As DIY spots like 285 Kent and Steel Drums continue to disappear and our old party pads become high-rise condos, where do we turn? Enter Ariel Bitran and Leeor Waisbrod. Along with partner Rose Fathers, the musicians and friends recently opened Palisades, an intimate, welcoming dive with a generous stage.
The music and performance venue, at 906 Broadway, began hosting art shows with friends such as Preston Spurlock this past April. Since May 15, it’s been hosting shows every single night. Now, within the span of just a few short months, its the name on everyone’s lips– even the New York Times. Waisbrod called the recent Trash Talk show which landed them in its pages “flawless,” while Bitan touted it as “one of the best nights of my life.”
On a sunny afternoon in Bushwick, we sat down with them inside the venue to discuss how Palisades has quickly become a home for all in one of Brooklyn’s most eclectic neighborhoods.
Ariel: We ran a small space together on Menahan and Wyckoff, called The Lab, for about eight months last year. Then, when that ended, we started looking for new spaces. [Finding Palisades] was just serendipity.
Ariel: No, not really. They’re our friends, just like everyone is. We’ve been working and operating in the music scene for a while, and you meet a lot of people. They’re certainly close friends of ours, but the anti-folk scene is so dispersed, especially in Brooklyn. There are so many homes, so to call [Palisades] a home for anti-folk is sort of silly. We’re all just doing the same thing here, we’re all just playing music. There’s no difference between one scene and the next. We’re all supporting each other.
Ariel: We love our neighbors! They’re good people.[In Williamsburg], they’re facing challenges because they’ve got babies and families moving into these condos across the street. And if there’s anyone who’s going to complain about a music venue at night, it’s people with babies.
Leeor: I wanted our space to be here, specifically, on Broadway. But it had less to do with any of that, and more just about, this is where my friends live.
Ariel: Not really, and not just because it hasn’t developed yet. People from the Silent Barn come here, people from different electronic scenes come here, people from hip hop scenes come here… so if you come [to Palisades] on any given night, you’re gonna see people from a bunch of different scenes. It’s not so much “the Palisades Scene.” It’s everyone’s scene.