections between NYC and Tokyo/JPN etc…
-The Oracle DJs – aka Diamond Terrifier, aka Sam Hillmer
-Todd P – troll bait
-Damon McMahon – Amen Dunes, psych explorer (with us for the month of January)

We’re also looking forward to the opening of a new espresso cafe to operate out of what was once the front bedroom – helmed by Bradford Sill and Collin Crockett of Red Lantern cafe and Fresh ’Til Death Cafeteria. The cafe will operate both as a walk-in counter espresso bar, and as a sidewalk service counter out the window; and the venue room in the back will double as cafe seating by day. Bradford and Collin make and supply nut milks to cafes all over Brooklyn, and will be serving a variety of vegan and standard-style treats in the cafe.

The other former bedrooms have been equipped with skylights for light and ventilation, and have been reconfigured as studio space for working artists and creative businesses. Northern Spy Records is operating their office out of one room, a prominent photographer is setting up a studio in another. A cooperative membership woodworking shop plans to open soon in the new annex building adjacent to our new backyard. We’re excited about the model of independent businesses using the space cooperatively, but autonomously.

The new backyard (which is located just out the backdoor of the main venue space, on the other side of a longstanding cinderbock wall) will mean an outdoor place to hangout (and also, smoke) during shows, plus outdoor seating for the cafe, and we have plans for a second stage for outdoor shows in the summer. We will be constructing outdoor tables as well as planters to fill the place with green – all on wheels to make the spot easy to clear out for those summer outdoor concerts.

Unrelated, but because the question has been asked: the process of reopening Market Hotel is continuing concurrently while Trans-Pecos opens, and Market will be hosting shows again in the new year as well.